Cheapest Countries to Be a Full Time Nomad in

Whether you call yourself a digital nomad or a location independent individual, the truth is that one element is extremely important when it comes to choosing your next destination: costs. Everybody knows that living a life of constant travel is not cheap and even if you are as frugal as possible, costs do add up.

But the truth is that some countries are cheaper to live in than others. For those lucky enough to earn a living (or have savings) in a strong currency like the USD or Euro to mention just a couple, their money will actually buy them a lot more in some countries. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s article: the cheapest countries to be a full time nomad in.

Of course, we’re not going to send you off to some places that nobody has heard of, ever visited and where WiFi internet is still a myth. We’re going to look both at prices and cost of living, but also quality of life. Because nobody wants to be thrown in the jungle and live on fruits they scavenge around….

I am not listing these cheap countries to be a digital nomad in any particular order: just pick the one that sounds better to you and off you go for some cheap accommodation and cost of living, perfect for constant travelers! These are also perfect (or even better, I would say) for those who like to travel slowly or simply move away from an expensive country and get more bang for their buck.

10. Thailand

You really can’t have a list of hot spots for digital nomads these days without including Thailand. So even though you heard this over and over again, I have to say it too: Thailand is cheap and beautiful and has a lot to offer to digital nomads.

Sure, there will be some adjustments you’ll have to make if you decide to live in this country, but with a single room renting for as low as $150 per month and a full meal available for 50 cents, you can easily get past the downsides.

And there is more to Thailand than Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, which are slowly becoming extremely Westernized (in price-terms as well). Pick a more remote location, embrace the local lifestyle and enjoy your new life!

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month for those who are very frugal.

9. Romania

One of the cheapest countries to live in the EU, Romania is a rough gem hidden far away from the beaten path. But with a nice history, party-loving and extremely friendly people and one of the cheapest costs of living in Europe, Romania is definitely a great choice for those looking to explore Europe, maybe set up home base there and do it on the cheap. Or just live in an European country for a fraction of the cost they’d spend in the West.

Expected cost of living: as low as $1,000 per month

8. Mexico

Many people consider Mexico to be more on the unsafe side than otherwise, but the truth is that the digital nomad community has few – if any – horror stories taking place in Mexico.

Sure, it’s such a huge country with so many people living there – many of them extremely poor – that petty crime does happen, but it’s usually extremely safe in most areas, for most people.

So if you enjoy extremely hot weather all year-long and you also want to be closer to the US than with most of the other options, Mexico is definitely a great choice. It offers solid options both for Beach lovers, as well as those who want to be farther away from it.

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month

7. Indonesia

Although I haven’t been to Indonesia yet, it is high on my “to see” list and I hope that I will be able to spend a lot of time there. I love the people from what I’ve seen and heard, I love the culture and all the beautiful things you can see there, I love everything about Indonesia and I know it even without being there.

And I am not only talking about Bali here – the entire country is beautiful. Just put your finger on the map to choose a destination and it will be lovely! Or follow the same route that most are following, rent a room in Ubud and be surrounded by fellow nomads living the life there!

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month

6. Vietnam

A cheap country even by SE Asia standards, Vietnam is quickly growing and becoming a top destination for digital nomads and those people looking for a really cheap – yet extremely beautiful – place to live in.

It’s true that most of the country can still be considered rural and you’ll have trouble finding high speed internet there, but there are still plenty of options available and prices are incredibly low. Even if you get scammed there, as all tourists get eventually, you will still consider it cheap!

Expected cost of living: as low as $700 per month

5. Cuba

This country is on the upswing now that the US has done away with most of the sanctions that bared travel. Look for cheap everything. The Salsa, the Cubans, even the health care is top shelf there, even though a trip to Cuba now looks like a trip to the past.

Don’t be fooled though, it’s much better than it looks and it’s one of those few countries in the world that offer a truly unique experience!

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month

4. Laos

This one is more for the out of the way people, similar to Vietnam, I would say. If you want a dusty, almost Western living experience when you work, here it is. The capital is on the border with Thailand, so it’s close to the action. And then you step away from there and get to the heart of Laos and it’s jungles and temples all over the place! Awesome!

Expected cost of living: as low as $700 per month

3. Cambodia

A nice commuter plane ride away from Thailand, this country is laid back, but be on the lookout as always, the history here is wonderful. The prices are low, the people are still extremely friendly towards foreigners and even though the quality of the internet is lacking in most areas, there are many other things to make up for it.

Living in Cambodia is also extremely cheap even by SE Asia standards, so expect to pay as low as $700 per month here.

2. India

The beaches here and the history is what draws me. And with the tech hubs taking over, you know that this should be on your bucket list of work and play spots.

But it is at the same time extremely crowded and poverty strikes some of the areas, but fortunately things are starting to get better here and India is turning not just into a must see place, but also one extremely advanced country. Sure, some neighborhoods and villages are still extremely poor and trash piles are a normal sight, but you can take this as part of the charm of visiting India.

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month

1. Philippines

I think even with all the corruption here, it’s worth a look and the bang for your buck is bigger than in most of the South Eastern Asian countries. Not to mention the fact that the country itself is absolutely beautiful and the people extremely friendly towards foreigners.

And you do have to try the food there, even if you don’t plan to stay for too long: some people absolutely hate it, but some absolutely love it. You have to see it for yourself and try it before you decide. I believe that if you enjoy eating meat, you’ll love this country!

Expected cost of living: as low as $800 per month

So these would be some otherwise unsurprising choices for the best cheap countries to be a digital nomad in. South East Asia is still dominating the charts and basically any country there can be considered a solid option, with very low costs.

What other cheap countries would you add to the list for digital nomads on a budget?

2 thoughts on “Cheapest Countries to Be a Full Time Nomad in”

  1. Nice article Callin. I agree with most options on the list, the only one I am questioning is Cuba. As far as I know, interenet is still a rarity there. So if you need to work online, it’s not ideal. But I’ve been 5 years ago. Has it changed since then?

    • That is correct, internet is really bad in Cuba but things are much better now than they were 5 years ago. You’ll still have to go old school and visit an internet cafe to do some work, but that’s part of the Cuban charm and a new way for you to meet new people. A challenge as well – even though internet seems to get better and better each year.


Leave a Comment