While switching off from the outside world is an important part of every holiday, you still need to be able to connect with loved ones when travelling overseas. In order to continue to access the internet and send/receive text messages while in Croatia, you have a few options:
connect to the local wifi (and risk being unreachable if you're moving around different locations)
activate your global roaming option as an extra on top of your normal mobile phone plan (this will lead to extra fees)
purchase a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked.
Croatia uses the GSM network, as do a lot of other countries including Australia, the United Kingdom, and most of Europe. If your mobile provider is on the same network, you won't have any trouble using your mobile phone while in Croatia once you've decided to either join the local wifi, activate international roaming, or buy a SIM card.
Some travellers from the United States might have trouble using their mobile phones if their provider is on a different network like the CDMA network. If this is the case, check with your local mobile provider before you leave on what is the best course of action to stay connected during your travels.
What's the local coverage like?
Once connected, you'll be able to use your mobile phone in most urban and rural areas throughout Croatia with mobile providers averaging a coverage of around 98%. The places where you aren't connected will be in remote areas or in dense vegetation so keep that in mind if you're using your mobile's internet to navigate through the country.
Buying a SIM card in Croatia
Buying a SIM card is by far the cheapest option when it comes to staying connected throughout your travels and there are a number of mobile phone providers in Croatia for you to choose from with the largest and most popular providers being T-mobile and A1. Other cheaper providers include Tele2 and Tomato.
Regardless of the network you choose, each one offers excellent coverage and sells SIM cards, as well as prepaid packages, so you to easily stay connected.
It's extremely easy to purchase a SIM card with most convenience stores, phone stores, newsagents, and airports offering cards from the main providers. These SIM cards can cost as little as USD$10 for 200 minutes of local calls and 10GB of data (enough for you to surf the internet, access maps, and upload photos to social media). If you do run out of credit, you can easily purchase additional data from convenience stores, supermarkets, and phone stores.