I have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Croatia, Mlini to be precise. I really enjoyed the trip and feel that we made the best choice as far as location is concerned. Mlini is a small village (if you could even call it that!) which centres around a small harbour and beach. It is situated between Dubrovnik and Cavtat.
Cost-wise it is excellent, not as expensive as the other nearby resorts. Mlini doesn't have the same number of shops or cafes as the other two. A pint is 15 Kuna (about €2.60), as is a soft drink. A white coffee is just 8 Kuna (about €1) and unlike Ireland you can take your time over your drink and it seems actually expected that you will just have the one! Food was also inexpensive, although menus were limited to the same choice in every restaurant - if you don't like fish you might be in trouble. A meal for 2 cost an average of 200/250 Kuna (about €26/30) 2 mains, beer, glass wine, dessert, coffee. That's for your basic run-of-the-mill restaurants, nothing fancy! We didn't get any taxis so don't know price of those, we got the boat taxis to and from the other locations, cost about 70 Kuna (€5) for a 20 minute trip.
There wasn't much else to spend money on. The souvenier offering was limited enough. There is alot of locally embroidered table cloths etc but not much else. We ended up having money left over going to the airport!!! If you are travelling from an EU country you can avail of the Duty Free in the airport. And there seems to be no limit on the amount you can buy, you don't have to produce a boarding card so they aren't monitoring what you're buying. The alcohol and cigarretes are sooo cheap.
So what am I saying? Overall Croaita is not an expensive destination, although I do understand from others I've spoken to that it is getting more and more expensive all the time! However, as with any country alot depends on where you stay. We could have easily spent twice what we did had we stayed in Dubrovnik. The tourism industry hasn't developed to the point where every where you turn you are encouraged to spend more money. They may catch onto this one soon enough though!