I have the complete honor of being a godmother to the sweetest, most adventurous and fabulous 4-year-old I know.
When I first accepted the invitation to be her godmother I was flooded with excitement and emotions.
I remember thinking, this seems like a big responsibility, but one that I can also have infinite fun with. I get to spoil my goddaughter, and help raise her into the fearless woman I know she'll be. That's no small job description...and so when she was first born, I started really thinking about how I might help go about that.
The decision to travel
I came to the realization that for me, experiences are more important than giving her toys, games, clothes, or other material goods. (Don't get wrong though, I can't help but spoil her occasionally with such things!) I decided that for the most part, in lieu of material gifts, I will tuck away money each time she celebrates a birthday or holiday, and when she's older (perhaps in high school), we will use those tucked away funds to take a trip together.
Training for travel while she's young
We've already started a tradition of taking mini adventures together.
About once or twice a year, she and I have a day out together. We have been to the local science museum, we've gone out for ice cream, and we've even done lunch, too. It's a way for us to spend time together without the distraction of her siblings (who I also love dearly!) In my mind, this is a good way to get her ready for a trip when she's a bit older.
I want to teach her everything I know about the world, including how to travel responsibly. And that will involve having her be a part of every travel decision along the way when we plan our big trip. I'm excited for the day when we pull up a map and pick a place to go, just the two of us. It certainly beats a toy she'll forget after a while, right? :)
So how much will I be able to save over time?
If you're interested in doing this for a little one in your life, the truth is, you can save as little or as much as you'd like. If you put away $50 per birthday and Christmas, by the time your little one is 18, that's $1800, plus any interest that may have accumulated over time, which is a good base for a nice little trip.
Wondering how to communicate this idea of a future trip to a little one?
This can be tough when they're so little and can't quite grasp why you didn't get them a toy for them to play with NOW. (That's why I often cave and get her a little something..I mean, have you seen how cute she is?!) But in the long run, it's a good life lesson that teaches her patience, planning, and budgeting! I talk with her about it so that she can get excited and know that this is something that we both can look forward to.