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    The VIP Lounge with Alec Benjamin

    When he was starting out in the music business, Alec Benjamin would go to concerts and play for other artists’ fans in parking lots and in line waiting to enter venues. He would also hand out business cards. His take-charge attitude and perseverance — mixed with a boatload of talent — have paid off, as the 24-year-old Phoenix native has just kicked off a nationwide tour that includes two sold-out shows (with opener Alexander 23) on April 16 and 17 at the Sinclair in Cambridge. The Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter — who referred to himself as a “storyteller” — said he is looking forward to coming to Boston. “When I was a kid, I went to Boston on vacation and went on a duck boat tour. It was pretty dope,” he said in a recent phone interview from his tour bus en route to a gig in Austin, Texas. “Last year when I was in Boston I had a lobster sandwich at a cool place, but I don’t remember the name,” he said. “I’m looking forward to finding the place and getting that lobster sandwich when I’m there.” We caught up with Benjamin, whose latest single is “Let Me Down Slowly,” to talk about all things travel.

    Favorite vacation destination? I don’t vacation very often, but I’ve gone to the Florida Keys with my family and always had fun. We spent time there with my grandfather before he died, so I have fond memories of being with him.

    Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Thai food would probably be my favorite.

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    Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I’d like to go to China one day. I learned Chinese in high school, so I think it would be cool to go there and practice my Chinese.

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    One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? My guitar. I have a Taylor acoustic guitar, but I’m thinking about getting a new one, so we’ll see . . .

    Aisle or window? Window because I don’t like flying very much and I like watching what’s going on outside.

    Favorite childhood travel memory? My favorite memory is when I lived in New York, I would travel to my grandparents’ place in Arizona. I just love my grandparents, so it could have been anywhere — I just enjoy spending time with them. It’s special to get to spend time with people you care about.

    Guilty pleasure when traveling? Slim Jim.

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    Best travel tip? Don’t leave without packing extra underwear.

    JULIET PENNINGTON