Treats for Travelers

I had never heard of out-of-town bags before the ‘bee. Since I’ve never traveled to a wedding as an adult, it didn’t occur to me that some brides provide their out-of-town guests with grown-up treat bags upon their arrival. But we do have lots of loved ones flying in from far-flung places! And I do love goodie bags of any kind. So inspired by Mrs. Turkey, Mrs. Hawk, Mrs. Elk, and many others, I set about gathering the supplies for our (hopefully!) amazeballs out-of-town bags.

The first decision was what to pack the goodies in. Mr. Wallaby and I, like good tree-huggers, tote reusable grocery bags to the store every time we stock up on groceries, and we normally decline plastic bags when we’re shopping for clothes and other things, so I thought it would be really nice to provide out-of-town guests with reusable bags. I found that a lot of reusable bags are expensive—at least when you multiply the cost times 30 couples/families. A lot of bees have scored on canvas bags from, so I drank the Kool-Aid and ordered 30 natural canvas tote bags, plus five extras just in case.

Although I’m a recent transplant from the Pacific Northwest, I am falling hard for Texas and all its quirkiness. And since Mr. Wallaby was born and raised in Houston, I’ve had my eye on this poster for a long time:


I Love Houston Wood Block Art Print by Etsy seller LuciusArt.

…and so I looked again at the canvas bags I had ordered, and realized that this was a DIY project just waiting to happen. I couldn’t find any decent, cheap stencils of the state of Texas, so I made my own. I created a cardboard stencil from the back of a cereal box (no joke!).


My DIY cereal box “stencil.” Personal photo.

I mixed some black and white acrylic paints to make a nice shade of gray, and I went to work painting inside the lines of the stencil on each canvas bag. (All while watching a marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras…reality TV for the win!) I bought alphabet stickers from Hobby Lobby to spell out “Houston,” and painted directly over the stickers. I reused the same stickers on each bag, surprised that they didn’t lose their stickiness. When I pulled off the stickers, this was the result:


My DIY Houston out-of-town bags. Personal photo.


Close-up of DIY out-of-town bags. Personal photo.

They’re not perfect, but they’re cute enough and have some local flair. Mr. W loves them and can’t wait to add any left-overs to our usual rotation of grocery bags!

The fun part would be filling the bags with local treats and hoarding gathering adorable mini things, for example:


Must. order. mini. Nutella. Photo via Deviant Art.

Most of the food would probably be perishable, so I held off on stuffing the out-of-town bags until the week of the wedding. Here’s what I planned on putting in each bag:

  • A welcome letter (I should probably have started writing that sooner…*kicks self*)
  • A Houston postcard to mail home (I bought a bunch of these at the city’s Tourism Office)
  • A map of Houston
  • Texas Bluebonnets seed packet
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent wipes, since the wedding will be outdoors
  • Packets of Advil, Tylenol, and Pepto-Bismol
  • Bottled water
  • Fresh fruit (apple, orange, or pear)
  • Granola bars
  • Chips
  • Homemade cookies if time permits (otherwise, Texas Snaps from Whole Foods…mmmmm)

Are you providing out-of-town bags for your traveling guests? Are there any other must-haves that I missed?


Mrs. Wallaby

Wedding Date:
November 2012
Top 10: Subtle Color from the 2013 Wedding Runway
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  1. Member
    mariewest 304 posts, Helper bee @ 8:30 pm

    I would love to do bags for our out of town guest, but I just don’t think it will be in our budget. So instead I’m doing a little newsletter that will have list of things to do in town, and information on the wedding weekend events.

    Love the idea of giving your out of town guests a postcard to mail home, it’s so cute!

  2. Member
    brooklyn55 743 posts, Busy bee @ 9:28 pm

    LOVE THESE!! I am thinking about doing OOT bags even though we only have about 15 guests coming from out of town.

  3. mswallaby Member
    mswallaby 2070 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:59 pm

    @Aurelie: Not bragging at all, your OOT bags sound really generous and thoughtful! That said, please invite me to your wedding stat! :)
    @Miss Camel: Yeah I think this kind of thing really depends on your guest count. You can still write a welcome letter and include a map and a bottle if water or something, though – a little something to let guests know you’re thinking of them when they arrive at their hotel :)
    @Soon2BeMrs7913: Aww that sounds perfect! I’m really intrigued by the ice cream in a jar, haven’t heard of that!
    @alyssa719: Wow that sounds so thoughtful!! I love good old hospitality! And I can’t wait to pimp out the guest room at Mr. W and I’s new house. I think stamping 40 bags is totally doable!!
    @mariewest: That’s really sweet :) I always wonder what to do when I’m in a new place, so I would totally appreciate that!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Enrique Adame | Printing Company, Guest @ 11:50 am

    Your article is very fun to read and it contains a lot of great ideas for DIY gifts for wedding guests. It’s good to see that people such as yourself are conscious about our environment and are using things such as reusable bags as gift holders. Cheers, and keep up the good work!

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