Travelling with small children. A lot of parents won’t even utter the words, let alone go to another country. But I say, bring it on babies (cheesy pun intended)! I love seeing the world and I want to share that with my kiddos.
So last September (2016), my husband and I took the month off and took Olivia and Liam to Croatia for 2 weeks. I didn’t know much about Croatia except for what I’d seen on IG. And now that I’ve been, I can tell you firsthand, even the most stunning photos do not do it justice.
Before we set out, I did a little research at The Telegraph Destinations for some travel tidbits and to read up on why Croatia is a must visit destination. During our 2 week vacation in Croatia, we visited 3 cities: Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. I can easily cover each city in individual posts but for now, I really want to gush over my favorites of the trip in its entirety. So get ready to add Croatia to your wanderlust list!
The Adriatic Sea is amazing! It’s a pebble beach which I thought would be for lack of a better word, annoying. Having to shlep water shoes and maneuvering to get in the water, but it really wasn’t bad. Yes, in hindsight water shoes could have been useful but I managed without. I did bring for Olivia (Liam wasn’t walking yet). Once you navigate the beach, that water is perfection (better than Mexico, Thailand and Australia). September is the absolute right time to plan your visit because after the Summer, the water is nice and warm (super refreshing).
Croatia is surrounded by water so naturally the restaurants mainly serve seafood (minimal meat options). But when we asked our Croatian skipper on a boat excursion what the locals love to eat, he said their favourite seafood is “a lamb that swims” (funny!). Needless to say the seafood and shellfish was out of this world because you can’t beat water to table! They also have this side dish of swiss chard and potatoes sauteed in garlic that was heavenly. So much so, I had to make it at home (recipe). And while watching the sunset, my hubby and I really enjoyed this delicious cherry liqueur over ice. Best part of travel is eating and drinking new and super delicious things, right?!
We also learned about Croatia’s sobering history. I won’t give a history lesson but let's just say it is hard to imagine a country in Europe only gaining their independence in 1991. I am happy to see them striving as a popular travel destination. It is also where they film Game of Thrones, which is pretty awesome (especially for those who watch it, i.e. my hubby).
If you are travelling to Croatia from Toronto, there are direct flights to Split or Zagreb. Split is the closer of the coastal vacation spots so we flew there then took ferries to Dubrovnik and Hvar. There are other smaller islands that I wish we had visited but one might speculate there is always a next time when a place is so spectacular.
Now a few tips to ease your trepidation about travelling with your babies; Airbnb it so you have access to a kitchen and laundry. Bring items like children’s meds, diapers (if you prefer a specific brand) and infant life vests (travel between the islands is a must and boat rides are the only way getting there). Now for what us moms cannot control or plan for, brace yourself for a rough flight. But if the choice is between having a bad flight or not travelling, I’ll take a sucky flight all day long. To be honest, I would take almost any “discomfort” to travel this beautiful world with my amazing family!