Family trip to the islands of Croatia in May

  Group of 6 adults and 1 child visited Croatia in May 2016

“I am trying to plan a trip for my family from in May. We would like include Cres and Krk because my husband's side of the family is from there. I will have 5 adults and 1 child, and would like to stay in apartments instead of hotels. I have arranged nothing yet. I am trying to decide if it is better to fly into Split or Dubrovnik then rent the car.”


Michelle Maurer, a local specialist from Croatia, helped this traveler put together a customized itinerary.

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Trip planning highlights

63 messages exchanged
Travelers completed their trip!

Trip planning conversation

Alex

Great, happy to help. To get started, we could suggest a few apartments and help arrange transport/logistics, as needed.

Alex

Let me connect you with one of our Croatia experts who knows the coast well and can put a suggested trip plan for you.

Traveler

Perfect!

Alex

Ok, great. It's 4:30 in Croatia, so expect a bit of a delay. Once ready, they'll join the conversation here and you'll receive a notification email that you have a new message.

Alex

They'll read through our conversation here to get a sense of what you're looking for, but feel free to share anything else. If you have a specific budget in mind, that helps, but we can also provide you with a range of accommodations and transport options to see what works.

Traveler

It is getting late here can I start this again in the morning? I just came upon your service in a Google search. I will have more time in the am and we will both be more awake. Thanks

Alex

Of course, come back whenever is convenient for you and we'll work around that. Have a good sleep, and expect to hear from your expert soon.

Markus

Nice to meet you here. Alex asked me to jump in and assist you further in getting a clearer picture of your holiday plan. Glad to help you! This way we can select the best matching local partner for you and your family…

Yeah, best to fly in on Dubrovnik or Split if you want to visit these cities. On the other hand Cres and Krk and Kamenjak are sort of ‘at the other end’ of the country; that’s a lot of driving in 10 days.

I suggest we look into a first set-up together of the location you would like to stay. This way we can get to the perfect planning and then starting to look into accommodation there.

How about this…
Day1: arrival Dubrovnik – acco in Dubrovnik
Day2: full day Dubrovnik - acco in Dubrovnik
Day3: pick up rental car, to Split – acco in Split
Day4: drive to Krk (4-5 hrs) – acco on Krk
Day5: full day Krk – acco on Krk
Day6: ferry to Cres - acco on Cres
Day7: ferry to Zagorje and onwards to Kamenjak – acco in Kamenjak
Day8: full day Kamenjak - acco in Kamenjak
Day9: drive back ‘halfway’, like to Zadar, preferably Split (You could also fly out from Split + one-way drop-off fee car there)
Day10: onwards to Dubrovnik, drop-off car, flight out

Please feel free to change and give feedback. After all, it has to fit perfectly in your own ideas and plans, right?

Regarding the type of accommodation it is most realistic to expect mid-range hotels instead of apartments, since I’m not sure if our experts do offer those and since most apts expect ‘long stay’ instead of only 1 or 2 nights. Hope this is fine with you.

Finally, you ticked ‘luxury’ as your budget. This should give you and us enough flexibility to come up with a plan you’re happy with. For this please share with me your budget indication or range, so our expert can start working on a plan that perfectly fits into all your requirements.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Cheers, markus

Traveler

Hi Markus. I am very excited to get started on this. I am at work right now. So can not take the time to properly respond. I will give more details as soon as I get home this evening. Thanks

Markus

Sure sure, no hurry, just take your time.
Most important is getting your specs clear before the expert can start quoting for you.

Cheers, Markus

Traveler

Hi Markus

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. We have been having some family discussions about itinerary and the length of the trip. We are now adding my sister in law so that brings us to 7 people total 4 males 3 females. When I looked at the dates again it looks like best case scenario we can leave on a red eye on Friday May 20th arrive in Croatia on Saturday May 21st we would need to leave on a red eye on the Sunday May 29th or very early May 30th. That gives us 9 days at the most.

That being said we will cut out Kamenjak. Since we will have all our kids and my sister law we definitely want to include the islands of Krk and Cres where my husbands grand parents are from. So the beginning of the suggested itinerary seems reasonable. We may be short a day let me know if this at all seems doable.

Regarding accomodations I did look into some apartments and there did seem to be some availability for daily rate. We are such a large group I realize we will need to get multiple hotels room and I am trying to make that as affordable as we can and still stay in decent places. As my group has gotten larger I am not sure luxury is the top requirement but clean and well run would be the priority. We will also need to rent a van that will fit 7 people is that realistic? I imagine that will be cheaper than renting 2 vehicles.

Please let me know what other information you will need.

Thanks

Markus

No problem it took a bit longer. As my grandma used to say: “all best things come slowly”…:-)

Well, you have given it a lot of thought, so we’re almost there.

We could use my earlier set-up as a starting point and modify.

Arriving on May 21st and leaving on May 29th or early morning on the 30th; that would leave you 8 (max 9) nights. Skipping Kamenjak certainly makes it all a lot more relaxed, less hasty and less logistics. This way you have ‘net’ 1 night extra to toss in somewhere in the program, so either in Dubrovnik, on Krk or on Cres, depending on where you want to focus your visit.

