A cross-country trip can be an adventurous experience if you prepare well. The least that can go wrong is getting bored and cranky from the long driving, but the worst is the multiple security and safety issues that come with the long drive. From being too tired at the wheel to catching travel-related illnesses, you can never be too prepared. Discover five tips to help you travel cross-country safely.

Tip #1: Get Your Vehicle Checked Before Leaving

Your vehicle will be the hero ferrying you from one town to another, so treat it well. According to Zebra, as a collective, Americans travel trillions of miles each month. While a good percentage of these travels are through public transport, many Americans rely on their vehicles to ferry them around. Regardless of your vehicle’s miles, checking it in an auto shop is paramount. The last thing you need is your vehicle breaking down in the middle of a sunny highway.

Tip #2: Research and Prepare for Health Risks Along the Way

Traveling across different regions exposes you to health risks related to climate, environment, and region-specific pathogens. For instance, Pest World reports that in 2020, 50 states in America reported bed bug cases. One of the ways you can prepare is by getting vaccinated. Some health clinics specifically focus on helping travelers get the necessary vaccinations depending on the route they intend to take. Research beforehand places you can get medical attention if an issue arises.

Tip #3: Plan for Rest Stops Ahead of Time

Your cross-country trip may take more than two days, so you’ll have to take stops to rest, refresh, and fuel. If you follow intuition, you may end up tired in a location with no rest amenities. A better strategy is to map your trip before you even start it to understand how much you can travel before getting exhausted. Choose rest stops known for safety, good amenities, and easy access. Even better, call ahead to book a spot in a boarding facility to prevent looking for one when you’re tired.

Tip #4: Stay Informed and Prepared for Local Weather Conditions

Breezing through the highway with your favorite playlist is all fun until an unexpected blizzard delays your trip by hours or days. There’s nothing you can do to prevent weather changes, but there’s something you can do to protect yourself. A good tip is to research local weather conditions in the regions you’ll be traveling into. For instance, if weather reports project heavy snowfall, you can change your tires to increase traction. You can also pack up cold drinks if you expect high temperatures during your driving time.

Tip #5: Keep Your Devices Charged

Your ability to communicate with people who can help if anything arises is paramount. Thus, ensure you always have a car charger and that your phone and devices are charged. To minimize risk, keep a friend abreast with your live location using GPS. According to GPS.gov., President Bill Clinton directed the U.S. government in May 2000 to allow GPS usage for civilians like you anywhere in the world. So, take advantage of such technology by charging your mobile phone. You can also use your devices to store copies of your documents if you misplace them.

To sum it up, traveling across the country should be a fun, adventurous event, not a fear trip. It would be best not to worry about breakdowns or getting ill. While some things are preventable, you have the opportunity and agency to prevent as many safety issues as possible. By following the above tips, you’ll not only have peace of mind, but you’ll also enjoy your trip and protect yourself.