Believe it or not, most people who travel a lot don’t spend all their time gallivanting around luxury destinations that come at a hefty price.

Instead, they opt for cheaper destinations around the world that can offer them the same, if not more authentic travel experiences.

In our eBook, Travel More we talk a lot about how you can save and earn money while you travel and one of the best ways to achieve this is by visiting countries where you can get a lot more bang for your buck and stay for a while.

Most digital nomads who earn an income online do exactly this. They travel slow and spend most of their time in amazing destinations where the cost of living is low.

This way, they can stretch their monthly budget twice as far, immerse themselves in unique cultures and continue to learn something new every day.

We call it geo-arbitrage: taking advantage of the difference in living costs between different geographical localities. Earn in dollars, spend in Thai baht = WINNING.

You can leverage your earning potential by residing (or traveling) in countries with a lower cost of living by becoming location independent and utilising the internet to make an income from anywhere in the world.

When you work in dollars or pounds (which is usually the case online), you can easily earn a strong salary while living in Asia or South America where your expenses are much less than in the western world.

In many cases traveling can be much cheaper than living at home and if you choose to support yourself with an online business or remote employment along the way, you’ll be set for as long as you want continue doing it.

So without further ado, here I present to you some of the cheapest countries in the world to live and travel.

This could be a real eye opener if you’ve been wanting to travel but deem it too expensive.

This will change your mind…

Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work: We Share Our Top Picks 

Pin the world’s cheapest countries to travel, live and work for later >>

Wanting, C R A V I N G, NEEDING(!!) to travel more but your financial situation ain't exactly helping? Well you might not know it but there are, in fact, a bunch of awesome countries that you can travel to with very little money! Here are 10 of the world's cheapest countries to travel, live & work (if you fancy staying!) I also give you a recommended monthly budget. Curious to find out where all these cheap paradises exist? Check this out...

1. Nepal

Named the cheapest country in Asia, Nepal is certainly a smart choice if you’re on a tight budget but want an amazing travel experience – especially with all that incredible natural beauty.

While the internet is not great, you can buy one of those 3G devices and you’re sweet to go (even on top of a mountain).

With just $500 per month you can stay and support yourself in Kathmandu… How crazy is that?!

Rent can cost as little as $150 per month or around $4 per night in a hostel and basic street meals average at around $1 – $2!

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Nepal:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Nepal accommodation

Nepal | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

2. Cambodia

With $1000 per month in Cambodia you’ll be able to live quite comfortably whilst knowing that you’ll never go hungry – especially with beach rentals going for $200 per month, hostel rooms going for around $5 and most street meals sitting around the $1 – $2 mark.

Visit Cambodia with $1,500 per month and you’ll have a great old time.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Cambodia:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Cambodia accommodation

Cambodia | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

3. Thailand

Depending on where you go in Thailand the prices can vary, however, no matter what, it’s still very cheap.

Head to Chiang Mai or Pai (digital nomad hot spots) in the North and again, you’ll find yourself eating $1 – $2 meals and able to rent a house for as little as $250 per month.

$1,500 per month is more than enough to support yourself.

Amazing massages can cost anywhere as little as $5 per hour and a scooter will cost you $50 per month (with a little haggling).

Due to it’s location, cost of living and vibrance, Chiang Mai is one of the most popular cities in the world for digital nomads.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Thailand:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Thailand accommodation

Thailand | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

4. Philippines

According to Nomadlist.com, Davao in the Philippines is one of the world’s cheapest cities to travel, live and work.

Again, with $1,000 per month you’ll be able to live quite comfortably with beach-side rentals costing around $340 and meals between $3 and $5.

With $1,500 per month, take your pick out of Cebu, Palawan and Manila, all of which offering low living costs in incredible and diverse environments.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in the Philippines:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Philippines accommodation

Philippines | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

5. Bali, Indonesia

Ubud, the small tropical village located about an hour inland from Kuta, is absolutely magical, which is no wonder why so many backpackers and digital nomads end up there.

With $1,200 – $1,500 per month (depending on whether you stay short or long term) you’ll be living in peace and serenity among the rice paddies in Bali.

Basic street meals can cost as little as $3 and one bedroom rentals sit around the $450 per month mark.

Other popular cities in Bali, such as Kuta, Seminyak and Caangu are now more suited to tourists with prices being much higher (around $6 – $10 for a meal).

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Bali:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Bali accommodation

Bali | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

6. India

Bordering on Nepal, India is another one of the cheapest countries to travel, live and work.

Most people who go to India come out saying that they’ve never had a travel experience quite like it.

If you’re really wanting to step out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a completely foreign culture, India is the place to do it.

With as little as $650 per month you can stay in a city like Bangalore, and rent a one bedroom apartment for around $180 per month.

However, the living conditions in India aren’t quite as comfortable as most other destinations on this list, so I’d bring some back up funds just in case.

With $900 per month, you’ll be able to stay quite comfortably in most other cities in India.

In the North, you can even find hostels that will have you for $3 per night!

And again, most basic street meals cost around the $1 – $2 mark.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in India:

–> Click here to search the best deals on India accommodation

India| The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

7. Bolivia

Bolivia is one of the cheapest yet most unvisited countries in the whole of Latin America.

Not that I’ve been there yet but from what I’ve heard, I’d put that down to the fact that it’s not as developed as it’s surrounding countries.