Day1: arrival Dubrovnik – acco in Dubrovnik
Day2: full day Dubrovnik - acco in Dubrovnik
Day3: pick up rental car, to Split – acco in Split
Day4: drive to Krk (4-5 hrs) – acco on Krk
Day5: full day Krk – acco on Krk
Day6: ferry to Cres - acco on Cres
Day7: drive back ‘halfway’, like to Zadar, preferably Split (You could also fly out from Split + one-way drop-off fee car there)
Day8: onwards to Dubrovnik, drop-off car, flight out
"Day 9".....
So please let me know where to include that extra night (feel free to work on the setup here above).

We then will look into accommodation, preferably apartments that could host all of you ‘in one’, so we can keep costs down.

A van (self-drive, right?) won’t be a problem to arrange for you.

And , oh yeah, we almost forgot, thanks for sharing the total budget for the 7 of you (including accommodation, rental and ferry tickets) you are able/willing to spend. No need to be exact; an indication or range would already work for our local expert to come up with that matching plan.

Thanks for your feedback and additional details.

Cheers, Markus

Traveler

Markus,

Starting to look doable and not overwhelming. My budget depends on my flight cost. Do have any suggestions for the smartest way to do this. I am thinking fly into a major european city from Boston then take a more regional carrier to Dubrovnik. I am hoping this will be more economical. The flights I am finding from Boston right now are $1400 to $1700 US. If this sounds typical for flights let me know and I will account for that in my flight budget. In terms of our itinerary what seems like a reasonable budget for 8 days acco, van and ferry? I am totally in the dark as to what to expect for accomodation pricing. Could this all be done for $8000 US let me know if you think more or less. Not including flights of course.

Traveler

Just realized I never addressed the extra day. I am going to talk it over with the other travelers and let you know what we decide.

Traveler

Also yes self drive.

Markus

Happy to see we make a good team together, you and I:-)

Thanks for filling in the last details so we can move on from there...

Traveler

Markus
do you help with flights?

Alex

Jumping in here as Markus is offline at the moment. Just letting you know that we don't help with international flights at the moment, just domestic transportation.

Traveler

ok thanks. It is becoming quite a task to get there no good flight right now. I will keep trying.

Alex

What are your approximate dates? I have a few flight engines I use personally and would be happy to take a quick look if it helps.

Traveler

I am trying to get there the weekend of May 21st, Returning on May 29th or 30th. We are 6 adults and 1 child

Alex

Ok, I'll take a quick look.

Traveler

Thanks I am having trouble finding something that is not a 30 hour trip.

Alex

It's around $1090 USD per person, but still around 30 hours

Alex

But for $160 dollars more per person, your flight there goes down to 12 hours

Traveler

That does help thank you I am going to have to see how flexible we can be on departure and return. But everything I find looks like we are in for a long trip.

Alex

Could be, but worth it :) Do see the different options on cheapoair, looked like there were some shorter flight

Traveler

Markus just checking in to see if we have any pricing for the itinerary. I am planning on purchasing my flights this week and a cost estimate of acco and transport would be helpful. Sorry if I am rushing but flights are getting difficult to coordinate. Thanks so much.

Markus

Happy to help if you can provide me with your conclusive feedback regarding that extra night (still pending:-). I'm confident you together have come to a preferred set-up by now. Thanks for sharing asap so we can start planning and calculating.

It may help in case you can send me the best or most likely flight schedule you've found til now. I'm sure you've found one (with the help of Alex) that is your favorite right now:-). Knowing the (tentative) date, time and location of arrival and departure gives our expert the perfect 'window' for planning and quoting your trip (we then know the amount of nights as well).

Basically the rest is clear: 6+1 (child age?), a rental Van, apartments (or acco that can accommodate you all), budget seems sufficient.....so we're almost there!

Thanks, cheers, markus

Traveler

Markus
I do not think we are going to have an extra night. Best flight I found arrives Sat May 21st at 10pm Dubrovnik and we would need to leave early Sun May 29th from Dubrovnik so that actually gives us less time. What I need is a good idea of estimated cost for that window of time. I have not looked into leaving from Split but I may do that to cut out going to Dubrovnik for Sunday. For now go with the dates I have here. Thanks

Traveler

Ok I just looked into flights that will leave Split on the Sun the 29th instead of going back to Dubrovnik that will make up for the last day. So itinerary would look like this
Day 1 Sat night Dubrovnik
Day 2 Sun Dubrovnik
Day 3 Mon Drive to Split
Day 4 Tue Krk
Day 5 Wed Krk
Day 6 Thur Cres
Day 7 Fri Cres
Day 8 Sat Split
Day 9 Sun Leave Split

You tell me should we do 3 nights in Dubrovnik instead of 2 nights in Cres. Remembering there will be a family connection for us in Cres. Thanks Hope this makes sense and gets us started.

Markus

Ok, let us look into this....

Traveler

Thanks. I have decided on two nights in Cres so you can go with the latest itinerary I sent last night thanks

Alex

Just letting you know that one of our local experts in Croatia will be joining our conversation shortly (expect a message within 12 hours) and they will help finalize the details and get everything organized. Once ready, we'll get an official itinerary your way for you to look through.

