Have you ever heard the expression “everyone’s a critic” ? The same holds true for travel advice. Everyone’s got a travel tip for you, including me. But rather than try to piece together every nugget of travel advice known to humankind on this page, here’s a set of general tips I’ve learned the hard way that can help you save some money on your next trip.

We're not in Kansas anymore.

In Germany, taking a bus or rideshare (mitfahr) is almost always cheaper than the train.

1 – Stop Paying ATM Fees

Tired of paying a few dollars to the banks each time you withdraw money? I’m tired too. Here’s how you can avoid paying fees if you have American or Australian bank accounts.

2 – Call Mom on the Cheap

Your parents love to hear from you more than you know. Especially when you’re overseas and maybe in countries that they don’t consider to be “safe”. But don’t call them from your mobile phone. Click here to find out how you can phone home for free!

3 – Sleep Cheap. Or For Free.

Stay in a hostel. Or stay with a friend. Or couchsurf. Or roomsurf. Or airbnb. Hotels and resorts are generally the most expensive lodging options and have the least amount of social and local interaction. Unless you consider talking to the receptionist to be social and interacting with the locals…

4 – Take Public Transportation

A taxi from JFK Airport to Manhattan costs over US$40, whereas taking the airtrain + subway costs less than 10. When possible, skip the taxi queue and hop on the U-bahn / underground / metro / subway or bus. The same holds true whether you’re going to the airport or going across town. wikitravel.org is a great resource for finding out the cheapest way to get to and from the airport in many cities around the world.

5 – Fly Less

If you’re short on cash and long on time, then consider using buses or trains to get from city to city. Not only will you lower your carbon footprint and save money, but you’ll also be able to experience what it’s really like to travel like a local.

6 – Eat Like a Local

Eating what the locals eat will save you money in most countries AND introduce you to many dishes that you would probably never hear of on your own. For example, dinner at the local market in La Paz cost US$1.5, whereas dinner at many “western” restaurants would’ve cost over US$10.

Vietnam - Mui Ne - Fresh Squid Noodle Soup

In Vietnam, this fresh squid noodle soup cost me less than US$2!