I literally spent a total of 37 hours planning our Croatia travel experience. Once S and I figured out where we wanted to go, it was constantly searching and researching on good flight deals and hotels. We spent hours on different travel sites looking at different deals and seeing if it was better to book a flight with a hotel bundle or book a flight and opt for an AirBnB instead. Personally we love both the Airbnb and the hotel lifestyle, it just depends on what’s available and what we are looking for in that particular vacation. Within that 37 hours, we had to decide if we wanted to do a yacht tour in Croatia, and if so, what the price difference that would be or if we just wanted to do a mini-cruise in Croatia and use an Airbnb just for a couple days. It was stressful but I was hyper-focused (I get like that when we plan trips)…And those 37 hours didn’t even feel that long.
So 37 hours later…
We found a good deal on a flight and had several Airbnb options [here’s our invite link if you haven’t joined AirBnB yet]. Note: this is an affiliate link. In those 37 hours, we had several options:
Book a flight with a hotel bundled…OR
Book a flight and opt for an AirBnB instead…OR
Book a pre-planned tour-type trip where transportation, some food, and hotel are provided for in the total vacation package price…OR
- scratch all of that and just do a yacht tour – super expensive!
We ended up finding a good/great deal on a flight with several AirBnB options, so we opted for the old fashioned DIY for our Croatia travel journey. Here’s what we did when we started planning our DIY trip to Croatia.
Croatia Travel Tip #1: First, decide on where to go.
What’s the weather like during the time you want to travel? Is it rainy season there? Thailand during rainy season might not be so fun, but you do get discounted rates due to the fact that it is low season.
How much will it cost? We threw out options like the Maldives, African safari, and Dubai (to name a few) because of the cost. We didn’t want to spend $10,000 on a trip, let alone $5,000, so those were not an option.
What’s the cheapest airfare? To be honest, the best way to plan for people who have flexible schedules is to book the cheapest flight you can find (look for deals on Airfare Watchdog, Slickdeals, or Travelzoo), and then find a hotel or AirBnB afterwards. Since we knew we wanted to go in July due to our respective jobs (we still work full time), we didn’t have that option of FIRST booking airfare during a flash sale
We found that Croatia is best traveled during the summer months of June, July and August, and if you really want to see the famous Blue Caves, you would have to see them around that time because the entrance to the caves is so tiny, any amount of waves can obstruct entrance. Even during the tourist months of July and August, Croatia isn’t as crowded as Western Europe, and the water is warm enough to swim in – which is ultimately the reason why it’s best to go to Croatia in June, July or August.
Croatia Travel Tip #2: Get creative and price out options.
As you can see, we had several different itineraries. There were so many options, we ended up pricing out each and every potential option to see what gave us the most bang for our buck. It takes some time to figure it out, but once you have a general idea of flight options and pricing, the rest is easy to follow.
Croatia Travel Tip #3: Pin, bookmark, or save any fun things you’d like to see while you price out options.
Croatia Travel Tip #4: Even if you’re not a planner, plan for SOME things
Croatia Travel Tip #5: Follow the “pick three” rule.
The point of traveling is to create moments and enjoy them at your own pace, not to see as many things as possible without truly embracing its meaning and cultural significance.