How To Create A Travel-Themed Graduation Celebration

How To Create A Travel-Themed Graduation Celebration

During this May time, a lot of yearly class graduations are happening! And every college student is currently dreaming about their upcoming graduations and the celebrations. It has been almost a year ago since I’ve walked my graduation at Rutgers University. The feeling of looking back is nostalgic and I dearly miss college.

College is the time of our life that is special and it may be hard to believe sometimes as our lives get busy and we start to get into our careers. But those years of studying, getting involved in our career-related and extracurricular activities, and finding all the ways to survive adulthood, you should be proud you made it this far! I don’t know about you, but I love having the opportunity to go out of my way to make my own events memorable as possible when I look back at the pictures later in life. You should also try to make your celebration memorable! What better way to celebrate than putting together a travel-themed celebration?

Photo credit of my graduation photos goes to my good friend, Alex Fernandes

For my graduation celebration, I always wanted to do a Hawaiian theme since traveling to Hawaii back in 2017 and I was in awe of the location, which I still am. I wasn’t able to host it at my house or my house backyard or anyone’s backyard, but having it at the location I did have it at was still very nice and sort of related to my theme.

With that being said, there are many ways you can put together a travel-themed graduation celebration starting from the second you get into your gown and walk the crowds in an auditorium or outside to your actual celebration party. No matter if you get inspired by a location you traveled to once or are just obsessed with this world, travel-themed events are a lot of fun to display! Here are some simple tips on how to have your graduation feel that inspiration of travel:

1. Decorate your cap with a location you traveled to or display a quote that relates to adventures.

My graduation cap is one of the most beautiful graduation caps I can ever imagine for myself. My graduation cap is a portrait painting of myself walking through the Sedona desert, based off a picture that I had. I did not paint it myself, however. All thanks to a world-traveler and adventurer named Adriana Jay from Miami for painting it! You can choose to have your graduation cap painted by someone or yourself. Or you can opt to put together a graduation cap with a few travel-related stickers (airplanes, globes, suitcases, cars, etc.) and using letters from the alphabet to create an ambiguous quote that may relate to your adventures of life and travel. Try to be as creative as possible! You can also match your cap to your graduation party theme.

2. Have some props to choose during your graduation and your graduation party!

When my graduation rolled around, I told my parents that I’d love to wear a lei, a Polynesian necklace with a wreath of flowers, and they had a lei necklace delivered to my front step in a box embedded with a cold gel-like padding to keep it preserved. It would fit perfectly with my Hawaiian themed graduation dinner and also the prop would make my graduation photos memorable.

When looking for a prop to wear during your graduation, try to add something that will shout you’re a travel addict! It’s actually more common for the West Coast people to wear a lei on their graduation, which actually symbolizes one’s affection towards another. You should also think about what props you’d like to rock or props that your guests can have fun with for your graduation party.

Think about maybe having a cut-out Instagram board for photos with a label, for example saying “To The Grad of 2019”, in fancy text and a travel-related element with it and put a centerpiece of something travel-related like a globe or suitcase or something that resembles a location-inspired party. Like for me, if I threw a bigger graduation party with tables, I’d put an object simulating to a pineapple to correlate with my Hawaiian themed graduation celebration. Use your imagination to the best of your ability!

Photo credit goes to my sister Jewel

3. Choose a nice setting for your celebration!

I had chosen to have my small Hawaiian themed graduation celebration by the sea in a restaurant called The Inlet Cafe in Highlands, New Jersey. The restaurant was located in one of my favorite beach towns right in New Jersey and its outdoor deck feature views of the sea. It was a perfect quaint setting and made me feel like I was on a Hawaiian island with the sea. I mean — one can pretend, right? The restaurant had delicious servings of Italian-American food and lots of seafood options too.

For this, you want to find a place that can allow the number of guests you want to invite for your graduation celebration. You can find a restaurant, a dining hall, a banquet hall, or heck, you can even use your own backyard to host this event. If you can’t find a place that’s surrounded by sea (like mine was — Jersey’s a wonderful place for having plenty of bodies of water!) or something that doesn’t quite fit and shout ‘travel’, be creative and use lots of travel-themed decorations to create that atmosphere! You can even create a backdrop by ordering a customized one and using that to make guests feel invited to your travel-themed celebration. It’ll also make a great backdrop for photo shoots with the guests!

4. Get a travel-themed cake customized!

One of the highlights of my graduation celebration and the centerpiece of it all is my cake! I got my breathtaking Hawaiian-themed graduation cake personally designed by my best friend Leslie’s mom’s friend that runs her own bakery business called BakingSmiles and it was a gift from both of them. I never really had a more decorated cake than one for my graduation. The flavor was strawberry and chocolate and the details were impeccable. I mean, wow! Hibiscus flowers, surfboards, and sand?

If you really want to have your travel-themed graduation celebration standout, let your cake take the shine. Try to find a local cake baker/artist that can create a customized cake for you and whom you can go to, to request for details of how’d you like your cake to look like. Look at their creations first on social media or their website to see if they can create the cake of your dreams.


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