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Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe: What to Pack for Croatia in June

Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe: What to Pack for Croatia in June

I feel like I always spend a lot of time considering what to pack for a trip. Sometimes it works out well, sometimes I realize I’ve forgotten a key piece or woefully underestimated my need for a certain type of clothing. For our trip to Croatia, I did a little of both! Fortunately I still managed to clothe myself, but if I was packing all over again I would have made a few tweaks to my list. Our trip was a fairly active one, with four days of adventurous activities interspersed with low-key days of strolling. We spent six days in Dalmatia and four days further inland in Plitvice and Zagreb, where in theory it’s cooler (though that didn’t materialize in our case). What to wear in Croatia really depends on your agenda – museums, hiking, or island hopping (perhaps all three). Read on for my suggestions on what to pack for Croatia in summer so you avoid my mistakes.

Check out these great ideas for road tripping through Croatia

My challenges for packing for Croatia in summer with kids:

  • Activities included beaching, biking, hiking and sailing… but also wine tasting and city exploration
  • Appropriate for carrying kids potentially covered in dirt and/or peanut butter
  • (Almost) everything in one medium-sized packing cube since we like to pack light
  • Enough variety not to be bored after two weeks
  • Try to look somewhat put-together

Related: Why you should pack light and how to do it

How to pack for a summer trip to Croatia

My strategy was to create a travel capsule wardrobe for the trip from items that I already owned. If you haven’t heard of a capsule wardrobe, the basic concept is to come up with a limited set of clothes, shoes and accessories that all mix and match to create a wide variety of outfits (check out the full travel capsule wardrobe how-to). Sounds simple enough!

I selected black as my neutral with some blue accents, then added a few strips and florals to mix things up. Some of my staple pieces are pulled from my Ireland travel capsule wardrobe, and I didn’t buy anything new specifically for this trip.

The packing list I show here isn’t what I brought, though it’s  pretty close. In the clothing I actually brought, I underestimated how many activity-friendly options I needed and under-packed a bit there; additionally, it was a little hotter than I expected so the dresses got lots of mileage while the extra pair of jeans sat on the sidelines (a bummer since they’re heavy and bulky to pack). Here’s my Croatia packing list for June:

Croatia packing list for summer

Croatia packing list for summer

What to pack for Croatia in summer – minimalist packing list

Related: Why you need a travel capsule wardrobe for your next trip (and how to build one)

-5 tops (short sleeve white tee, short sleeve blue tee, short sleeve stripe tee, long sleeve breton stripe tee, chambray)

The chambray is lightweight and can be worn on its own, as a swim coverup or open over a t-shirt or dress as a lightweight layer for evenings. Sadly, I didn’t pack it! It got lots of use in Ireland and I’ll bring it on our next trip, I promise. I missed it several times!

-light-weight floral kimono

Perfect for layering over my black dress or a solid color tee, adds both texture and pattern. It would even work for the beach or sailing!

-black skinny jeans

These are dressier than blue jeans for a dinner out but I also wore them for hiking in Plitvice when it was cool and shady.

-black skort

Great for warm-weather hiking and biking.

-2 dresses (black tee shirt dress, Athleta sundress in Wanderluxe fabric)

I love this Athleta dress! The fabric wicks moisture and dries in a flash, and it has built-in support. I’ll definitely consider getting another similar dress from them. If you’re a new customer, you can get 20% off your first order here.

-3 shoes (black Saucony Bullets, cork/gold Vionic Lizbeth sandals, black Teva Olowahu flip flops)

Confession: I also brought my black TOMS Avalon slip-ons. I know I could have left them at home, but they’re comfortable and cute. The Vionic sandals were a different level of comfort! I wore them touring all day and had zero pain. They’re designed by an orthopedist and you can tell when you’re wearing them.

-blue tote bag

-2 necklaces (short hot pink/crystal statement necklace, short gold/white necklace)

-1 scarf (blue/pink floral)

-3 bras

-5 underwear

-2 pairs of socks (Smartwool Super Sleuth)

-swimsuit (Athleta aqualuxe)

I actually brought a one-piece instead of my Athleta tankini, and as soon as I put it on I remembered why I stick with two-piece suits.

