Cheapest and safest places to live in the world (2023)

There are many options where you can live comfortably on a budget. Here are 10 of the cheapest AND safest places to live in the world!

For anyone looking to live abroad, there are many factors to consider. Visas, language barriers, culture, affordability, and safety are just a few things to take into account when moving to a new country.

In this article, I’ll be focusing on the last two: safety and affordability!

There are so many cheap countries around the world where you can live comfortably on a budget. But often, cheap countries don’t have the infrastructure and amenities that richer countries do, which sometimes leads to a decline in safety. But this isn’t always the case!

This article will list 10 countries that happen to be cheap to live in but are also very safe.

Safety is a huge concern for many people moving abroad, especially if you’re new to traveling and relocating. These countries are generally very safe, so you can move abroad without fear.

That being said, I just want to note that good and bad things can happen in any country. There is no guarantee that any country will have absolutely zero crime or danger, but that shouldn’t stop you from traveling!

I recommend doing in-depth research before actually moving anywhere, and checking out the specific neighborhoods and areas where you may live.

Keep reading: The safest places to travel right now.

Overview of how to move abroad

Cheapest and safest places to live in the world (1)

If you’re wondering how exactly to live abroad, there are a few ways to do so.

  • You can get a visa and a paid job and rent an apartment.
  • You can find out about immigration options in the country you want to move to.
  • You can also just do a Worldpackers work exchange, where you live for free with a host in another country in exchange for some manageable work for around 20 hrs per week.

If you are thinking of living abroad and volunteering with Worldpackers, and you’re concerned about safety, consider checking out the Worldpackers Insurance.

(Video) 10 Most Comfortable and Cheapest Country to LIVE in !

If you get to a work exchange and it’s not what you imagined, Worldpackers will help you relocate somewhere new and will reimburse you for up to 3 nights spent in a hostel.

But to ensure that you have no troubles, also take advantage of the messenger on the Worldpackers website. Ask your host all the questions you have before you book your trip. Or message past travelers and ask them about their volunteering experience.

Worldpackers creates a very interconnected community of travelers where you can get all the information you need before going abroad to live or volunteer.

So without further adieu, here are 10 of the cheapest and safest places to live in the world (listed in no particular order)!

10 of the cheapest and safest places to live in the world

  1. Czech Republic
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Albania
  4. Portugal
  5. Costa Rica
  6. Panama
  7. Mexico
  8. Thailand
  9. Malaysia
  10. Vietnam

1. Move to Czech Republic

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Wedged in between Austria, Germany, Slovakia, and Poland, the Czech Republic sits in between Eastern and Western Europe. It is a country that is well-developed like Western Europe, but cheap like Eastern Europe.

The Czech Republic is an amazing country to move to because it has a very low crime rate, a strong international community, and an affordable cost of living.

Living and working here makes it convenient and easy to travel around Europe, and there are lots of volunteer positions in Czech Republicand paid jobs available.

You can explore Prague while volunteering in an amazing hostelas a housekeeper or being a Kitchen Hand in another one. Or maybe you prefer to volunteer on a farm with horses.

(Video) What’s the Cheapest and Safest Country to Live in?

2. live in Bulgaria

This beautiful country in Eastern Europe is often overlooked by travelers. But it has stunning mountains, historic cities and towns, hearty food and drinks, cheap shopping and living expenses, and super friendly locals.

Bulgaria is one of the safest and cheapest places to live in the world, especially in Europe. Europe can be quite expensive, but everything in Bulgaria is affordable.

The capital city is a great place to start, and there are lots of fun things to do in Sofia. After getting to know the capital, venture out to continue exploring this amazing country by doing a work exchange program in Bulgaria.

Help with an organic garden and recycling projects; be a volunteer in a dog's NGO ormeet people from all over the world in this amazing hostel.

3. Be a volunteer in Albania

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As one of the most underrated countries in Europe, Albania has lots to love. With a warm, Mediterranean climate and landscape, and a lack of many tourists, Albania is a gorgeous place to live. It’s also very affordable and easy to get around.

There are a few Worldpackers work exchangesin Albania here as well, which will allow you to live and work alongside locals so you can learn about their country and lifestyle.

