Are you a digital nomad looking for a new place to call home? Or maybe you're just curious about the cheapest places in the world to live? Either way, you're in luck! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the cheapest digital nomad locations. These countries offer great value for your money, and they are perfect for those who are on a budget. So without further ado, let's get started!
The Cheapest Digital Nomad Locations
Over the course of the last 3-5 years, we have seen the inexorable rise of frictionless remote work. It's never been more in vogue to work remotely, and perception is changing: legacy institutions who would never before have considered allowing employees to work from home are beginning to do so. As such, many are now considering the possibility of working fully remotely. This is particularly prevalent in tech, marketing and content roles where a digital presence is just as good as a real one. One of the biggest advantages of this (theoretically, at least) is that you can continue to earn your old salary, while taking advantage of areas with a much lower cost of living. While this arbitrage opportunity might not be available long term, it's certainly an enticing prospect in the near future.
We will start with the cheapest locations, although we fully appreciate that cost shouldn't be the only factor you consider when making a move.
Mexico is a great place to live if you're on a budget. The cost of living in Mexico is much lower than in the United States or Europe, and you can find plenty of affordable accommodation options. There is also a thriving and fast growing tech scene to take advantage of.
Thailand is another great option for digital nomads on a budget. The cost of living in Thailand is very low, and you can find plenty of affordable accommodation options. It's historically been very popular with expats, and for good reason.
India is a slightly more niche option - the largest and arguably the richest in terms of culture, it also has a burgeoning tech scene. This is probably a better option for startup founders with experience living there than nomadic employees.
Why these countries are great for those on a budget
In a phrase, lower living costs. However, this one huge advantage is tempered by the difficulties of both moving and of managing a life abroad from afar. One consideration is time difference. We've decided to narrow our choices below down to those which fall within +/-3h of the UK so that you could be reasonably expected to continue a working schedule while living there.
You should also take into account both the cultural differences that are expected of you when assimilating to a different culture, and the second order effects of your increased purchasing power. By cashing and spending your increased salary in a new location, you are pushing prices up in these hotspots and pricing the locals out of their own areas. This can be incredibly damaging for culture and in fact encourages the avoidance of the most popular of the cheapest digital nomad locations. So maybe it's best to ignore our advice completely!
The Editor's Pick: Five cheapest digital nomad locations and their highlights
Canary Islands, Spain
Sun, sea, surfing and beachfront remote work. Can't argue with that
Internet Speed: ~40mps
Cape Town, South Africa
A longer flight, but the mountain views (and wine) more than justify it
Internet Speed: ~15mps
5th largest tech sector in Europe and a budding startup community in a quaint (and cheap) city setting
Internet Speed: ~25mps
Heavily underrated and staggeringly beautiful, with copious amenities for the startup community
Internet Speed: ~25mps
Small town vibes, budding startup community, low CoL, mountains and fast internet. We love it! All factors considered, Plovdiv sits atop the cheapest digital nomad locations.
Internet Speed: ~40mps
Conclusion: How to Pick the Location for You
So there you have it! Some ideas for the nomad with carte blanche, and our 5 picks based on a number of criteria in addition to cost of living. Of course, everyone will have more considerations than simply cost, else we'd be working from a small tent with a satellite wifi link. But it's down to you to decide exactly what factors you find most important, with a little help from us. So there you have it! With all factors considered, the cheapest digital nomad locations within working proximity to the UK and Europe are the Canary Islands, Cape Town, Belgrade, Tbilisi and Plovdiv.
Where are you working from? Send in your suggestions and we'll be sure to check them out.