<p> Summer will here before you know it &mdash; and there&#39;s no better time to hop in your car and take off on the great American road trip.</p> <p> Head out to see the Empire State Building in New York City, the famous Santa Monica Pier in California and everything in between.</p> <p> Traveling alone can be a real blast &mdash; an adventure of a lifetime. But it can also be a little scary, especially for women.</p> <p> Like it or not, security and safety are major concerns for women &mdash; and men &mdash; traveling alone on the road.</p> <p> In a perfect world, the biggest fear on the road for solo travelers would be an accident, a breakdown or a medical problem. But there are horrible people out there capable of ruining great road trips for everyone else.</p> <p> Here are seven travel tips to help women stay safe, rather than sorry, when they&#39;re on the road again &mdash; or on it for the very first time.</p> <p> [<a href="">13 Tips to Keep Your Devices Safe While Traveling</a>]</p>

Do your homework

<p> OK, so the die is cast. You&#39;ve made the decision and you&#39;re going on a solo trip. Now what?</p> <p> The first thing you need to do is look at a map and figure out how you&#39;re getting to your destination, said Courtney Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Road &amp; Travel Magazine, one of the leading auto, travel and personal-safety publications for women.</p> <p> Plan your route by ensuring you stay on the main highways, Caldwell said. Don&#39;t include any back-country roads, because if you do break down, you could run into problems with people posing as &quot;good&quot; Samaritans, she said.</p> <p> &quot;It&#39;s also really important before you leave to map out how many miles you&#39;re going to do each day, so you&#39;ll arrive at your hotel at the end of the day while it&#39;s still light out,&quot; Caldwell said. &quot;Around 300 or 400 miles &mdash; six to eight hours &mdash; a day are pretty good.&quot;</p> <p> Invest in a navigation system if your car doesn&#39;t already have one, and use it, she added.</p> <p> [<a href="" target="_blank">10 Best GPS Navigation Systems</a>]</p>

Choose a hotel chain ahead of time

<p> Select which hotel chain you want to use on your trip before you ever leave home. Don&#39;t decide where you&#39;ll stay while you&#39;re on the road, Caldwell said.</p> <p> &quot;There&#39;s a lot of great hotel chains that come with suites with kitchenettes, and everything a woman needs, so when she gets in there, she doesn&#39;t have to leave to go out to dinner, or go out after dark in a strange town,&quot; she said.</p> <p> Caldwell, who recently finished a 3,200-mile cross-country journey driving a 17-foot U-Haul truck, added, &quot;There are a lot of these types of chains that have hotels all across the country right off the major freeways.&quot;</p> <p> After you map out your route and determine the number of miles you&#39;re going to drive each day, and after you&#39;ve decided which hotel chain you want to stay at, then call and make hotel reservations in advance for every stop on your trip, Caldwell said.</p> <p> [<a href="">7 Hotel Safety and Security Tips</a>]</p>

Tell someone the details of your trip

<p> &quot;Once you make your plan of where you&#39;re going, how you&#39;re going to get there, what route you&#39;re going to take, what hotels you&#39;re going to stay at, make a very detailed list of all that information,&quot; Caldwell said.</p> <p> &quot;You should always give a copy of that to your friends and/or your family,&quot; she added. &quot;That way, they&#39;ll know your exact route. They&#39;ll know where you&#39;re supposed to be, and what time you&#39;re supposed to be there, because if something does happen and you disappear on the road, they&#39;ll have a good lead.&quot;</p> <p> Of course, if your plans change for any reason, call home immediately and let someone know where you are, she added.</p> <p> [<a href="">6 Safety Tips for Holiday Travelers</a>]</p>

Drive only during the day

<p> Plan your schedule so you leave early in the morning, especially if you plan to drive a lot of miles every day.</p> <p> The first thing you should do when you hit the road each day is get gas, Caldwell said.</p> <p> &quot;You don&#39;t want to run out of gas on the road,&quot; she said.</p> <p> Remember, you should have planned how many miles to drive each day, so you get to the next hotel before it gets dark.</p> <p> [<a href="">5 Ways Self-Driving Cars Will Make You Love Commuting</a>]</p>

Stop at travel service plazas

<p> If you have to stop for gas or use the restroom, stop at the plazas on the highways that have restaurants and gas stations together &mdash; and lots of other people.</p> <p> &quot;So you wouldn&#39;t be at some truck stop or on a side road by yourself, where you wouldn&#39;t have witnesses,&quot; Caldwell said. &quot;But I also suggest carrying a cooler with you with some water bottles, snacks, juices, so you don&#39;t have to stop as often.</p> <p> &quot;And when you make your midday stop, you can do everything at once. You can refill your ice, you can fill up on gas, you can use the restroom,&quot; she added. &quot;So try to make as few stops as possible, so you have the least exposure.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Defend Yourself Against Home Invasion</a>]</p>

Dress innocuously

<p> When you do make a stop, it&#39;s best to make sure that you&#39;re not going to draw unwelcome attention. Clothing does not imply consent, but in some situations, it&#39;s best to look boring.</p> <p> &quot;If you&#39;re a young woman, you don&#39;t want to be in short shorts,&quot; Caldwell recommended. &quot;You really need to be sure that you&#39;re blending in, even if it&#39;s hot.&quot;</p> <p> [<a href="">Look Who&#39;s Stalking: 10 Creepiest Apps for Phones, Facebook</a>]</p>

Pay attention to your surroundings

<p> Don&#39;t get distracted by talking on your cellphone or texting when you&#39;re walking into the service center or walking back to your car, Caldwell said.</p> <p> If you do, you&#39;ll be less aware of what&#39;s going on around you, and you&#39;ll be a perfect target for someone who wants to rob you &mdash; or worse.</p> <p> [<a href="">Street Security Quiz: How to Walk Tall</a>]</p>

On the Road: 7 Safety Tips for Women Driving Alone