Packing for Croatia with kids in Summer

Curious and Geeks
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If you are here, it means you are considering a trip to Croatia with your family. That’s great! Croatia is truly amazing.

I’m often worried about forgetting something the kids might need so I tend to pack a little extra that we end up not using!!

I have listed below everything we took, we bought or we forgot for our recent road trip in Croatia. The trip lasted 11 days and we flew on a budget airlines so only had one 23 kilos suitcase allowance.
I hope this packing for Croatia list will be useful for you.

I – Clothes 

  • Three outfits for each one of us: I made sure we had a washing machine in most apartments and washed the clothes every three days. The outfits consisted of shorts and tops for the boys, and short/skirts/dresses and tops for the girls.
  • Pyjamas: I took two sets for the kids to avoid any night accident – luckily none this year!
  • Coats: All of us had one coat, my husband and I ended up never wearing ours – but the kids use theirs two times during the 11 days. The first time was at our arrival in Zagreb, it was 11pm and a bit chilly and the second time was two days later when we went to Plitvice at 7am. They only had it for less than an hour.
  • Raincut jackets for the kids: We bought these for our trip to Iceland but they were really handy in Croatia as well. It rained a lot during our visit to Krka and thanks to the jackets the kids were fine walking under the rain. We are definitely going to buy some for ourselves. Here is the version we have, we are really happy with it, as the jacket is really waterproof, very light and easy to carry.
  • 4 pairs of underwear and socks.
  • Caps/hats: These are mandatory for the kids but for adults too. 
  • One warmer outfit: I packed a jean and a long sleeve top for each of us but we never wore them! The coats would have been enough.
  • A spare bag: I packed one of the outfit, our swimming costumes, one pair of underwear in a handbag in case our suitcase got stuck in the connection flight. For once, I was right, our suitcase only reached Zagreb one day later.
Instead of our warmer outfit, we should have packed a nicer outfit for dinner, as people tend to dress up a bit more at night. Nothing too fancy though.

II – Swimming

  • One towel each
  • One swimming armband for my daughter
  • Watershoes for each one of us: We bought our daughter’s ones in London, but got the three others in Croatia. The prices vary between 50 to 70 kunas – although we saw some at 170 kuna in Lokrum. They are vital for the beaches and Krka. The rocks can be very slippery and peebles not always comfortable.
  • Snorkeling kit: you can always buy this once in Croatia but you don’t want to miss out on all the fishes you can admire in the Adriatic sea. Check this post if you are looking for full face snorkel masks suggestions.
  • Beach bag: We took a bag that was dedicated to the beach and could carry all the wet towels, watershoes…

III – Trail – Hiking

  • Pair of trainers: We all had one pair of trainers we were used to and comfortable with. I didn’t feel that we lacking proper hiking shoes.
  • Bag: We had a bag where we could store water bottles outside easily to avoid having to open it every now and then. It was also used for picnics, snacks.
  • Baby-carrier: My daughter still fits in the baby carrier (up to 20 kilos) that I had for when my kids were babies. We took it because we knew she couldn’t handle the 6 hours trail in Plitvice. That was the only time I used it though. 
  • Water bottles: There are a lot of water fountains across Croatia, you can refill your bottle with fresh water.

IV – First aid, sun protection, toilet bag

  • A firt aid kit: Came in handy as we all fell at some point: My husband bumped his knee into a rock while swimming in Krka, my daughter tripped in the beach, my son in a playground and I fell twice in the water (with my clothes on …)
  • Paracetamol and Calpol for kids
  • Tweezers: I got a splinter of my finger when I fell down…
  • Mosquitoes repellent: We had one but I was too lazy to use it, ended up with more than 25 bites (I’m often the human shield) and some were pretty nasty. My daughter came second with four bites, and the boys with two! 
  • Sun cream: I forgot to put some when we were visiting old towns and ended up with a weird tan on my shoulders… You want to consider a high protection for the kids and yourself, as it is really hot in Croatia and some walks (the city walls in Dubrovnik, Kotor’s fortress) do have limited options to hide from the sun.
  • Anti Venom Syringe: We had one in our first aid kit. Never got to use it but we came across some snakes, so better be careful than sorry I guess. The black one came really close to us, less than two meters away, while we were swimming in Kravica.
  • Toilet bag: deodorants, shampoos, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, make up…
I didn’t take any travel sickness medication, but it is worth mentionning that my son was sick more than once. There were quite a few mountain roads with a lot of curves so do take some if you need.