Traveler

Thanks for keeping me updated. I look forward to getting closer to my final itinerary Have a good night

Alex

We have a great travel expert for you and she'll be joining in shortly. We decided that Michelle would be best; she's based in San Francisco. She's going through your details and will help finalize your itinerary and help with the bookings. Expect a message soon!

Michelle

Its great to meet you. I have received the details and requests you have for your family trip and will get back to you shortly with some options. Thank you and I look forward to working with you!

Traveler

Hi Michelle,
I am looking forward to working with you also. I am trying to get some idea of options and cost so that I can go ahead and secure my flights. Let me know what you come up with. Talk to you soon.

Traveler

Hi Michelle It looks like we will be 6 people in total if that makes a difference with accomodations. Just wondering what time frame we are looking at to have a draft of itinerary and pricing.

Thanks

Michelle

Here are two options for the rental car.
Pick up from Dubrovnik Airport or Dubrovnik Hotel Rixos on May 23rd.
Return to Split Airport on Sat May 28
Please note Option 2 is a Manual Transmission.
There are other automatic transmission vans but none big enough to fit 6 adults and suitcases.

Option 1: $1008 total
Mercedes Van fits 8 people + 3 suitcases (so with 6 people and 6 bags this should work)
Automatic Transmission

Option 2: $400
Opel Vivaro 8+1 or similarVan first 8 people + 3 suitcases
Manual Transmission

Please also let me know how many beds you need for 6 people. Would 3 beds be enough (with two people to a bed) or would you require more? Once you get back to me with this, I will be able to give you the pricing by tomorrow for lodging for the entire trip.

Thank you!

Traveler

Thanks Michele
Option two is fine for van. We can drive manual car. We will only need three beds we can double upon problem. Planning on buying tickets tonight.
Also have a question about ferries to The islands. Will be able to take van there? Should we buy tickets ahead?

Michelle

Great, yes you are able to take the van on the ferry, and will cost you no more than $35 to transport the van one way. The cost per person one way is 15 Kuna ($2.20)
http://www.jadrolinija.hr/en/schedule/LineSearchResults/Index/2331805/2331761/26052016
Tickets can be reserved online.

I will have the pricing for accommodation to you shortly. Thank you.

Traveler

Michele great news. Getting excited.

Michelle

I have found great apartment options that can sleep 6 adults thru Airbnb and VRBO for your family. The total accommodation for the whole trip comes to approximately $1340 (availability and price subject to change). I have put the totals for the lodging below and description of how many beds in each. Prices below include taxes and fees.

Sat May 21 - Mon May 23 - Dubrovnik
Apt in old town $333 total on Airbnb
Three bedrooms:
Bedroom 1: king size bed
Bedroom 2: king size bed
Bedroom 3: 2x single bed

Mon May 23 - Tue May 24 - Split
Apt $131 total on Airbnb: Located a 5-6 minutes walk away from the Diocletian's Palace.
Bedroom 1: 1 King Bed
Bedroom 2: 2 single beds
Living room: Sofa bed

Tue May 24 - Thurs May 26 - Krk
Apt $207 VRBO
Bedroom 1: 1 double bed, 1 single bed
Bedroom 2: 1 double bed
Livingroom: 1 pull out bed

Thurs May 26 - Fri May 27 - Cres
Not a lot of apartment options in Cres so there are two options below.

Apt in Cres: $312
Bedroom 1 -Double bed (2)
Bedroom 2 : 2 x Bed (1)
Bedroom 3 : Bed (1)
Bedroom 4 : Bed (1)

OR

B&B: Villa Lavanda 3 separate rooms for a total of $470 with breakfast included

Sat May 28 - Sun May 29th - Split
Beautiful stone villa $200

Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!

Traveler

Ok I just bought our airline tickets. We arrive sat may 21 but late 10pm. So I am thinking of rearranging days. Sat sun mom Dubrovnik, Tue Split, Wed Thursday Friday Krk and Cres. Sat Split. Fly out Sun may 29th. Early in am 7:05am.

We reconsidered car and are going to go with the Mercedes for 8. I got good prices on my flights so I have more in the budget for accommodations and could upgrade if possible.

Also a logistical question. When we are in Croatia will there be a local contact associated with your company if we run into problems? We did a similar trip in England with a company that planned a driving trip for us. We did run into some delays and she was very helpful and rearranged things for us on the fly. Are you able to do this?

Thanks

Michelle

Congratulations on booking your flights! I will make note to upgrade the van when it comes time to reserving it.

To answer your question on a local contact, we normally work with local operators in Croatia but for this trip we are booking directly everything from the US. So in this case we do not have a local contact but will make sure to help you as much as possible if you run into any issues. Please let me know if this will be an issue for you moving forward.

Michelle

I am just checking in since I havent heard from you to see if you had any questions, and if we could start booking a few things for you. Thank you!

Michelle

I can book the rental car for you if you're ready. And also can send you the links for the accommodation options I listed above so you can see what they look like. Let me know! Thanks!

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