Let Southborough author guide
your family vacation
Middlesex Daily News June 28, 2007
Joe Cali of Southborough has written a travel advice book for families.
Thu Jun 28, 2007, 11:01 PM EDT
Southborough, Mass. -
To most, the words "family road trip" mean an endless car ride, museum after museum, and the dreaded words, "Are we there yet?"
Joe Cali of Southborough has given traveling families the solution to their road trip woes with his new book "The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Family Road Trip." "I trust that this book can help change the way you and your family think about vacations. And in doing so, it will change your life," Cali writes.
His approach? Teach good family vacation planning skills.
"Most travel books don't explain how to plan one (a road trip)," he said.
The book is based on Cali's four "vacation pillars": planning ahead, involving the whole family, discovering something new, and expecting the unexpected. The guide includes the family's own "Top 10 Road Trip Itineraries" and tips that families can use to make their drive a good one.
Even the book was a family project. Cali, his wife Wendy, 16-year-old daughter Christie and 14-year-old son Josh wrote short essays describing their family adventures. Cali plans to donate every cent of the proceeds to the places that have helped his family create their vacation memories. Those includes the National Park Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Farm Aid and Habitat for Humanity.
The idea for the book came from conversations with family and friends.
Cali started to create sample itineraries for people who became interested in fun, family road trips. The demand became so great that he made time to write a book, although not always during normal waking hours. "Sometimes at 4 o'clock on a Saturday morning," he said.
Cali's childhood, unlike his children's, did not revolve around travel. But when his father gave 9-year-old Joe a book depicting places all over the world, young Cali was awestruck. "It seemed kind of like this really distant dream. It was so hard for me to imagine going anywhere," he recalled. Now, traveling is Cali's life. The Cali family has traveled to 46 states and 20 foreign countries, and plans to see more.
The walls of the Cali home are decorated with family photographs and collages depicting their journeys. The family has collected magnets from almost every place they have visited, proudly displayed in a frame on the kitchen wall.
Cali is the executive vice president for direct marketing and finance at Grand Circle Travel. He sends out the company's catalogs and takes a trip once a year to make sure Grand Circle Travel cruises, safaris or vacations are perfect for their 200,000 customers.
"I can't believe I actually make a living doing this," he said.
Before his travel days, Cali worked at New England Business Service in Groton for 12 years. He then turned his attention toward his real passion: seeing the world. Cali's favorite road trip took his family 22 days to complete.
That vacation - which the Calis call "The Great America West National Park Road Trip" - included visits to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon and the Four Corners, to name a few.
Cali's work has taken him all over the world including the Galapagos Islands and Egypt, Italy, Spain, Australia, Russia, and many other countries.
The family's next adventure, slated for next summer, will follow the trail of Lewis and Clark, taking a little over two weeks to drive from Minnesota to Oregon.
His advice to first-time road trippers?
"Start small, do something about two hours away. Ask your kids what they want to do and work in something along the way. Bring plenty of entertainment. But my number one advice is: Just do it!"
"The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Family Road Trip" by Joe Cali, ($18.95) published by Author House, is available at online booksellers and local bookstores or by special order.