I love a good family road trip. Obviously, if you can afford it then flying is more convenient (even with long TSA lines), but there’s something about putting the whole family in the car that really helps with family bonding. Shared experiences in childhood are the secret to a strong family bond later in life.

Here are 5 tips for making the most out of your family road trip this summer!

5 Tips for Hitting the Road this Summer

Have some screen-free time

Road trips have gotten a lot easier since the invention of the portable DVD player and iPads. You could drive for six hours without ever hearing “I’m bored” from the backseat. But that would be a waste. If your kids are busy looking at the same games and shows they would watch at home, they’re missing the beauty of a road trip, and you’re missing a chance to find out what’s going on with them. Make a rule about when the kids can and can’t use screens (and the same goes for the adult in the passenger seat).

5 Tips for Hitting the Road this Summer

Maybe it’s just, “No screens in National Parks” or “No screens unless it’s dark.” Or maybe you make a game out of it, “Find a license plate from 10 different states before screens” or “Find a billboard for each letter of the alphabet.” Before you know it, the kids may forget that they’re allowed to be on screens.

Make unexpected stops

Remember, half the point of the road trip is the journey, not the destination.

5 Tips for Hitting the Road this Summer

See something interesting advertised on the side of the road? Go for it! Make sure to give every member of the family equal power to choose activities.

Don’t forget Fido

If one thing that keeps you home is the cost of boarding a pet, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a lot of hotels that accept dogs, especially smaller ones. Some hotels charge an extra fee for your pet, but some go the extra mile and offer dog treats and other ways to make you feel welcome.

5 Tips for Hitting the Road this Summer

Search “dog-friendly hotels” and you’ll see plenty of sites that specialize in helping you find a hotel that takes dogs. If you are going to bring your dog you’ll want to plan ahead and make reservations ahead of time.

Buy an atlas

I know in these days of GPS not a lot of people read maps anymore, but believe it or not, GPS can fail you. You can run out of battery, you can lose service, or your GPS can just be wrong.

5 Tips for Hitting the Road this Summer

Having a map can be a lifesaver, literally. Having one atlas instead of five different state maps will be neater and easier, and also, may inspire you to take more trips in the future.

Have fun hitting the road this summer!