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The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is a fantastic destination for any family looking to enjoy some time together. With spectacular beaches, festive restaurants, interactive attractions and many other fun activities, the Gulf Coast is an alluring location for many travel groups, and as such it attracts visitors from many surrounding regions. Many of these vacationers choose to drive from their homes to their Gulf Shores vacation rentals, and those road trips can be a special part of any adventure. 

Here are a few tips for having a smooth and happy road trip with your family: 

Get a tune up

Your family road trip to Gulf Shores can be a fun extension of your vacation.Before setting out on a road trip, you should make sure to get your vehicle a tune up. A car will need to be able to handle your family, as well as all of your luggage, over a long distance. A tune up will also help ensure you are getting the best fuel economy out of your car, which means fewer stops will be needed to fill up the gas tank and less money needs to be spent on fuel. Above all, having your automobile checked by a professional provides you with the peace of mind that you will appreciate during a vacation. 

Double check your packing lists 

You don't want to be on your way to a destination only to realize that you've left something behind. Complete packing lists prior to departure, both for your personal belongings, items your kids will need and the gear you need for your rental property. Take your time to create these lists in the days leading up to your vacation. That will give you plenty of time to gather the groceries, clothing and other household accessories you may need during your time at Gulf Shores beach houses

Entertain the kids

When you're heading out to a Gulf Shores vacation rental, there is a good chance you will be joined by your kids, and keeping them entertained is a high priority. Playing games that require children to focus on the road and the cars around you is a favorite for many parents, and you should also make sure you have a collection of books and toys that will occupy kids without making too much noise. Tablets, laptops and music players may be a big advantage, as you can simply set up a movie for young travelers to watch - and let them use headphones to listen to it. 

Keep everyone comfortable

No matter how long your drive is, you will want to be comfortable. Not only can this reduce the need for breaks and rest stops, but it also puts you in a better mood as you embark on the trip to your beach house. Start by dressing your kids in light, comfortable clothes. Once you've loaded everything into the car, you should make sure little ones have certain items within reach. For example, if you're bringing along pillows or blankets from home, keep them close to kids so they can be used during naps. 

Ultimately, the best ways to ensure you and your family stay happy during a road trip will depend on your interests and preferences. By using these tips as a basis for planning a highway adventure, however, you can get started on planning your Gulf Shores vacation.