CHARLOTTE – You can expect more people on the roads this weekend compared to previous Labor Day weekends.
“A big factor is gas prices, which are the lowest—this year going into Labor Day—than they’ve been since 2010,” AAA Carolinas Communication’s Director, Angela Vogel Daley, says. “We are seeing about an eight-percent decrease from where they were last year.”
She says with the combination of the national unemployment rate down nearly one full point compared to last year and a point-and-a-half from two years ago, the stock market on the rise, and gas prices down, Daley says all those factors provide higher likelihood of travel for the last vacation of the summer.
“Domestically, supplies are good,” Daley says. “Another factor this time of year is hurricanes, and we haven’t seen any major hurricanes comes through the Gulf so far. Obviously September is peak time for that, so that’s something we’ll be monitoring.”
And, Daley says this is a continuing trend of the nation slowly returning from The Great Recession.
“I think we’ve seen a slow and steady increase over the past several years,” Daley says. “There’s always other factors involved; obviously gas prices play a role, but this summer we’ve seen lower gas prices than we did most of last summer. So, we are seeing just a slight increase year over year.”
She says this year’s tropical activity, or lack thereof, has also contributed to favorable gas prices.
“Last year we were dealing with Hurricane Isaac, so that affected the weather, and it did cause a spike in gas prices last year,” Daley says.
Daley says the current conflict in Syria could contribute to added gas price increases. The United State and its allies are deciding whether or not to get involved after allegations of chemical weapons being used against civilians.http://chapelboro.com/news/traffic/gas-prices-down-labor-day-travel-up/
Image courtesy of interstate-guide.com
CHARLOTTE – With the July 4 holiday coming up, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning drivers to be careful, as a recent AAA study found that Independence Day is the deadliest day for car crashes.
Public relations manager for AAA Carolinas, Angela Daley, says July 4 is consistently the deadliest day for car accidents because, unlike other holidays, it always falls on the same date.
“For Memorial Day and Labor Day, it changes based on the year, so July 4 is always going to be the holiday for every year,” Daley says.
In its study, AAA attributed the high number of traffic fatalities to the higher number of drivers on the road and the fact that many people drink during Independence Day celebrations, impairing their driving.
July 4 also has more drivers than other prominent holidays because, according to Daley, summer has the highest traffic volume of any season.
AAA estimates that 988,500 North Carolinians will be driving during this year’s July 4 holiday. But, this is actually a two-percent decrease from 2012.
Daley points out that gas prices have risen eight percent in North Carolina since 2012, but she also adds that last year’s travel numbers may have been inflated.
“Most years, the July 4 holiday is a five-day weekend, so depending if it falls on a Thursday, like it is this year, the travel holiday is through Wednesday to Sunday,” Daley says. “But every seven years, it falls on a Wednesday, and that’s what happened last year.”
By comparison, North Carolina traffic during July 4 in 2011 was around 940,000.http://chapelboro.com/news/traffic/traffic-decrease-expected-ahead-of-deadliest-day-for-drivers/
1. Stay hydrated. Carry a BPA-free water bottle and keep it filled with fresh water to drink throughout the day. Staying hydrated will keep the munchies away as well as reduce feelings of tiredness. Remember if you are traveling in a foreign country, you may need to stick to purchasing a factory bottled water to prevent GI upset.
2. Stock up on healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit (dried or fresh), and bars such as Larabars or Kashi bars. Keeping a healthy snack close will save you money and calories as you may be compelled to purchase junk foods that provide no nutritional value in a moment of hunger.
3. If you have access to a kitchen, take a trip to the local market for a few items to prepare a simple meal at home. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain breads and pasta for a tasty healthy meal to break the pattern of restaurant eating. Breakfast is also an easy meal to prepare which will assure you avoid fast food restaurants with many high fat offerings. A simple breakfast may consist of a low fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola or a whole grain cereal and skim milk.
4. Know your restaurant. Many restaurants now have menus online that can be accessed with the internet. Check out the menu before you go so that you are not persuaded by hunger or emotions to make less than healthy choices when you arrive at the restaurant. Search your smart phone apps for menus and recommendations for restaurants that provide healthier options.
5. Control portion sizes. Choose items that have half or smaller portions or allow you to share entrees. If you have refrigeration available, ask for a take-out container when your food is delivered so that you can take half home for another meal. Do not make the mistake of waiting until you feel you have eaten enough to ask for the container – it may taste so good that you have nothing to take home with you! Dessert can be an option as well as long as you again, share or take half home.
6. More restaurant tips:
A. Ask the waiter to keep the bread basket away – a couple of slices of bread and butter can start the meal off with many unwanted calories. If others would like bread, ask them to keep the basket at the opposite end of the table to reduce temptation.
B. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side so that you are in control of the amounts consumed.
C. Substitute steamed vegetables for fried vegetables.
D. Ask for half portion of potatoes, rice, or pasta.
7. Don’t forget to exercise! Walk, run, or bike through the area. It’s a great way to get an idea of what the area has to offer in terms of recreation and even shopping. If you prefer to stay indoors, take advantage of the hotel’s exercise facilities or a local health club which may offer a daily rate to visitors.
8. An important note – Do not attempt to lose weight! This is one of those times, much like holidays, that weight maintenance should be the goal rather than weight loss. Be conscious of your food choices and mindful of your eating patterns and save the weight loss goals for when you return home.
Enjoy your vacation and stay healthy!
Just our thoughts …..
Amy Moyer, M.Ed., RD, LDN
Let’s hear your feedback on how to vacation with a healthy approach.http://chapelboro.com/columns/enjoy-life/hit-the-road-with-healthy-travel-tips/