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Samoa [with a baby]

London
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Samoa [with a baby]

Hi there,

My partner and I have just this week had our first baby [a girl - Betsy] and are planning our first family holiday for the three of us in mid-April, probably for a touch over two weeks.

In our pre-baby days we were keen backpackers, loving the adventure of independent travel and discovering new cultures, and we're keen to still do a bit of this - just without being too extreme! Some help with the following would be greatly appreciated:

Firstly is Samoa a suitable travel destination with a baby?

Secondly some pointers on locations to base ourselves, from where we can then explore further would be fantastic. We like:

- fantastic beaches

- swimming and snorkelling

- visiting markets, tasting the local food, craftwork and meeting the locals

- wildlife, waterfalls, interesting geography etc etc

We're not looking for luxury resorts - a well equipped fales would be perfect - but would like to try perhaps two different islands/areas in the course of our 2 week stay. Any advice or thought starts would be greatly appreciated,

Laura

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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1. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

Malo lava Laura

First of all congrats on the birth of Betsy, a very exciting time in your lives which will bring you a lot of joy.

Have you travelled to the South Pacific before? Most people don't find a problem with taking kids of any age to Samoa but you have to bear in mind the humidity which babies feel much more than we do but normally keeping them cool is not a huge hassle.

If you're looking at fales with a bit of comfort then I'd check out Litia Sini's at beautiful Lalomanu Beach on Upolu and the amazing Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge at Asau on Savaii. They are both a little more upmarket than others and I feel that the extra comfort is important for both yourselves and Betsy,

Both places are ideal for swimming, snorkelling etc and because they are in villages it's not hard to meet and mingle with the locals. The staff are also amazing, the food good and plentiful and customer service is their priority.

Samoans also adore children so you'll never be short of a trustworthy baby sitter if you and hubby want some alone time.

As for markets, shopping etc I'd look at spending a day in Apia as it's really the only place with markets and shops. There's the flea markets where you can pick up some great bargains across a wide range of clothing, jewellery, souvenirs, arts and crafts, the fish market (you have to try the fish and chips) and the Maketi Fou (food market) where you can get a look at daily life of both the sellers and buyers. I recommend a nights stay at Taumesina Hideaway (check out their FB page, their site is down), it's in the village of Moata'a so the locals are your neighbours. They have small self contained units which would be ideal with a baby, a beautiful lagoon is only metres away and Sara and Masi, the owners, will accommodate your every need. They have a toddler of their own and again there's no shortage of baby sitters.

As you drive around both islands you see stunning scenery, falls and beaches where you can stop and take photos, just be aware that someone may approach you for a fee which usually goes towards the education of the village children. All land, including beaches, is cultural and thus privately owned in Samoa and the fee is usually only around 5 tala (haha, probably 20 pence!!!) except when someone like the Coconut Man at Taga Blowholes on Savaii has had a bad day and wants 20 tala.

Must sees - To Sua Trench south of Litia's (but you would have to leave Betsy with a sitter), Piula Caves, Papapapaita'i Falls, Togitogiga Falls and if you're into history, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum - the very house he spent his last years in and a tribute to the man who became known as 'Tusitala' (story-teller) and an integral part of Samoan development. A FiaFia night is also a must and there will always be one wherever you are, it's a celebration of Samoan song, dance (including fire dancing), story-telling and food.

On Savaii there are small markets at Salelologa where the ferry docks, also the Taga Blowholes which I mentioned before, the lava fields which are all around the island and the prettiest falls of them all, Afu Aau. I'd honestly be here forever if I listed everything you should see but just let me reiterate that travelling around both islands is sheer visual joy.

Are you thinking of hiring a car?

Hope this helps Laura. Also go to jasons.com/samoa and hotels-samoa.ws for comprehensive accommodation listings but please check out the ones I mentioned.

Happy planning

Deb

London
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19 posts
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2. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

Hi Deb,

Thanks so much for your very useful email.

Looking forward to our holiday.

Thanks

aura

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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3. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

You're welcome. If you have any more questions you know where to find us.

Deb

Singleton, Australia
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4. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

I would travel to Samoa with a baby without hesitation. We travelled there last year with two toddlers and we had a great time. My only suggestion is if you haven't already, is to purchase a good baby carrier or wrap. Samoa isn't very pram friendly. I carried around our 2 year old in a back carrier which made the trip so much easier. We got to see all the sights we wanted to see and not once did we feel asthough we were held back at all because the kids were with us. We even went to To Sua trench with the kids but my husband and I took it in turns climbing down in the trench, the kids loved watching us swim from above and they enjoyed running around in the beautiful gardens. We also snorkelled with the kids on our backs (wearing life jackets of course), which they loved.

I recommend Savaii Lagoon Resort, it is a great resort for young families and they can arrange baby sitting if you require it, we didn't use the service but it was nice to have the option.

Good luck with your plans.

Edited: 9:28 pm, January 16, 2014
Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

I agree with everyting Desmitty says above. Would just add that we were there for 16 days with our two year old and though it is hard to imagine it was a bit too long. Ten days would have been perfect because there is really not much to do in Samoa other than enjoy the beaches. You could do a day trip into Apia to visit the museum and markets (there really is no other shopping and even the market is quite low key) and visit a few waterfalls, but that's about it in terms of things to do. Have fun!

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
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6. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

Unfortunately it may be too long with a 2yo but for adults there is so much more to Samoa than markets, a museum, beaches and waterfalls. Take the opportunity to snap up a baby-sitter occasionally and act like your pre-baby backpacker selves and you'll discover a country vastly different to any you've been to before. Samoa is the cradle of Polynesian culture, it is steeped in interesting traditions and practices, it has a unique lifestyle which you'll find yourselves wanting to learn to live by and aside from stunning scenery there's a plethora of activites for willing adults, just tell me what you're interested in and I'll tell you where you can find it. There is a whole new world waiting in Samoa all you need to do is explore.

Deb

Brisbane, Australia
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53 posts
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7. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

This is so interesting, as I was about to post a very similar question! My husband and I are thinking of spending two weeks in Samoa with a six month old in December this year. I love hearing everybody's advice that traveling to Samos with a baby isn't a crazy idea!

Brisbane, Australia
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53 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

This is so interesting, as I was about to post a very similar question! My husband and I are thinking of spending two weeks in Samoa with a six month old in December this year. I love hearing everybody's advice that traveling to Samos with a baby isn't a crazy idea!

Woolgoolga...
Destination Expert
for Apia, Samoa
Level Contributor
3,998 posts
34 reviews
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9. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

If your baby doesn't mind the very high humidity of the wet season (end October to April) then it should be fine otherwise, and if possible, I'd consider going during the dry or later in the wet.

Deb

Sydney, Australia
8 posts
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10. Re: Samoa [with a baby]

I was also thinking about traveling to samao in Mid October this year would this be humid? Or tail end of dry season?

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