However, Bolivia offers some stunning natural beauty, unlike anything you’ll find at home (unless, of course, you live in Bolivia) – for example, the world’s largest salt flat (Salar de Uyuni).

With just over $900 per month, you can stay in La Paz, the capital city, and rent a one bedroom apartment for around $220.

A private hostel room may cost around the $10 mark and you can get a basic street meal for as little as $2.

Only got $800 to last the month? Take your pick out of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz!

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Bolivia:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Bolivia accommodation

Bolivia| The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

8. Nicaragua

Nestled nicely between Honduras and Costa Rica in Central America, Nicaragua offers the perfect environment for those who want to chill out, surf and lap up the tropical beach lifestyle (sounds like me).

A one bedroom apartment in Nicaragua will cost you as little as $250 per month (depending on whether you choose to live in the city or not) and most basic meals sit around the $4 mark.

With $1,500 per month, you should be able to support yourself comfortably.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Nicaragua:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Nicaragua accommodation

Nicaragua| The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

9. Peru

Next we have Peru. Bordering on Bolivia in South America, Peru is yet another super cheap country that offers stunning natural beauty and plenty to do for the adventurous traveller.

You can stay in Peru for as little as $800 per month in a place called Chachapoyas, located in the northwest, however, many nomads opt for Lima, the capital city.

In Lima, $1,300 per month will fully support you with one bedroom rentals averaging at around $385 per month and most basic meals set around the $3 mark.

If you only want to stay for a short period of time, you can stay in a hostel for around $10 per night.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Peru:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Peru accommodation

Peru| The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

10. Argentina

Buenos Aires is not far behind Chiang Mai when it comes to digital nomad hot-spots.

With $1200 – $1,500 per month (again, depending on how long you stay) you’ll be able to set yourself up nicely in one of the worlds most sexy and alive cities (according to Lonely Planet).

A one bedroom rental averages out at about $390 per month or a private hostel room will cost around $10 per night.

Basic street meals sit around the $5 mark and if you want to get some work done, co-working spaces average out around $40 per month.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Argentina:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Argentina accommodation

Argentina| The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work | StoryV Travel & Lifestyle

Bonus: Colombia! [Update Sept 2016]

We recently spent one month traveling through Colombia, which turned out to be one of our absolute favourite countries yet!

Not only does Colombia boast stunning natural environments, incredibly friendly people and delicious food, it also happens to be one of the cheapest countries we’ve ever visited.

One afternoon we had lunch in a local restaurant in the city of Santa Marta, on the Caribbean coast. We received a soup, a main meal and a juice for a grand total of $2. Other times, I saw cafés selling coffee and iced tea for $0.50 – $1.00.

To get around, Uber is very inexpensive – I’m talking $3 for a 15 minute trip. You can also stay in guesthouses/hostels for less than $10 per night, nice 5-star hotels for less than $70 per night and apartments for less than $800 per month.

One of our favourite cities was Medellín because there is a huge community of digital nomads leveraging geo-arbitrage. It’s a fantastic city to live with lots of cool cafés and things to do and the low cost of living makes the city even more attractive to travelers and expats.

You could spend a month in Medellín or Santa Marta with less than $1,500.

Want stylish accommodation you can actually afford? Enter your dates and Hotels Combined will scan all the top booking sites (Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, etc) for the cheapest prices possible in Colombia:

–> Click here to search the best deals on Colombia accommodation

Palomino, Colombia | The World's 10 Cheapest Countries To Travel, Live And Work

So there we have it, 10 of the world’s cheapest countries to travel, live and work.

Obviously there are many other countries with a low cost of living, including VietnamMorocco, Portugal, Serbia and Romania but these 10 are some of the cheapest I’ve found.

How do they measure up for you?

Now that you’ve read this do you think you could save up, put your job on hold and travel for 6 months?

It’s really not as difficult as we sometimes tell ourselves, especially when we know where we can stretch our budget further!

And if 6 months doesn’t seem like enough time (once the travel bug has kicked in), remember, you can always work while you travel and keep the party going!

If you are interested in long term travel and liked this post, you’ll love this one… Here are the 30 Best Countries To Spend 30+ Days!

Recommended: Using your bank to transfer money overseas can work out to be very costly. In fact, they can charge up to 5% in hidden costs, usually through adding a mark-up to their exchange rate…

We recommend using Transferwise to send money abroad because they use the mid-market exchange rate without any mark-up and are very transparent about any fees they make take before charging you. Basically it can work out up to 8 x cheaper to use this service.


Over to you! Leave you answers in the comments section below…

  • Are you thinking about traveling long term or even full time and curious to know more about the cheapest countries to travel, live and work? Ask away!
  • Are you currently leveraging geo-arbitrage to travel and live in different countries around the world? Share your experience with us!
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Hannah is an Australian nomad and the Founding Editor of StoryV Travel & Lifestyle. After finishing her studies in Business Administration Hannah took off to Thailand with her father for a life-changing volunteer experience that shaped the way her future panned out. The day she returned home she took up 3 jobs and booked her next ticket out. 3 months later she had quit the rat race completely and was off to Thailand once more - this time, on her own. Little did she know, that solo adventure would lead her to meet the love of her life and go on to explore the rest of the world as a digital nomad. With a thirst for experiencing unfamiliar cultures in exotic destinations around the world, Hannah most enjoys chasing sunsets, lazing on tropical beaches and getting lost among a myriad of crooked buildings and small alleyways. Follow her adventures on Twitter and Facebook!