Choosing a destination like Samoa, where children and families are central to the national culture and will be warmly welcomed, makes it even easier to create a truly unforgettable family tropical island holiday.
So how do you put away the screens and make the most of your family holiday in Samoa? Here are some tips.
Samoa is surrounded by 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. Otherwise plan ahead and bring your own, so you can simply slide on your flippers and dive in to explore a stunning coral reef whenever you feel like it.
Anyone with kids will tell you they don’t always travel light, so the best way to enjoy your Samoan holiday is to hire a car, dump all the gear in the boot, strap in the kids, and set off to explore.
Renting a car is simple and popular with visitors. If you like to go up all the side roads, or just be more comfortable on the sometimes-uneven roads, then consider hiring a 4WD vehicle. If you have heaps of gear or like to spread out, vans are a common sight in Samoa and around the same price as a 4WD vehicle.
The driver must have a full drivers’ licence in their home country to receive an endorsement that allows them to drive in Samoa.
Are you keen to explore both Upolu and Savai’i? Just book the car onto the ferry and take it all with you - note booking a vehicle on the ferry needs to be done in Apia or through your vehicle rental company.
Whatever the age of your children, hiring bikes is a great way to see Samoa’s islands, on Samoan island time.
Slowing down and getting outside of the car may mean you see a bit more of the country, and experience more of the culture by meeting locals, experiencing everyday life as you slowly cycle past.
You will find bike hire companies in Apia and at some accommodation providers – enquire and book before you arrive. Child bikes, baby seats and trailers are often available.
While most places welcome families of all ages and sizes in Samoa, if you’re booking with kids and convenience in mind, then opting for a resort that caters for everyone and everything might be just the ticket.
Many offer a range of accommodation, from downright luxurious to the awesome family experience of sleeping in a beachside open fale.
Several top resorts are located on some of Samoa’s most exquisite beaches, and some have kids’ activities on site – after all, a successful family holiday is about providing something for everyone.
Best of all, having meals provided, with lots of choice, is just one less thing to think about, especially if your resort is in a remote location, as many are.
If you’re from a cooler climate, it may take your children 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 out and about exploring, 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:
LOIMATA O APAULA STREAM
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.
Swim at the picturesque Togitogiga Waterfalls (open Monday to Sunday, 7am-6pm, free entry) located in O Le Pupu Pue National Park on the south coast of Upolu Island.
This crystal clear, spring-fed freshwater pool and cave, full of colourful fish, originate from an old lava tube and are located underneath a church at Piula Theological College, Lufilufi, Upolu Island. Day fales and toilets are available, open Monday to Saturday 8am-4pm.
The Mataolealelo Springs are in Matavai Safune on Savai’i Island. There are two pools to swim in – one for men and one for women and children.
Head to the nearest beach and dive into the lagoon or the waves.
Samoans love kids and Samoan kids love hanging out with visiting kids and showing them around.
Get into the villages and encourage your children to see a different way of life and learn about what Samoan kids get up to and do for fun. Volleyball is huge in Samoa and you might be able to join in a game or two.
Always remember, be respectful and friendly and you’re likely to be treated the same way by the locals.
In Samoa, the pace of life is much slower than you may be used to – here, things happen on island time.
Slow down and appreciate your own island time in Samoa and truly make the most of your dream family holiday.