Samoa has been on my bucketlist for quite some time now, and I’m beyond fulfilled after finally traveling there! Chances are if you’re reading this you already know where it is and what’s mostly there, but for generality, I’ll start from the top!
For starters, there are two “Samoa’s” and they’re separated by the International Date Line; one that’s it’s own independent country, and one that’s governed by America (obv named “American Samoa”). In this post, I am talking about independent Samoa.
So this Samoa is located across the International Date Line which is important when booking flights from the U.S. and eastward, because you gain an entire day. This is mostly only important when booking flights and attempting to schedule calls back home (if you’re a work-a-holic like me).
Anyway! It’s a Polynesian country located in the South Pacific, where all the rest of the remote, exotic, glorious islands are that I love so much. I’ll get into why I love Polynesian culture and landscape in another post, but do know that the culture on these islands is as incredible as the sights!
Like most places I venture to, I rented a car to truly and in-depthly explore the island of Upolo (one of the two main big islands), and this itinerary is created based where I went! I covered a lot of ground, some places that aren’t even listed on tours, so I hope it helps on your adventure to Samoa!
As with all of my posts, this is FREE valuable information to you, and I only make money when you click around my site, buy something from an add, and like/comment on my social media posts…so if you appreciate this info, please do one or more of the above!
Here’s some of the places included in the itinerary for your quick reference:
To Sua Ocean Trench
Sliding Rocks Waterfall
Turtle Snorkeling at Coconut’s
FiaFia Show at Sliema
Apia Craft and Food Market
Live Music and Dinner
Samoa Island Day 1
Arrive and get settled! Depending on when your flight gets in, you’ll probably want to get straight to your accommodation and settle in. I got in later — around 6pm, so definitely wanted to get to my hotel before it got dark (which it did, and which was terrifying to drive in).
If you have some time before it starts to get dark, opt to stop by a grocery store in Apia to pick up some food and drinks for your room! Trader Jack’s has a great selection (including wine and beer), as well as some local produce markets if you’re up for it.
Spend the first evening talking to the staff members at your accommodation and getting a feel for their culture and the island, as you taste your first raw fish dish or barbecue!
Samoa Island Day 2
Sliding Rocks is closer to Apia, and one of my favorite waterfalls in Samoa!
If you’re staying in Apia, check out the daily craft and food market right in town before heading a little West to Sliding Rocks waterfall!
This was probably my favorite waterfall because of how many little pools you could swim in, and also because duh, it’s a natural waterslide!
It costs $20 tala (about $7USD) to enter and you’ll be advised to leave valuables locked in the car. Make sure there’s enough water in the falls/pools to slide into before you do it! I didn’t end up doing the big one because I didn’t think the pool below was deep enough!
Spend the rest of the day eating and hanging out in Apia and get ready for a full day of adventures tomorrow!
Samoa Island Day 3
Fuipisia Waterfall was another stunner!
Head South on the Cross Island Road, stopping at Papapateitui for a quick viewpoint. It’s said to be the “longest” waterfall in Samoa, but will look rather small because of how far away it is!
Keep going South until you reach the “Main South Coast Road” and head allllll the way East! There’s a couple beautiful waterfalls to stop at for some more great viewpoints including Fiupisia Falls and Sopo’aga Falls. Both cost between $10-20 Tala to view since they are on local’s property.
After that it’s one of the main events, the Instagram-made-Famous To Sua Ocean Trench! I put this last because usually hightide is later in the day and you definitely want to go during hightide! You can check the local hightide schedule here.
The (Insta)famous To Sua Ocean Trench! Can you see me?
To Sua translates to “Hole with Water” and was formed when a volcanic cave’s roof collapsed, and under it was water from the ocean that comes in and out through a small opening inside the cave.
To Sua also costs $20 Tala which is one hell of a deal considering not only how beautiful it is, but also that you can swim in it and enjoy the entire park it’s located on for a few hours or more!
It’s safe to swim in but you need to hold onto ropes during hightide due to the strong current. You can dive/jump off the platform AT YOUR OWN RISK, but I wouldn’t advise doing it from the ladder. The ladder is sturdy but can get slippery, so be sure to go down carefully and slowly!
