TravelMets's WunderBlog

Special Guest On The Show Tomorrow

By: TravelMets, 7:05 PM GMT on December 15, 2010

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here on Thursday Dec. 16th beginning at 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT for Wunder Weather Tech, followed by The Daily Downpour, and last but not least, Wunder Travel!

Hey Travelers!

We have a special guest on our show this week. A flight attendant will be sitting in and answering some of our travel questions. Listen to our live show on the Wunderground Broadcast Network Thursday at 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 PT.

If you have any questions for us or our guest, you can post a comment on this blog, or call into the live show at 415-983-2634. Also, we love forecasting for your upcoming trips, so please send us an email at travel@wunderground.com with the subject "Travel Forecast" and provide your travel dates so we can forecast for you on our live show.

Can't wait to hear from you!
-Your Travel Mets :)

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here!

Updated: 7:09 PM GMT on December 15, 2010

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Travel Gift Ideas on Today's Show!

By: TravelMets, 7:55 PM GMT on December 09, 2010

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here beginning at 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT for Wunder Weather Tech, followed by The Daily Downpour, and last but not least, Wunder Travel!

Hey Travel Buds!

'Tis the season for gifts! What to get the travelers on your list? Listen to our live show on on the Wunderground Broadcast Network today at 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 PT. We are the TravelMets, so we know exactly what your travelers need, or what you need as you travel over the holidays. We have found a bunch of great gifts, some of which are environmentally friendly! We will also prepare you for winter weather travel and catch you up on the latest travel news so you can be prepared this holiday travel season.

We'll also be taking your phone calls at 415-983-2634, so give us a call during the live show and share your travel plans, stories, and suggestions. We love forecasting for your upcoming trips, so please send us an email at travel@wunderground.com with the subject "Travel Forecast" and provide your travel dates so we can forecast for you on our live show.

Can't wait to hear from you!
-Your Travel Mets :)

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here!

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Holiday Travel Show Recap!

By: TravelMets, 12:58 AM GMT on December 03, 2010

Hey Travel Buds,


Thanks for tuning into this week's show, we really appreciate your support! If you missed the show, feel free to check out this week's airing at the Weather Underground Broadcast homepage and listen to our podcasts, or search the iTunes store for Weather Underground podcasts.

Here are some of this week's highlights!

This Week's Best & Worst

Across the country...

* This week's worst place to visit: North Dakota! Ready for a freezing weekend with loads of snow and bad travel conditions...not us!

A low pressure system will track out of the northern Rockies and move into the Northern and Central Plains tonight through Friday Night with a mix of snow, freezing drizzle, and fog. At least 2 to 5 inches are possible in western and central North Dakota. Snowfall amounts of 5 to 7 inches could be possible by Saturday morning in southeastern North Dakota, with locally higher amounts.

The low will also keep Winter Weather Watches out for northeastern South Dakota, southern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and northwester Illinois as significant snowfall is expected across these areas as well.

As for traveling in this area, the rule of thumb here is to slow down and allow extra time for travel. Plan for snow covered roads and limited visibility. Roads will likely be slick before the snow begins early Friday morning due to freezing fog and freezing drizzle.

Check out our winter driving preparedness page at http://www.wunderground.com/education/winterdriving.asp. Here you can lean about how to prepare your car and driving techniques for the winter weather ahead. The page also gives you a good idea of what to carry in your car so you can be prepared for an unexpected winter weather situation.

* This week's best place to visit: Miami wins. Who could resist fair skies and highs in the mid-70s all weekend. Sound like a nice slice of paradise to us :)

Around the Globe...

* The worst place to visit: London. Delay, delay, delay! Up to 15cm/5.9 inches of snow fell in London overnight, causing trains to run with reduced service and airport delays. Many schools will be closed on Friday:

The sad news is that there's more to come as another trough of low pressure dips in and pushes more moisture over the British Isles. Brrrr!

* This week's best place visit: Los Cabos, Mexico. Not sure if we picked this yet. But nice and warm, under a wide ridge of high pressure, highs near 80, lows near 60.

Travel News

*TSA Pat-Down Brings On Lawsuits:
Colo. lawyer sues over TSA airport screening-Attorney wants agency to abandon procedures for U.S. citizen

Gary Fielder, a Colorado attorney, has asked a federal judge to order the Transportation Security Administration to abandon its airport screening procedures for United States citizens. Gary filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver last week, more than a month after he, his two daughters, ages 9 and 15, and a family friend underwent a TSA pat-down in San Diego. In the lawsuit, Gary claims the pat-downs are in violation of the Constitution's protections against unreasonable searches. He said subjecting U.S. citizens to the new procedures is wrong because no American has been accused of threatening commercial airliners with explosives.

Nationally, at least two other lawsuits have been filed over the TSA's new procedures.

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Will they win? Thoughts on the new TSA procedures? Tell us what you think by commenting on our blog!

*TSA Protest or Not Quite There?:
Woman Strips Down To Unmentionables In Oklahoma City Airport

Airport security agents in Oklahoma City got a surprise on Tuesday when a woman (who will remain unnamed in this blog) in a wheelchair approached a checkpoint in Oklahoma City, took off her trench coat and was wearing only a black undies.

