It's vacation time for me, and we've planned a trip that would have some cringing - a road trip to the Gulf Coast and back, with our 2 dogs. What should we know before we head out?

My wife and I haven't taken a "vacation" for almost 5 years, so we wanted to make this the year we have an epic adventure. We have 2 lab dogs that travel well, so it was decided that we'll take a road trip to the Gulf Coast in Alabama's Gulf Shores. Now that it's getting closer to departure time, I'm a little nervous that we may be in over our heads.

The plan is to drive in 7-8 hour spurts and stop at some cool places on the way there and back. Going through Chicago, Nashville, Homewood (AL), Gulf Shores, Memphis, Springfield (IL), and Eau Claire. That's a LOT of hotel rooms, which we've already booked and they're all dog-friendly.

The biggest worry I have is that we're going to hate all the driving pretty quickly, and regret that we started the road trip in the first place. If you've ever taken a road trip of this monstrosity, what advice would you give from what you learned?