Even within 24 hours, Samoa has exceeded the expectations of the Crilly family from North Ireland and Christchurch, New Zealand.
They arrived in Samoa yesterday afternoon.
Heather is originally from Northern Ireland but moved with her husband, Michael, to New Zealand four years ago.
The couple brought with them their two boys, Finn, 10, and Callum, 12.
They won a free holiday trip to Samoa, but Heather said it was already part of their plans to visit Samoa’s shores.
“It is our first time here. We wanted to come to Samoa even if we didn’t win. My husband and I went before we had the kids to Rarotonga and we thought Samoa could be nice as well,” she shared with Dear Tourist.
Her first impression of the island is wonderful.
“It has been lovely so far, everybody was so friendly. We went to the Seafood Gourmet in town, which was really good.
“We haven’t done much so far. We walked into town yesterday. Just flying in and landing, the view was beautiful. It is so green everywhere,” Michael said.
“Everyone seems to be nice and everything is accessible.”
Finn said: “I like it here. I love swimming in the pool. I am excited to go snorkeling.
Heather added: “It is hard for me to remember how Rarotonga was like because it was a long time ago. It feels quite similar here, just way bigger. Everyone here has been really nice and laid back.”
For this trip, they opt to just relax and enjoy the scenery.
“It is definitely a good place to come and just chill. But there are a lot of things to do as well. So we want to rent a car to drive around Upolu.
“We are only staying in this resort for five nights then we are going to sleep in fales. It is nice to be in a resort, but I want to see other stuff as well,” Heather said.
“We want to try the buses to have the experience. It is cool to share the same bus with the locals. It is nice to get to know a little more about the island and not just a resort,” Michael said.
The island vibe is another tick on top of their list of island likes.
“Christchurch is quite busy, it is always work and things to do. It is nice to come here rather than worrying about things. Compared to New Zealand, the people here I think are more relaxed. I feel comfortable.”
In terms of Samoa’s tourism industry, she says: “I think it is quite easy. We had to wait a while at the airport because of the car park, but I guess that is normal. I could not say a specific thing to change. It has been the perfect holiday so far.
“I thought already of travelling more around the Pacific and coming back to Samoa. It is not far from Christchurch to come here.
“A lot more people from New Zealand are going to Fiji and Rarotonga.
They leave next week Saturday, but it is probably not the last time for the Crilly’s to visit Samoa.