After the police were called, she was given an "enhanced" pat down because she was in a wheelchair. During screening of her carry-on and laptop an alarm for nitrates was triggered, the Transportation Safety Administration said in a statement on Wednesday. She was not allowed to board her Southwest Airlines flight to Phoenix.

Officials said they had no idea why she acted the way she did or if she was attempting to protest airport security.

The woman returned to the airport the following morning wearing the same thing and cleared security without trouble.

Once she went through the checkpoint, she clothes herself in everyday attire...

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The video of this can be found on YouTube. What do you think? Are the more adequate ways to protest? Do you stand behind the TSA protests? Voice your opinions on this story and other TSA protests by commenting on our blog!

*Would you ski on this?:
Ski resort can make snow from treated wastewater


A federal judge on Wednesday upheld a decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow snowmaking by using treated wastewater at a northern Arizona ski resort.

Snowbowl owner Eric Borowsky said he's pleased with the ruling and is ready to have snowmaking equipment in place for next year's ski season.

Howard Shanker, the plaintiff's attorney, said any reasonable person who read the environmental assessment would disagree with the judge and vowed to appeal the ruling.

U.S. District Judge Mary Murguia in Phoenix said that the Forest Service adequately considered the impacts of the snowmaking plan and that the record supported the agency's decision to allow it. She states, "Although the plaintiffs have consistently conveyed to this court their desire that the agency had reached a different conclusion and determined that the potential risk to human health posed by the ingestion of snow made from reclaimed water during recreation is too great to approve the proposal, that is not the court's decision to make," Murguia wrote.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, granted a permit in July for the construction of snowmaking equipment after a failed attempt to forge a compromise among tribal leaders and Snowbowl owners on the water source for snowmaking.

The Forest Service said while the use of reclaimed water for snowmaking is not considered hazardous for recreational skiing and snow play, signs will be posted to urge people not to intentionally ingest snow.

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Attorney Howard Shanker likened a ski resort that uses treated wastewater for snow to a "test facility with our children as the laboratory rats." What do you think? Discuss your opinions by commenting on the blog!

*On a lighter note-Friendly skies and Happy Hour
Holiday cheer in the air: American's Happy Hour

That's right folks Happy Hour in the air for everyone...above 21 of course. Happy hour lasts for the duration of the flight for American Airlines (AA) passengers, not just the hour after 5 p.m. The deal lasts through the month of December. During that time, the airline will knock $1 off the price of beer and $2 off liquor and wine. This means that all drinks will retail for $5 each.

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Approve or disapprove of this new perk? Have you experienced the AA happy hour in your recent flight? Tell us about it by commenting on our blog.

Travel Spotlight!
This week's travel spotlight is dedicated to warm weather and eco-friendly travel destinations and holiday gift idea for the traveler on your shopping list.

*Warm Weather & ECO-FRIENDLY Resorts...
While looking at Travel and Leisure's website this week, I found their list of the top 30 warm weather resorts in the U.S. As I was browsing and admiring the extravagance of each one I wondered how many of these are actually Green/Eco-friendly resorts. So I put each one into iStayGreen.org and only 3 of them were officially audited by the group. Crazy right?

iStayGreen.org requires the hotel to complete an audit of their property's compliance with over 70 unique eco-initiatives. Environmentally friendly measures that are reviewed include energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, enviromentally safe cleaning, reduction of waste, ongoing maintenance, purchasing habits, plus many other factors. Based on their results, iStayGreen.org gives them an eco-leaf rating. Check out the top 3 warm weather and eco-friendly resorts in the nation:

The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale, AZ: http://www.istaygreen.org/property.cfm/hid/10207330

The Phoenician Scottsdale has earned a 2 Green Eco-Leaf Rating by completing the comprehensive Online Environmental Self-Audit. The 2 Green Eco-Leaf Rating indicates that The Phoenician Scottsdale's environmental efforts are considered to be "Good" when compared to the efforts of the lodging industry as a whole. In it's efforts to create a more sustainable travel future and reduce their impact on our environment, The Phoenician Scottsdale employs 30 eco-initiatives.

Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater, FL http://www.istaygreen.org/property.cfm/hid/11359036

Sandpearl Resort has earned a 4 Green Eco-Leaf Rating by completing the comprehensive Online Environmental Self-Audit. The 4 Green Eco-Leaf Rating indicates that Sandpearl Resort's environmental efforts are considered to be "Excellent" when compared to the efforts of the lodging industry as a whole. In it's efforts to create a more sustainable travel future and reduce their impact on our environment, Sandpearl Resort employs 34 eco-initiatives. Sandpearl Resort is part of the Florida Green Lodging Program and LEED - U.S. Green Building Council.

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore, Santa Barbara, CA http://www.istaygreen.org/property.cfm/hid/11248661

Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara has earned a 3 Green Eco-Leaf Rating by completing the comprehensive Online Environmental Self-Audit. The 3 Green Eco-Leaf Rating indicates that Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara's environmental efforts are considered to be "Very Good" when compared to the efforts of the lodging industry as a whole. In it's efforts to create a more sustainable travel future and reduce their impact on our environment, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara employs 39 eco-initiatives.