The park around To Sua is almost equally as gorgeous as the trench! There are several fala’s (little huts to lounge on) all around, including overlooking the dramatic cliffs and ocean. There’s also Blowing Rocks, and some lava cave pools, but you can only go down to them during low tide.
There’s tons of cute “falas” around the park that To Sua is in, and they have stunning cliffside views!
Oh and there’s another ocean trench called “To Lo Sua” which translates to “Hole with No Water”, that you’ll see when you first enter. And also probably see why no one really talks about it. It’s still cool to see how many lush plants grow down it’s sides though!
NOTE: The grounds that To Sua are on have religious cultural significance, so you’ll be advised to dress appropriately when walking around, and to only wear swim wear in the trench or beach areas.
Samoa Islands Day 4
Vavau Beach has small islands right on its shore!
Hope you’re ready for a stunning beach day, because there are two near each other that cannot be missed! If you can, I would reserve an entire day for these beaches, and possibly even a night’s stay at one of the beach fale’s!
Head towards Vavau beach first, which is a bit hidden, so be on the lookout for a small sign and dirt road. It’s a local’s beach, so it’s not the easiest thing to find, and GPS doesn’t point in the right direction.
Hang at this epic island-beach for a while before heading to the star of the island; Lalomanu.
The crystal clear waters at Lalomanu Beach are absolutely stunning! You can see the day beach fale’s in the background
You’ll start seeing tons of beach fale’s and some restaurants, and you can pretty much stop at any since it’s a long stretch of white sandy beach. You’ll likely have to pay for parking, but they’ll probably offer you a discount if you eat at the restaurant or rent a fale.
A larger beach fale, most are 1/3 this size
The fale’s in this area are rentable by the day, or you can get an enclosed one and stay the night on the beach for super cheap!
Samoa Islands Day 5
Togiogiga is another waterfall you can swim at, and it’s free!
Check out a few more waterfalls while exploring the rest of the areas of the island you haven’t seen yet.
There’s one on the map called Falfea which we weren’t super impressed by, but we did like Togotogiga because it was another one you could swim at and even jump off of.
Parking and entry to Togotogiga was also free since it’s on the National Park lands!
Samoa Island Day 6
Coconuts is the definition of paradise!
This gorgeous, luxury resort has everything you need to feel like you’re in utter paradise; from the only over-water-bungalows in Samoa, to a brand new luxury spa. Massages were actually pretty affordable there, and the new decor is utter bliss!
Once hightide rolls around, rent some snorkel gear (free for guests) and go swim with the daily sea turtle visitors! You can watch them from a deck above, and when you spot them, jump down and try to keep up with their swift gliding movements!
The food at Coconuts is also a must-try, so treat yourself to a nice dinner; hopefully on one of the nights they have live music!
Locals perform their cultural FiaFia dances and fire-dancing almost every night!
Later, take a walk down the beach to Coconuts’ neighbor hotel the Sliema for a traditional FiaFia show!
Samoa Island Day 7
Finally figured out how to fly my drone without the remote (using my phone) the last day of my trip…
Today is likely your departure day, so depending on when your flight is, you may have a chance to squeeze in some last minute fun on the way to the airport!
My flight got delayed by about four hours, so I took my time cruising along the south-west coast, and found an awesome place to stop and eat.
It was called Faimafili Village Resort, and the women who run it were just the sweetest people ever. They were so excited to have us at their open-air deck restaurant that overlooks more clear water, and the food was absolutely delicious.
Definitely try the local special shrimp! And be on the look out for a really cute kitten!
Be sure to get to the airport at least two hours before your flight, but keep in mind that delays are normal!
Here’s some more essential travel information to help you plan your trip to Samoa!
is well known for its incredible food, culture and heritage sites. But did you
know that it is also ranked as one of the best providers of healthcare across
Malaysia has won the International Medical Travel Journal’s award for Health and Medical Tourism Destination of the Year from 2015-2017 and was highly commended for the award in 2018.
