2016 Croatia Travel Tips. Croatia Packing List: What to Pack for Croatia
- 2016 Croatia Travel Tips. Croatia Packing List: What to Pack for Croatia
- Croatia Packing List: What to Pack For Beach Days & Nights
- What Shoes to Wear in Croatia?
- Croatia Packing List: Croatia with Kids
- Croatia Packing List: Sailing The Adriatic
- Croatia Packing List: Active Holidays
- Croatia Packing List: Bags & Suitcases
- Packing For Croatia: Pack Your Electronics
- Need Packing & Travel Gear Help?
- Want Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia?
You’re reading this, which means only one thing – you have a vacation to Croatia booked. Well, congrats you won’t be disappointed. And, hey, if you’re still deciding, maybe these will sway you.
If you want to fit in with the local women, when deciding on your packing list for Croatia, think seaside glamor and effortless chic. You’ll notice while on your vacation in Croatia, that unlike other European cities where stylish local women rarely stray from a subdued navy/gray/black/white palate, Croatian women are not afraid to wear brighter colors, which look fabulous against a Mediterranean tan. Never sloppy, Croatian women eschew cargo shorts and baggy tee shirts for more streamlined and form-fitting silhouettes.
Considering your summer vacation may take you from a lazy day on the beach to a night out in the city to a hike in the mountains, it can be tricky to know what to wear in Croatia. Try to find outfits that can work for multiple occasions. The key is picking simple pieces that you can dress down for the day and dress up for the evening. Consider getting a packing cube to keep all your outfits organised and your bag neat and tidy for the journey.
General Rules to Consider While Making Your Croatia Packing List
- Contrary to popular belief it IS acceptable to wear casual clothes during the daytime – so many people ask me about how dressed up you need to be. You don’t.
- It deserves a mention that after dark, people will wear something much nicer than a cover-up to eat out, but nothing formal. So no need to pack anything too over the top.
- Ignore any stupid packing list advice that says to bring picnic baskets, sewing kits, mosquito repellent or coffee with you – you can either get it here, or you won’t need it.
- Think about the weather. There are three different climates in Croatia, and as you drive over the Velebit mountain from the Adriatic coast the temps drop significantly in cooler months – and you have no sea breeze in the winter. As a general rule, the northern parts of Croatia have cold, and in parts snowy winters and moderately warm summers. More southerly portions of the country along the Adriatic coast have a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, cool winters, and otherwise pleasant temperatures year round. There are so many variances within that – so do find out before you come so you know what to pack. Also, keep in mind that we have four seasons – real seasons, not just two like in Australia.
- Layers for cooler nights. The breeze off the ocean can cause temperatures in seaside cities to drop significant amounts later in the day, so it’s always a good idea to bring a sweater or two.
Rules to Consider While Making a Croatia Packing List For Summer
- Summer is hot, hot, hot. Peak season months June through August can be overwhelmingly hot – especially for those from colder climates. Choose light fabrics – they are your friend.
- Even though summer temperatures range between mid-70s Fahrenheit(25-degree Celsius) and high 80s Fahrenheit (35+ celsius) – there can be rain. Trust me, living in Croatia for the last three years has taught me always to expect some rain during summer. That’s just a fact.
- Because it is so damn hot, you’ll need a quality sunscreen. LOADS. Add it to your Croatia packing list, as the stuff we have here in Croatia is not as nice as elsewhere – and it’s very expensive. If you do not use it all on your vacation – leave it behind. Your room cleaner will be delighted. I am in love with this Dermalogica Protection SPF50 Sunscreen and also this kids block out, both of which I get from Amazon.
Rules to Consider While Making Your Croatia Packing List For Spring & Fall
- These months are cold in the evenings – and depending on where you are, it can also be cold during the day.
- In both spring and fall, particularly in April and May, there will be rain. It’s always a good idea to dress in layers and bring a sweater. A stylish choice like this one from PattyBoutik is a good option.
- You can leave your strappy shoes at home – wear closed in shoes, it’s really not hot enough.
- Find clothes that are practical – and beautiful.
Rules to Consider While Making a Croatia Packing List For Winter
Winter jackets or coats are a must. Some places inland, such as the areas around Gorski Kotar and Lika, receive plenty of snow during the colder months.
- You will definitely need heavier winter wear. In more southern parts of the country near the Adriatic coast, a light jacket or thick sweater & scarf should suffice.
