The rise of remote work and freelancing opportunities has opened up a plethora of possibilities for individuals to earn a living while exploring the world. More and more people are seriously considering the digital nomad lifestyle. In our recent article, How To Become A Digital Nomad And Work From Anywhere In The World, we showed you what it means to be a digital nomad and how to get started as one.
While the digital nomadic lifestyle is awesome, it can be challenging to sustain without careful budgeting. In this installment of our digital nomad series, we’ve given you the top ten affordable world destinations for digital nomads. From Southeast Asia to Central America, these destinations offer affordable accommodation, food, and reliable internet access– everything you need to thrive as a digital nomad.
Top 10 Affordable Destinations for Digital Nomads
Chiang Mai, Thailand – Chiang Mai is considered one of the most affordable cities for digital nomads. With low accommodation costs, great food, and a rich cultural experience, it’s a popular destination for many. The average cost of living is $800-$1,000 per month in Chiang Mai. This includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other basic necessities.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – With affordable accommodation, excellent street food, and a bustling city life, Ho Chi Minh City is quickly becoming a popular spot for digital nomads. A budget-conscious digital nomad can expect to spend $900-$1,200 per month, with accommodations being the highest expense.
Bali, Indonesia – Bali is a beautiful tropical destination with a low cost of living and a welcoming community of digital nomads. With its stunning beaches, beautiful temples, and world-class surfing, it’s easy to see why Bali has become a go-to destination for many digital nomads. Living in Bali is cheaper than many other places, where you can expect to spend $1,000-$1,500 per month on accommodation, food, and activities.
Bucharest, Romania: The capital of Romania, Bucharest, provides a good standard of living at an affordable cost. The city boasts a vibrant cultural scene, a wide range of culinary options, and beautiful parks, making it an attractive destination for both locals and expats. The monthly cost of living in Bucharest typically ranges from $700 to $1,000.
Sofia, Bulgaria: Sofia offers a blend of history and modern living. It provides a thriving cultural scene, with theaters, art galleries, and music festivals, ensuring a vibrant and enriching lifestyle for its residents. The cost of living can range from $700 to $1,000 per month.
Krakow, Poland: Known for its historic architecture and lively culture, Krakow offers an affordable cost of living. Its proximity to stunning natural landscapes like the Tatra Mountains gives it a beautiful landscape. For digital nomads that love snow and winter sports, Krakow is an awesome and affordable world destination. Monthly expenses typically range from $800 to $1,200.
Quito, Ecuador: Nestled in the Andes Mountains, Quito offers a low cost of living and a pleasant climate. It boasts a stunning natural setting, surrounded by majestic mountains and lush valleys, providing breathtaking views and outdoor recreational opportunities. For the digital nomad who wants a tropical climate with plenty of sun, Quito is an excellent and affordable world destination. Monthly expenses can range from $800 to $1,200, depending on how lavish you want to live.
Mexico City, Mexico – Mexico City is a vibrant destination with a rich culture, affordable living costs, and great food. It’s also an excellent place to start exploring the rest of Mexico. As a digital nomad in Mexico City, you can manage your expenses at around $1,300-$1,700 per month, depending on your lifestyle choices.
Belgrade, Serbia: Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is a great place to live due to its vibrant and lively atmosphere, with a thriving arts and music scene that offers a diverse range of cultural experiences. The city has a rich history, architectural beauty, and stunning landmarks. The monthly cost of living can range from $800 to $1,200 in Serbia, making it an affordable world destination for digital nomads.
Budapest, Hungary – Budapest offers a low cost of living, beautiful sights, and a rich history. It’s fast becoming a popular destination for digital nomads who want to experience the European way of life without breaking the bank. Budapest is a budget-friendly destination for digital nomads. You can expect to spend around $1,200-$1,500 monthly, including accommodation, food, and other living costs.
**Please keep in mind that the figures provided are rough estimates, and the cost of living can fluctuate based on several factors, such as accommodation choices, lifestyle preferences, and personal spending habits. It’s advisable to research and gather up-to-date information to make informed decisions about living costs in these places.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a World Destination
While cost is a significant factor when finding an affordable location for digital nomads, there are also other important factors to consider. Finding a balance between affordability and practicality is essential to make the most out of your digital nomad lifestyle.
You should always consider the following factors in addition to the cost of living when choosing a location as a digital nomad:
Internet connectivity – As a digital nomad, internet connectivity is crucial. Ensure the location you choose has reliable and high-speed internet access. While we checked to ensure that each location on our list offers wifi, it’s essential to research the particulars.
Safety – Safety is an essential factor to consider. Research your destination’s crime rates and safety measures to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
Culture and activities – Living as a digital nomad allows you to explore new cultures and participate in exciting activities. Choose a location that offers unique experiences and opportunities for exploration.
Climate – Climate plays a significant role in one’s comfort, especially if you plan on staying in a location for an extended period. Choose a location with weather conditions that align with your preferences.
Healthcare – Access to quality healthcare is essential. Check if your chosen location has hospitals or medical facilities that can provide adequate care.
Visa requirements – Check the visa requirements for your chosen destination. Some countries have strict visa regulations that may be challenging for digital nomads.
Social and political environment – Understand the country’s social norms, political climate, and levels of tolerance and inclusivity.
Taxation and finances: Understand the tax system, financial regulations, and the implications for your income, investments, and savings.
Being a digital nomad offers an excellent opportunity to explore the world while working remotely. However, choosing a location that enables you to live comfortably and maintain a sustainable lifestyle is important. While cost is a vital factor when selecting a destination, it is crucial to keep in mind other essential considerations like internet connectivity, safety, culture and activities, climate, healthcare, and visa requirements. Doing proper research and planning ahead of time will help you find the cheapest and best world destination for a digital nomad life. Whether you choose the beautiful white snow of Poland or the lush tropical green of Ecuador, there is a destination waiting for you!
For more on living a digital nomad lifestyle, including what kind of jobs you can have while being one, check out Best Work From Home Jobs for Digital Nomads and How To Start A Successful Podcast: A Beginner’s Guide.