Travelers visiting Malaysia will save 65% to 80% on healthcare costs compared to the US and will receive a luxurious experience.
Hospitals often offer patients rooms that are similar to what you would find at a five-star hotel. The Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council also offers lounge and concierge services to medical tourists at both Penang international airport and Kuala Lumpur airport.
Panama is a top location for many things: second-citizenship, retirement and also medical tourism!
Benefits for those from the US include a massive saving of 40% to 70% on the costs of healthcare. Some private hospitals in Panama also partner with American hospitals so you may recognize the names of them!
staff in Panama are also well-trained, offer high-quality service and often
speak English, which helps remove any language barriers if you don’t speak
If you want access to advanced healthcare service, well trained staff as well as state of the art technology, South Korea is where you want to be!
Medical tourism is booming in South Korea, particularly thanks to the insurance coverage offered to medical tourists. In addition, many hospitals provide spacious rooms with two beds for patients who bring a travel companion with them.
By traveling to South Korea, you would save 30% to 45% in health costs, compared to the US.
True travelers will know that flip flops are cute, but not always the most dependable type of travel sandals. But what if there were a sandal that mixed a stylish thong with a comfortable sole, and secure grip, for the ultimate fashionably functional flip flop?
The good news is that such a sandal exists! Cue The Nimahtravel sandals from Bionica Footwear! I received tons of comments and questions about these trendy sandals while traveling around in the Philippines in regard to where I found a sandal that was cute, comfortable, and water-friendly!
It’s really hard to find a thong-sandal that both looks stylish and provides the support and comfort you need when traveling, but these shoes have it all! Here’s a few reasons why I love them!
Stylish Patterns That Compliment Any Outfit
The colorful, trendy boho patterns on the thong of the Nimah sandals are always in when you’re traveling. They scream, “I love going to cultural, tropical, chill places!”, and can fit with or add to any outfit!
The various colors in the design make them pop with anything you wear and will leave people wondering where you got them! I also love the two-strap design that offers a more unique look than just one thick strap! Speaking of which…
Comfortable, Supportive, Non-Flip-Flopping-Straps
Typical flip flops will smack against the bottom of your foot due to the flimsiness of the straps and thinness of the soles, but the Nimah travel sandals will not! That’s because the sturdiness of the straps fit snugly on your feet, without moving around and causing any discomfort or annoying “flip flop” sounds.
The thong part of the sandal is wrapped in a soft material that won’t irritate the space between your toes, even when it gets wet (Note: Depends on your toe-sensitivity)! Since there’s no flipping and flopping motion, and the straps stay with your feet as you walk, climb, or run, there’s less of a chance for that annoying rubbing between your toes or top of your foot!
Easy to Slip On, But Actually Stay On
When I think of typical flip flops, I imagine them getting flung around when I try to put them on or take them off. What’s great about the Nimah travel sandals is that they’re easy to slip on with their thong-design, but actually stay on because of the non-slip grip material of the soles and stability of the straps.
Your feet will literally stay in these sandals ten times better than a typical sandal, saving you stress, discomfort, and annoyance! They even stayed on when I wore them in the water at the beach and at a waterfall! Which brings me to my next point…
Water Resistant and Non-Slip
You know that squeaky sound you hear with regular rubber flip slops? Or perhaps that never-fully-dried feeling of cloth, straw, or leather-soled sandals? None of that exists with the Nimah travel sandal!
Since the straps are secure, and the footbed is high quality rubber material, there’s no chance for that annoying squeaky noise. And since the footbed is all rubber, it makes it all waterproof! The straps are quick drying as well even though the patterned part is made of stitching.
Comfortable and Safe for Any Terrain (Besides Snow)
As someone who is very guilty of hiking mountains in flip-flops and never wearing shoes in water or while chasing waterfalls, I can confidently say that these Nimah travel sandals are a game changer for comfort.
Someone literally noticed me hopping along the sharp, rocky shore of an island in Philippines, and asked about my shoes, because you could tell I couldn’t feel the discomfort beneath my soles. Since both safety and comfort are crucial for us explorers, these travel sandals are basically a necessity.
