Travel Tips: Samoa


Have an awesome time while on your trip but remember to respect the local culture in Samoa.

Check out our travel tips and advice below:


Fa’a Samoa culture has a strong focus on welcoming visitors, but it is important that visitors follow protocol when entering villages and family homes as well as using and accessing village resources.

  • Avoid walking through villages during the evening prayer curfew (usually between 6pm and 7pm). This usually lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is often marked at the beginning and end by a bell or the blowing of a conch shell.
  • Respect Sunday. While many visitor attractions are open on Sunday, you are expected to behave quietly and to travel slowly through villages.
  • Almost all shops are shut on Sunday, so buy what you need the day before.
  • Skimpy clothing is not recommended in villages, and will cause offence. Women are advised to wear a lava lava (sarong) rather than shorts or pants, especially if they attend church.
  • No nude or topless (for women) swimming or sunbathing.
  • Shoes should be removed before entering afale (pronounced “fah-leh”, it refers to the traditional Somoan thatched-roof house).
  • Never stand within afale when elders are seated.
  • When sitting in afale, avoid pointing your feet at others. Either tuck them away, cross them (yoga style) or cover them with a lavalava or mat.
  • Always ask permission from your host before taking photos in a village.
  • Don’t offer children money, even if they ask.

If you are ever in any doubt, ask your host or a village member. And remember to smile lots, you’ll always get a smile in return.


Money - you will only need money for any of your personal items, laundry etc. There are ATMs in Apia. Check with your bank to see if your card works. Alternatively, you can bring Aus$$ and get them changed in Apia as well. 


The electricity is the same as New Zealand, 240 volts/AC 50 cycles, but can be converted to 110 volts in most hotels. If you need more assistance while in Samoa you can visit the Samoa Tourism Authority Fale on Main Beach Road in front of the Government Building in Apia. See this website for more information about what adaptors you will need and/or convertors.

Phone data and calls

You can research prior to leaving to find a pre-paid plan that works best based on your data usage. This might also depend on whether your accommodation has Wifi. Reliable services include Celcom, Digi and Maxis.

Sta Travel. 2016.Samoa travel hints and tips [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 March 16].
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