Holiday in Baguio + Frugal Travel Tips

I’ve been punching myself to be reminded that I must not visit Baguio on Christmas holidays! But I must still thankful that it happened ’cause I had a learning experience which I want to share with you guys if ever you decided to visit the city of Pines on Christmas season.

Since Baguio has lower temperature from the month of December to February, many people tend to go there to catch the freezing weather. The last time I went there was October then I blog about my musings and hacks (which there actually aren’t many hacks there). So, my third time was last December 26, 2016. The experience had given me mooooore hacks than I could experience.

So, if you’re planning to get a trip to Baguio on holidays, especially this coming February for Panagbenga Festival, let me give you these expectations.

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PEOPLE COME AND GO

Expect that in Baguio, there’s always a tourist. Everywhere! You won’t actually enjoy Baguio if there’s so many people especially during peak season. The city proper is so crowded – just like New York, people never sleeps. Since it’s crowded, you won’t guess who are from Baguio and who are the tourists. Therefore, just like what the authorities are always posting, be careful with pickpockets!

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MODES OF TRANSPORTATION

TAXI

I love riding the taxi in Baguio (though I don’t always ride it ’cause I’m frugal). The driver always gives you a ride and a change, also the fare is less than five pesos. However, they become deaf and mute during holidays. It’s so funny that when we’re calling a taxi, the taxi driver turns it’s head to different direction like they pretend that they can’t see and hear us.

JEEPNEY

So, if you really want to go home, try to familiar with the different jeepney terminals going to the place you want to go. You can check list in my last blog. Also, if you’re going to ride a jeepney, you must be patient at falling in a very long line.

PRIVATE CARS

On the other hand, if you travel with your own car, it is better to pick a place to stay that offers a parking lot. If you’re staying and visiting some place at the city proper, it’s better for you to walk and not to use your car because it’s always hard to find a place to park. However, if you will go to different places like Diplomat Hotel, La Trinidad, or any place far from Burnham Park, it’s not that hard to find a place to park. But it’s still better to commute.

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BOARD AND LODGING

It’s always the tough part in planning a trip to Baguio. It could make your budget expensive if you don’t search well at looking for a place to stay. Let me show you where you can board:

TENT

It’s the cheapest way in getting a sleep. If you brought a tent in your travel, you can place it at Burnham Park or at Camp John Hay (which is much better). Don’t forget, you even need a bath – you can have it at any comfort room around the city. And of course, you don’t want to carry your tent when roaming around the city so, put it in the baggage counter at SM Baguio. JUST A TIP, they won’t get your bag unless you’ll shopping. JUST SHOP! The receipt will be your “baggage counter pass”.

COST: 10 pesos for bath + how much you’ll pay for grocery

TRANSIENT

Transient rooms are very familiar at Baguio. When you get of the bus, some locals there are offering a room at a certain rate. I have been to Baguio three times, the rate of the room gets expensive during holidays but not at the place we stayed at

ATE MALOU’s TRANSIENT
Tidy Scents Laundry Shop, Lower QM, Baguio
I don’t exactly know the address, we just told the taxi driver to bring us at Emilio Aguinaldo Elementary school at Lower QM

Cost: 500 pesos/pax (inclusive: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1 kitchen, 1 living room)

TEACHER’S CAMP
Scary? No, it’s not actually scary ’cause many visitors, especially teachers and students, are lodging here for their activities, team building? I don’t know. I like it here – pine trees, fog, smoky breath, the cabin’s design. I peak into some rooms, it reminds me of Madeline and her friend’s room. And yeah, we didn’t turn off the light. HAHA.

Cost: 180 for government employees/ 210 for non-government + service fee + 100 deposit for the key

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HOTEL/INN

There are lots of hotels and inns near Burnham park but of course, it is pricey.

Cost: Pricey

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WHEN YOU GOT LOST

Don’t panic. As long as you can see people and cars around you, do not panic.
Ask questions. We got lost so we ask questions to the people around the area. It’s quite comforting ’cause we’re about to ask the guard and he attentively walked towards us to listen. He knew we’re gonna ask him. Yea.
Keep walking. Even if you’d been walking miles, just keep walking until you reach the familiar spot.

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I always get hype every time I’m visiting the place. I even got excited to share what I’d discovered during my trip. I know it’s late to post this but just case you plan to visit Baguio, I hope it helps.

Your lost friend,

Clarence

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