Summertime means a lot of things: Good weather, time off, and the ability to explore, ideally as a family. But for all the benefits you’ll get from a long trip with your family, there’s equal stress involved with putting it together and keeping everyone happy on the road. For our family’s trip—a two week car camping trip around Utah and Colorado—the typical challenges have already become speed bumps. Our tween is not excited about missing another birthday with friends, so we’re working hard to show him that this vacation is just as much his as it is ours. If you have some reluctant campers, here are some ideas that may help you with planning and enjoying a long vacation with kids.

1. Start planning in the analog.

Find a spot where you can gather your materials. For us, we have wall space in the kitchen where we’ve hung a large map of the two states. Talk about where you want to go and what you want to see. Do your research both online and off. Social media is a great place to start, with groups that provide advice and recommendations. We’ve also received print material from the National Parks and regions we plan to visit. Brochures, maps, and glossy pictures are nice to have on hand while planning.

2. Make schedules.

The first is a countdown to when the trip begins, including deadlines for reservations, packing, and house sitting. For example, we’ve already booked our flights, camp sites, and car rental. But we have yet to assess the camping equipment. That we’ll do during spring break. At that time we’ll also determine what we need to repair or buy. The second schedule is an actual calendar of your trip. Again, for us, a hard copy helps us see the number of days we have in each locale. We have accommodations listed activities, and estimated travel times between them.

3. Find your activities.

For each major location or stop, research what there is to do. Although, there may be highlights that everyone will want to see, review the options. Remember, it’s a family vacation. We’ll have a couple of days in Steamboat Springs, for example, and my husband wants to see the rodeo, while I want to visit the hot springs. We’ll be with family then, which may give the tween a chance to do something without us. The National Parks offer lots of ranger led programs during the day and the evening. Take advantage of the free activities available.

4. Thing gear.

Work together to prep gear and prepare. Again, do this several weeks before you go. Do this as a family so everyone knows what you need. In the week before your trip, lay out your personal clothes and items. Then edit, seriously edit. Much of what you think you’ll need, you won’t use. On our last vacation my son choose an encyclopedia to take to read. I vetoed it and pulled it from the suitcase. My husband snuck it back in, then ended up schlepping it around for the week.

Preparing may also include spending time doing some of the activities you’ll be doing on vacation. If you expect your family to hike (or bike or climb?) and they aren’t in shape for it, acclimate them now. You’ll want to break in new boots before you spend days wearing them.

5. Work together.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten about camping (and traveling) with kids came from a colleague. He said, everyone needs to work together to make the experience. Once you are on your way, keep everyone involved. Kids can navigate, help meal plan, set up camp, and more. Let each person choose an activity or a meal each day.

6. Know what you’re getting into.

Most importantly, manage expectations. You can plan, but allow for the unexpected, both positive and negative. Not every day will be a making memories or social media sharing experience. Days of driving can be long