So if you’re tired of typical flimsy flip flops, and looking for some travel sandals that fit all the necessary travel requirements, check out the Nimah’s on Bionica.com!
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Bionica Footwear, however all writing, photos, and opinions are my own.
Picture this: you work hard to save up a whole bunch of money to go traveling for a while. You embark on your travels, wallet full of money and luggage in hand, excited for the adventures that lie ahead.
But, a few weeks in to your trip you realize there’s a problem. You are burning through your money like there’s no tomorrow! You start wondering what you should do, because you have to fund the rest of your travels somehow.
I’m going to have to cut my travels short, you say to yourself. But, before you pack your bags and head back home, why not check out some of these excellent money saving tips for traveling.
These tips will ensure you get the best bang for your buck, helping you to have a better (and longer) holiday.
Keep scrolling for more!
1. Be Flexible
Did you know that traveling during certain times of the week, month or year are more expensive than others? Did you also know that some destinations will be more expensive than others depending on the time of year it is too?
Being flexible on the days and dates you travel, as well as where you travel to, could save you a whole lot of money while traveling.
To figure out where you should go, and when, all you need to do is play Alyssa’s favorite game: Flight Roulette. Basically you use Skyscanner’s flexible option. Select ‘everywhere’ as your destination and ‘entire month’ as your date. Then, pick the destination and dates that will save you the most money!
2. Avoid Peak Season
Yep, prices skyrocket alongside the number of tourists during peak season!
Consistent with being flexible on your dates, avoiding peak season will save you so much money while traveling.
Not only will flights be cheaper, but you’ll also find that things like accomodation and even activities will have less of an impact on your wallet.
You’ll also save a lot of time, because there’ll be way less queues for you to stand in for minutes (or hours) on end.
3. Sign Up To Frequent Flyer Programs
Why? Because you’ll accumulate points that you can put towards flights or upgrades!
Plus you’ll likely find out about deals your airline is promoting before anyone else.
Pro tip: you could sign up to multiple frequent flyer programs. While you might accrue points more slowly, you’ll have greater access to deals on offer across multiple airlines.
4. Use Your Airpoints
Yes, accumulating airpoints and having insider access to airline deals is great, but you should actually make the most of these things!
Using points to purchase flights will mean you can put your money towards other things on your travels – winning!
There are several credit cards that allow you to rack up points through purchases — Alyssa swears by Chase Sapphire Reserve, which also includes Global Entry, and most importantly…a free Priority Pass for airport lounge access!
5. Sort Out Your Airport Arrangements Ahead Of Time
This is particularly relevant if you’re driving to and parking at the airport while you’re away, or if you’re planning on taking a Uber to the airport.
Be sure to check out all the options for airport parking so you pick the one that offers the best value for money. Alyssa loves using Spot Hero for the cheapest, and easiest-to-book parking spots!
If you’re taking an Uber to the airport, book one in advance to try and avoid surcharge prices (and the stress of not knowing if there’ll be one available when you need it).
To get extra value for money, use Uber Pool – you might even meet a new travel buddy or two doing this!
6. Avoid Excess Baggage Fees
You’re going on holiday, which means you’ll need at least five outfit changes per day, right? Just kidding!
While it can be tempting to pack a ton of outfits while traveling “just in case” you need them, the reality is you’ll only need the same few pieces of clothing for most of your travels.
Don’t believe us? Check out these epic packing tips from Alyssa. Given she only uses a carry-on for most of her travels, we trust she knows what she’s talking about!
Other tips for avoiding excess baggage fees include weighing your bags before you get to the airport. And, if you’re taking a heavy coat or sweater, wear this on the plane instead of packing it into your bag.
7. Take The Road Less Traveled
There’s something magical about visiting the places that everyone goes to. You know, places like Rome, Paris and New York. These places are amazing to visit and see – that’s why everyone goes there!
Of course, with tourist heavy destinations comes tourist prices. Even going into a franchise or chain store, you may find that prices are slightly higher than they are in places that aren’t as tourist dense.
Well, this is kind of obvious – if you’re staying in the city centre, you will be paying city prices!
