By: Ben Mervis

I had bought tickets for Ariana Grande’s Sweetener tour when they first came out. My most diehard Ari fans live outside of San Jose, so we agreed that I would book the $75 roundtrip flight, and they would buy me dinner before the show.

It was supposed to be a nice 3-day getaway… and then our team decided to bring Kush Queen to Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa… and then I had the opportunity to meet with a couple of our coolest NorCal dispensary partners… during the week after the tradeshow and concert.

I love getting out of LA and seeing other parts of California, and I knew I’d get to spend time with some of my favorite people during this trip, but my 3-day getaway quickly evolved into a 12-day working road trip with an Ariana Grande concert in the middle of it.

Whether I’m traveling for work, for pleasure, in-state or across the country; there are a few things I find absolutely essential to my comfort and happiness.

  1. Knowing where I’m going to spend the night

  2. Understanding the boundaries of my hosts regarding when/where/how I’ll use cannabis

  3. Planning to stay hydrated with minimal single-use plastic waste

  4. Comfort with constant carb consumption

I’m usually planning these things for 3-5 days of travel, maybe a whole week at most… but this 12-day trip would include 6 places to lay my head and 3 very different activities. Fortunately, my planning paid off and resulted in a GREAT trip – so here are just a few more details about how I prepare for traveling.

1. I’m not the type of person who can just “wing it” when it comes to sleep.

I’ve always been a firm believer in getting enough sleep, which is hard when one of my best friends is a classic “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” ‘type’ of person. I was recently affirmed on this via a Goop podcast (minute 18:30) where Emily Gagoski explained how even just one night of bad sleep – nevermind sustained lack of sleep – has the same effect on our bodies as being drunk.

6hrs/night or fewer for 2-weeks, and the typical person will be as impared as someone with .1% blood alcohol level.

So when planning a trip, I have no shame in asking my potential hosts questions about their home (if I’ve never been) – temperature, animals, linens – I can prepare for each if I know what I’m preparing for. The same can be said for cannabis restrictions, which brings me to…

2. I smoke so openly and privately at home, and sometimes forget what a luxury that is.

If you’re paying attention you know my favorite way to enjoy flower (high-CBD hemp flower, or cannabis) is by smoking it through a bong. And to be honest, I brought a bong with me on this trip because I knew we’d have some privacy at our AirBnB in Santa Rosa. But between hotels, friends’ city apartments, and a high fire risk mountainside, there had to be other solutions.

This is where a few things came in handy:

  1. Bare CBD Tincture

  2. High-potency vaporizer cartridge

  3. CBD Edibles (including Gummy RX and Big Pete’s Treats)

  4. THC Edibles (another shout out to Big Pete’s!)

3. Just like sleep, hydration is crucial to our health.

But I was also raised by parents who own a recycling-based company, so my hydration comes with a sincere effort to reduce the number of single-use plastics. If that doesn’t immediately resonate with you, I suggest reading/watching something that will tell you far more than I can.

To stay on topic though, here are a few of my tricky tricks for doing this while traveling. I bring:

  1. My reusable Starbucks-style cold cup, with metal for ease of consumption while driving

  2. One extra large insulated bottle for keeping a backstock of cold water

  3. A small mason jar with powdered electrolytes to help keep my energy and hydration up

  4. An extra metal straw, and cleaning tool

4.And lastly, as your resident #CarbInfluencer, I’m here to remind you that carbs are fuel; don’t let your body or your car run on empty!

My final advice is that once you open your heart and your stomach to carbs, there can sometimes be an overwhelming number of choices to make. Have no shame in adding some bakeries and restaurants to your “travel” bookmarks on Yelp or Google Maps. Some of my favorites on this trip included:

  1. this insane handmade French pastry with goat cheese from ALTA in Monterey

  2. every single pasta at Locanda in San Francisco

  3. orange + chocolate chip scone at Batter Bakery in San Francisco

  4. Classics: Whole Foods pizza and cookies – you can find a Whole Foods ANYWHERE and there are always reliable choices


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