Do you ever find yourself staring out the window of your office, wondering of international experiences and traveling to new places? Many of us share the ambition of escaping the 9–5 routine, and more and more people are making it a reality. “Sure,” you respond, “maybe if I win the jackpot, I’ll work in another country!”
Step 1: Find out which nations are the best and cheapest to live in. Step 2: Look for a job in that country!
The good news is that travel does not have to be costly. There are several low-cost countries where you can live, work, and travel while getting a lot more bang for your buck. We’re going to look at the ten best and cheapest countries to live and work in today. However, first and foremost
How a lower cost of living can be one of the best perks to working abroad
Most people assume that long-term travel or living abroad will be prohibitively expensive, and it is true that if you choose pricey countries, your hard-earned money may not carry you very far. However, if you avoid famous, high-cost places such as Italy or Australia and stick to some of the world’s cheapest countries to live and work in, you might be amazed at how well you can live on a modest salary. Why spend your days slaving away in a downtown office when you might be traveling the world, seeing new cultures, and making a decent living?
In fact, one of the most compelling reasons for many people to relocate and work abroad is the low cost of living. Your expenses should be lower as well, despite the fact that your salary will likely be smaller. There are also numerous well-paid professions available, allowing you to stretch your money even further while living in a low-cost location.
10 best and cheapest countries to live in
Here are 10 of the cheapest countries to live and work this year, according to meaningful travelers like YOU.
Vietnam is a budget traveler’s dream for people who desire to live and work in an exotic location without spending a fortune. For expats, it is one of the best and cheapest nations to live in. There’s lots to see and do in Vietnam, despite the fact that it’s still a bit of an insider tip when it comes to cheap nations to live and visit in. Vietnam offers breathtaking scenery, delectable native cuisine, and is also a bit of an adventure travel destination.
The country’s major cities include Ho Chi Minh City in the south, Hanoi, the capital, in the north, and Da Nang, in the middle. These cities will have the most job opportunities.
The Vietnamese Dong, which is one of the few currencies that has fallen against the dollar in recent years, is currently valued roughly VND23,000 to $1.
- Popular jobs here: The most popular job for foreigners in Vietnam is teaching English.English teachers have various options, with typical monthly salaries ranging from $1,100 to $1,700 USD, which is more than in many surrounding countries.
- Cost of living: The cost of living in Vietnam, like most nations, varies depending on whatever city or region you visit. Of course, cities such as Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi are more expensive than rural areas, but the pay is also higher. A small flat can be rented for roughly $250 per month, while eating out costs around $1–3 each meal in local eateries or street cuisine, and around $10 in Western-style restaurants. Local public transportation costs roughly $0.30 per kilometer, whereas taxis cost around $0.50 per kilometer.
2. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is the most popular country in Central America, and for good reason (not just because it is one of the ten most affordable places to live in). Lush jungles, beautiful beaches, and kind natives will immediately make you fall in love with this country and its ‘Pura Vida’ vibe. Costa Rica is one of the cheapest nations for Americans to live in, so you won’t go broke while living and working there. Cheap flights from the United States are very easy to come by, making a trip to Costa Rica much more appealing. Costa Rica has a greater cost of living than other countries in the region, such as Guatemala and Nicaragua, and its incomes are similarly higher.
- Popular jobs here: Teaching English, Tourism, SCUBA Diving
- Cost of living: A meal in a local restaurant will cost around $3-6, rent runs from $300-800 per month depending on the size of apartment and location, local transportation starts from $0.70 per trip.
Bulgaria may surprise you by appearing on our list of the cheapest nations to live and work in, but bear with us. If you want to work and live in Europe but are put off by the high cost of living in countries like Italy and France, look to Eastern Europe. Bulgaria is one of Europe’s cheapest countries to live in, and it has swiftly become a popular tourist destination. With nations like Greece, Turkey, and Romania on your doorstep, a modest budget may allow you to live like a king in Bulgaria, and the country’s central location is ideal for exploring the region. There’s lots to see and do in Bulgaria, which has a rich and lively history reaching back over 8,000 years.
- Cost of living: Rent a 1-bedroom apartment starts at $230 per month, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant will set you back around $5 and a trip on the public transport can cost as little as $1.
