For most, a cross-country road trip with Mother would end in tears or bloodshed (or both). But for screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love; Cars), one he took inspired this month’s The Guilt Trip, starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. Here, Fogelman reveals a few parent-approved pit stops.

Q: What were some highlights from the road?
A: We drove to Memphis to see Graceland—you have to do that. I tried to stay on Route 66 to go through small towns; it’s like stepping into the 1950’s.

Q: Where did you call it a night?
A: My mom was obsessed with Holiday Inns and their continental breakfasts. She rarely travels, so that was like the Ritz. We splurged on Enchantment Resort ($$), in Sedona, Arizona. We each had our own bungalow, and my mom got her first-ever massage.

Q: You hit Vegas, right?
A: Yeah, and later for the film, we took over the casino at Caesars Palace at three a.m.; people were oblivious that Barbra Streisand was there playing blackjack.

Q: What was your best meal?
A: In Amarillo, Texas, we went to the Big Texan ($$), which has a monster 72-ounce steak. It’s free if you finish it in under an hour, but you have to eat while sitting on a stage in front of the entire restaurant. My mom had to try that, and it’s in the movie.