You can volunteer on a boat, work in a hostel, be a web developer, or volunteer at an eco-village.

4. Try living in Portugal

Definitely one of the cheapest and safest places to live in the world, Portugal is very popular among people leaving the US to move abroad.

Transportation is very sophisticated and easy to use all over Portugal, and you can travel cheaply around the country by train or bus.

Shopping at the local markets is very affordable, and the culture is very warm and welcoming.

You can indulge in fresh seafood, Portuguese treats, and delicious wine without spending a fortune. This is a cheaper alternative to other countries in western Europe like France or the UK.

(Video) Relocating To The UK : Cheapest And Safe Places To Live And Work In The UK

Worldpackers has top hosts in Portugallike this position in a Guest House where you would live in aquiet place in nature to slow down a little and this friendly hostel in Lisbon.

5. Make Costa Rica your home

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This lush Central American country is one of the most popular places to move to from the USA. It’s close, it’s gorgeous, it’s affordable, and it’s very safe.

Costa Rica is famous for its “Pura Vida” lifestyle which emphasizes slowing down, enjoying nature and living life to the fullest.

There are lots of living and working opportunities in Costa Rica on permaculture projects, NGOs, eco-lodges, and retreats. You can rent cheaply and not have to worry about much crime in Costa Rica!

6. Go to Panamaspending little money

Panama is another country in Central America that is one of the cheapest and safest places to live.

It isn’t as cheap as its other neighboring countries like El Salvador or Nicaragua, but it is generally much safer. Panama has a very multicultural community full of students, travelers, ex-pats, and locals.

There are plenty of places to volunteer around the country as well. Volunteering in Panama will help you connect with locals, which will help you stay safe. If there are locals that you trust, they will make sure you know the best ways to live in their country.

Consider doing digital media for an NGO, doing woodworking for a permaculture project, or tutoring locals in English.

Plan your trip with the article about the 10 best things to do in Panama.

7. Move to affordable Mexico

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With a diverse landscape and a vibrant local culture, Mexico is an easy place to move to from the USA because it’s so close.

A quick flight or drive from the USA will bring you to this country full of beaches, coral reefs, ancient ruins, forests, mountains, lakes, farms, small villages, and big cities.

(Video) Top 10 Cheapest Beach Towns To Live & Retire In The World

Mexico has a wide variety of temperatures and climates, and things to see and do, so you’ll never get bored living here. Local food and transport around the country are very cheap as well, so you can live here affordably.

Save money in Mexico by working in a hostel, working as a handyman, teaching English, or working at an animal sanctuary!

8. Consider going to Thailand

One of the cheapest and safest places to live in Asia is Thailand. This country is a backpacker’s dream, as everything is super cheap.

So whether you’re just traveling for a while or you want to relocate permanently, consider Thailand! You can stretch your money here to last for a long time.

Food, transport, accommodation, activities and attractions, it’s all cheap in Thailand.

You can also explore the mountains of the north, the big cities, the jungle, and the plains, or the islands. Thailand is very diverse, and there are lots of places to volunteer in Thailandas well if you’re looking to live with and learn from locals.

Live an authentic Thai experience volunteering on a farm, gardening in an Eco Lodgeor helping out a hostel as content creator.

9. Venture moving to Malaysia

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Malaysia is a very well-developed country in Southeast Asia. Costs are low, crime is low, healthcare and infrastructure are good, and there are lots of immigrants and ex-pats living in Malaysia.

There is a strong international community and a low cost of living, making it one of the safest and cheapest places to live in Asia. And with a warm climate and lots of natural beauty, Malaysia can feel like a dream.

Make sure to check out Worldpackers volunteering programs in Malaysiawhere you can help writing content, painting and decoratingand gardening.

10. Live in Vietnam as a worldpacker

If you want to live abroad and teach English, Vietnam is an amazing place to go. With dramatic natural landscapes, historic towns, and villages, and lots of cheap, delicious local food, Vietnam has everything you need to live on a budget.

(Video) 12 Best Countries to Live Easily with Low Cost of Living

There are a huge number of schools in Vietnam as well, so there are lots of teaching opportunities. On the Worldpackers website, there are over 100 volunteer positions available in Vietnam.

