Ten years ago, when I was a travel agent, our local rep from Contiki talked to us about the next big European destination. He said that since Prague has become more expensive, Croatia is now “the place to be.” This is where Europeans vacation and we need to go – now. I trusted him because we were good friends and he wasn’t trying to sell me on trying to sell a Contiki trip to Croatia. He just came back from his own vacation and attested to its beauty, beaches, people, and food.
But, sometimes a friend’s recommendation just isn’t enough. Croatia has since been on my list, but was never a priority
How Croatia jumped to the top of my “Must Travel To” List
Back in June, I started following Rachelle from The Travel Bite on Instagram. Shortly after I started following her, she left for a tour of Croatia. When I scrolled through my account, I had to stop when she posted her latest photos. I mean, seriously, look at this place.
I looked up flights to Croatia and started thinking about when our family could go.
Meanwhile, I started lusting after the images of Montenegro that my friend, Jenny, at A Taste of Travel was posting on her Instagram account. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not too familiar in the geography of places I haven’t seen myself. I compared costs of Croatia with Montenegro. Surprising to me flying into Dubrovnik in Croatia was the best choice. Even while researching other countries, Croatia was wiggling its way to my plans.
Then Jenny left Montenegro and headed north to Croatia. The timing was perfect. She was getting there just as Rachelle left. My Croatia stalking continued without a hitch.
I wanted to “heart” every Instagram Jenny posted. She even posted lots of pictures of food I know I don’t eat and I wanted to eat it. It was like her photos were a personal invitation from Croatia to me to visit. (Side note: In a local expat forum another American with two kids exactly my kids age posted that her family was going to Croatia and asked if anyone else wanted to join in on their road trip (Side side note: we can’t go. :). Then one of my favorite family travel bloggers, Passports and Pushchairs, posted a THREE part series of her friend’s travels in Croatia. As if one post wasn’t taunting enough.)
Here are some of my favorite images from A Taste of Travel. I’m pretty sure the only thing missing in this paradise is me.
Learning more through Instagram
Since first talking to the Contiki agent 10 years ago, I could have researched Croatia for myself to discover its beauty. But, I didn’t. I always had someplace else I was researching. With Instagram, because of other people’s travel, I saw Croatia first hand without research. To put it simply, the combination of the water, landscapes, and cities were exactly what I’ve been looking for, but never found when I researched vacation destination. A place with history, and a place to relax. Cities and buildings to explore, and a variety of outdoor activities. Cities and beaches filled with tourists, and others more isolated from the masses.
I haven’t planned any details of my Croatia trip yet. However, I already know that I have to give our family ample time to visit several of the locations that I’m not willing to miss. I can’t wait to learn more about this country through other sources now.
Trips are temporary, here are other ways to stay connected to new places on IG
I do have a complaint about Instagram for travel inspiration, though. Rachelle and Jenny aren’t going to be there forever. In fact, Rachelle has already left to explore other areas of the world (and somehow her recent pictures make me want to go back to the city I left to move to Germany). So what to do when your heart and mind are still in the country your resources of inspiration have left? Look for people living there! Chasing the Donkey is an Australian Expat and she’s documenting her family’s life in Croatia both on her blog and via Instagram.
If you want to follow these Instagrammers directly, you can find them here:
Travel Turtle: Hey, that’s me. Ok. I haven’t been to Croatia yet, but when I go you can bet I’m going to Instagram it.
or follow these hashtags:
#croatia, #visitcroatia, #essentialcroatia, #Travelturtlewantstogotocroatia
Now it’s your turn. Make me even more jealous, have you been to Croatia? If not, where have you been that you didn’t realize was so beautiful until you saw it for yourself?
Source for Featured Image: Croatian Tourist Board, Photographer: Damir Fabijani
This post is part of the new Instagram Travel Thursday linky hosted by Skimbaco Lifestyle, Destination Unknown, Child Mode, Hines Sight Blog, Live.Do.Grow., House of Anaïs, Luxury Travel Mom. Click on any of those links to access all Instagram travel posts.
Instagram really changed the way I plan travels and I have discovered new places from the pictures on Instagram! Crotia is one of those countries I have already discovered on Instagram too and have added to my long list of places to visit. These photos are gorgeous… hopefully we get to go soon 🙂
I think that’s one of the other cool things about instagram. Not necessarily with Croatia as a whole, but in general, you can see if an off the beaten path destination or attraction is worth it.
I’ve only driven through Croatia (actually on our way from Montenegro to Slovenia), and we stopped briefly in Dubrovnik and wild camped by the sea in some small village. Unfortunately this was all pre-Instagram time, but your post reminded me how much I would love to go back! And I totally agree about discovering new places through Instagram, I am just planning our next big trip to NZ-Asia direction and I have already a long list of places I would like to visit, all based on the images I’ve seen on Instagram…. 🙂
There’s someone else I follow on Instagram currently in Slovenia. I can’t believe how beautiful that area of the world is.
I just fell in love with your photos here! I have been dreaming of visiting Croatia for long time and this made me search for tickets already 😀
Now I’m jealous!
Well, you know I can’t wait to go there, and these pictures just add fuel to the fire 🙂 Thanks for linking to me!
Of course! 🙂
Ahhhhhh so many places I still have not been to in Croatia, and even though I live here now I too am jealous! To make you feel like you are here with me, why not try cooking up some Croatian food…??
That’s a great idea. I used to blog about travel from home and cooked up different recipes. I want to start making recipes from different places for my kids. Thanks for the tip!
I had no idea Croatia was so lovely. Definitely putting it on my ‘To See’ list.
I felt the same way.
Wow! I just started using Instagram but I can easily see how helpful it could be!
It can get addicting because you see so many great images in such a short span of time.
I had no idea how gorgeous Croatia was! Thanks for sharing. Although I’m visiting from the Blogelina group, I’m a big fan of Hines Sight Blog and droul over the locations she visit too. Hopefully I can get my travel act together, you all are giving me to travel bug again!
She also has great food images, too.
Absolutely blown away by the images of Croatia. I even had to call my kids over to the computer to check it out with me. Just stunning! Coming from Vegas this looks like a far away dream land that I will need to put on my list. Thanks for all the great tips and photos.
I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough when I can show them a picture of beaches and they get excited. Right now it’s just Mickey Mouse and trains that make them happy. (And I think you have a point… living in Germany makes me want that kind of scenery even more than ever.)
We are heading to Dubrovnik in August as part of a cruise -will have to check out these sources of inspiration to help plan our day!
Lucky! Thanks for reminding me that some cruises stop there, I’ve been trying to plan one but was going to do the other side of the med. Can ‘t wait to see your pics!
I’m so glad you linked up again, Ann. Thank you. The photos of Croatia are beautiful. I think it would be a fabulous place to visit. I have heard that, too.
I do think Instagram makes you want to visit even more places.
I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for years and still haven’t made it there. I’m beginning to fear that it shall forever remain on my bucket list.
I hope you get a chance to go.
Wow. I honestly never considered Croatia. These photos have made me a believer! I want to go RIGHT NOW! Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos.
I remember when a friend was talking about another friend’s pics from a trip to Italy. She said, “I don’t think it’s possible to take a bad picture there.” I don’t think there are many places like that in the world, but I’m beginning to think Croatia is one of them.
I can’t wait for you to see Croatia, Ann. You are going to love it. There’s so many places to go and fabulous food to be eaten! We’re very lucky that we’ve had 6 weeks to explore the country but there are still places I want to come back to and others that we have missed. Thank you so much for including my photos in your link.