Travelling with children may not always be easy, but it can be incredibly fun and rewarding. Choosing a destination like Samoa, where children and families are central to culture, makes it even easier to create a truly unforgettable family tropical island holiday.
In Samoa, the pace of life is slow – here, things happen on ‘island time.’ Families have an opportunity to embrace Samoa’s natural playground and relaxed way of life to create a truly dream family holiday.
Here are some tips that’ll ensure the whole family puts their worries (and screens) aside to make the most of their time in Samoa.
Anyone with children will tell you they don’t travel light! The best way to enjoy your Samoan family holiday is to hire a car, so you can strap in the children and set off to explore. There is so much to discover in Samoa and having your own vehicle with the children in tow is always the best option.
If you like to go off the beaten path or you just want to be more comfortable on the sometimes-uneven roads, then consider hiring a 4WD vehicle. If you like to spread out, vans are also readily available to hire in Samoa and are around the same price as a 4WD vehicle.
If you’re exploring both Upolu and Savai’i, you can book the car onto the ferry and take it all with you (note that the ferry needs to be booked in Apia or through your vehicle rental company – see more tips on booking a ferry).
Usually, the first thing the children want to do on holidays is to hit the pool or ocean. Samoa is surrounded by stunning beaches, coral reefs, and there is no shortage of exploring to do on and under the water.
Many resorts and some hire companies in Apia will rent out snorkel gear however, for the savvy traveller it's worthwhile planning ahead and bringing your own gear, so you can simply slide on your flippers and goggles and dive straight into Samoa’s aquatic wonderland.
Hiring bikes is a wonderful way to see Samoa’s islands and get the whole family adjusting to island time. Samoa's roads are famously quiet and safe, so children will have no trouble getting comfortable and seeing the sights of the island.
Slowing down and meandering through Samoa’s villages and towns gives you a unique look into everyday life and allows children to experience more of the culture.
You will find bike hire companies in Apia and at accommodation providers – enquire and book before you arrive. Child bikes, baby seats and trailers are readily available.
If you are travelling with children and have convenience in mind, then opting for a resort that caters for parents and children alike is key. From luxurious resorts to the authentic family experience of sleeping in a beachside open fale, accommodation can be a part of the fun for young ones.
Many of Samoa’s top resorts are also located on exquisite beaches and have children’s activities on-site. Be sure to keep an eye out for hotels that offer meals on site. When your days are full of fun and relaxation, having your family mealtime nearby is just one less thing to think about, especially if your resort is in a remote location, as many are.
When in Samoa, make the effort to get into the villages, so your children can see a unique way of life and learn about what Samoans get up to in everyday life. If your children are sporty or they’re just up for a bit of fun, volleyball is huge in Samoa, so they might even be able to join in a local game or two.
Samoans love children and Samoan children love nothing more than hanging out with newly made friends and showing them around. As long as you’re being respectful and friendly, you are guaranteed to be welcomed with open arms (literally) by locals.
If you are travelling from a cooler climate, it may take young ones a little bit of time to adjust to Samoa’s tropical temperatures. Staying cool at a resort is easy – just spend your days in the pool, in the sea, or take a break in an air-conditioned room. But if you plan to be active, why not factor in a refreshing swim during your day?
Samoa is dotted with incredible waterfalls and freshwater pools that are perfect for a dip for the whole family, including:
Located near the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, this freshwater pool and waterfall is where the Scottish author used to swim and is now open to visitors.
This clear, spring-fed freshwater pool and cave is full of colourful fish, originating from an old lava tube. The pools are located underneath a church at Piula Theological College, Lufilufi, Upolu. Day fales and toilets are available.
the Mataolealelo springs are tucked away in Matavai Safune on Savai’i. Note that there are two pools to swim in – one for men and one for women and children.