Croatia & Solo Travel

Decided I’ll start off this category with a post about my trip to Croatia last August. I took 2 weeks off and went to Europe for the first time last summer. My main destination was Croatia but I also hit up Prague and London. Both cities were epic and I’d love to go back eventually, especially London. Had a lot of fun and met a lot of cool people. Also thought I’d throw in some tips for solo travelers and how I organized the whole thing.

I love to travel, but I really prefer to do it with other people/friends as I have a lot more fun that way. Problem I have is it’s near impossible to coordinate with everyone given the schedules, budgets and so on. So I took advantage of a tour operator called G Adventures, basically they operate small-group tours all over the world. There’s similar companies as well such as Intrepid Travel and Intro Travel to name a few. They’re a great option if you want to solo travel without actually being alone. They organized everything except the flights, and we had a guide that was very familiar with the local area which helped a ton (for example she pointed out which ATMs had the lowest fees, restaurant/bar suggestions, public transport assistance and so on).

G Adventures took care of the Croatia portion of the trip, and for Prague / London I just used Airbnb experiences. While in Prague I met up with 4-5 people and did a bar hopping session with a local resident, it was great. She took us to 4 bars that I probably would not have found by myself, also got to hang out with a random group of people the whole night and had a lot of fun getting to know them and sharing stories, etc.


The trip I booked through G Adventures took us from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes National Park, Split, Hvar and Dubrovnik. IMO it was a great way to see a lot of the country in a short amount of time. I don’t think I would have had the knowledge to organize a similar thing by myself, especially not for the same price. We got a lot of group discounts/corporate discounts which I wouldn’t have got otherwise. The group met up in Zagreb and we went out to eat at a local croatian restuarant. Afterwards we wandered down to “bar street” (my favorite street) and hung out until about 2am.


The next morning our guide gave us an orientation walking tour of Zagreb, and we explored some local bakeries and markets. We took some time to explore the city and some of us met up for lunch. We had some water with lemon slices in it, which apparently passes as lemonade in Croatia. That afternoon we made our way to the village of Korenica via coach bus.

We arrived and shopped for a few groceries, before going to a local pizza restaurant for dinner. Honestly some of the best pizza I have ever had. The climate was surprisingly cool, which I guess made sense because we were in the mountains. But I’m from Texas, I didn’t know August could be cold lol. That night we headed back to the hostel and had some drinks on the rooftop.

Next day we went to Plitvice Lakes national park, honestly one of the most unique places I have ever been. The unique chemical composition of the lakes lead to amazingly blue-green water, and the park had hundreds of waterfalls. Spent all morning hiking through the park to get to the “Veliki Slap” or great waterfall. Had lunch at the park and then spent the afternoon hiking around to get back to our starting point. In the evening we boarded another bus that took us to Split.



Honestly Split was one of the highlights of the trip for me, it was my favorite city. The first night in Split we had dinner and then headed out to a pub for more drinks, before calling it a night. The next day we had a tour of Diocletians Palace, which was featured in Game of Thrones (our tour guide was actually an extra in the series, so he gave us some behind the scenes stories). I hiked up to Marjan Peak with a few of the others and the view of the city was amazing. Spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach before heading out for some wine tasting, and some more bars. Found a cool local music festival that was set up in one of the local parks, and then after that we all headed to a pub where we learned what buckets were… and apparently we were determined to get a free T-shirt by downing 4 buckets, but I don’t remember most of that night. Long story short, we ended up wandering the streets of Split looking for our friend that claimed he was being kidnapped by the KGB. A few whatsapp video calls and we found him safe and sound.


Next morning we hopped on a ferry to Hvar, dropped our bags off at the hotel and then headed out on speedboat tours to various caves and islands/beaches surrounding Hvar. Spent the afternoon in Palmizana, it was honestly a paradise. After going back to Hvar a group of us hiked up to the Fortress, and again the views of the city were amazing. Went out to explore the nightlife and have a few cocktails as well, almost felt like we were in Monaco with the amount of yachts that were moored there.


The next morning we headed off to Dubrovnik, a 3 hour ferry ride away. I was looking forward to Dubrovnik but IMO it didn’t live up to the hype. It was beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but just seemed full of tourists and was extremely packed. Maybe if you visit during the off-season it would be better. A few of us spent the afternoon walking on top of the city walls in 40C weather, it was insanely hot and humid. Was not expecting that kind of temperatures, and apparently talking with locals it was uncommon for it to be as hot as it was. The highlight for me was going kayaking around the old town during sunset, that was simply amazing and got us away from the crowds for a few hours. For dinner we opted to go to a Mexican restaurant (yeah I know, a Mexican restaurant in Croatia… I was outnumbered, what can I say). It was alright but not what I was used to living in Texas. I guess that is one of the downsides of group travel, you don’t have quite as much freedom as you otherwise would.


Dubrovnik Kayaking

I spent an extra day in Dubrovnik hanging out with some of the others, before heading off to London. I learned that saving $30 on a stopover flight was not worth it since I had to go back through security to catch my connection in Germany. Barely made it. Got to London, and basically just explored. Hyde park was massive, and the geese were the size of toddlers. Tried out Nando’s for the first time, it did not disappoint. Wish we had that in the US. Next day I did an Airbnb tour of the city, our guide was great and took us to all the major sites while giving us history and interesting facts about each place. Finished up my trip by getting some classic fish & chips, then catching the train to Manchester for the flight home (I saved a few hundred $$ by flying out of MAN instead of LHR)

In short I had a great time, if anything I hope that it inspires you all to travel and explore the world. I was a bit apprehensive about meeting up with random people to travel around a country I had never been to, but at least in my experience it was well worth it. I paid around $1100 for the G Adventures trip, including all the optional activities, which is insane for the value I got out of it. Granted we did stay in hostels most of the time to save money, which was an experience, but ultimately to me it’s not about the accommodation, its about the experience and being able to travel to cool places with an amazing group of people. We never stayed in the same room with people that were not part of our travel group, so it was fine for me. After the first night we all got to know each other and I’ve remained in contact with everyone I traveled with which is really cool.

So yeah, that’s about it… Croatia was lit.