-hat (sadly forgotten at security at LAX) and sunnies

 

Everything fits on my body or inside a medium packing cube. The trip was a great test-run for my new Thule Versant 60L, which can handle four medium packing cubes with room to spare. If you wanted more variety or didn’t want to do laundry as frequently, you could consider adding another skort or perhaps some shorts (though I rarely see European women wearing them and don’t love them for myself); if I wanted more, I would probably add another Athleta dress to the list.

Related: How to Choose the Best Women’s Travel Backpack

I used the Stylebook app to help me put outfits together and keep track of everything. Here are some sample outfits I wore during the trip:

What are your best packing strategies? Do you travel light or bring the whole closet?

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Stuck on what to pack for Croatia in June? Check out our travel capsule wardrobe for summer in Croatia. Pack light for easier travel.

Croatia packing list for summer

Stuck on what to pack for Croatia in June? Check out our travel capsule wardrobe for summer in Croatia. Pack light for easier travel.

Croatia packing list for summer

Melissa

16 Comments

  • Melissa

    Great advice!

    May 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm
  • Melody Pittman (@melodytravels)

    Nice visual packing list! I am much better with lists that have pictures. 😉 Cool sneakers.

    May 31, 2017 at 7:38 pm
  • Erin

    Why do you prefer two piece swimsuits? I have literally never owned one, so I’m curious.

    May 31, 2017 at 10:54 pm
    • Melissa

      The day we were on the boat, we were literally in suits ALL day. I can’t even remember how many times I had to untie and retie the halter neck with the boat rocking back and forth while trying to keep my balance 😂

      June 1, 2017 at 5:02 am
  • erinklema

    Great packing list for keeping it light! I have to admit I love my Longchamp totes for travel. My large one even fits my laptop! And, they keep everything dry when it rains. 🙂

    June 1, 2017 at 11:21 am
    • Melissa

      Has yours held up pretty well? I’ve seen some with little holes at the corners on the bottom.

      June 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm
      • erinklema

        My bag has one hole at the bottom corner, but it isn’t from normal wear and tear. I had set my tote atop my suitcase, and when I went over a curb, the Longchamp came crashing down to the cement. My laptop was inside, so it tore through the bag. Otherwise, the bag has held up really well for being five years old and being used as my primary travel tote.

        June 4, 2017 at 8:56 am
  • Gearoid McSweeney

    I like the travel capsule idea because, believe it or not, I always tend to overpack. I must really think this through this year!

    June 1, 2017 at 2:08 pm
  • Sue Reddel

    I’m a fan of the packing cubes too. I always try to be sensible when packing. It’s not always so easy. Thanks for the pointers. I love my Saucony shoes too!

    June 3, 2017 at 12:43 pm
  • loisaltermark

    Ooh, I love that you included photos here! My friend is leaving for Croatia in a couple of weeks and I’m going to share this with her since I’ve never been there. Wish I were going with her!

    June 3, 2017 at 8:14 pm
  • Tami

    I definitely pack light also. I’m not afraid to wear the same outfit twice or to wash something and wear it again. I figure I’m never going to see the same people from day to day anyway (because we’re always on the move!). I love to pack lightweight tunics that can double as a blouse or a swimsuit cover-up. And I always wear the outfit that weighs the most when flying, so that I don’t have to pack it at all. Looks like you have a good minimalist list here for Croatia.

    June 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm
  • Buddy The Traveling Monkey

    I always try to pack as light as possible because I usually fly on budget airlines that charge more per bag. This is a great list! I still need to by myself some packing cubes… lol

    June 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm
  • Francesca

    I wish I were organized enough to do the capsule packing. But then again, I usually end up packing the same items for each trip (varied by season, of course) so maybe I’m doing the capsule packing and I don’t even know it? 😉

    June 6, 2017 at 7:32 am
  • Carmen Edelson

    I just love packing posts, and this one is no exception! Definitely bookmarking this for when I go to Croatia. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    June 19, 2017 at 2:34 am
    • Melissa

      Thanks Carmen!

      June 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm
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