Samoa family holiday: An Aussie mum’s advice
Amanda has been to Samoa four times between 2007 – 2017 with her husband and two daughters, flying with Air New Zealand and Virgin. She also travelled with another couple and their children.
Amanda says, “I would totally recommend going for two weeks to 10 days so you can get over to Saavii – thats a ferry ride of around 2-3 hours “
She was first attracted to Samoa because her friends had a family member who was a pilot who lived over there. Her friends visited him and raved about ‘it’s beauty, it’s culture and the ease of travelling’.
She and her family went over with them on their next trip and was hooked after one visit.
Here are Amanda’s tips:
Apia/main island: family-friendly
- Le Vasa Resort – it’s out of town but close to the airport so there are benefits if you’re coming in late or leaving early.
- Taumeasina Island Resort – we went here so we could experience town before leaving. It was new, so had a great deal.
- Vai-i-moana Seaside Lodge – this was out of town and had a lovely local feel. Fishing charters were a must here and we had beautiful dinners on the beach.
- Le Manumea Resort – a good ‘just out-of-town’ option. It’s on top of the hill so it’s a little cooler up there.
- Litia Sini Beach Fales – traditional Fales right on the water – spectacular location.
- Aga Reef Resort – I loved this place for families and the restaurant. Beautiful location in Lalomanu.
Savaii – family-friendly and adults only
- Savaii Lagoon Resort – smaller resort – amazing beach with white sands. Great meals and owned by a NZ couple.
- Le Lagoto Resort and Spa – this is right next door to Savaii Lagoon Resort so a nice option if you want to pop over to the bar and have dinner. Beautiful traditional bungalows.
- Seabreeze Resort – adults only – this place has gorgeous everything.
- Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa – adults only and totally perfect.
Best travel season
We have travelled in June/July holidays and in September. I felt this gave the best climate. March was extremely hot but still doable.
We felt hiring a car was our best option because there were often 6 or 8 of us at one time. A 12-seater van was great for larger groups so that’s what we did most of the time. It was easy to hire as the van or car would be delivered. The only downside is that you need to sign paperwork for an international licence which was quite difficult.
It’s worth noting that car seats were something I had to insist upon. This was a little tricker as they don’t normally have car seats for babies and kids – but we did manage to have them at all times.
- The beaches and waterfalls
- To-Sua Ocean Trench
- Papaseea Sliding Rocks
- Togitogiga waterfall
- Lava Church in Savaii – Saleaula Lava Field
- Alofaaga Blowholes – Savaii
- Troppo Fishing Adventures
- Fiafia Nights – dancing and fire dancing – traditional music and song
- Plantation House – handprinted designs and homewares
At times the hotel staff would pocket the cash for our meals. When we went to settle our account at check out, some things weren’t paid for. My advice is to charge everything to your room and keep receipts from dinner.
Post-COVID-19, it’s hard to know but, as many things are imported from America Samoa or New Zealand, it can be $$$. Dining and drinks at the resorts were similar prices to Australia. If you’re eating at the hotels, it could still be $30 for a main. If you eat local it’s cheaper, but risky.
You can get great seafood in Samoa.
The locals are gorgeous and very welcoming – they love their culture and love to share it.
Handicraft markets are great for traditional wood souvenirs and the food markets are a great place to explore.
What’s the difference between the two islands?
Apia is the capital and has all the things you would imagine for that. Leaving the main town is recommended as town really is only for just a moment of shopping and transfers. Once you go over to the south side of Apia, it’s totally different to town and the tropical landscape is spectacular.
Savaii is very different. From the very start, it’s just beautiful coast lines the whole way. It’s quiet and slower pace giving it less of a tourist vibe.