Instead, opt to stay in an Air BnB, hotel, hostel or homestay that’s close to the city. Convenient, but also much friendlier on your wallet.
Pro-tip: use a website like booking.com to compare prices across different accomodation, and to see which places offer package deals and discounts, so you can get the best value for money.
9. Eat Like A Local
Trying out different local cuisines is one of the amazing reasons to travel, obviously.
If you’re wanting to really try out incredible local cuisines and save some money, eat where the locals do!
Not only is the food likely to be more authentic and tasty, but you are also less likely to be charged pesky tourist prices.
Pro-tip: if your accomodation includes a breakfast deal, make the most of this before you head out for the day. You’ll be less likely to want to buy expensive snacks while you’re out and about, leaving extra space in your stomach for some delicious local cuisines.
10. Shop Like A Local
Because you’ll avoid all the touristy souvenirs!
Shopping at local markets and shops will mean you’re more likely to get your hands on unique local products and the prices won’t include tourist-tax.
If the local culture allows it, you can try get more bang for your buck by bargaining on prices too. Shopping locally is also a great way to travel sustainably!
11. Walk Around
It’s a great way to take in local sights!
Instead of spending your money on buses, trains, trams or cabs, opt to walk around your destination as much as possible.
If walking around isn’t an option, look into the travel options that the locals use. Often train and bus services offer day, week or month passes which are better value for money compared to paying for each trip on its own.
12. Do Your Research
This is a huge way to save money while traveling.
Knowing where you will be going and what you will be doing ahead of time means you can book things in advance.
This means you’ll avoid having to pay extra for things because you are booking last minute, or at a peak time.
Look up options for a cheap mobile data plan, get a local SIM card, or use free WiFi at your destinations too, so you can research on the go without spending a fortune.
13. Work While Traveling
Technically this isn’t saving money while traveling, but you would be making money while traveling.
Plus, if you follow the other 12 tips in this article, then you would be saving money while making money at the same time. So that’s a bit of a win-win.
If you’re a big fan of water activities like chasing waterfalls and trekking islands, I have the best sport sandals to recommend to you! They’re called the Nahla Sandal by Bionica Footwear, and they’ll make you wonder why you ever went barefoot or wore tacky water-shoes!
The nude and light pink color on the Nahla shoes I have make it look like I’m not even wearing shoes at all!
That’s kind of what it feels like too in regards to comfort!
few more features about these awesome sport sandals that I know you’ll love!
Drying Water-Friendly Footbed
No squishy, uncomfortably wet feet with these babies! The Nahla sandals have a rubber footbed that makes them water-friendly and impossible to stay wet for very long! They’re quick drying or can easily be wiped down with a towel if you have one!
makes them the perfect sport sandals for doing things like waterfall hikes,
where you want to wear the shoes in the water for protection, but don’t want to
continue the hike with wet shoes!
They also make for the perfect beach sandal, especially in rocky waters! Then when you’re done with your water activities, you won’t have to worry about having wet shoes in the car since they dry off right away!
Flexible Soles that Move Where You Do
feel like you’re walking on air with the lightweight, flexible soles of the
Nahla sport sandals! Specially designed to go wherever you go, whether it’s the
road, or the water!
lightweight feature is especially beneficial in water, since you don’t want any
heaviness weighing you down! In fact! Since they’re so lightweight, they
actually float in most water! That makes them ideal if you want to actually float,
and also because if you happen to lose one, they’ll just float to the surface!
won’t just slip off because…
Adjustable, Comfortable Sport Sandals Straps
confidently say that there is no way these sandals are slipping off when you go
swimming! (When worn correctly of course). I swam in both a waterfall, and the
ocean, and felt like the Nahla sandals were securely on the entire time!
adjustable strap allows you to tighten them to your foot’s size, and secure
them on with a loop and velcro closure. This feature also makes them super
comfortable and guarantees a perfect fit!
So if you’re in the market for some fashionably functional sport sandals, definitely check out these Nahla Sandals by Bionica!
Disclaimer: this post is in collaboration with Bionica Footwear,
however all words and opinions are my own.
