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The past few years have seen a huge shift towards remote working, which means fewer of us are tethered to just one location. And if you can work from anywhere, why not do it in luxury? Digital nomads tend to favor locales with a low cost of living, where they can live in luxury without spending an absolute fortune. Money generally goes a lot further outside of the United States, which is why in this post I’ll be exploring the most luxurious destinations for digital nomads who are seeking more bang for their buck.
It’s no secret that I love Bali. This paradisiacal island tops the list for digital nomads seeking luxury on a budget. Gorgeous villas, perfect coworking cafes and delicious food make it a mecca for travelers and digital nomads alike. You can easily rent an entire villa, hire cleaning staff and have everything you need delivered to your door for a fraction of what you would ever pay in the US. Weekly massages, meal prep and daily beach trips become the norm on this island paradise.
When it comes to living and working in Europe, Portugal is the top contender. You can enjoy a much lower cost of living, gorgeous beaches and some of the best food and wine the continent has to offer. Portugal is very safe, the locals are friendly and you’ll fall in love with the rich, vibrant culture. When it comes to choosing where to stay in Portugal, you have a lot of choices.
If you’re a city-dweller at heart, staying in Lisbon or Porto is still extremely affordable compared to what you’d pay in the US. You’re probably looking at spending around $1,800 to fund your cosmopolitan lifestyle. If you’d rather escape to the beaches, finding somewhere on the famous Algarve Coast will cost you even less, and happily, the WiFi’s still pretty great.
Colombia often gets a bad wrap but this beautiful, vibrant country is a great setting for a life of luxury. It’s close to the equator which means you’ll get to enjoy summer vibes all year round and the country is very biodiverse: beaches, mountains… you name it, Colombia’s got it! It’s a very affordable place to travel which means you can spend your weekends exploring all of the beautiful sights Colombia has to offer.
It costs around $1,000 a month to live well in Colombia. Forget meal prepping – eating out won’t cost you anymore than a few dollars per day. It’s also easy for US citizens to get a Colombian retirement visa, which means you could call this beautiful country home forever.
Panama has a large English-speaking population and the official currency is the US dollar, so it’s an easy place for American digital nomads to live. The Wi-Fi is excellent throughout the country and there’s strong infrastructure and no shortage of amenities. Best of all, Panama is brimming with incredible sights to check off of your bucket list, such as snorkeling on the beautiful San Blas islands and hiking the Baru volcano.
As a solo expat in Panama City you’ll find yourself paying around $1,500 a month to live in luxury, while outside the capital the figure will be closer to $1,000. A little certainly goes a long way in Panama, making it one of the best countries in the world for expats to live in luxury.
Just north of Panama you’ll find yourself in a jungle oasis that you’ll never want to leave! Americans often find themselves retiring to Costa Rica for the food, the beaches and the micro climates making it easy to find the perfect place for you. A single person living in the hub of central Costa Rica can live well on $1500, so it’s an ideal choice for digital nomads seeking a little luxury in their life.
With its interesting history and pretty scenery, Croatia is one of the coolest European countries to explore. However, if you’ve ever visited the coastal cities of Dubrovnik or Split during the summer, you probably wouldn’t class them as affordable places to live in luxury. This is because Croatia has a very distinct “high season” and is considerably more affordable for the rest of the year. It’s also much cheaper to live further inland but come on… who doesn’t want to live their best life by the beach?
With more than 878 islands, you’ll be sure to find one you love in Malaysia. Malaysia has been a popular expat destination since the late 1960s and shows no signs of slowing down. English is widely spoken through the country which makes it incredibly easy to navigate. I love the cosmopolitan capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang is an undeniable cool and modern destination for digital nomads. When you’re ready to disconnect for a little while, treat yourself to a Malaysian staycation in Langkawi, which boasts some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia.
Thailand has a lot more to offer than its infamous full moon parties. It’s a wonderful destination for digital nomads because it offers a high standard of living at a relatively low price. The charming northern city of Chiang Mai is one of the world’s premier digital nomad hotspots and it’s blissfully easy for solo travelers to find community there. However, if you want to live out the digital nomad fantasy of working right on the beach, the chilled out islands of Koh Lanta and Koh Samui are your best bet.
Thailand is also home to an awesome spa culture which makes it possible to treat yourself as often as you feel like it. There’s nothing quite like a massage on the beach, is there?
Jumping back over to Europe, we’re going to visit Portugal’s next-door neighbor. Spain is another country with a low cost of living, especially if you get out of the main cities. There are digital nomad hotspots all over the country, both in mainland Spain and on the charming Canary Islands. Even in the bustling city of Madrid, you can live on less than $2,000 a month, which is pretty low for Western Europe.
This lovely island off the coast of Italy is the largest island in the Mediterranean. There are plenty of amazing deals when it comes to renting accommodation and even buying property. The food and wine in Italy is second to none and Sicily is particularly noted for its cuisine. The only thing you might have to compromise on here is the Wi-Fi, but thankfully affordable mobile data packages are available as backup.
If you’re looking to stay in the US then look no further than Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City was named the best city in the US for digital nomads, based on its cost of living, Wi-Fi speed and coworking space. It’s an unexpected little digital nomad oasis, right in the middle of America.
Canada is one of the most expensive countries in the world, but it’s got one of the best standards of living. If you want to live in luxury, Canada is an amazing place to do it. In terms of affordability, Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario is your best bet.
You’ll find everything you need here, but be able to rent an apartment for less than $1,000, which is a pretty big deal in Canada. Best of all, you’ll get to experience the full four seasons here. I love to see the leaves changing in the fall, so this is a big plus for me. This wonderful Canadian city means you won’t have to sacrifice any of life’s luxury – or your wallet.
Vietnam is a very up-and-coming digital nomad destination. It’s one of the safest and most affordable countries in the world to live in.
The two major cities, Saigon and Hanoi, boast excellent Wi-Fi and some beautiful luxury high-rise apartments, which will only cost you a fraction of your rent back home. A one-bed luxury apartment starts at $500 per month, but you could find a studio for even cheaper than that. Spa treatments, clothing and even sky bar cocktails will barely make a dent in your budget. If you’d like to live somewhere more scenic, consider the coastal towns of Hoi An and Danang.
Barbados is one of the only countries in the world offering a year-long ‘digital nomad’ visa. This means you can live in island paradise for twelve months, without having to worry about overstaying or extending. You’ll be able to make yourself a lovely home and live on island time (and within walking distance of idyllic beaches). It sounds almost too good to be true, but many digital nomads are already calling Barbados their home – so why not you?
Georgia is a budding Eastern European country that offers a 12-month visa on arrival to US passport holders. Tbilisi is a growing digital nomad hub with more and more expats choosing to call this artsy city home. Georgians are incredibly inviting and warm people, who’ll be excited to show you around their country. Living in Tbilisi will cost you less than $1,200 a month and you’ll have ample opportunity to escape into the surrounding mountains and explore neighboring countries.
If you’re able to work from anywhere, why not make your salary go a little further? These 15 places are hubs for digital nomads who want to live in luxury at an affordable price.
Now that you know where to live in luxury as a digital nomad, be sure to check out my guide to setting up the perfect home office, so that you can be productive wherever you decide to go.
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