Let's Go to Baguio (Part 1): The Family Adventure Begins

Let's Go to Baguio

My Beloved Wife Lei has been asking me for a family trip to Baguio since we were bf/gf. This is one of her dream travel because I heard her wishing to visit Baguio way back at the start of our relationship.

So, as a wedding anniversary gift, I told her that we will go to the City of Pines. Elated and excited, she immediately planned our trip and also looked for place where we could stay. In short, Lei did all the legwork for this trip. :-P

How We Found a Place to Stay in Baguio City

One of Lei’s principle when it comes to travel is that she want everything to be within her allotted budget. Travel is already costly and she do not want to unnecessarily splurge.

So, on our family trip to Baguio, we decided not to stay in an expensive hotel. We turned to AirBnB to find an accommodation to fit our budget. Lei eventually found a condo unit located fairly far from the city center but fitted our budget.

AirBnB Condo in Baguio City

Through AirBnB, we booked a condo unit in Wharton Condominium for 3,300+ pesos. I will post about our experience in staying in this condo unit in the next post.

Our Commute to Baguio City

Victory Liner Bus to Baguio City

La Familia Ahab has no car so our only option is to ride a bus to Baguio. We live in the South so the nearest bus station is in Pasay. We rode an ordinary air-conditioned Victory Liner bus with fare of 455 pesos per person.

The view outside of the bus is quite refreshing. We have seen rice paddies, trees, grasslands, and mountains. It was a welcome respite from the usual concrete jungle of Metro Manila.

Refreshing views while on our way to Baguio City from Manila
Refreshing views of Bulacan and Pampanga during our commute to Baguio City.

The bus has three stopovers, which gave us opportunity to stretch our legs and go to the CR. One stopover is near a McDonalds store so we managed to buy yummy food for our hungry babies.

SM City Rosales in Rosales, Pangasinan
SM City Rosales in Rosales, Pangasinan.

Our bus passed through Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, and La Union before finally reaching the province of Benguet where Baguio is located.

The town of Pugo in La Union

It was a grueling 6+ hours of travel from Victory Liner Pasay Terminal. We left the terminal around noon and we reached the outskirts of the city by nightfall. My behind ached after a long duration of sitting. Our children were very tired. What was worse is that there was a heavy traffic at the the outskirts of Baguio City.

Fogs on Benguet's Mountain

We decided not to go to the city center that night and just go directly to our accommodation. We alighted the bus and hailed a taxi. Unfortunately, the taxi driver didn’t know where Wharton Condominium is. Good thing that the owner of the condo unit helped us. Google maps helped us too.

What We Learned during Our Commute to Baguio

I am not a noob when it comes to traveling very long distances by bus. I have experienced going to Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur by bus. What’s new to me is the very long commute with toddlers in tow.

Here is what we learned during our commuting with kids to Baguio City:

1. Don’t travel on an empty stomach

The bus was about to leave when we reached the bus terminal in Pasay. We immediately boarded the bus because we wanted to reach Baguio as early as possible. Unfortunately, we no longer had time to take out lunch from McDo or Jollibee, which were both far from the bus terminal. We brought bread, biscuits, and some snacks but it was not enough for our children who usually eats heavy lunch.

Thus, we traveled slightly hungry. Good thing that one of the stopover of Victory Liner bus is near a McDo so we managed to buy rice and chicken meal for us and the kids.

The lesson here is to make sure that we don’t travel on empty stomachs. Kids will be uncomfortable during the very long commute.

2. Bring Some Things that can Entertain the Kids

A long commute is boring, especially for our kids. We tried to entertain them by making them look at the scenery outside the bus or at the bus’ TV. I also broke “my no mobile phone rule” and allowed to play and watch online videos using our mobile phones.

3. Really plan our commute

One problem with our commute to Baguio is that we really don’t know where our accommodation is located. Thus, we didn’t know when to alight the bus. Google Map was truly helpful so we managed to go down at the highway that is nearest but still many kilometers away from the accommodation. We were also unlucky because we hailed a taxi with a newbie driver who doesn’t where the condominium is. We reached the condo through the help of the unit owner and Google Maps.

The lesson here to research well before traveling. We should’ve studied everything, i.e. the place where to alight from the bus, the means of transport to the accommodation, and many things.

We were dead tired when we reached our room in Wharton Condominium but this is a kind of happy-dead-tired because we know that tomorrow will be an exciting day of roaming around the City of Pines.

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Read more about our adventures in Baguio City:

Let's Go to Baguio (Part 1): The Family Adventure Begins
Let's Go to Baguio (Part 5): Picking Strawberries in La Trinidad, Benguet
Let's Go to Baguio (Part 6): Underwhelming Experience in Mines View Park
Let's Go to Baguio (Part 7): A Savory Lunch of Baguio Bulalo at Cinco Antonios Bistro
Let's Go to Baguio (Part 8): Buying Our Favorite Good Shepherd's Ube Jam