Last Updated on August 17, 2023 by Eve Dawes
10 rookie mistakes to avoid in Croatia & what you need to do instead!
What not to do in Croatia and what you really need to avoid doing! The top things to do in Croatia posts are everywhere but if we’d read what not to do and what to avoid first it would have been a lot more of a pleasant trip. Some things are unavoidable, e.g. July was the only time we could go and there were certain things we definitely wanted to do. However, there would have been much better ways of doing them if we’d followed these Croatia travel tips for what to do in Dubrovnik and Split Croatia and more specifically what you should avoid in Croatia.
Top 10 Croatia travel tips | 10 things not to do in Croatia
If you want to keep your sanity in tact, avoid these 10 common mistakes when traveling to and visiting Croatia:
- Don’t go during the school holidays.
- Don’t book a hotel without a pool during the Summer.
- Don’t book a hotel without AC.
- Avoid leather and metal watch straps.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
- Avoid walking tours in the afternoon.
- Don’t try to wear heels.
- Avoid colors that show sweat.
- Don’t leave restaurant reservations until the last minute.
- Don’t forget to pack medical supplies.
1. Don’t go to Croatia during the school holidays
What should I avoid in Croatia? Unless you love crowds and long lines avoid the school holidays. We went in July as we were tagging it onto a trip to England and it was so over crowded. Honestly, it made it miserable. Instead, try to go either in Spring or at the end of Summer, before or after the schools get out. If you go to early or late in the season, you run the risk of a lot of places being closed.
Tours to popular places on the what to do in Dubrovnik and Split Croatia lists get especially busy during the school holidays e.g. Krka National Park. Even though we went on a small tour with a maximum of 12 people you can’t avoid the crowds at the park.
It made it so slow to get around and you had to wait for about 30 minutes to catch a quick glimpse of the waterfall and take a photo before letting the next hoard of people in.
It’ll also be more expensive and make getting hotel and restaurant reservations harder. You also run the risk of being there during a heatwave like we were. Which not only makes it miserably uncomfortable trying to do anything but is dangerous. There’s even medical stations on the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town as it can get dangerously hot up there and people get sick.
2. Croatia travel tip: Don’t book a hotel without a pool during the Summer
We didn’t think we’d need a hotel pool as we’d planned on doing so much during our time in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Wow, did we regret that choice! Much of Europe was experiencing a heatwave and it hit Croatia hard.
Making it too hot to walk around during the day but we had no hotel pool to go back to so just ended up chilling in the AC in our hotel room. Thankfully, we’d booked a hotel with a pool in Split. Alternatively, find a beach front hotel or book a boat tour so you can cool off in the water.
3. Don’t book a hotel in Croatia without AC
Elaborating on the things to make sure your hotel has in Croatia is AC. Sometimes we as Americans take it for granted but a lot of the older buildings in Europe are still without it or it’s antiquated even in the 5 star hotels. So definitely make sure yours has it!
4. Avoid wearing leather and metal watch straps in the Summer
Leather will make you sweat and metal can get so hot that it burns so look for either material or rubber straps or avoid wearing them. Most of us always have a phone on us and there are enough church towers to check the time on to. After all, you’re on vacation. How much do you really need to clock watch!
5. Croatia travel tip | Sun protection
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen, wear a hat and stay hydrated. The heat index was over 100* while we were there along with it being really humid. If you’re planning on sightseeing in Croatia which is the reason most of us go don’t forget the basics.
As well as to keep applying sunscreen throughout the day and to wear a hat whenever possible. As well as to stay hydrated, especially if you’re day drinking like we tend to do on holiday.
6. Avoid walking tours in the afternoon
Afternoon tours are great most of the year but I’d recommend avoiding them from June through August unless you want heat stroke, to get burned or to end up as a puddle.
Instead try to book morning tours, boat tours or get out and explore smaller towns either in the early morning or early evening.
7. Don’t try to wear heels
Avoid heels around the Old Town’s as the streets tend to be either cobbled, uneven or have a lot of steps. I saw a very women looking very unstable trying. As well as a lot of plastered (bandaid) feet as the sweat from the intense summer heat combined with miles of walking causes friction blisters.
So leave your stilettos and even kitten heels at home. Even wedges are likely to make you twist an ankle. Stick to stylish flats for a much more comfortable vacation.
8. Avoid colors that show sweat
We sweated buckets during our entire Croatia trip. It was so hot and humid in July that we were just puddles most of the time. Light grey’s probably the worst for showing sweat. Leave the cap sleeve black tees at home too and try to stick to light colors and lightweight fabrics to stay as cool as physically possible and don’t forget a hat and deodorant!
9. Don’t leave restaurant reservations until the last minute
Don’t leave your restaurant reservations until the last minute. Especially if there’s somewhere in particular that you want to eat at or somewhere with a view that you have your eye on. Places like Panorama Restaurant in Dubrovnik book up way in advance so book as far ahead as possible.
10. Croatia travel tips | Don’t forget to pack medical supplies
Yes, there are pharmacies all over Croatia but if you get sick, injured or food poisoning like I did in the middle of the night everywhere’s going to be shut. So make sure you have the basics as well as any local emergency numbers you might need.