You can volunteer with kids who have Autism, teach English to locals at a homestay, or help kids with dance, art, and music. You can teach English to children in the mountains or in the famous Ha Long Bay. There are so many options!

Keep exploring such amazing budget travel tips like these10 cheap vacations for adventurous couples.


Where is the cheapest place in the world to live comfortably? ›

ECUADOR (tie) The low cost of living is the number one reason for many expats moving to Ecuador. It can be a tremendous advantage, particularly if you are on a fixed income. Rental prices are half the cost than in the U.S. or Europe, and often include furnishings.

What is the cheapest English speaking country to live in? ›

Top 15 cheapest English speaking Countries:
  • United Kingdom. Investment For Foreigners.
  • Grenada. Living expenses:
  • South Africa. Living Expenses:
  • Antigua and Barbuda. Living Expenses:
  • Belize. Living Cost:
  • The Philippines. Living Cost:
  • India. Living cost:
  • Guyana. Cost of living:
Oct 16, 2022

What is the safest place on earth to live? ›

Iceland is the safest place to live on Earth, according to the latests Global Peace Index, where it ranked number one for the 13th year in a row. New Zealand is also extremely safe, coming in second on the same index.

What is the cheapest Country to live in with American money? ›

Costa Rica

And you don't need to go broke while living and working there, because Costa Rica is one of the cheapest countries to live in for Americans. Bargain flights from the US can also be found easily, making a trip to Costa Rica even more attractive.

Where to move to live a simple life? ›

Best Places To Live A Simple Life
  • Sandpoint, ID.
  • Gulfport, FL.
  • Montpelier, VT.
  • San Marcos, TX.
  • Greenville, SC.
  • Canandaigua, NY.
  • Port Townsend, WA.
  • Logan, UT.
Jul 4, 2022

What country can an American move to easily? ›

Portugal, Malta and Spain are some of the easiest countries to relocate to from the United States. American citizens can either gain permanent residency or apply for citizenships via each country's Citizenship by Invest programs.

What country can I live like a king for cheap? ›

For those not yet looking to retire, they make good vacation getaways as well:
  • Cuenca, Ecuador. ...
  • Coronado, Panama. ...
  • San José, Costa Rica. ...
  • Koh Samui, Thailand. ...
  • Vienna, Austria. ...
  • Capetown, South Africa. ...
  • Merida, Mexico. ...
  • Montevideo, Uruguay.
Jul 30, 2022

Which country pay you to live there? ›

Antikythera, Greece

The picturesque Greek Island of Antikythera has a population of around 20 residents and is paying people to move there. If chosen to be part of the program, people will be given land, a house, and a monthly stipend of about $565, or around ₹45,000, for the first three years.

Where is the cheapest and easiest place to live? ›

We based our list of the cheapest places to live on research from The Council for Community and Economic Research, Niche, among other sources.
  • Amarillo, Texas. ...
  • Meridian, Mississippi. ...
  • Tupelo, Mississippi. ...
  • Muskogee, Oklahoma. ...
  • Jackson, Mississippi. ...
  • Topeka, Kansas. ...
  • Richmond, Indiana. ...
  • Salina, Kansas.

Which country has high income and low cost of living? ›

Like other Middle Eastern countries, Oman is rich in oil and gas that make it a wealthy economy with the highest purchasing power in the list at 57.5 per cent with cost of goods that are comparatively cheaper. If you live in Asuncion, the country's capital, your monthly living expenses will fall to Rs 24,000 a month.

What is the best but cheapest place to live? ›

The Best Places to Live in America: 10 Most Affordable Cities
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • Wichita Falls, Texas.
  • Brownsville, Texas.
  • South Bend, Indiana.
  • Dayton, Ohio.
  • Toledo, Ohio.
  • Evansville, Indiana.
  • Buffalo, New York.
Jul 28, 2022

What country can I live in for $1000 a month? ›

5 Countries You Can Live For Less Than $1,000 A Month
  • Argentina. The cost of living in Argentina is up to 60% less than in the United States. ...
  • Croatia. Croatia doesn't get enough credit as a budget-friendly destination for expats. ...
  • Grenada. ...
  • Vietnam. ...
  • Zimbabwe.
Mar 24, 2021


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