Escondido family takes a weeklong virtual trip around the world

Posted at 8:23 AM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 11:23:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The coronavirus pandemic forced families to cancel travel plans including one family in Escondido, who had plans to head to Hawaii for spring break.

But with their creativity, imagination and an open mind, they were still able to spread some aloha.

"Our trip to Hawaii got cancelled and so we were all kind of bummed about that," said Melissa, wife and mother of a high school student.

That's when Melissa and her husband put their thinking caps on and came up with ways they could still travel to their favorite destinations.

"My husband and i were talking about a way we could still really take a trip a virtual trip," Melissa said.

They created a week long tour around the world for the family, virtually, using resources right under their roof.

"On YouTube there were some fantastic virtual vacations you could take so we streamed those on our TV set. We got to take a walk on the Great Wall of China, visit museums, and architectural sites."

The Ralston's traveled everywhere from Hawaii, Austria, China, and the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora. They even made it literally made it feel like they were there.

"When we were in Bora Bora, we set up a little beach in our living room and we had heaters on and sun lamps to kind of the full effect."

Vienna, their daughter who's a junior in high school said she was amazed by her parent's creativity, "It was really fun, all the different surprises they had. It was just crazy what they pulled off."

The Ralston's said you can find local restaurants to order just about any kind of cuisine, and pull out old souvenirs or clothes from past trips to make a virtual trip feel authentic.

"Probably the best part of the whole experience is it was the cheapest vacation we ever had," Melissa added.

Each destination was a surprise for the daughter. She stayed in her room until the entire family was ready for take off.