Come out of season
Drop by in June or September and you can expect cheaper accommodation prices and fewer crowds. April, May and October can also be nice but the weather is less predictable.
Spend time on the continent
Croatia isn't just about the coast. You can also have fun in its continental parts and save some money on accommodation. For example, hilly Zagorje region is close to Zagreb and can be a great base for castle chasing, wellness, wine tasting and hiking.
Travel by train
If you aren't in a hurry, consider a train ride. It's the cheapest means of transport and there are also special offers from time to time. Just bear in mind that only a few coastal places can be reached by train.
Don't buy bottled water
Croatian tap water is clean and of high quality (except maybe on some islands where it's difficult to obtain freshwater) so don't spend your money on bottled water. Carry a water bottle with you and fill it up every now and then.
Avoid expensive hotels and look for more affordable apartments. Some have accounts on Booking and AirBnB but we also use a local website to find accommodation: Apartmanija.hr.
Find some coupons
There are numerous websites that give you access to special discounts and offers for experiences and services all around Croatia. On Dajsve.com you can find a large collection of them all. Check them out and see if you can find something for yourself.
Even though it's small, Croatia has so much diversity to offer - mountains, rivers, lakes, the coast, you name it. With its numerous protected nature areas, you won't be disappointed whichever direction you turn to.
While you're at it, think about all the different perspectives how you can savour nature - for example, you could go rafting down the Cetina river, visit an adrenaline park at the foot of Velebit mountain or go diving or snorkelling in Kornati NP.
Visit an island or two, or more!
Some island-hopping sounds great, doesn't it? Brač, Hvar, Vis and Korčula can all be reached by ferry from Split. Krk, Rab, Cres and Lošinj belong to the Kvarner bay. I have only scratched the surface here and it's so hard to choose between so many options. Wherever you end up going, you won't be sorry. You can expect a more laid back atmosphere compared to the mainland as well as crystal clear sea.
Indulge your tastebuds
The offer might be different depending on the region where you find yourself but the general rule is that Mediterranean cuisine based on fish and seafood should be sampled on the coast and grilled and other meat dishes on the continent. Pair this with local wines to get the full experience.
Rejoice in local festivals
Most of Croatian towns and cities have their own summer celebrations and festivals. The ones that we visit almost every year are Špancirfest in Varaždin and Zvjezdano ljeto in Karlovac. Both offer concerts, open-air plays and cinema, art exhibitions and much more but Špancirfest is special for the interesting street performers it hosts and Zvjezdano ljeto also includes a superb folklore festival which hosts dance groups from all over the world.
Capture the beauty of coastal towns
Crooked narrow streets and stone houses or those with colourful facades provide an excellent background for your photos and can be found in many charming towns on Croatian coast. I'll name just a few visually appealing locations and leave it for you to choose: colourful Rovinj, elegant Opatija, historic Šibenik, medieval Trogir, romantic Primošten...