The appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle has grown rapidly in recent years, especially after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, the number of digital nomads in the United States increased by nearly 50% to 11 million. The following year, that figure rose to 15.5 million.
While the appeal of a nomadic lifestyle is easy to understand – the ability to work from anywhere in the world, set your hours, and ditch the commute – there is one considerable downside: it can be expensive.
Living in popular tourist destinations or cities with a high cost of living can quickly consume your earnings. But it doesn't have to be that way.
It’s okay if you can’t afford luxury-theme countries now. No pressure.
There are plenty of places where you can live a comfortable life as a digital nomad for less than $1,500 per month.
Here are a few of our favorite places to live cheaply as a digital nomad:
1. Bali, Indonesia
Indonesia is a favorite destination for many digital nomads because of its varied landscape and affordable living costs. The province of Bali is a top destination for remote workers, with its abundance of cafes and coworking spaces.
The cities of Ubud and Canggu are top-rated among digital nomads due to their laid-back atmospheres and proximity to nature. You can find yourself surrounded by rice paddies and jungle trekking trails in Ubud, while Canggu offers stunning beaches and a surfer town vibe.
Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Bali, Indonesia can cost you around $800 per month, and basic utility fees are priced at around $90. It must be said, though, that lately, the Balinese population has expressed their dissatisfaction with foreigners due to the continuous misbehavior of travelers as well as the rampant inflation created by digital nomads.
2. Chang Mai, Thailand
Not only is Thailand an Island paradise, but it also boasts some of the world's most innovative and buzzing cities. Chang Mai, often called "the capital of the North", is a bustling city with something for everyone. From its rich history and culture to its food and great nightlife, there is always something to do in Chang Mai.
The cost of living in Thailand is quite low, especially when compared to developed countries in the West. You can rent a 1-bedroom apartment in Chang Mai for as little as $400 per month, and other utilities such as electricity and internet are also very affordable at around $70 per month.
3. Da Nang, Vietnam
One rave about Vietnam is its fantastic culture, which you can explore by visiting markets and trying street food, attending cultural events, and visiting temples and historical attractions. The country is also well-known for its coffee culture.
Another big draw for Vietnam is its low cost of living — a one-bedroom apartment in Da Nang (a top city in Vietnam) can be rented for as little as $300- $400 per month, and utilities can cost as low as $80 per month. The food is also incredibly cheap—you can get a hearty bowl of pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) for less than $1.50.
4. Budapest, Hungary
Hungary may be the place for you if you'd like to live in a Central European country with a rich culture and history. This landlocked country is located in the Carpathian Basin and borders seven other countries: Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
Budapest is both the capital and the largest city in Hungary and is considered one of Europe's most beautiful cities. This city's lively nightlife scene is known for its thermal baths.
The cost of living in Hungary is relatively affordable. A one-bedroom apartment in Budapest (in the old city of Buda) can cost around $600-700, and utilities will cost you about $150 monthly. Internet speeds are decent, averaging approximately 50 Mbps.
5. Medellìn, Colombia
Colombia is an attractive destination for digital nomads because of its variety of landscapes, friendly locals, and interesting culture. One key factor that makes Colombia appealing to digital nomads is its climate.
In addition to its great weather, Colombia is also very affordable. The cost of living in Colombia is significantly lower than in many developed countries. For example, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost you just $5.56, although it must be said that prices have been rising lately, according to nomads living there.
Other utilities, such as the Internet, are also very affordable. The average internet speed in Colombia is 15-20 Mbps, which is fast enough for basic tasks like checking email and browsing the web.
6. Bangalore, India
Captivating landscapes, fascinating history, and diverse cultures make India an excellent choice for travelers, and the low cost of living is ideal for digital nomads. With furnished apartments available at reasonable prices and plenty of coworking spas, India has everything a remote worker needs to be comfortable and productive.
In addition, India is well-connected, with reliable Wi-Fi and IT support readily available. Whether you're exploring a new culture or want to save money, the cost of living in India is relatively low.
You can expect to pay around $300- $400 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Bangalore. Utilities such as electricity and water are included in this price.
7. Merida, Mexico
Mexico is a beautiful country with a lot to offer digital nomads. It's possible to live in many of the country's cities for less than $1,500 per month. In Merida, the capital of the Yucatan State, a one-bedroom apartment and other utilities such as internet will cost you as little as $600 per month. The internet speed in Mexico is also quite good, making it a great place to work online.
Additionally, many relatively cheap cities in Mexico make it an excellent option for digital nomads looking to save money; some of the most popular include Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, and Tijuana.
This is yet another wonderful country for digital nomads. The cost of living here is particularly low, as you can get a one-bedroom apartment for around $300 to $400! The high-speed fiber optic internet costs only about $35 per month, while utilities can cost you $40. And depending on how often you eat out, food can settle you for around $100 for a month.
Morocco has now become a crowd-puller for those wishing to combine their laptop lifestyle with an in-person experience of foreign culture and awesome adventures. You can unwind all you want here. Many coffee shops, restaurants, and cell phone service providers exist and there is plenty to explore!
9. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
How would you feel about living in a country where you can find an apartment for less than $300 a month, the food is incredibly cheap, and you can get around town on a motorbike for less than $2? If that sounds appealing, then Cambodia may be the perfect place for you.
Phnom Penh is a developing city with a relatively cheap cost of living, hundreds of cafés, and a good Wi-Fi speed. A one-bedroom apartment in Phnom Penh can be rented for as little as $400–500 per month. Other utilities, such as electricity and water, are also very affordable. The average internet speed in Phnom Penh is 25 Mbps, which is fast enough to get pretty much any work done.
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10. Antalya, Turkey
Turkey, a country in Europe and Asia, has become a popular destination for digital nomads in recent years. The living costs in Izmir, a vibrant coastal city, is relatively low, with a one-bedroom flat averaging around $400-500 per month, with utilities such as electricity and internet costing an additional $70.
Turkey also has fast internet, making it a perfect spot to work online. There are few things worse than slow internet on the road. Trust us.
There are several affordable cities in Turkey which are perfect for digital nomads, including Istanbul, and Antalya.
To Wrap Up
Of course, your costs will vary depending on your lifestyle, the income coming from your digital nomad job, and the type of accommodation you choose. But these are all great places to live cheaply as a digital nomad.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure today, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to receive articles like this directly in your inbox! YOLO!
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