One of my biggest dreams came true a few weeks ago - my entire family (All 8 of us) went on a sailing trip! We set sail around the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia, for two weeks of adventure (and mischief). It was the most amazing experience and even if you don't go sailing there is still plenty to do. Here are my top tips to get the most out of your adventure in Croatia!
1. Stay local
We stayed in the old town of Split for the first two nights and it was incredible. There is something very special about being woken up by the singing of the fishermen setting up their fish markets in the morning and watching the town come to life as the sun rose and shone through our apartment's balcony doors. I would recommend looking on Airbnb as there are so many options available for really good prices.
2. Explore the islands
If you are likely to become seasick and are staying on land, then I would suggest exploring as much of the island as possible. The architecture and small cobbled streets are filled with the most incredible and quirky cafes, boutiques and restaurants. If you are setting sail, then I would suggest stopping and exploring as many islands as possible. We discovered the most picturesque bays and nature reserves, where you could drop anchor and jump into crystal clear water with the most colourful fish swimming around you. You can either take the boat across (or swim as we did sometimes) to land. It gave me such a sense of simplicity and really forces you to relax and take in the surroundings.
3. Know before you go (places/restaurants)
Although we all have a love/hate relationship with TripAdvisor I would suggest using this to check out the best restaurants in town. Some of the main islands have a huge variety to choose from, but on the whole the quality and prices of food are amazing.
4. Technology break
Unless you really need to stay on top of work emails, use your time wisely. I had certain hours allocated for work per day and the rest of the time I disconnected. Unless you are using your phone for pictures, put it away and enjoy being in the moment. You owe it to yourself.
5. The right footwear
My mom made sure (against many of our 'fashion objections') that we all have a pair of beach shoes. This saved our holiday! When you are jumping off a boat to explore a new island for the day and walking over reef to get there, the last thing you want to do is injure yourself. I of course had my UB Cadillac Drive Flip Flops too for when I wanted to for when I wanted to slip on something a bit more airy! Don't forget to also have a good pari of walking shoes too - there are plenty of vineyards, ruins and cobbled streets to explore.
6. Protect your skin
When you travel to a hot country you want to enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine, at the beach or just having a coffee at one of the many beautiful cafes along the water. Factor 50 is a must. Apply it to your whole body before first thing in the morning and reapply if you are swimming and exploring islands.
7. Waterproof your devices
You will want to take pictures of EVERYTHING! Being on a yacht (and having to deal with one or two interesting crossings) I can't recommend keeping your phone in a waterproof pouch enough. I used the 5L Dry Bag Pouch for keeping my things safe on crossing. GoPros are of course the go to when it comes to capturing water based shots, but sometimes it is easier to access the pictures on your phone when you want. So make sure you don't get caught out!
8. Don't over pack
Luckily we had to limit our luggage allowance, due to an issue of space on the yacht. I packed a hand luggage sized bag and it was still too much. The majority of my holiday attire was my amazing Urban Beach Signature Range which is honestly what I lived in every day. You WILL wear the same clothes again and again (don't be afraid of outfit repeating), but that is only when going ashore. Otherwise, you will be in swimwear 24/7.