Top Tips for Your Family Trip to Baguio
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
Here's the truth: vacationing with family (i.e. with young kids) can leave you feeling like, well, you need a vacation. 😅😅😅
On our way up North, the kids probably sang "Are We There Yet?" for 4 hours.
At the end of each day, I really looked forward to when they go to sleep so "my vacation" can actually start 😂.
Kidding aside, traveling with young kids can be a joyful, bonding experience like no other! Kara and Andy for example, can remember every little detail of our trips and experiences together.
Here are some tips to make your trip more manageable:
ONE: Plan in advance
Wherever you decide to go, take note of the health protocols and travel requirements as this may vary per location depending on the Covid-19 alert levels. When we went there last June 2022, we were required to register at Baguio Visita.
For Leisure Travel:
must register and schedule a travel in http://visita.baguio.gov.ph and have a printed or electronic copy of QTP (can be approved and issued after up to a couple of hours if not staying in accommodation establishments); if with accommodation, contact the booked property/hotel for approval of QTP.
must be fully vaccinated (if traveler is medically ineligible to be vaccinated, a medical certificate must be shown) or with negative RT-PCR test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival; minors are exempted from vaccination and test requirements as long as accompanied by vaccinated or tested adult; pertinent document/s must be uploaded during registration and/or to be brought for verification upon arrival.
TWO: Select a Family-friendly Accommodation
We we're originally eyeing the Baguio Country Club for our 3-day, 2 night visit but it was fully-booked so I did some research, and decided to book an Air BNB. The place I found can accommodate 10 adults and 3 kids comfortably, plus it had a fully-functioning kitchen and maid's room. There were also 3 bathrooms, all with heaters.
The place was also at the center of all the major attractions in Baguio and was a quick walk to Burnham Park (quick is relative though -- it's elevated so be prepared to do some major exercise!)
The only thing that needs improvement is the lack of elevators in the building - the unit was at the 2nd floor and it was tough for the older folks to go up and down the flights of stairs (or, if you're carrying groceries or giant luggages). Nonetheless, we were out and about most of the time, we just needed a cozy, spacious, and secure place to rest.
THREE: Make your itinerary kid-friendly
It was our first time to go to Baguio with our kids (ages 6 and 3). Our goal was to get them to spend plenty of time outdoors after being stuck at home for 2 years because of the pandemic.
I only planned to go to 1 park per day to make it enjoyable for everyone and timed it before naps (my kids nap in the afternoon). The Air BNB was just across the Burnham Park so we definitely spent a lot of time here - from riding boats to riding bikes and just enjoying the cool breeze at night.
By the way, I checked the weather forecast and expected a lot of rain during our stay but we were blessed with a very sunny trip! During the day, you can just wear shirts and pants (there was no need for us to cover up except when we went up the "Japanese Garden" where the temperature dropped to about 12 degrees).
We also visited Wright Park for the kids to try horse-back riding. We booked the 1 hour ride, but in hindsight I would suggest to just book for the 30-minute one. I didn't know we were going to ride for 5 km UP AND DOWN a hill and by the time we were done, my toddler was already asleep on his horse named, Lakay. It was quite an experience!
On our last day, we visited the "Japanese Garden" (Mirador Heritage and Eco Park). You definitely need some hiking shoes (or any pair that is safe for walking on rocks) to explore around at your own pace because this spot was quite steep. I would only recommend to bring older kids here and ensure you hold them all the time because the landscape is multi-terraced and the pathways are quite narrow.
For safety, we only explored the nearby areas within the park and I also baby-wore my toddler. The views were definitely scenic -- and my daughter was quite happy because she got to touch the clouds (we were literally in the clouds!)
Of course, the Baguio trip wouldn't be complete without visiting Cafe by The Ruins. Their menu is filled with palatable dishes at an affordable price. The kids especially loved the Tsokolate (hot chocolate drink).
Overall, I could say that our trip was quite a success given all the smiles and hugs we got from Kara and Andy (we also lost a couple of pounds with all the walking!)
Here's the Air BNB link: Cozy Home in Baguio
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