Mexico, Mexico, Mexico! Why travel more than necessary when Mexico is only a hop, skip, and a cheap flight away for the majority of Americans and Canadians? Everyone can find something to like in Mexico. Think rainforest Mayan ruins, beautiful Caribbean waters, and laid-back Pacific Ocean beach communities. Oh, and did we say anything about the street food? The food, which ranges from tacos to tamales, ceviche to aguas frescas, is not only delicious but also extremely affordable. Living costs can be a fraction of those in Western cities if you avoid tourist traps like Cancun or Playa del Carmen and opt for more local areas like Merida or Guanajuato.
- Cost of living: A one-bedroom apartment costs $200-$500 per month, street food starts from $1 per meal, and a monthly pass for local transportation starts at $16.
5. South Africa
Do you wish to work and live in another country but are afraid of getting lost in translation? Worry no longer, because there are some cheaper English-speaking countries, such as South Africa, which ranks fifth on our list of the finest and cheapest countries to live in. South Africa is maybe the cheapest English-speaking country to reside in. You can get by without going to language school, and most South African cities have a high quality of living comparable to Western places, making the move much easier. As a result, it is a strong contender for the most affordable English-speaking country to live in!
If that wasn’t enough, Africa’s southernmost country is also one of the world’s most culturally and naturally varied. You will not be bored in South Africa, which offers everything from safaris to whale viewing, river rafting to zip lines.
- Popular jobs here: Despite the fact that South Africa is an English-speaking country with ten official languages, teaching English is still a popular alternative. There are also a variety of opportunities available in tourism and with foreign companies..
- Cost of living: Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is around $350-500 per month, a domestic beer is around $1.70 and a meal at a local restaurant starts from $8.
Working in China may not be your traditional work abroad destination, but it can be both affordable and lucrative at the same time. Salaries are greater in this country than in many other Asian countries, and the economy is booming, so there are plenty of job opportunities. Of course, the cost of living in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing will be higher, but salaries will be much higher as well. China is a fantastic destination to visit, and many work abroad programs will hold events and even provide free Mandarin classes, so you might as well learn a new language while you’re there.
- Cost of living: The cost of living in China can be surprisingly low if you avoid the biggest cities. Rent for a 1-bed apartment starts at $300, a meal in a local restaurant costs around $3.
7. South Korea
South Korea isn’t the cheapest country in which to work and live, but it made the list because salaries are fairly competitive, and programs sometimes include free housing, which greatly lowers the cost of living. Teaching English as a foreign language is an obvious career decision, as South Korea has established itself as one of the greatest destinations in the world for doing so. Korea’s contemporary cities are on par with those in the United States and Europe, the landscape is beautiful and diversified, the food is delicious, and the people are welcoming, making it an excellent place to work, save money, and travel.
- Cost of living: While higher than in Southeast Asian countries, Korea is still very affordable, with rents for 1-bed apartments starting at around $375 and restaurant meals starting from $6.
Thailand would be absent from any list of the best and cheapest countries in the world if it weren’t mentioned. Travelers from all over the world have fallen in love with the Land of Smiles long before the film “The Beach.” Even in big cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai, living costs are extremely affordable. Beach resorts are significantly more expensive than other beach resorts across the world, yet they are still inexpensive.
Thailand is an ideal country to live and work because of its crystal blue waters, rich culture, and delicious cuisine. To top it off, Thailand is one of the world’s cheapest and safest locations to live.
Cost of living: In Chiang Mai, for example, it is feasible to live comfortably on $600. $1 lunches can be found in street stalls, marketplaces, and mall food courts. A studio in a Western-style development can be rented for as little as $150 per month. A public bus ride costs approximately $0.30.
Peru might be the right destination for you if you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure on a budget—plus it’s one of the cheapest countries to live and work in! As one of the world’s cheapest countries, your dollar will go a lot further here than it would in other South American countries. Any visitor should hike the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu, but there are many other lesser-known jewels to uncover as well. Living and working in Peru will provide you with ample opportunities to travel across the Inca realm, from the sand dunes of Ica to the Amazon rainforest.
- Cost of living: Rent for a 1-bed apartment can be as low as $250, while a meal in a local market will set you back $1-3.
If you want to work and live in one of Europe’s most affordable countries, Poland is another wonderful and reasonable alternative. Poland is progressively becoming a destination for international travelers and expats, despite being far less well-known than its neighbor Germany. Warsaw and Krakow, the two largest cities in Poland, are quite contemporary and have all of the Western amenities you could want, but at a fraction of the cost of a trip to Germany. Teaching is an option, but there are also a variety of professional service jobs available that can pay very well.
Poland will pique the curiosity of EU citizens, as it is a member of the Schengen zone, which means that you can visit without a visa.