There are always inopportune times when I am bit with the traveling bug. To cure this itch, I have perfected the Art of the 12-Hour Vacation {12HV}. It is a way of discovering a town through its food, people & culture while getting a taste of the much needed escape you are looking for. And the exploration takes place in just 12 hours…from morning to moonlight.


  • Choose a Distant Location
    Your destination must be at least 45 minutes from home. I have found that this is just far enough that if you get a phone call from the office you are too far to be expected to return to work. It would be even better if you turn your phone off or are out of cellular range.
  • Eat the Food
    What’s a vacation without food? Do your research to find the best and most unique eats the town has to offer. Look for landmark restaurants that feature meals specific to the area.
  • Meet a Local
    Native residents have the inside scoop on what to see and do in their town. They also can be a wealth of information on the history of the area.
  • See Something Spectacular
    Wether it be a gorgeous view from a hilltop, a waterfall or beautiful tree-lined street, seeing something that you would have otherwise missed by staying at home makes your vacation more rewarding.
  • Visit a Tourist Attraction
    Almost every town has a place where the tourists will flock to (or trickle to, depending on the city).
  • Participate in an Activity
    Find out what activities are available in the area; horseback riding, hiking, kayaking, etc… Bonus points if you are able to complete an item off your bucket list!
  • Relax with a Beverage
    Nothing says vacation more than sipping tangy margaritas on a sun-filled patio. Though you might not find this exact combination, improvise.
  • Attend an Event
    Plan your 12HV on a day when the town will be having an event or festival.

Vacations don’t have to be weeks or months long to rejuvinate your soul. Taking a simple 12-Hour Vacation can free your mind from the stress of everday life. What are you waiting for? You are now armed with knowledge and you have vacationing to do! Please share your 12HVs with me!
The 12-Hour Vacation {12HV} will be a continuing series on the Bucket List Journey blog.