Save The Date

Unique Experiences. Hands-On Classes. Insider Access.

Dreaming of eating your way through Oaxaca? Come join us! Starting March 2019 Salt & Wind founder, Aida Mollenkamp, will pair up with Kristen Kellogg of Border Free Travels to host a group trip to one of the most classic food and cultural spots in Mexico.

Join our group trip or have us create a custom Oaxaca itinerary for you!



Couples, Siblings, Friends, & Solo Travelers


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Why Travel To Oaxaca?

Colonial Architecture. Lively Art Scene. Legendary Cuisine.

The word is out on one of our favorite regions in Mexico: Oaxaca. We’ve been fans of this corner of Mexico for a long time — Kristen even lived there for a month on one of her first-ever trips to Mexico! And one minute in Oaxaca and it’s easy to see why: the colorful Colonial architecture, the festive environment, and food that’s argued to be the best in Mexico — there’s a lot to love.

Traveling with us is no ordinary group trip though! You’ll meet our local friends who are experts in everything from design to food. Kristen will share her incredible photos skills and you’ll cook all the things with Aida! The ladies previous experience hosting group trips to Mexico means they know the ins and outs of the local culture and will show you everything they love from the best moles or rustic mezcal spots to hard-to-find handmade wares.


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Your Group Trip Hosts

Travel Experts. Hospitality Professionals. Local Hosts.

From its food to its history, its design and culture, your hosts, Aida Mollenkamp and Kristen Kellogg are enamored with all things Mexico and share it with guests on their co-hosted Mexico group trips.

Aida, a trained chef, author, Food Network personality, and food expert, and Kristen, a travel connoisseur and filmmaker, share a passion for all things creative. Fittingly, the friends met while traveling and spent that trip doing their favorite things: tasting the cuisine, trying local products, and endlessly exploring. 

Kristen lives part time in Mexico City and, as evidence by our Mexican wine country tours, Aida loves all things Mexico — from the food to the history. Following the success of their Mexico City group trips, they’re launching group trips to Oaxaca starting in March 2019.

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All In The Details

Your Oaxaca Group Trip Includes...

What's included in the Salt & Wind x Border Free Travels group trip:

  • All meals listed in the itinerary (including 1 alcoholic drink at each lunch and dinner)

  • Craft cocktail class and tasting with local mixologist

  • Hands-on cooking class with local chefs

  • Shop local boutiques with local creatives

  • Street food crawl in Oaxaca City

  • Local market visit

  • Boutique hotel accommodations with complimentary wifi

  • A group photographer so you can enjoy the moment

  • A group concierge to help with any extra events you may want to plan

  • At least 10 edited group photos daily

  • Group transportation to/from all events listed on the itinerary

  • Morning neighborhood walks  (optional)

  • Tips for all meals, hotels, drivers, and activity guides included in the itinerary

  • A few gifts from some of our favorite food & travel brands

  • A few surprises! (You didn’t think we’d tell you every last detail, did you?) 

  • A whole 30 days FREE ACCESS to Rosetta Stone to help you perfect your Spanish!

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What's not included in a Salt & Wind x Border Free Travels group trip:

  • Any incidental expenses 

  • Tips for photographer and trip hosts

  • Required travel insurance

  • Any extra excursions or events you plan with our concierge

  • Transportation from your home to/from Oaxaca City, Mexico

  • Transportation to/from the airport to the hotel in Oaxaca City, Mexico

  • Alcohol aside from for 1 alcoholic drink at both lunch and dinner

  • Anything from room service or the hotel minibar

Sample Oaxaca Itinerary

Each of group travel experiences is unique, so we don't have a set Mexico itinerary. However, we work with the same partners to guarantee quality across all our trips.

Want more info? Email us at for a full itinerary!