Music festivals are the epitome of summer because the sun is shining, great music is blasting and you’re rocking some pretty epic outfits.
Of course, nothing screams summer music festival more than the one and only Coachella.
The California sun is shining down on you and some of the world’s best artists are performing and attending. Did someone say Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande?! (They’re performing at Coachella this year, fyi).
You might think that Coachella is the only US music festival worth attending. And with the amount of publicity and star power it gets, we don’t blame you. But we’re here to tell you all about a whole bunch of other great US music festivals.
These festivals epitomise carefree and fun summer days. Plus, the music is just as awesome as at Coachella! So, we present 11 awesome US music festivals (other than Coachella) that you have to attend!
Not a fan of Jazz? Don’t let the name fool you. The festival is a melting pot of southern style music and local food. You’ll be feasting on crawfish beignets, po’boys, cajun jambalaya, jalapeño bread and red beans and rice.
The 2019 Jazz and Music Festival includes some big names including Earth, Wind & Fire, Ciara and Alanis Morissette.
Vegas, where else would you want to be to party it up at a festival?!
The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) offers an escape from reality with its electronic music. In addition to its flagship Vegas show, EDC has also shared its magical experience in the UK, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Expect to find a wonderland full of music (obvs), colorful glow-in-the-dark enviroments, neon decor, and walkabout performers.
This year’s lineup includes David Guetta, Dead MAu5 and A$AP Rocky.
Located on Randall’s Island near Manhattan, this festival guarantees an epic NYC experience.
Offering a fun mix of pop, folk, rock and hip-hop music, you’ll be dancing your way through the festival like there’s no tomorrow. This will be balanced out by the incredible NYC eats that you’ll have access to (like seriously good food!)
The Governors Ball 2019 will include amazing artists like The Strokes, Nas, SZA, Lil Wayne, Major Lazer and Lily Allen.
The Hot 97 Summer Jam is an annual hip-hop festival where up and comers get to share the stage with some of hip-hop’s biggest names.
Fun fact: the festival is known for performers bringing out huge special guests.
You’ll see some big names like Cardi B, Meek Mill, and Migos up on stage in 2019.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Image via I Am Bonnaroo on Instagram
13 – 16 June 2019, Great Stage Park, Tennessee
Bonnaroo is a four-day festival that originally focused on folk rock and jam bands when it was established in 2002.
But it has now expanded to include a diverse array of musical styles. This includes indie rock, classic rock, hip hop, jazz and country music. As well as gospel, reggae, pop, electronic, and other alternative music.
In addition to a great selection of music, the festival hosts comedy shows, a silent disco and a Christmas club barn!
In 2019, expect to attend performances by Odesza, Childish Gambine, Post Malone, Cardi B and Solange.
As the name kind of implies, Lollapalooza is an annual four-day multi-genre festival in Chicago.
Don’t know what we mean? Check out the meaning of palooza here, we’ll wait for the penny to drop.
Fun fact: Lollapalooza was founded in 1991. In addition to the flagship Chicago festival, it now takes place in Europe and South America too. Meaning you could stop by on one of your travels, yas!
Bringing together music, dance, comedy and craft booths, there is something for everyone at this music festival. Not to mention, the incredible line up of food options from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants.
Also, Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande are headlining at Lollapalooza this year too, so that’ s a win.
Established in 2005, it was inspired by the 2003 documentary Afro-Punk which highlights black punk artists in the US.
The festival defines itself as a safe place, a blank space to freak out in, to construct a new reality, to live your life as you see sit, while making sense of the world around you. Aka, a place for you to be you, and where you are celebrated!
2019 has a great lineup, with FKA Twigs, Leon Bridges, and Hello Yello gracing the stage (among others).
30 August – September 1 2019, Randall’s Island Park, New York City
NYC, back at it again!
Electric Zoo is the electronic dance festival of your dreams where international DJs and live acts are brought together across four stages. Basically, this is the place to spend your Labor Day Weekend.
Established in 2009, this festival has hosted some big names. In 2019, you’ll see epic performances from the likes of Zedd, AfroJack and Cookie Monsta.