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Drive Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes, stop one night, then drive to Mostar?

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The plan is to stay in Zagreb the night before, rent a car (driving solo) early the next morning, drive to Plitvice Lakes, spend 3-4 hours (which I understand is plenty of time), and drive toward Zadar and Split, stop somewhere in that area overnight, then drive on down and over to Mostar the next day. This on a Sunday-Monday in early October.

Google Maps suggests that's about 7.5 hours total driving (probably optimistic) split up over two days; maybe in reality it's about 9 hours with border crossings and such. Does that sound about right?

Where's the most convenient place to stop over between Plitvice and Mostar? I'm willing to call this a "rest" night and look for a place that is comfortable and not expensive, in a town that has at least some basic services. I'll be swinging back up to Split later in my trip so I don't need to stop there during this drive.

Any potential pitfalls about this journey? Suggestions?

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