Day 1: Oaxaca City

HISTORIC walk of OAXACA CITY | street food crawl | WELCOME DINNER |

Day 2: Private Dinner



DAY 3: Hands-On Cooking

food market tour |Mole Master Class w/ A Top Chef |PRIVATE Mezcal tasting |free time to visit ruins|

DAY 4: Mezcal

classic oaxacan lunch | mezcal crawl | artisan shopping |high end meal |

DAY 5: Last Day

Brunch with the group | free time | head back home |

Oaxaca City Hotel

Oaxaca Boutique Hotel

During our group trip to Oaxaca, we’ll stay at a local boutique hotel with fabulous service. Located in the city center and with artistic vibes, the hotel will give you a sense of all we love — local design, incredible hospitality, and great food — about Oaxaca.



Oaxaca City FAQs

So, you have a few questions? Well, we've got answers!


Why did you guys choose Oaxaca City?

Oaxaca City needs no introduction but now more than ever it's one of our favorite places to visit. As the epicenter of Mexican culture, there's a mix of ancient and contemporary in everything from the design and culture to the history and the food. 


Who is this Border Free Travels x Salt & Wind trip for?

This trip is designed for a traveler who wants a unique, memorable experience without having to do all the legwork. We're first food lovers so we concentrate on good food, but we frame our trips in the context of the location and share everything — makers, independent businesses, art, and markets — that makes the local culture unique. Our trips are for someone who wants to get out and get a chance to learn about the local scene instead of staying put at a resort.

What sort of traveler would enjoy the Oaxaca City trip?

Our Oaxaca City trip is for an food lover who wants to get after it and get a taste of Oaxaca City. It's a long weekend filled with everything from high end to authentic experiences, hands-on workshops to expert-led tours, and everything is carefully curated by your hosts, Aida of Salt & Wind Travel and Kristen of Border Free Travels.

How many guests are there total? Who else is going on this trip?

We cap these trips at 12 guests and then 3 to 5 staff with us at any given time (including drivers, the photographer, a tour guide, and our hosts, Aida Mollenkamp and Kristen Kellogg). This makes for a big enough group to keep it lively but small enough you don't feel like its group travel. 

We encourage you to bring a friend, significant other, or family member, because our trips are priced for double occupancy rooms and we think it's always more fun to have a roomie you know. Of course, solo travelers are more than welcome too!


How much travel is involved?

The entire itinerary takes place within about 50-mile radius so there’s not too much car time. And, we do our best to break it up so you never have to be in the car for more than 90 minutes at one time. Of course, unforeseen circumstances or traffic could cause delays but we’ll do our best!

Can I bring a friend or significant other with me?

Please do! Rooms are priced for double occupancy to make it super simple. Just indicate when you book that you would like to room together. Of course, if you’re traveling solo, we’d also love to have you.

Are food and drinks covered?

For the most part, yes! All wine tastings and meals listed in the itinerary are included (including 1 alcoholic drink at each lunch and dinner). Our seated meals will be served either family-style, as a fixed menu, or as tasting menus, which allows our restaurant partners to service our large group in a consistent manner. Please inform us in advance of any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Will I need extra spending money? Should it be pesos?

If you would like to shop for yourself, there will be a few opportunities to do so. Anything you buy on these excursions is to be paid by you, separately. We will make an ATM stop so you can pull out some pesos. We recommend you contact your credit cards and bank in advance to let them know that you're traveling and to understand any fees you may be charged.

I don’t speak Spanish, is this a problem?

Absolutely not! All of our partners speak English and we have Spanish speakers on staff.

There’s a lot here — how busy will I be?

We want you to really get to know the areas we’re traveling to but know that you’re on vacation and will want some downtime too! That said most days don’t start until 10AM and we try to pepper in a fair amount of free time in the afternoon as well as optional activities.

What is the weather like in Oaxaca City in the Fall? What should I pack?

We travel to Oaxaca during shoulder season so the weather is pleasant and not too hot or too cold. The key to Oaxaca City is to wear layers because the mornings tend to be chilly but it can be sunny and hot by the afternoon. Oh, and definitely pack an umbrella or a rain jacket because even in the non-rainy season storms can come through.


We have partnered with hotels that meet the Salt & Wind standards of service. 

