Just a quick post, but hopefully helpful for some. These are two inexpensive things I have done with my bass in recent years to protect my investment.
1) Use a fish tank air tube (available at any pet store) to protect and guide the strings in the peg box and to keep the ends of the strings from unraveling. I find this particularly useful for the length of my D-string which has to pass over the G-string peg before attaching to its own peg.
2) Fit a small rubber washer (purchasable at local hardware store) around the shank to your bass wheel to absorb some of the bumps while traveling with your bass wheel. This will prevent the metal-to-metal contact of the end pin socket against the fork of the wheel assembly.