Croatia Holiday Essentials 2024

Oh, what a time of year! The countdown to your long-awaited summer holiday is ON with only a few weeks – or maybe even a few days – left to go. You’ve packed your swimming costumes, shorts, summer dresses and sandals (and probably some other things that don’t begin with the letter S), re-read your airline’s baggage allowance three times and checked if your passport is where it normally is ten times. But what have you forgotten…? Here, I’m going to round up some Croatia holiday essentials to help make your holiday the best one ever!

Croatia Holiday Essentials 2024

Croatia Holiday Essentials – Before you go


Firstly, make sure to check your passport…and I don’t mean “check where it is”! If you’re a Brit, since the country left the EU, some passports have fallen foul of EU passport rules meaning some travellers were denied boarding their holiday flights.

In a nutshell, your passport needs to have been issued within the last ten years. And for Brits and ALL non-EU travellers, your passport needs to have three months left on it after your departure from Croatia.

I explain it all here: UK Passport Requirements for Croatia.

Travel insurance and EHIC/GHIC

There’s no two ways about it – you must get travel insurance. If you don’t already have travel insurance (perhaps on an annual policy, or via your bank, for example), get it now. Like, right now. It’s a small cost to help cover anything that might go wrong, be it travel delays, illness or (unlikely) an accident.

And if you’re travelling from Europe or the UK, you definitely need to obtain a GHIC card prior to your travels as well. A GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) replaces the previous EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) – in some cases, you may still have a valid GHIC card which you can use until it expires.

The GHIC card can be used to obtain free medical care on the same basis as being at home in the UK. It’s an invaluable little thing – really, just present it at the doctors or hospital when you’re there and you’ll get treatment for free.


Obtaining money for Croatia is of course super easy these days, with the country now having the Euro as its currency. Whilst you can buy some Euros before you go from your favourite money exchange place (be it a bank, the Post Office, or M&S…or Uncle Dave who’s got some notes leftover from his holiday to Malaga) I believe it’s easiest to just use your own bank card.

Check with your bank before you go about exchange rates, or possibly even consider getting a special travel bank or debit card for use abroad.

Mobile Phone Usage

Check before you travel about your home network’s travel allowance for the EU. You may find that it’s included in your current deal.

Alternatively, you may find you have to buy a top-up or a special pack for a small price. My tip – buy it before you go so you don’t have to faff around with finding wifi when you land to try and buy it then.

Or, consider getting a sim in Croatia! (See below.)

Croatia Holiday Essentials for when you arrive


First things first, head to the ATM at the airport to withdraw some Euros!

Sim Cards in Croatia

If you prefer to get a local SIM card to use in your phone rather than using your home network, that’s certainly possible.

The three main mobile networks in Croatia all offer SIM cards for “tourists”:


They are all established companies and their prices are similar. The sim cards are available from newsstands and supermarkets, so your choice of what to get may depend on what you can find.

Croatia Holiday Essentials for the Beach

Have you seen the beaches in Croatia? My word, aren’t they stunning? But, for the most part, they’re pebble beaches – and whilst that means the sea water is stunningly clear, it can make for hurt feet when walking on the beach and in and out of the water.

That’s where beach shoes are essential. Try the Bravover Water Shoes (from £8.66) which come in a range of colours and sizes for adults and older children. Flexible and comfortable, they’re also quick drying so they will dry out in the sun before you know, ready for your next beach adventure.


If you can’t find suitable beach shoes for younger kids, perhaps just stick to their regular sandals (providing their waterproof enough) or flip flops or Crocs. Just watch out for shoes floating away! (Although with the calm Adriatic, that’s not too much of a problem.)

Croatia Holiday Essentials for the Heat

It’s hot in Europe. Like, really hot. As I write today it’s 30C/86F in both Split and Dubrovnik. So you’ll need plenty of items to cope with the heat.

Sun Cream and a hat

Sun cream is an absolute must. You will likely already have your own favourite brand, but Boots Soltan can’t be beaten for value and quality (all of their items offer 5* UVA protection). The kids’ sun cream that is part of their range is top notch too and they have different bottles with different applicators – meaning they come as a cream, a spray or a roll-on. The last one is sold in a mini size which is great to pop in your bag for a day by the pool or on the beach. And older ones can also use it to apply sun cream themselves.

Don’t forget to pack your favourite hat!

Portable fan

Gone are the days when a fan for the heat would mean some giant clunky thing that sits in the corner of your hotel room, pushing hot air around. These days, you can carry a fan in your hand! Like the Rafada Handheld Fan (£14.99) which also has its own base – so you can set it down on a table – and comes with a lanyard to be worn around your neck. Best of all, it’s rechargeable via a USB cable so you won’t have to carry a vat of batteries with you.


Croatia Holiday Essentials for the Little Ones

Many beaches in Croatia now offer beach furniture rental – sun loungers or chairs, sun umbrellas and similar. Many beaches are also located next to a small forest, usually of pine trees, which offer some shade.

Pop Up Tent

But for very little ones, keeping them cool is highly important, and you’ll need as much shade as you can. That’s why something like the Active Era Pop Up Beach Tent (£28.99) is a must to protect babies and toddlers from UVA and UVB rays. The design also allows for air to flow through the tent, so no overheating either!


Portable High Chair

The availability of high chairs was something I found a bit hit-and-miss for babies in restaurants in Croatia. Family hotels of course have them – usually quite nice ones – but restaurants not so much. So something ultra-portable that you can take with you like Munchkin Baby Seat (£34.99) is a great solution. This one is super light and folds down to become a bag of sorts, so you can easily sling it over your shoulder or in the bottom of your pram.


Croatia Holiday Essentials for the Not-So-Little Ones

Pool Toys

The last hotel-based family holiday in Croatia I went on (you can read about it here: Visit Croatia Review: Amadria Park Resort) had an amusing area in its stairwell that was literally (and I am using literally correctly here) full to the brim of water inflatables of every size, design and colour.

I’m totally late to the game with inflatables – who knew they were so trendy and a must for kids and adults on every summer holiday these days?

I mean, you could go for your regular lilo, but these days the bolder and more fabulous the design the better. Kids can’t help but go for unicorns, which is why this JOYIN Inflatable Unicorn Pool Float (£16.99). I mean, it’s glittery too!


A ring is always fun, and you know what’s even more fun? One that’s designed to look like a giant donut! Very much like this one – Bestway Inflatable Donut Lounger Tube (£7.49).


If you have water babies who jump in the pool at 9.01am and climb out at 5.59pm each day, you’ll need to get them some diving pool toys for swimming practice. This Skillmatics Seek & Splash Diving Gem Toys (£17.99) is for ages 6 and up and helps with maths whilst they’re diving to the bottom of the pool. As nonsensical as that sentence seems, it really does! The bunch of waterproof game cards offers challenges to collect particular numbers from the bottom of the pool.


Oh and goggles are also a must. Zoggs is a great brand for all sorts of water-based toys for kids, so their goggles are good quality, fit comfortably and offer UV protection. They also come in all sorts of fun colours, and I know your children will love picking the colour they like best! Zoggs Children’s Panorama Junior Swimming Goggles (£12) Top tip – as soon as you get these, into the suitcase they go. Because goggles are always being forgotten at home, aren’t they?