Room Options

Double Occupancy

Double occupancy pricing is the price for (1) person to stay in a shared (i.e. double) room. In other words, each person staying in that room will pay the posted double occupancy rate. If you're a couple or friends traveling together, please know that you'll each pay the double occupancy rate. 

Single Occupancy

Need some alone time? We hear you. That's why we offer single occupancy rooms. The single occupancy rate is what you will pay to have the room all to yourself. 

Bed Types

Just so we're on the same page, we want you to know that most rooms in the hotels have queen or king beds. In other words, unless you buy a single room, you're going to be sharing your bed with someone! 

What level of service can I expect? 

Mexico is one of the most accommodating and hospitable cultures around; however, service can sometimes be a bit slower than the States. We say just take it as a chance to unwind and enjoy the moment!


Where exactly do we meet?

We'll meet at the hotel in Oaxaca City; however, we can definitely help you get there so just ask! Oh, and once you book your trip, we’ll send you loads more information about the trip specifics including exactly where to meet, what time to meet, and, of course, a contact person you can call if you're running late.

I don’t live close by. Can you book my flight?

We do not directly book flights nor does the trip price cover airfare from your hometown to Oaxaca City. But, we can help! Just ask and we'll connect you with our travel agent who can assist you with those details.

I need more time off! Can I add additional days on to the trip?

Great! We plan to add on day trips or trip extensions to the trips in the near future. For now, you can use our concierge (for an additional fee) to arrange additional tours, restaurants, or hotel nights. And, if you want to stay longer in Oaxaca City, we can help you get preferred rates with our hotel partners.


I gotta it safe?

Our team members have all spent an extensive amount of time traveling, drinking, eating, shopping and hanging out in all of the locations we will visit.  We would not be running trips there if we didn’t think it was safe, but we urge you to check the U.S. State Department website to make your own determinations. You can also enroll in the STEP program for travel warnings and updates.

How about theft and pickpocketing?

As with any unfamiliar location, we urge you to take precautions against pickpockets and to minimize traveling with unnecessary valuable goods, like high-end jewelry. All of the hotels we partner with have their own security and safes; however, you'll want to take special precautions in busier areas like public transportation,  Zocalo square, downtown, and at the markets.

What about earthquakes?

Look, earthquakes are a real possibility in Oaxaca City so it's best to be prepared. Just as we do in any other earthquake-prone city, we keep a pair of sneakers by the door and our phone, wallet, and keys close to our nightstand in case of emergency.

And can I drink the water?

You can definitely take a shower in the water and brush your teeth. That said you'll want to drink bottled water just in case your stomach isn't used to the local water. Our hotel partners offer filtered water in the rooms and bottled water in the bathroom with which you can brush your teeth if you prefer. Team Salt & Wind constantly has ice in drinks and hasn't had a problem but just let us know if you want your drinks without ice. 

Not to be a downer but what happens in case of a medical emergency?

We have work with an English-speaking hospital in case of an emergency. This area of Mexico has a long history of U.S. tourists (and a big expat community) so the quality of care is excellent.

You can also look into buying a MedVac such as AirMed if you want to be able to easily return to the United States for medical care.

Wait, what about Zika?

We urge you to check the CDC website so that you have the most updated information about Zika in Mexico, especially if you plan to travel elsewhere in the country before or after our trip.

Do you recommend trip insurance?

Yes, we actually require travel insurance in case you are unable to come due to circumstances beyond your control. There are a variety of services for providing trip insurance and note that many credit cards (such as Chase Sapphire and American Express) include the service as part of a trip purchase. Please check with your credit card to confirm. 

Does Global Entry help with border crossing?

Yes!! Especially if you travel a lot, you'll want to look into the CBP Global Entry program, which allows you expedited border crossing. 


For a specific trip's pricing please visit the "Reserve" section of the site.

For more specifics on payment, head to our general FAQs and be sure to take a look at our Booking Terms and Conditions for the fine print.


Have additional questions? Contact us at