V – Leisure

  • Tablets: Both my kids wanted to take their tablets. They used them mostly on the plane and on the ferry.
  • Nintendo Switch: My son played a bit on the plane but then was too sick on the car to play with it. So didn’t use more than a couple of hours top.
  • Board games: We brought a Uno and a Times up that we played a bit on the apartments on the evenings.
  • Toys: I always ask my kids to pack two toys each, just in case they miss home. My daughter packed a teddy and a make up case, and she played with them a lot. 
  • Camera: You don’ want to miss out on the stunning views.
  • Phones.
  • Books: We took two books to read with the kids at night time.
  • Chargers for phones, cameras, tablets.
  • We regret not having waterproof cases for our phones. It would have been great for Krka and Kravica to take pictures while swimming.
  • You can also buy a prepaid sim card in Croatia to pay parking lots with, by sending a text message. We have not tried it but the options was available in a lot of cities.
  • Finally, be careful with the Mobile data options particularly in BiH and Montenegro. They are not part of the Europe free roaming zone!!

VI – Cash and Cards

  • Credit/debit card: We used a revolut mastercard to avoid exchange fees. It came out really handy as we manage to spare almost 20 pounds each time we withdraw cash. 
  • Cash: We never have cash with us, and it was a real issue in Croatia/Bosnia as some apartments/attractions/restaurants only took cash. We had to remember withdrawing money every now and then. 
  • Coins: You are going to need these to pay the parking so keep some on the car.
  • Euros: In Bosnia, you can pay almost everything in Euros. We paid Kravica waterfalls in Euros, the apartments in Euros, the supermarket and even some local fruit sellers in Euros. It might be easier that withdrawing some marks and getting confused between all the exchange rates. They usually use 1 mark = 0.5 euro.

VII – Kitchen, snacks

  • Snacks: We only brought snacks for the plane. We were able to find similar snakcs and biscuits in the supermarkets (not the same brands but the taste was close enough).
  • Ice blocks: We brought three ice blocks to be able to keep the food fresh during the day. We could have use a cool block too.
  • Water: We drunk tap water everywhere, in Croatia, BiH and Montenegro with no issue.
  • Click and seal snack bags
  • Sealing bag clips: We used those for the pack of crisps, cereals…
I forgot to pack a kitchen knife to spread the chocolate, tuna, cut the bread on the road. We bought one in Croatia on our first day. Other than the knife we didnt need any other ustensile, as the apartments usually had equiped kitchens.

VIII – What we bought in Croatia

  • Plastic box: We bought one box in Croatia, to put in the fresh fruits bought in the market. The figs were to die for but had to go on the box to avoid being squeezed.
  • A kitchen knike
  • Watershoes for 50 kunas each
  • Food for picnics, breakfasts and dinners: There are tons of supermarkets and bakeries. We found it quite easy to shop for food even with really picky children.
  • Fresh fruits: The prices vary a lot between cities but are pretty reasonable in comparison to prices in the UK. 1 kilo of figs costs between 10 to 35 kunas. A box of strawberries/raspberries/blackberries costs around 10 kunas.
  • Bread and pizzas on the go: You can buy a slice of pizza in almost every bakery for 13 to 15 kunas. A baguette is around 5 kunas.

That’s it for our packing for Croatia! But don’t stress too much about forgetting something. You can buy everything you need in big cities. Zadar, Split, Zagreb… have gigantic shopping malls you can easily reach if you have a car.

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