Hi to all Samoa experts,
I have checked a lot of the previous questions & answers, but I still date to ask my own set of questions (partly also because some of the answers could be obsolete a bit)…hope you won’t mind:-)
Soon I am leaving for a couple of days to New Zealand where a friend of mine is studying right now. We will do some hiking, walking etc. And then, we plan to spend 10 days in Samoa during the second half of June. And since I am a guy from Europe who has never let the “old continent” before, I have no clue what is it like to visit a tropic island…that’s why I am writing this text:-)
1) The first questions is sort of general – how to divide these 10 days in order cover all interesting places/activities in Samoa (or at least most of them)? Where to go to see the most and not to get dissapointed:-)? I don’t have any super special specific preferences, but indeed I would like to spend most fo the time outside as the weather should be probably nice;-)
2) Accomodation – could you please advise me what the ideal way will be for me considering my budget which is 100 NZD per day? Beach felas seems to be quite nice accomodation for a reasonable prize. If so, could you please recommend good one in both islands? I guess we will be traveling around so it won’t be comfortable to live just in one place.
3) Money – there are not much ATMs in Samoa and credit cards are not widely accepted. So my questions is, which currency in cash to have in Samoa? USD, NZD, AUD? Which of them has the best currency rate as I guess it’s necessary to exchange one of them into the local currency…?
4) Car – is it worth to hire one? If so, where to go to get one and what is the reasonable prize per day? Since our budget is sort of tight, I don’t what to get screwed:-)
5) Health – vaccination – is typhoid and hepatitis enough? I have also heard some horrible things about mosquitos infecting people dengue fever – is June their time? How to prevent them from bothering us? I guess all beds (regardless where one sleeps) are equiped with mosquito nets, but what during the day? Insect repellent? Starting to use B-vitamin right now in high doses? Another big issue is stomach problems and diarrhoea – is there any way how to minize it’s occurrence? Is an old “peel it boil it cook it or forget it” still valid is Samoa nowadays? I mean I’ll be buying a bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing, but how’s it with local food? Is it dangerous to eat local fruit, to got to some fast food, restaurant etc.?
6) Clothes – quite an issue for me since I am only allowed to have a cabin baggage, which is 7 kg:-) but considering the weather, I guess there is no need for some warm stuff. Is there any prefered material…cotton, linen? I was thinking to have 2 linen shirts, 2 cotton t-shirts, 1 shorts, 1 long trousers. Is it enough? Or do I need something more, or is there any “dress code”? I mean I don’t want to offend locals by my clothes. And how about shoes…will arrive in my treking shoes from NZ, but I guess I won’t be using them in Samoa. Are sandals OK for the whole stay? Or do I need something more solid?
7) Sun – I guess it is pretty strong and anoying, so sun cream is an essential as well as some panthenol cream afterwards. But was thinking to buy a straw hat in Samoa…but heard about very strict environmental policy in NZ. Will kiwis let me to bring it back to NZ (I am leaving for Europe the day after an arrival from Samoa to NZ)
8) Local language – when travelling around Europe, I realized it always helps to know some basic words/phrases when being in touch with locals…could you please recommend some link where I can find some useful phrases…including pronunciation:-)?
9) Local people – I guess there are many kids around (this assumption is based on the pictures I have seen via internet)…is it common/polite to bring something for them? Some sweets, coloured pencils, coulouring picture etc.? Or would they feel rather offended when someone give them such stuff?
10) Is there anything else what is important and I forgot to mention :-)?
Ufff…what a long text I have produced:-) thanks all who managed to get through it, apologize for my English (I am not a native speaker) and appreciate any reaction.
Thanks in advance!