- By mid-October we usually get the fire ready on the coast – I get cold. I see tourists wearing t-shirts, and I shudder. You’ll need a coat unless you are from a chilly climate.
- November, December, January you will need to pack a big jacket and warm clothing – as soon as the sun sets it gets icy.
- If you are going to be in Zagreb, or inland, pack a beanie, gloves and scarf as it may snow. Women in Zagreb are uber stylish, so be sure your Croatia packing list has a pair of gloves like these Fratelli Orsini Cashmere Gloves to look sleek and stay warm.
Here are some of our suggestions for what to pack for your summer vacation in Croatia:
Croatia Packing List: What to Pack For Beach Days & Nights
While you can quickly pack on the lighter side for your holidays in Croatia – here are some items I recommend you pack:
A Black Tank Maxi Dress
You can’t go wrong with a Little Black Dress like this for evening meals on the beach or a more simple LBD like this makes a perfect day dress if worn with simple flat sandals. To transition into night, just throw on a beautiful silk scarf or some bold jewelry. I don’t recommend bringing valuable jewelry or lots of different pieces – just pick out a couple of statement pieces or this goes-with-everything cuff bracelet. Throw on these fun tassel pendant earrings and you are glammed up for a night on the town.
A Denim Jacket for Cool Nights
A little chill in the air while on vacation in Croatia? While you can bring a cardigan or wrap, to add a little edge to your look add to your packing list a Levi’s Women’s Authentic Trucker Jacket like mine. This works great with the tank dresses or over casual shorts.
Linen pants crinkle from the get go, and so they never look perfect. They are light and breathable, so you’ll sweat less. Linen pants suit almost all activities here in Croatia. You can now get pairs with an elastic or drawstring waist like these. Ahhh the comfort.
Anatomie Travel Pants
Stylish and oh-so-European these pants will see you blend in like a local.
These Paola Pants are super flattering travel pants that will have you looking and feeling good. These stretch woven, fitted cut with a mid rise wide waistband are perfect for travel in Croatia.
Leave the khaki cargo shorts at home. Why not add to your packing list for Croatia (well, anywhere really) a stylish scalloped edge short as seen here, the high waist and pattern keep it current, but it’s still easy to wear for daytime strolls. Instead of a blah tee pick up an off the shoulder lace detailed top.
Basics like a Milly light camisole are ideal for warm days. I take simple, inexpensive camisoles in multiples, but I always like to have at least one stylish one that can work on the beach or at a trendy restaurant.
A lightweight, cross-body bag
When I’m traveling and exploring villages, I like to be hands-free and not worry about my handbag. Since I’m going to be lugging it around all day, I want to make sure to get the lightest bag possible. Unfortunately, most nylon “travel” bags are hideously ugly. Add to your packing list for Croatia a bag like this Tory Burch Messenger Crossbody Bag. The bag is trimmed with leather to make it feel more substantial, but the body is all nylon to keep it light (and easy to clean).
Sunglasses & Sun Protection
Sun protection is a must. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high SPF are all highly recommended ways to avoid getting sunburned.
You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses. Good quality sunglasses are a must. My current faves are these Ray-Bans by Erika Round, and because you can never have too many pairs of sunglasses, I also love these Marc Jacobs transparent frame sunglasses as a lighter alternative to black or tortoise.
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on sunnies, take a look at the Suncloud Poptown Polarized collection. They are safe and very affordable – so you won’t be gutted should you lose them.
Look Chic at the Beach
There are plenty of good swimming spots in Croatia, and it would be a shame to miss out on the experience.
If you have the confidence to rock it, you can’t go wrong with a classic striped string bikini; it will always be in style and surprisingly is flattering to most body types (all the adjustable strings mean you’ll get a perfect fit).
For a little more coverage, this Norma Kamali one piece bathing suit is demure but sexy at the same time. This bold swim cover up can practically double as a dress.
They are ugly, but they are needed. Beach shoes.
Croatia has a rocky coastline, and most of the beaches are pebbled. This can subsequently be hard on the feet. Also, sea urchins are known to make their home in these waters. Stepping on them barefoot can be a painful experience that may necessitate the need for medical attention. Therefore, travelers should bring and wear rubber soled swim shoes.
With razor sharp rocks, and little sea creatures ready to pounce – you’ll avoid a trip to the ER with a cheap pair of these beach shoes. Thanks to the rubber soles like these you can wear them to the beach and while swimming – just be sure throw them in your bag when you head out at night.
