How to Plan a Going Away Party

How to Plan a Going Away Party

Saying goodbye to a friend or loved one who’s moving away can be difficult to do. Rather than send them away on a solemn note, why not celebrate this new chapter in their lives with a going away party? Parties–no matter what type–are all about the details! So, here are a few tips and ideas on how to plan a going away party.

Choose a Theme

One of the easiest ways to begin planning is by choosing a theme. Incorporating the destination into the food, decor, and games is a great way to say “Bon Voyage,” “Adios” or “Farewell!”

Here are just a few ideas:

    • “Happy Trails” (maybe for someone who’s westward-bound or a horse lover)
    • “We’ll Miss you a Latte” (for the coffee lover or someone who’s heading to Seattle)
    • “Adventure is out there!” (UP!-themed party for a Disney lover)
    • “Adios, Amigo!” (for those heading south of the border)
  • “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” (Dr. Seuss-themed party for a recent graduate or someone heading to college)

Food and Drinks

How to Plan a Going Away Party

Travel and food go hand-in-hand. So it’s no wonder that there are so many foods and drinks named after cities. Try serving some of these dishes and saying goodbye will be easier to stomach (see what I did there?).

    • Beef Manhattan
    • Alabama Slammer cocktail
    • Boston Cream Pie
    • Long Island Iced Tea
    • Buffalo Wings
    • New York-style Cheesecake
    • Philadelphia Cheesesteak
    • Barbecue. St. Louis-style, Kansas City-style, Santa Maria-style (Central Coast California); take your pick!
  • California Roll


Sure, you can go to a party store and buy decorations, but where’s the fun in that? Party decor can be as unique and creative as you are and personalizing them around the guest of honor is a fun and heartfelt way to send them off! Pinterest and Etsy are wonderful sources for ideas. Here are some:

    • Create a banner out of an old map. If you want to really personalize it, use the current location at the beginning of the banner and the destination at the end.
    • Decorate moving boxes with packing paper with phrases like “Fragile” or “Handle with Care.” Allow guests to write messages on them.
    • Display a vintage suitcase for guests to leave cards or gifts.
  • Make a photo booth out of moving boxes and have guests pose with fun travel-themed props!

Games and Entertainment

Of course, you have to keep your guests entertained. Make a playlist of goodbye-centric songs to play in the background. You can include hits like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds, “Bye Bye Bye” by ‘NSYNC, or “Hello Goodbye” by The Beatles.

Party games can border on cheesy sometimes, so to get your guests involved, make it a competition! Offer a goody bag or prize for winners.

Try this game idea! Tape a map of the United States to the wall and tape balloons on each of the state capitals (or just a few to make it harder). Give each guest a dart and whoever is able to pop a balloon gets a prize!

Who doesn’t love bubble wrap, right?!? There are lots of fun games you can play with bubble wrap, like Freeze Dance or Hop Scotch.

Have you hosted a going away party or been the guest of honor? Leave your fun and unique party ideas in the comments section below!

(flickr: andrewsan/via:cc) (flickr: kristinausk/via:cc)