Honorable Mention: Halekulani, Oahu, HI http://www.istaygreen.org/property.cfm/hid/11242109
this property is purported to be "Green" but has not verified its environmental initiatives with iStayGreen.org

*Travel Gift Ideas- Most are Eco-Friendly (EF) and Inexpensive!

1. (EF)- Bike Tube Travel Dopp Kit-- 25.00
Made from repurposed mountain bike inner tubes, this eco-friendly twist on a classic toiletry case stores loose ends while you travel. Each PETE-lined case comfortably fits it all, while protecting toiletries, electronics or cosmetics from weather elements

2. (EF)- Jimi Compact Sports Wallet-- 15.88
The Jimi wallet is a compact, colorful, and water resistant answer to the stodgy outdated leather wallet.

3. (EF)- Vivo Kids Bento Box, Orange and Pink-- 23.00
Kid's Stacking melamine food box with 2 layered sections and metal holder/handle. Great for meals on the move. Reusable, dish washer safe.

4. (EF)-Bobble 18.5 oz Filtered Water Bottle/ Pk 2-- 19.99
Bobble brings you the convenience of on-the-go bottled water, without draining your wallet or drowning our land fills. Reusable, sleekly styled colorful personal water bottle with built-in carbon filter removes organic contaminants from regular municipal tap water exceeds NSF International Standard 42 for chlorine, taste and odor BPA-free. FDA-approved filters up to 300 bottles.

5&6: (EF)- Recycled Luggage Tags and Passport Sleeves-- .67 cents to 9.00

7. (EF)- Radius Source Toothbrush Travel Kit-- 15.99
A Toothbrush, Mini Storage Case, Floss, Toothbrush Case, Soap Case, and a Razor Case. Reusable handle greatly reduces waste. Handle is made from 50% recycled wood, USA dollar bills or flax with 50% recycled plastic. Features lightweight unbreakable replacement heads made from surgical-grade nylon. Features Left or Right Handed Orientation.

9. (EF) Eco-Friendly Totes Umbrella-- 17.99
The Totes Eco-Friendly Umbrella comes in beige and blue, beige and brown, or beige and green. It's made of 100% recycled PET plastic bottles with a bamboo handle. It also closes with an easy closer, so no frustration trying to battle it in a strong wind.

10. (EF) FEED Bags for travel-- Cost Will Vary
Buy an environmentally bag and help feed the world http://www.feedprojects.com/our-mission
FEED Projects' mission is to create good products that help FEED the world. They do this through the sale of FEED bags, bears, t-shirts, and other accessories by building a set donation into the cost of each product. Thus, the impact of each product, signified by a stenciled number, is understandable, tangible, and meaningful.

11. Another Water Bottle-- 19.99
’Tis the season for giving back. All proceeds from this BPA-free plastic travel bottle help provide clean drinking water in developing countries water.org.

12. Luggage Scale-- 15.50
New DIGITAL LUGGAGE SCALE Authorized Dealer - Used for Air Flight Airplane Plane Travel Weight Scales Postal Weigher Suitcase Bag Travel Gear Luggage Suit Case Tote

13. Sherpani Backpack/tote--49.95
Carry-on tote that transforms into a backpack.

14. Caribbean Island-hopping book--20.00
With Patrick Leigh Fermor’s The Traveller’s Tree, you don’t have to leave your armchair to island-hop around the Caribbean.

15. Slippers-$46.00-$490
These cashmere-and-deerskin slippers will keep your feet feeling first-class, $490, Hermès.

Contact Us - We'd love to hear from you!
Yes, YOU! If you would like to submit an inquiry for a travel forecast or share any of your own travel stories, shoot us an email at travel@wunderground.com. If you would like to offer location suggestions for our Travel Spotlight segment send us an e-mail at travel@wunderground.com, with subject, "Travel Spotlight."

Throughout the course of the show we intend to showcase charitable organizations that have been at the forefront of helping with most recent natural disasters. If you would like to have your charity featured on our show, once again, send us an email at travel@wunderground.com, with subject, "Charity."

Until next week,
Your Travel Mets

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Weather Underground Broadcast Network is Back today at 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT!

By: TravelMets, 8:05 PM GMT on December 02, 2010

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here beginning at 4 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. PT for Wunder Weather Tech, followed by The Daily Downpour!

Hey Travel Buds!

'Tis the season for gifts, fun, and of course...TRAVEL! Join us on the Wunderground Broadcast Network today at 5:30 p.m. ET, 2:30 PT as we prepare you for winter weather travel, catch you up on the latest travel news, and get you out of the cold weather and into the nation's top warm weather and eco-friendly resorts! Plus, we'll give you some great ideas on holiday gifts for the travel enthusiasts on your shopping list.

We'll also be taking your phone calls at 415-983-2634, so give us a ring and share your travel plans, stories, and suggestions.

Can't wait to hear from you!
-Your Travel Mets :)

Listen to the Weather Underground Broadcast Network here!


Updated: 8:11 PM GMT on December 02, 2010

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