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

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Jazzed Up In New Orleans

Welcome to my unforgettable journey through the enchanting streets of New Orleans! In this teaser video, I give you a taste of what you can expect on your next visit and on our full episode of Beyond Your Backyard. 

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.

Beyond Your Backyard - Cozumel

Come with me to the Mexican island destination of Cozumel to learn more about Mayan Culture, through the food and the archaeology. We'll spend time with a spiritual guru who teaches ancient history through deep breathing and self-discovery. We'll also dine on delicious Mayan delicacies and learn how to scuba dive!

Travel Tip - What You Need to Know About REAL ID

If you have a driver’s license or state government issued ID card, is it REAL ID compliant? Take a look at it right now...I’ll wait.

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!

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.

Beyond Your Backyard - New Orleans, LA

Join Erik the Travel Guy as he visits the Big Easy. The food, the music, the energy...you're going to have the time of your life in New Orleans!

Travel Tip - New York for the First Timer

New York City is the greatest city in the world! But hold on…visiting the big apple can be expensive, frustrating, exhausting and time consuming. So before we put one item on our agenda, let’s take a moment.

Beyond Your Backyard - Gettysburg, PA

We are jumping in the time machine in more ways than one! This is the very first episode of my PBS television series Beyond Your Backyard. My fifth grade math teacher haircut and I travel to Gettysburg, PA

Civil War Sites To Visit

Over the years, I have traveled to many civil war sites, battlefields and museums. It never gets tiring because I always learn something new. Fortunately, a number of historic sites have been preserved for posterity and here are just a few of my favorites. 

Travel Tip - Patriotic Places to Visit

In the spirit of America’s Birthday, let me be your personal guide to all places patriotic to visit. This country is absolutely chuck full of unique places where history forever left its mark.

Destination Spotlight - Branson, Missouri

Branson, Missouri is a popular vacation destination that offers a range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages. The city is best known for its lively entertainment scene, with shows featuring music, comedy, and magic, among others.

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.

Destination Spotlight - Denver, CO

Let me take you on a journey to the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado, for a memorable vacation. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Denver is a thriving metropolis that boasts a stunning array of outdoor recreational opportunities, world-class museums, and a thriving culinary scene. 

Beyond Your Backyard - Mackinac Island, MI

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

Travel Tip - What's Worth It In Las Vegas

Las Vegas has made incredible strides when it comes to renovating its “Sin City” reputation into something more family-friendly.

Erik's Note - Curacao

Did I mention I just returned from Curaçao? Did I mention I loved it? Consider yourself on notice…Curaçao is fantastic.

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.

Travel Tip - Do's & Don'ts of Mexican Travel

The news can be a scary thing, can’t it? It can especially be frightening if you’ve got an upcoming trip to Mexico planned. Well, I want to ease your fears. Traveling to our Southern neighbor has some risks but there are ways to mitigate those risks if you know what you’re doing. That’s why I’ve compiled some dos and don’ts for traveling to Mexico!

Destination Spotlight - Chicago, IL

Chicago is a classic American city filled with unique neighborhoods, stunning architecture, delicious food and lots to see and do!

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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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