Croatia family vacations travel advice

Croatia family vacations travel advice


TRIP TIPS

Activity tips


Xania Wear of Wear Active, one of our sea kayaking suppliers in Croatia: “Sea kayaking is great for families because it’s inclusive for everyone. We have double and single kayaks, which means that younger paddlers can sit in front of the kayak and take occasional breaks while parents do a bit more of the work. Everyone therefore has a chance to close to nature... then you need to decide if you want to kayak for mileage or if you want to a slower pace to explore Croatia's amazing coastline.”
Vanja Kelemen, Huck Finn Adventure Travel in Croatia: “We always make sure there is a great mix of activities so a daily itinerary usually includes some hiking, cycling and sightseeing. The Adriatic Sea is warm and perfect for swimming and snorkelling too. Our trips are a week long, which gives complete beginners enough time to get used to their kayak and develop kayaking skills. We use single and double kayaks so kids can make sure their parents know what they are doing and keep them from capsising.”
Maria Budimir-Bekan from our supplier Green World Vacations is expert on family activity vacations, especially around the Cetina River: “On this vacation we never cycle for more than 35-40 minutes in one go. There are lots of stops at the river, with time to jump in and refresh yourself, because it is not just about cycling all day, it is about using bikes to explore inland… Mums are usually worried and have lots of questions, and sometimes they need to be encouraged to say yes to canyoning. Because it is the most challenging activity of the week, but the most rewarding one at the same time.”

Itinerary tips


Tomi Coric of Viator Travel: “Some people think that they can visit everything in seven days. But you can't see it all in one trip, especially with kids. It is much better to concentrate on a small area, and not try to do too much. Lopud Island has nice sandy beaches, no cars on the island and is an excellent place for the families and Sipan Island is also very nice, with beaches, hiking and biking.”
Ana Vujakovic from our Croatian supplier, Huck Finn Adventure Travel: “One of the national parks we recommend the most is Velebit National Park – interesting for its biodiversity and untouched nature as well as having no crowds.”

Small ship cruising advice


Powell Ettinger, Director of our leading Croatia small ship cruising vacations supplier, The Small Cruise Ship Collection, shares his top tips for small ship cruising vacations in Croatia: “For families, small ship cruises are great because you only unpack once, and yet you still get to explore different places. But of course, these boats aren’t adapted to have things like kids clubs and that kind of thing. The kids clubs are getting off the boat, exploring and seeing what’s out there… There are age restrictions with some boat operators, however, so we always check that…You don't need to bring too much, the cruises are informal and the weather means that lightweight clothing is all that is required. There are plenty of shops and even supermarkets en route, so you can pick up anything you forget or need as you go, often for much less than in the UK.”

Inland tips


Maria Budimir-Bekan from our supplier Green World Vacations is from Trilj, on the Cetina River. She knows all about Croatia’s inland idylls: “The sun is strong here in summer, and so spending time around the river water, still with a really good temperature, around 20°C, is the perfect combination. So, children can enjoy the adventure and still relax afterwards, and they really like that. I enjoy my work because I can see that everyone really enjoys this balance.”

Health & safety


Travel safely WITH YOUR FAMILY IN CROATIA

Health


  • It gets seriously hot in summer, so stay hydrated and wear a hat. The wind is deceptive on the coast and some don’t realise how hot they are getting. Hydration backpacks are great, especially for children as they usually make them drink more than they would otherwise. Tap water is top quality in Croatia, and in many national parks you can drink neat spring water direct from source – but always check with your guide first.
  • A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will allow you to access Croatian public healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free. But always take out comprehensive travel insurance as well, and ensure that it covers all activities you may be participating in.
  • If you are hiking, look out for ticks. Especially in all those private areas, which you will see best in the shower. Carry tweezers so you can remove carefully, apply a deterrent and then antiseptic cream afterwards. See the NHS site for more details. There is also a method whereby you rub around the tick with a damp cotton bud. Just do a search for a video on this. Gross but good.
  • Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Croatia, so avoid touching animals.

Safety


  • If you are sea kayaking or sailing, always wear a buoyancy aid and ensure it is fastened properly. Especially with children, who can slip out of them easily. A responsible vacation company will do stringent checks on your jackets before going out to sea.
  • It is important to really listen to safety briefings from your activity instructors as they really know what’s what when it comes to Croatian terrain and weather conditions. Same goes for your skipper if you are going on a small ship cruise vacation around the islands.
  • There are a few remote areas that still have suspected land mines in them after the 1990s wars. They aren’t in tourist areas, but just be wary if you decide to go off the beaten path. And if you see a sign, obey it.
  • The Croatian coasts can be very rocky, so rubber shoes are a must, and carry antiseptic spray and plasters to the beach, as cuts do happen.

CROATIA FAMILY HOLIDAYS TRAVEL ADVICE


TIPS FROM OUR TRAVELLERS

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Croatia family vacation travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation.
“Our 11 year old son and 13 year old daughter benefited from the experience, not only because of enjoying and feeling challenged by the activities but also because of the place itself being so easy to navigate. They could enjoy a bit of vacation freedom without worry or feeling overly supervised by us, the parents... The tour organizers and guides were exceptional, in fact. Some of the best we've had after decades of guided tours around the world. Visit Sutivan. It's a world away and pristine. Absolutely charming.” – Jeneva Patterson on a family adventure vacation

“Water shoes are a must. It’s hot – sun cream. You don’t need a lot of clothes, It’s quite relaxed setup and no need to dress up...The most exciting part? Out of the activities it would be cycling, but in general it would be all the lovely people we’ve met.” – Chris Calvert on a family adventure vacation

“Ask questions before you book the vacation, some parents were not moderately fit and couldn’t keep up with their kids.” – Janice Allard on an activity vacation with teenagers

“Make sure that you take a day or two off to recover afterwards! The vacation is fantastic mix of activities followed by fun in the evening though it may require a bit of R&R afterwards.” – Clayton Black on a water sports vacation

“Matko and his team are very relaxed and happy for you to do whatever you want. You can use their help or explore alone. They are very good at judging how much you want or need them to be helping or accompanying you. Don't be shy to just say what you want even if it is to be alone or veg out on the beach. You don't have to rock climb a mountain and then freedive to 50 metres, every day!” – Mathew Blumler on an activity vacation on Vis

“Don't worry about fitness level or ability. They will tailor each activity to suit everyone’s needs and help those who need it. Take several waterproof disposable cameras, There is so much to photograph. Be prepared to have lots of fun and laughs and make good friends... every day was memorable and exciting.” – Richard Hall
Photo credits: [Activity tips - Xania wear: Benjamin Hollis] [Activity tips - Maria Budimir-Bekan: Andy Powell] [Itinerary tips - Ana Vujakovic: rom@nski photo] [Inland tips - Maria Budimir-Bekan: Nikolaj Potanin ] [Review 1 - Bridget Smith: Martyn Kilbryde] [Review 2 - Hannah Whibley: Matt Zimmerman]
Written by Catherine Mack
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