It happens in Croatia – have I said that enough? Bring a jacket with you. So please add to your packing list a cardigan and/or light jacket – and maybe something comfy to laze about inside and watch the rain fall. I suggest leggings like theses. They are light to pack, and can double as a neck pillow for long bus rides.
If the rain kicks up – and you don’t want to be forced to look out the window instead of being out and about, pack a light waterproof jacket.
What Shoes to Wear in Croatia?
Knowing what to pack in the shoe department is hard – they take up so much room. Think comfortable but stylish shoes, such as a beautiful pair of sandals. Ladies should avoid high heels because attempting to navigate the cobblestoned streets in them could result in serious injuries. Travelers should also be sure to bring along comfortable footwear that is suitable for walking long distances. Even if one doesn’t plan to do any hiking, travelers will still cover a significant amount of ground simply by roaming from place to place. After all, there is no sense in coming back to the hotel room at night with sore feet. Below are our best suggestions:
The gladiator sandal is always popular. That shoe trend never seems to go out of fashion. And, a bonus is they are comfortable on your feet – those cobblestone streets will actually give you hell if you try to wear shoes will a big heel. Wear these gladiator-inspired sandals to the beach or out at night, with a few colors to choose from. If you’ll be spending a lot of time on cobblestones this summer, your feet will say thanks.
Espadrilles. With no end in sight to this fashion trend, it’s a safe bet to get one or three pairs in various colors to coordinate your wardrobe.
Fancy flip flops. Leave your regular flip flops back at the hotel, and opt for a slice or slip on like these. They don’t weigh much and look cute.
Total comfort. KEENs have a shoe that is midway stylish and comfortable and has an excellent price tag.
Oh, how lucky for boys! So many fewer options and worries. Cool kids are wearing loafers and these Cruyff Sneakers have become very popular!
Croatia Packing List: Croatia with Kids
Packing for a family trip can be daunting, and ever more scary is knowing what to bring on vacation when you have a toddler in tow – they always seem to need something you forgot to pack. We live right by the beach and often go with our son, so, we’ve listed the top 17 travel checklist items you need for a fun day at the beach with your little one.
The one thing I would say is that you should bring with you a beach tent – it’s so hot here in Croatia, and they are almost impossible to find during the season. The other item is wipes. With snacks, sand, sunscreen and maybe even ice-cream you’ll need a lot of these. These can be purchased all over Croatia – so just don’t forget to pack them if your little one has a need to use just one brand.
Croatia Packing List: Sailing The Adriatic
We have this full post dedicated on what to pack to go sailing – we’ve done it so many times now and know just what you need. Two essentials to pack are:
- Soft-soled shoes. No need to buy fancy boat shoes – although there are so many super cool ones in stores like theses Keds! You will need shoes with a rubber sole to avoid making scuff marks (which can be deducted from your rental deposit) and also to ensure you don’t slip and fall on deck. Breaking a leg is one sure way to ruin your vacation on the azure seas.
- Soft bag. If possible, pack your cute bikinis and tanning lotions in a soft bag, they always stow much easier than big the bulky hard suitcases which take up the far-too-much room. I like this Herschel Supply Co. bag, which comes in a bunch of colors and is polyester so it’s easy to clean and won’t be easily damaged by salt water. Duffle bags like these are an excellent option as they are big, but can be stored under your bed.
- Motion sickness medication. If you tend to get seasick, these products are a must for any ferry rides that will be undertaken during the trip.
Croatia Packing List: Active Holidays
It’s not all beaches – here in Croatia, we have brilliant bike and hiking routes. We also have eight spectacular national parks, with two sets of giant waterfalls to see. Whatever your preference, pack a few items such as comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight fleece to enable you to explore.
- Hiking boots with a good sole
- A range of active wear
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Good socks. Lots of socks
- Lightweight fleece
- Wind protection. Often forgotten off a packing list but, you may get caught in some so, pack at least one pullover
- A pashmina is also a superb idea if things get chilly. I used mine as a blanket on the bus and plane.
Croatia Packing List: Bags & Suitcases
Now that your wardrobe is ready to go for your summer vacation in Croatia, what do you pack it all up in? Try this lightweight suitcase from Rimowa – it’s chic, durable and light enough to push with a finger. I love that it’s a full 29 inches but weighs in at about seven pounds -leaving ample space and weight to stock up on souvenirs at your destination!
