Creating a Travel Themed Party

A dear friend of mine recently got engaged and we decided to celebrate by throwing a good ol’ party! It was travel themed and so much fun.

I was one of 8 hosts and in charge of the decorations and invitations. My sister, a former wedding planner, helped me come up with the table centerpieces, game, and overall vibe of the party.

I ordered the invites from Paper and Pigtails over at Etsy.

They emailed me the editable PDF and it was super easy to customize these invitations. I paired them with paper bag, brown envelopes from Hobby Lobby. It was the perfect look to set the theme of the party. In total I only spent about $1.50 per invitation (including stamps).

Then we sat to gathering/collecting luggage, globes, vintage maps, lots of the letter “A” (the couple’s monogram), and old travel books.

I bought this beautfiul, vintage hat box at an estate sale here in Austin for only $10! It served as the perfect box for guests to place their cards. It’s a bit hard to tell in the photo but the hat box is the perfect shade of turquoise.

On the tables we placed old travel books (bought at used book stores), decoupaged spherical candle holders that looked like real globes, and crisp white “A”s. We bought at the “A”s at JoAnns.

On other tables we placed old maps (also bought at used book stores), more old travel books, and vintage camera (this one is an Argus 1957 35mm).

We had the party at a local coffee shop. This place set an awesome ambiance with it’s floor to ceiling windows. In the window ledges we placed some vintage luggage. I borrowed this one from my mom (hi, mom!).

I had all the guests play a game where they had to guess the location of where the pictures of the couple were taken. We placed the photos on each of the tables along with maps and more “A”s. We labeled each photo with a number and guests wrote down their guesses on game cards. I used these scalloped map cut outs for the number marker from 58 & Grace over on Etsy. She did a customized listing for me and used maps from the states where the couple are from.

The winner of the game won this little prize. I bought a simple red gift bag from Target and just cut out multicolored bunting from Post Its. Then just used a teensy bit of masking tape to close the package and detailed it with a Sharpie.

The food was prepared by two of the other hosts and they did an AMAZING job. I just added little flags that had the name of the country each food item was inspired by. Just a simple little dowel rod, some wooden model car tires, hot glue, and paint swatches were used to create these cute flags (Most bought at Hobby Lobby). I wrote the name of each country with a sharpie and then gave it a dotted line outline just to make the flag stand out a little more. Such an awesome impact for little money.

Overall, my tab was about $125 and that included invitations. I was able to construct the travel theme for little money!

Don’t get me wrong, these parties come with their struggles and planning issues. But, this is how everything came together and in the end it’s all about the couple anyway.

Many congrats to my dear, sweet friends!


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8 responses to “Creating a Travel Themed Party”

  1. Tamara says:

    hi! how did you make those little candle glasses with the globe print on..i mean…what glasses did you use and then did you transfer the maps onto silk-paper with terpentine and then use paper mache glue to stick it on? that would be my first idea..but if your way is easier and less messy, please let me know 🙂 thanks

    • Mary says:

      Hey Tamara! I just spherical candle votives like these Libbey ones but WAY CHEAPER that I found at thrift stores. Then I bought some maps at a second hand book store (Here we have Half Price Books) but I’m sure you could also find those at any thrift store. I cut out a section of the map that had a good land to water ratio, because this made for a more realistic globe look. Then just used Mod-Podge to put it on the glass. My only big tip is that if you are going to actually use them as votives, make sure the map lines up well on the glass votive because when the light shines through you can see all the seems. Does that make sense? If you’ve got any other questions feel free to email me at Thanks!!! Good luck!

  2. […] You know I love me some globes since throwing that travel themed wedding party. And pair them with metal stools that are reminiscent of my junior high science class. Love it. […]

  3. […] fancy any other kind of parties, but I never seem to find an occasion. Mary’s posts on the travel-themed engagement party she planned and her sister’s 30th birthday party combined with these awesome ribbons (pictured) […]

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