Ready...Set...Vacation! with Erik the Travel Guy

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Happy Birthday Thomas Edison

February 11, 1847, is Thomas Edison's birthday. For those eager to delve into the life and legacy of this visionary, there are numerous artifacts and sites around the United States where one can immerse themselves in the history of...

Pizza - A Slice of Americana

Did you know that February 9th has been designated as National Pizza Day? Pizza has become an integral part of the...

Beyond Your Backyard - Chicago, IL

Get ready for fun! Chicago is home to a number of firsts including the invention of the Tootsie Roll, the world's first Ferris wheel and so much more. I'll explore neighborhoods and sample a Chicago-style hot dog!

Beyond Your Backyard - Currituck, The Outer Banks

The crew and I explore the northern end of this legendary and popular destination on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast. Join me in one of the few places in the United States where wild horses still run free! I'll discover how a beach vibe, tide and some historic lighthouses shaped this unique destination. All that, and plenty of fun and fresh seafood for all in a destination unlike any other.

Beyond Your Backyard - Little Rock Part II

The crew and I return to the capital of Arkansas in this episode of Beyond Your Backyard. Diversity in unique neighborhoods, a thriving downtown district, and outdoor recreation are all part of the fun.

Explore the United States!

National parks, small towns, big cities, beaches, forests, desserts, this country is big and diverse! Get out there and explore! 

Travel Tip - What's Free in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida, is often associated with its world-famous theme parks and attractions, but there's more to this vibrant city than meets the eye.

Travel Tip - How To Drive On A Two Lane Highway

Picture this. You made the decision to take a family vacation. You booked all the arrangements, packed the car and are setting out for fun, excitement and much needed relaxation.

Travel Hack - What's Free in NYC?

According to TheHill.com New York City was tied with Singapore for the world's most expensive city as of December 2022. Despite the high cost of living, there's a lot to do and see in NYC that's FREE! Check out this video with Erik the Travel Guy's top nine.

Destination Spotlight - Ocean City, NJ

Embark on an unforgettable vacation to Ocean City, NJ, a coastal haven that promises a delightful escape filled with sun-soaked adventures and endless entertainment.

Beyond Your Backyard - Little Rock Part 1

Erik explores Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas in this episode of Beyond Your Backyard. Diversity in unique neighborhoods, a thriving downtown district and outdoor recreation are all part of the fun.

Beyond Your Backyard - Mackinac Island, MI

Discover Mackinac Island, Michigan, a quaint and historic destination with delicious food, unique shops, and breathtaking sights.

Beyond Your Backyard - Winston-Salem, NC

Join Erik as he gets a history lesson about the Moravian culture of Old Salem. Prepare to be entertained as he challenges a professional baker to a cookie-making race at Mrs. Hanes Moravian Cookies, and fine tune your senses as he experiences the grandeur of The Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He’ll also dig into some delicious and award winning southern cuisine at his visit to Sweet Potatoes Restaurant.

Beyond Your Backyard - Lake Murray, SC

Grab your binoculars and life vest and join Erik for a lake adventure! Get out on the lake with Erik as he discovers this gorgeous area and the phenomena of the Purple Martins that flock to this area every year.

Beyond Your Backyard - Wytheville, VA

There’s only one! Come along with yours truly as I explore the one-of-a-kind town of Wytheville, VA. In this episode, I’ll take in the area's scenic, geographic beauty, meet with the proud local residents...

Celebrate Presidents Day!

This special episode explores the men behind the office. We travel to Williamsburg to talk with Thomas Jefferson. We also visit the Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas and to the George HW Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.

Destination Spotlight - Daytona Beach, FL

In light of the Daytona 500 on February 19th, I thought you might want to learn more about this iconic Florida beach paradise. 

Beyond Your Backyard - Muskogee, OK

On this edition of Beyond Your Backyard, I find out why so many people are “Proud to be an Okie from Muskogee.” The crew and I travel to this quaint Oklahoma town to learn about the history of the Girl Scouts, the Trail of Tears and the local country music connection.

Travel Tip - Car Rental

We’ve all been there. We arrive at our destination, we get our bags (unless you’ve paid attention and only brought carry-on luggage), and you trudge your way over to the Rental Car Center.

Beyond Your Backyard - PA's Great Outdoors Region

A return visit to this region of Pennsylvania proves to be even more fun for the whole family! I'll show you more about the French and Indian war, discovers a wild Elk herd and so much more. I'll also explores Cook Forest State Park, get behind the gears of a missive piece of machinery and sample delicious rustic cuisine. 

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Erik Hastings Biography

Erik Hastings, a.k.a. "Erik the Travel Guy"

Erik “the Travel Guy” Hastings is an EMMY award-winning television personality who speaks directly to consumers who can't afford to "get their vacations wrong". He is the host and managing editor of three internationally syndicated television series; "Beyond Your Backyard", “Food for Thought” and “Cruise Food”.

Erik leads an incredibly talented team of industry pros and is the editorial driving force of his platform. While the travel industry directly supports millions of families worldwide, Erik believes travel makes the world a better place. Through exploration and discovery, he has learned that travel brings cultures together and he eagerly shares that spirit with his viewers.

In 2005, Erik launched his own production company that specialized in creating high-quality, low-cost travel videos for online distribution, which has added “world traveler” to his resume. This enterprise encapsulates all of Erik’s true joys by combining video production, writing, discovery, adventure, performing and interacting with fascinating people in some of the most inspiring and beautiful travel destinations in the world. Since inception, he has amassed an impressive client roster including Hertz, The Greenbrier Resort, CruiseOne, Carnival, Pinehurst, Iberostar, and countless official tourism bureaus throughout the world.

In 2017, Erik and his creative team began production on "Beyond Your Backyard", a new educational travel series for Blue Ridge PBS. The series debuted in April of 2018 on Blue Ridge PBS and other public broadcasting stations and quickly gained national attention and new affiliates. Today, the series is seen by millions of viewers nationwide. The series is syndicated by NETA and carried on the CREATE Channel. In its first season, the series was honored by the industry with two EMMY awards for the show and its host.

In 2022, Erik formed a new venture (4:55 AM Entertainment Co.) with his longtime friend and creative partner Jason Zumwalt. His new company produces two series: “Cruise Food” and “Food For Thought”.

Erik spends (on average) about 25 weeks on the road per year. When he's not traveling, he spends time with his two daughters in the New York City area.

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