10 Things to Consider Before You Drive to Baguio

Temperatures in the Metro are starting to rise and it’s a sure sign that summer is indeed just around the corner. Baguio is still a favorite Pinoy summer destination and before you head on over there, here are ten things to think about before you make your way up to the City of Pines.

1. Mind-numbing traffic. Baguio can get pretty crowded when there’s a long weekend and of course during peak tourist seasons like Panagbenga or Holy Week. If you’re driving to Baguio, be prepared for mind-numbing traffic if you want to drive from one popular tourist site to another in the city.

For example, La Trinidad’s strawberry farm is just 7 kilometers from Burnham Park but you can spend close to an hour in traffic and finding a parking space just to get there.

Baguio 1

Source: Thats The Way It Is

2. Confusing roads. Now you may not share this observation of mine, but Baguio’s roads are hella confusing. Baguio’s location up in the mountains means that engineers can’t just build straight roads to cover the whole city. If you’re a skilled navigator then good for you! If not, GPS assist can be your best friend on your road trip to Baguio.

3. Follow traffic rules. On a recent trip to Baguio, the headline of the local newspaper read “Tourists Told—Follow Our Traffic Rules.” Fair enough. I guess the locals have noticed how tourists tend to flout traffic rules while they’re in Baguio so they (or the paper’s editor at least) found it worth reminding people that there are traffic rules in Baguio and the traffic lights are not mere suggestions.

Baguio 2Source: Wikimedia Commons

4. Know which tourist spots are close to each other. Baguio’s tourist spots tend to be close together. For example, Wright Park is close to the Mansion and the Mines View Park is also near those two tourist spots. Burnham Park is close to SM Baguio, while you will pass by the La Trinidad vegetable trading post on your way to the famed strawberry farm. Plan your day around these clusters so you can see more of the city’s sights.

Baguio 3

Source: FunRun.Ph

5. The new TPLEX. Remember those trips you took to Baguio as a kid? I remember some of the road trips we took to Baguio in the past and I remember trying hard not to piss in my pants while our van was stuck in traffic in the towns along the way such as in Urdaneta and Tarlac City. Well, you now have a way to avoid the gridlock in several Tarlac towns along the way if you plan to travel to Baguio during peak travel seasons: choose to use the new TPLEX road. Toll fees for cars and vans on the TPLEX from Victoria to Carmen is PHP 164.

6. Cheaper gas. The closer you are to Manila, the lower gas prices are so gas up before you leave. Gas prices also tend to be cheaper before you make the climb to Baguio from Pugo.

7. Check tire pressure. One of the cheapest and easiest things you can do to ensure your safety and to save gas is to make sure that your tires are inflated correctly.

8. Does your accommodation have a car park? Knowing whether the hotel has a car park seems to be an afterthought for tourists headed up to Baguio since the priority for many is to just have a guaranteed room in Baguio especially during peak seasons. Don’t forget to ask your hotel or hostel if they have a place for you to park your car. You wouldn’t want to park your car far from the hotel just because they have limited car parking.

9. Save your car insurance provider’s number on your phone. In the unfortunate event that you get into an accident on your trip to Baguio, it can help if you have your car insurance provider’s number ready on your cellphone. This info can also be found on your car insurance documents, which should always be in your car anyway. Check to make sure that this is indeed in your glove compartment and while you’re at it,check the type of insurance coverage that you have. Familiarize yourself about the terms of your policy and know what you can expect from your insurer should you have to make a claim.

10. Make room for veggies! Tons of it! – Dropping by the La Trinidad vegetable trading post after your trip to the strawberry farm is your chance to get vegetables at super cheap prices. Make sure to leave cargo space room for these veggies and avoid over-stuffing your car on the way up. Vilassis is also a great place to do your veggie shopping on your way back to Manila.

 

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