BACKGROUND ON BAJA
Baja California is one of Mexico’s most far-flung and youngest states and we’re thrilled to show all that we love there right now.
The region's food and drink culture has put it on the map: it’s relatively new (by Mexican terms), which means chefs, winemakers, and brewmasters have been experimenting with different styles and techniques. This new Baja-style cuisine is best exemplified in the region’s many restaurants: expect lots of protein-focused meals with roasted meats, vegetables, fresh seafood, olive oil and plenty of locally made wine as well as craft beer. Of course, this is still Mexico—you’ll be able to sample some of Mexico’s best street food and tacos, too.
The area is also quickly becoming a hub for art and design. Fine art abounds, which you’ll get to experience in a visit to the area’s top gallery. Design stores are multiplying—some have received international coverage and all feature the most cutting edge trends and ideas from designers all over Mexico. Expect cool clothes, beautiful furniture, and museum-worthy art. Oh, and did we mention our city stay centers around a design-oriented hotel? Tijuana’s first boutique hotel just opened and we’ll stay in the city’s temple to industrial chic aesthetics.
Need some additional intel? Read these articles for a deeper dive into Baja:
What To Eat In Baja California - Salt & Wind
Letters From Tijuana: The Missionary - The New Yorker
The Store Putting Tijuana On The Design Map - New York Times
An Unexpected Wine Sanctuary In Baja California - New York Times
Here is a link to the most updated itinerary for the trip. Our meeting time and drop off times are set; however, other times on the itinerary are subject to shift.
Baja California is a desert climate which makes for warm to hot days and cooler nights. In May the weather is usually dry and sunny with temperatures ranging from the mid 50s to low 80s. Here is the current forecast for our trip dates.
What To Pack
We planned our Baja trips when the weather is more mild so you can wear light layers during the day. That said be sure to bring a jacket, coat, sweater, and/or scarf because nights and early mornings can get chilly, especially in Valle de Guadalupe.
The style in the region is pretty casual though you’ll notice a lot of the people we will meet are stylish and well dressed. Wear comfortable clothing and walkable shoes in the daytime and especially for our street food tour on Saturday evening. If you want to get nicer, Friday and Sunday nights are the time to do it though no suits or ties are required. We will be driven between the events on the itinerary but there will be a few blocks of walking at any given stop (even more so for the street food crawl). Heads up that both in the city and in wine country ground can be uneven or unpaved so opt for wedges or closed-toed shoes and leave your stilettos at home, ladies!
Jewelry and Other Valuables
In general, we always leave the high-end jewelry at home when we travel for fear of losing it. There is a safe in our Tijuana hotel and the hotel in Valle de Guadalupe can store valuables for you; however, we recommend you leave the really good stuff at home.
We love light packers! Since we’re only gone a few days, we've allotted for each guest to bring (1) one small roller bag or duffle and (1) one carry-on. Please reach out to us if you need to bring more luggage or any oversized bags and we’ll do our best to accommodate. Oh, and make sure to leave a little room to fit a few gifts you may get (hint, hint)!
Bring along money or credit cards for any purchases (say, souvenirs) above and beyond our itinerary. If you bring a credit or debit card, be sure to contact them ahead of time to notify them of your travel plans. If you want pesos, we can stop at an ATM once we’re in Mexico.
Most plans on most major U.S. carriers work in Mexico like they would at home. Of course, individual plans vary so contact your carrier to clarify the details of your international coverage and discuss options if you want ensure a specific level of service. Data and roaming charges may apply and can be an expensive unexpected surprise on your monthly bill so plan ahead!
The electrical outlets in Mexico are the same as the United States so you will not need a power adapter.
TRAVEL & LOGISTICS
Getting To San Diego
We will meet at Friday May 19th at 10:30AM just a block north of San Diego's Santa Fe train station at the ABM Parking Lot. Here’s how to best reach this part of San Diego:
· Drive: If you drive to San Diego, we recommend leaving your car in one of the various long-term parking lots near the San Diego airport (which is just over 2 miles from our meeting spot, FYI) and then taking a rideshare to meet the group.
· Train: Alternatively, you can take the Amtrak train to San Diego's Santa Fe train station. We have partnered with the Amtrak Surfliner to provide trip attendees discounts. Please contact us directly for a discount code.
· Fly: You can fly into San Diego and then take a taxi or rideshare service from the airport to our meeting point (which is just over 2 miles from our meeting spot, FYI). You can also fly into Tijuana airport and we can pick you up.
We will meet at Friday May 19th at 10:30AM just a block north of San Diego's Santa Fe train station at the ABM Parking Lot. Here is a map of that area for you:
STAYING IN TOUCH
Introduction To Fellow Trip Goers
Some of you may be traveling on the same plane or train. If you are okay with it, we can introduce you to your fellow travelers ahead of time!
We use a Facebook Messenger group as a means to stay in touch while we’re abroad. Please download it to your phone if you don’t have it already and we'll invite you all before departure. If you do not want to be included in this group, let us know and we will arrange an alternate form of contact.
TRAVEL FORMS & DOCUMENTS
Waivers & Emergency Contact
Just a heads up that we have a general liability waiver, a photography waiver, and an Emergency Contact form that we will send you before the trip. These forms need to be signed and returned to us before we can travel together.
Required Travel Insurance
Note that we require you to purchase trip insurance and need you to provide us with proof of insurance before we depart. You can find insurance at various places online or, if you are an American Express holder or a AAA member, you can get it through them.
Your passport must be valid for 6 months after our travel dates and, of course, make sure to bring it along! Also, you may want to keep a copy of your passport on your phone (just for the trip length) or a physical photocopy in case you lose your passport.
Global Entry or SENTRI
If you have Global Entry or SENTRI, please bring your card so we can help you cross the U.S. border faster.
HEALTH & SAFETY
This region of Mexico should be thought of like Chicago: safe so long as you stay aware and don’t wander into the wrong parts of town or seek out trouble. As you would in any big city, do your best to stay aware of your pockets and bags when we’re in more crowded areas. Also, while in Tijuana, you shouldn’t walk with your cell phones out, if only so you don’t trip on any uneven ground!
As with any trip abroad, you may also register with the STEP program to make the government aware of your travels.
We will have a First Aid kit with us at all times but please be sure to pack any specific medications (prescription or OTC) you may need.
Please let us know of any food allergies or dietary restrictions you may have so we can do our best to accommodate them.
If you have any additional questions, please visit our FAQs or go ahead and contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org