I have always had the travel bug. I find traveling to be inspirational, and I love to learn about new cultures and food abroad and then bring back the memories of those far distant places back home with me. Travel inspires my home decor, fashion and entertaining -- it's really invaded my whole life!
Next time you get back from a trip, why not throw a travel-themed dinner party for your friends to share the joy of the trip? It's the perfect opportunity to share all your adventures and it will give you an opportunity to get inspired by your friends' trips.
Follow our four steps and by the end of the night, you’ll all be planning your next trip!
1. Invite your travel buddies
Send out an invite and ask your guests to bring their passport and any currency they still have left from an old trip abroad. No need to explain anything more. You’ll see why in step four.
2. Set the table
First, choose a bold patterned tablecloth and layer a world map on top in the center of the table. Second, forage your house for anything that could pertain to travel: cameras, old travel journals, a toy airplane, binoculars, travel books, old plane tickets, etc. Use your imagination! Arrange them on and around the world map. Mix and match your dishes, glassware, cutlery and napkins. You want to make the table feel as though it has been curated from different parts of the globe.
3. Prepare a menu
Plan a multi-course meal from a variety of your favorite cookbooks from around the world. But don't fret about preparing an elaborate meal, as it does not have to be fancy or hard. Choose dishes that you are inspired by your travels and that fit your comfort level of cooking. If you don’t feel like cooking, tell your friends you are hosting a potluck and tell them them to bring a single dish from their favorite place in the world.
4. Get inspired for your next trip
Ask your friends to place coins on their favorite place they have visited or a place they wish to visit on the world map. As you are eating dinner, have everyone tell either a story from their favorite trip or explain why they can’t stop dreaming about that one bucket list adventure. After dinner, put all the passports on the table and ask each person to choose a passport. The name of the game is to see if you or your guests can guess whose passport they are holding by only looking at the stamps. No cheating -- don't look at the pictures. In case you want to make it a little more fun, losers have to take a sip/shot of that nasty Limoncello your husband brought back from Italy.
Make sure to take mental notes of all the amazing places you learn about over dinner so you can start planning your next vacation! Happy trails!
You can get more of Ashley's hostessing tips here.