Sometimes the budget does not quite allow for that summer holiday we spent all year dreaming about.

Over the last few years, 'staycations' have become increasingly popular and for good reason, too. The American Automobile Association claims that the average vacation for two people in the U.S. costs approximately $244 per day and that does not even include the kids or airfare!

‘Tis the Season for Perfect PicnicsThe main problem my husband and I have found from our staycations has been the temptation to check email and to check in with work. We have found a solution to that.

Get out of the house! Explore your city like you are a tourist and visit the park that your tax dollars help maintain. 

In the summer, nothing is quite as relaxing as heading to the park with a hamper of food and drinks, a good book, and a frisbee, leaving you free for a leisure-filled and stress-free day.

I load the hamper up with sandwiches, home baked cookies or cupcakes, and fresh fruit. I also pack juice boxes for little ones and fill a reusable canteen full of filtered water for the adults so nobody gets dehydrated in the sun.

Here is a favorite recipe for my popular chicken salad sandwich; it is just a guide, so you can switch out ingredients and add your favorite must-have picnic items.

Tip: Pack everything in resealable plastic containers and use reusable plates and cutlery so you do not have to deal with trash at the end of the day and you are not wasting extra money on things you will throw away.

Chicken Salad Sandwich, makes 3 large doorstop sandwiches

Recipe reproduced from Tiny Test Kitchen

2 ¼ cups diced cooked chicken (see notes above)

½ cup celery, roughly chopped

½ Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced, about 1/2 cup

¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tbsp golden raisins

4-5 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp mustard

1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ cups baby spinach leaves, washed and thoroughly dried

6 thick slices of brioche (or any other bread you wish to use)

1. Combine chicken, celery, apple, walnuts, and raisins, and stir until mixed. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add more mayonnaise, if needed.

2. Toast brioche on a low setting on your toaster or broiler. (I toast mine on setting 3 out of 9 on our toaster). Until brioche is golden brown.

3. Add half a cup of baby spinach leaves to a slice of brioche, top with ⅔ cup chicken salad, and form a sandwich. Repeat with the other two sandwiches. Wrap in aluminum foil, find a park on a glorious day, sit and enjoy!

Related posts:

Summer and the City

Have You Thought About a Staycation?

Have a Picnic

Vienna NowellVienna Nowell

Vienna currently resides in New York City, but is originally from London. She is a contributing writer under the A Straight Talk on Debt and Savvy Spender blogs. She and her husband are recently married and they are contemplating taking the nexgt big step and buying their first home.  They are still working their way through the process of buying an apartment, and Vienna and her husband are learning as they go. Vienna also writes a food blog Tiny Test Kitchen, is a freelance writer, chef and food stylist. Read more posts by Vienna here. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.

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