Samoa Travel Guide Family Edition: Info & Interesting Facts

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Paradise is calling. This time we are heading to Apia, Samoa with my 8 months old baby, Kyra.

Quite frankly, I wasn’t very comfortable with the thought of travelling to Samoa with my baby on my own at first. It was a big step out of my comfort zone, especially when Zika was all over the news at the time. However, after browsing through the photos of To-Sua Ocean Trench on Instagram, I was convinced!

I had doubts in my head, but I still decided to go for an adventure. So I packed up our stroller, rolled up our light summer clothing, stuffed half a luggage of nappies, a couple of insect repellents, along with my life-saving Ergo carrier, and off we went!

We are in love with the Pacific Paradise, and ain’t no babies are going to stop us!

In this comprehensive Apia Samoa family travel guide, we’ll cover the essential must-know before you go travel information on Samoa and top things to do in Apia with a baby. We’ll also share our favourite restaurants to try and the most popular family-friendly resorts in Apia, Samoa.

Apia Samoa Travel Guide Family Must Know Before You Go Essential Information for Travellers Featured

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 To-Sua Ocean Trench Apia Samoa
To-Sua Ocean Trench

© Photos by Kida

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Top 10 Things To Do in Apia Samoa

Is Samoa safe to travel to?

7 month old baby in swimming ring in infinity pool luxury resort Apia Samoa

On the main island of Upolu, Samoan fales are found on either side of the road. Fales have no walls, doors or locks, and they’re transparent and open. Each village has its own chief, and almost everyone knew each other in the village. Because of this close-knit community culture, Samoa is very safe to travel to with an extremely low crime rate.

Interesting facts from our taxi driver

Do you ever chat with the taxi drivers while on holiday? We always like to strike up a conversation with our taxi driver during our overseas trips. They are the best people to get local information from and are usually the first point of contact on a foreign land after getting out of the airport. Here are some interesting facts I have learned from chatting with our taxi driver in Apia, Samoa.

It was in the early evening that we arrived in Apia, and although it was dark outside, we could still see the flickering lights on either side of the street driving from the airport to our resort. I noticed something interesting. The glimmering lights were from the houses, or fale here in Apia. These fales had no doors or windows, only a foundation, a roof and poles. You could see people going about their evenings at home, out in the open! What happened to privacy here?! I was so fascinated by the culture shock that I asked our driver about the way of living here in Samoa.

In Samoa, it’s very common for big groups of friends and families to gather at night and play bingo together. Neighbours are invited to join family feasts, and there are practically no crimes. Coming from an urban city where privacy is a major concern for us, this interesting way of living was mind-blowing for me!

Samoa-Fale-House-Apia-Family-Travel-Guide
Fale

© Photos by Kida

This is one of the reasons why I love travelling to countries that are different to my own. Travelling opens our eyes to new ways of living, appreciate differences, forces us to self-reflect, and broadens our minds.

As we arrived on the weekend, our taxi driver kindly reminded us that Sundays are the quietest day on the island. Most people go to church in the morning and spend the rest of the day with their families. Some attractions are closed on Sundays, so be sure to schedule around it.

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Currency Exchange

Tala is the official currency in Samoa.

Exchange rate is about 1 WST = 0.5 NZD. In another word, you can roughly calculate the costs by halving it if you’re travelling from New Zealand or Australia.

Order online: If you prefer to get everything organised before your trip, we would recommend ordering currencies online at No1 Currency. You can either collect them in your local store or arrange home delivery.

Exchange in Samoa: If you don’t get a chance to order Tala, just take out some cash and exchange in Apia. Although there’s a No1 Currency in Faleolo Airport, we would recommend exchanging in Apia town centre for the best rate. Bring your photo ID.

Credit cards: Most hotels and restaurants accept credit cards. Visa and MasterCard usually incur a 3% surcharge, where Amex is a little more, around 3.5%.

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Getting Around in Apia

We were travelling with a baby and a group of friends in Apia this time. We hailed a taxi to our resort from the airport, hired a local to be our chauffeur/guide for 3 days and hired a car to explore the island on our own for a day.

Taxi

Faleolo International Airport to Apia town centre is about 40 minutes by car, and costs around 60 tala.
If you’re travelling with a baby, you would be glad to know the taxi drivers in Samoa are not too fussed about having a baby car seat. So leave your baby car seat home.

Hire A Driver

You can privately ‘hire’ a local driver for about 360 tala a day. We simply asked a local if he would be interested to be our guide/driver for 3 days, and he couldn’t be happier.

By Car

If you decide to hire a car, it costs around 120 tala a day + 21 tala to convert your license. There may be an extra charge for pick-ups or drop-offs outside of Apia town centre.

It’s fairly easy to navigate around the island. Drive on the left side of the road, and Main Coast Road will pretty much take you around the island in less than half a day.

Hot Tips

  • Pump up petrol in town, there are hardly any petrol stations elsewhere on the island.
  • Download Google area map to use as a GPS offline. Zoom out to have a full view of the entire Upolu island, and type ‘okmaps’ in the search bar to download.

On Foot

Exploring Apia town is very achievable on foot, just remember to avoid the hottest part of the day, which is around midday. Wear a sunhat and slap some sunscreen on.

We travelled to Apia at the end of October. I took my baby out around 10am and had to turn back because she was suffering from heatstroke.

Is Apia Samoa stroller-friendly?

Mom carrying baby in ergo baby carrier on steep steps of top attraction in Apia Samoa

I managed to walk around town with a stroller with an extra pair of hands, so the roads in Apia were not very stroller-friendly. The markets were very crowded and there were steps along the harbour sidewalks. The main attractions and tourist activities in Apia were generally not stroller-friendly. I would highly recommend using a baby carrier, and avoid coming out with kids during the hottest part of the day.

Samoa Must-Try Local Dish

Palusami – taro leaves baked in coconut cream with meat or fish.
Oka– raw fish with coconut cream, cucumber, lemon juice, and onion. This is really refreshing on a hot day! Some restaurants will price it around $30 tala, but markets sell them for only $3 tala.

© Photos by Kida

Top Things To Do & Accommodation in Apia

Wrapping up

Samoa is one of the unique Pacific islands to visit with family and friends. This beautiful country offers some of the warmest hospitality and unparalleled view of a tropical paradise. Samoa is the home to the happiest and friendliest people in the world, and it is so underrated making it a great family destination to go.

Have you watched our travel vlog yet?

Interactive Packing List for Every Vacation

If you need a packing list for things like travel essentials, baby bag, beach vacations, camping, clothing and toiletries, be sure to use The Ultimate Interactive Packing List we’ve compiled for families just like yours.

This packing list is interactive, meaning you can tick them off after you pack to make sure nothing is left behind!

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