Break the trip into smaller partsIf I remember well, our first road-trip outside of Croatia was a prolonged weekend trip to Gorizia in Italy. Baby girl just turned one, I remember I had just returned to work then. Gorizia is only around 300 km away from Zagreb, but we knew baby girl wasn't ready to drive four hours non-stop. We broke the trip to two sections, we started from Zagreb in the morning after breakfast and drove to Opatija, a Croatian sea-side town on the way to Italy. We had coffee and spent the whole afternoon bathing in the sea (it was end of June). We had lunch afterwards, and by the time we got back to the car to drive, baby girl fell asleep almost immediately. We drove all the way to Gorizia. On the returning trip, we did the same thing, but we stopped in Trieste instead of Opatija, had coffee, lunch and gelato, took a walk around the city to exhaust her, then drove back to Zagreb.
|A little stop in Opatija on the way to Gorizia|
Give each destination several days of stayIf you do multi-city trip, don't do it too intensive with a toddler. Before baby girl, we used to do extra intensive road-trip because of lack of vacation days. Once we did Zagreb-Graz-Salzburg-Verona-Venice-Ljubljana-Zagreb in like one weekend. Now we try to spend at least three days in each destination so baby girl could get used to the place, enjoy her stay and get some rest. Two family friends who both lived in different part of Austria invited us to visit them somewhere during last year. In October when baby girl was a year-old and a half, we decided to go. We combined the two visits and made a round, started from Zagreb to Heiligenkreuz im Lafnitztal in Burgenland (via Graz) where one family lived, then from there to Klagenfurt where the other family live, and back home via Ljubljana. We did the trip in a week, spending around three days in each friend's place. We got to sight see, we got to hang out with the hosts, and she got proper sleeps.
Time the trip wellIf you don't feel like stopping all the time and prefer to drive all the way to your destination at once, then it's best to time your trip for the period when your child's usually asleep. Earlier this year we drove to Ston on Pelješac island in the south of Croatia for a weekend. It's around 600 km away from Zagreb and we decided to go at around midnight from home. I just moved baby girl from her crib to her car seat and she was asleep almost the entire time we were driving. My husband drove for the first four hours, then we switched and I drove for the rest of the trip. By the time she woke up at around 7 o'clock, we were very close to the destination. We stopped in Neum of Bosnia and Herzegovina to tank the car and have coffee. They had some play corner for children so we spent an hour to rest there, then drove for another half an hour and we were in Ston already.
|Soaking the sun in Ston in the middle of Croatian winter|