Gone are the days when working meant being confined to a cramped office, as technology has paved the way for digital nomads to work while seeing all the wonders the world has to offer. But if you're just starting out, read on to find out the best places you can thrive in for under $1000 a month!
1. The Algarve
When you hear the name of a European region or city, you might expect it to be expensive to live in. However, the Portuguese region of Algarve is an exception to this rule because an apartment can be rented there for as low as $550 per month.
With utilities estimated at around $160 and groceries at about $220, the cost of living is more or less than $930 a month here. Better yet, the southernmost region of Portugal is a Mediterranean paradise with its warm weather, majestic beaches, and quaint fishing towns.
When you're there, you can even earn extra cash as a tour guide in the Algarve with your English speaking skills, since its tourism is booming. As long as you familiarize yourself with the region and keep a friendly smile, being a digital nomad here will feel like a dream.
2. Playa del Carmen
More than just a popular spring break destination, this Mexican city will surely capture the heart of any aspiring digital nomad thanks to its delicious delicacies and diverse beach community. What's more, it's also budget-friendly for digital nomads, with its monthly cost of living priced at around $900, as basic utilities like electricity, water, and gas cost about $150 only overall.
While Playa del Carmen may sound like the perfect beach gateway, it's a prime working spot as well. Not only are Wi-Fi speeds pretty good, but the shared office spaces here like Nest Coworking and Fiso Club Empresarial are highly rated because of their affordability, efficiency, and excellent office views.
Known as 'The Pearl of the Orient', the Philippines is a cheap and convenient place to live in for digital nomads. On a monthly average, utilities are around $130, groceries are $200, and the cost of living is about $890. And thanks to the numerous cafés and coworking spaces in its capital city of Manila, as well as friendly locals who are fluent in English, it's very easy to adapt to this tropical country as a digital nomad.
Moreover, the best part about working in Manila is that it's also a hub for cheap local flights that allow you to step outside of the city and explore one of the country's 7,641 islands. Daydreaming in Paradise lists a variety of stunning destinations you can visit in the Philippines— from the historical sites of Cebu to the pristine beaches of Palawan. The former is famed for its fascinating landmarks from the country's 333 years of Spanish colonization, while the latter is an untouched tropical paradise.
Another exception to expensive European cities, the Hungarian capital of Budapest is a burgeoning tourist hotspot. From the buildings' neo-Gothic architecture and the 19th-century cast-iron Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the bohemian districts and the array of art hubs scattered across the capital, this Central European city is both inspiring and inexpensive for budding digital nomads.
Living here won't be too harsh on your pocket, as a 1-bedroom apartment in Budapest's city center costs around $500 a month. Also, basic costs like groceries and utilities are priced at $210 and $170, respectively. The low cost of living in Budapest will definitely give you a boost of productivity and creativity wherever you are here.
Bali is a favorite tropical destination for tourists, especially after the release of the 2010 blockbuster hit Eat Pray Love. Top-billed by Julia Roberts, the movie featured the Indonesian island as the location of 'love', since it's where her character meets her match. Digital nomads would also likely fall in love in Bali, but with the island itself.
There's more to this town than just work and 'love,' though, as you can 'eat' at the roadside restaurant and Indonesian institution Naughty Nuri's. Yahoo Lifestyle notes that it's also a spiritual haven, as you can 'pray' or find balance at one of the many ornate temples.
Don't worry about the laidback lifestyles of this rural town, since it strikes the right balance of fun and work. Due to the influx of expats, there are many modern coworking spaces where a cup of coffee usually costs about $1.80. Moreover, your own space comes at an affordable price, since 1-bedroom apartments here are normally listed for $430 a month with utilities at $90.
Not to be missed out in the beautiful island of Bali is the cool coastal town, Canggu. Compared to Ubud, Canggu is much livelier thanks to its vibrant surf and art scenes. Plus, the town is filled with cafés that serve reasonably priced coffee and free WiFi. So if you're a digital nomad who's seeking more adventure, then Canggu is the place in Bali for you.
While the scenic views of Canggu are priceless, living as a digital nomad here is thankfully cheap. The rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is $360-600 on average a month, with utilities around the same price as Ubud. What's more, Canggu's uniquely colorful culture and beachy vibes are an added bonus.
Located in Central Vietnam, Danang is known to be a peaceful escape from the fast-paced lifestyles of popular cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. As a coastal municipality, Da Nang is a haven for nature lovers, as it's home to the famous Marble Mountains that are made of limestone and (of course) marble, as well as many idyllic beaches. It's important to note that the most popular mode of transportation here is a motorbike, which already saves you money as they cost about only $2 a ride.
Moreover, the cost of living in Danang is very affordable, since it averages at about $800 a month. For instance, the rent of a 1-bedroom apartment here amounts to $300-500 a month, while utilities can cost as low as $70. And despite its gorgeous natural attractions, Da Nang's internet speed can go as fast as 15 Mbps, which is great news for digital nomads.
8. Chiang Mai
Tucked away in a valley in Northern Thailand is the lovely city of Chiang Mai. This city is a far cry from the busy scene of Bangkok, but it doesn't mean that it's short on interesting activities. From learning how to cook authentic Thai cuisine and talking with a monk at a temple, to visiting the rescued elephants at the sanctuary and exploring the medieval Old City, Chiang Mai will keep any digital nomad always excited for adventures.
When it comes to costs, Chiang Mai offers very inexpensive prices, which are perfect for digital nomads who want to stay on budget. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment can cost you about only $250-330 a month. And living costs like basic utilities and groceries are priced at around $70 and $120, respectively.
Article written exclusively for Spivo.com
By Erika Mullins