A small daypack is also necessary to carry your water bottle, layers, and camera if you plan to be out and about all day. You don’t need an expensive one – a durable, lightweight travel backpack like this is less than a meal, or you could lash out and get this comfy and good looking daypack.
Packing For Croatia: Pack Your Electronics
Cameras and equipment. If you are using a digital camera, you may want to bring along a spare memory card or two, and an adapter. Visitors to Croatia may also want to invest in polarizing filters because these items will keep the strong sunlight from spoiling your shots.
- Electrical Adaptors – find one that works in lots of countries so you can reuse it. We own this one. Tip: Croatia uses 220V/50 Hz frequency.
- GoPro, selfie stick, plus pack your regular camera – we use this lightweight (and light on the budget) camera from Olympus.
- Also, what about an underwater camera like this one, for less than $20?
- Memory cards. With so many photo ops here in Croatia, you may even need two.
What do you do for mobile internet when you travel? Can you get a good WiFi signal while visiting Croatia?
Is it just me who hates being unplugged while on vacation? I want to share holiday snaps on Instagram – look here it’s me come say hi. I also like to look up ferry times and restaurant reviews as I go – carrying about a massive guidebook is not my style. So, I always use my roaming mobile internet and end up with huge phone bills or I try to connect to free WiFi when I travel, which as you know is not always easy to find. So, if like me you can’t live without WiFi on vacation, consider getting WiFi Network Adapter to help boost any WiFi signal, or you could hire one of these really cheaply while in Croatia and never miss a connection.
Don’t Forget to Pack The Essentials
I am not about to tell you to pack undies, bras or toothpaste, but, because toiletries are one area where you can save a lot of room, I suggest you purchase an inexpensive hanging toiletry bag and pack in just the basics – in travel size.
Don’t get carried away. While making your packing list for Croatia remember these bonuses for packing light.
- You’ll save money on expensive airline excess baggage charges
- You’ll save time packing and unpacking at each stop
- There will be less luggage to carry up and down stairs and across cobblestone walkways
Packing the Not-So-Essential
Hardly a must-bring, but you may want to think about some of these:
- Reading materials. Guidebooks like these on Croatia are especially good because one can research their next destination during their downtime sitting on the beach or waiting for the next ferry. If reading doesn’t sound appealing, be sure to bring along a deck of cards or other items to keep yourself entertained.
- Snorkeling gear. There are a number of places to go snorkeling along the coast, so bring your best fins and masks if you already have a set.
- Portable safe. If you plan to bring all cash – and even if you are not (let’s be honest it never hurts to have a small stash of money in case of emergencies) you may want to think about a portable safe. A safe place to stash your Kuna is a good idea.
- Beach chairs or towels. The rocky beaches and wooden docks found along the coast don’t often have lounge chairs available. So if you desire a cushiony place to sit and are coming by car from nearby locations, make room in your vehicle for beach chairs. If you have to deal with a budget airline and have limited suitcase space, you will still want to squeeze a good-sized travel or your fave fluffy towel in your bag as the ones we have here are thin and meh.
Do you now feel ready to pack for your Vacation in Croatia? What did we miss from this packing list for Croatia? Let us know below.
We want you to know: If you click on a product link and order any of these chic items, at no extra cost to you, a small commission is paid to us, which helps pay for the ongoing management of Chasing the Donkey. Kristin the girl at Souvenir Finder, a website dedicated to telling the story of a destination through its local shops, souvenirs, artisans and crazy pop culture trends helped us choose some of these excellent pieces
Need Packing & Travel Gear Help?
We’ve written packing lists & guides about:
- What to Pack For Sailing Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Help You Pack Light
- Gift Guide For the Traveler in Your Life
- What to Pack For A Beach Trip With Kids
- What to Wear on Long Haul or Overnight Flight
- Best Travel Shoes For All Occasions
- How to Find the Best Travel Wallet
Want Ideas For Things To Do In Croatia?
Are you traveling to Croatia? Great, we’ve got a stack of suggestion – here are just a few:
- A Massive List of Things to do in Croatia
- Top Croatia Travel Guides & Books
- The Ultimate Guide to Croatia
- Best Things to do with Kids in Croatia
- Car Rental Tips and Deals
- See Which Croatia Tours we Recommend