9 Cheapest Places to Live on the Beach in the World

Living at the beach year-round may seem like it’s only possible if you win the lottery, but with FundMyTravel you can make this dream become your next adventure! There is something magical about living next to a beach: people are happier, healthier, and more contented. Whether your dream is about the best beach cities to live and work in, or your dream involves the best islands to live on for cheap, you can make moving to the beach your next milestone.

Cheapest place to live on the beach
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And best of all, living at the beach year-round doesn’t have to break the bank! Below are the cheapest places to live on the beach in the world. (Don’t forget to snag the best, cheapest travel insurance before you go!)

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9 cheapest beach towns to live in around the world 

1. Penang, Malaysia

Malaysia may have the cheapest place to live on the beach in the world — and you won’t believe your luck. If you decide to make this 121km2 island your home, you won’t just have beaches on your doorstep, but rainforests to trek, temples to discover, and lots of food to try.

Penang is known as the food island of Southeast Asia. So, your days can be spent working on the beach, and in the evenings you will be sampling the delights of the local cuisine.

More perks of living in Penang is that English is widely spoken, healthcare is cheap and of high quality, there are great transport connections, and visas can be obtained on arrival for most nationalities. If you choose to live in Penang, you will get all of this, and a low cost of living!

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 4.14 MYR 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $2.41
  • Local beer: $3.62
  • One-bedroom apartment: $261.60/month

2. Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

Cheapest place to live on the beach
You won’t believe how affordable Indonesia really is.

The surf capital of Indonesia, Canggu not only has a great beach, but all the amenities to make your expat life easy. When you first arrive, you will find it hard to pull yourself away from your dream villa, but when you do, you will find the creativity and energy of Canggu inspiring, and you’ll know your move to the beach was a success. Whether you’re beginner or pro (or hate surfing!), this is a great town to base yourself in and start a new chapter of your life.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 14,000 IDR 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $1.60
  • Local beer: $2
  • One-bedroom apartment: $255/month

3. Hoi An, Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the cheapest, safest places to live in the world, so it makes sense that it’s also one of the cheapest place to live on the beach. Hoi An is not only one of the cheapest beach towns to live in the world, but it also offers you the opportunity to live in a UNESCO-designated environment.

Hoi An is a thriving city, with plenty of job opportunities, a world-renowned food scene, and all the facilities (such as transportation) that an expat could need. This city ranks as one of the best beach cities to live and work in. Being near the center of Vietnam also means it’s easy to explore the length and breadth of Vietnam from your home base.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 23,300 VND 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $1.30
  • Local beer: $0.86
  • One-bedroom apartment: $227.54/month

4. Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

If you want to be based somewhere only a short hop from the USA, but with year-round warm weather, a laid back atmosphere, and generous prices, then make las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic your new base.

The Dominican Republic is the best island to live on for cheap near the USA. This is a place where happy hour is happy in all senses: you, your friends, and your wallet. Las Terrenas is only three hours away from the capital city, which has all the goods you could ever need and world-class medical facilities.

Another upside is that Las Terrenas is just far enough off the beaten path that there hasn’t been an avalanche of resorts built yet. This means as you drive around Las Terrenas with your ATV, you will be stopping to catch up with your new neighbors and getting invitations for cocktails during sunset.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 52.83 DOP 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $5
  • Local beer: $2
  • One-bedroom apartment: $424/month

5. La Paz, Mexico

Cheapest place to live on the beach
Want to find the cheapest place to live on the beach in the world without going halfway around the globe? Mexico is for you!

Another option that is only a short hop from the USA is La Paz, Mexico. If you fancy Mexico, but at a slower, more relaxed pace, then the sleepy town of La Paz on the Baja California Sur is perfect for you.

With 100,000 residents, there will be all the facilities you need (including international goods), and if you need something special, it’ll be only a few hours’ drive to much larger cities.

La Paz is famous for its water sports, which you can partake in all year round. If you prefer relaxing on the beach after enjoying a filling lunch for great value, there are plenty in the town and surrounding areas.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 19 MXN 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $7.80
  • Local beer: $1.75
  • One-bedroom apartment: $420/month

6. Taghazout, Morocco

With fast, reliable internet, and reliable and challenging surf, Taghazout in Morocco is quickly becoming a digital nomad’s base of choice. If you live here you will quickly adjust to Taghazout time; your perception will shift, and life and work will beat to a different tempo. As a result, many internet start-ups have formed in town, while having some of the happiest company owners.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 10 MAD 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $2.50
  • Local beer: $3
  • One-bedroom apartment: $155/month

7. Cascais, Portugal

If you want to be based in western Europe but don’t want the price tag that’s typically included, then pack up your laptop and move your stuff to Cascais, Portugal. Here you will have the pick of the beaches, plenty of places to start your day with a hike, and free attractions to keep you busy.

On top of this, Portugal has good healthcare, efficient and cheap public transport, and an easy residency system. Portugal regularly rates high in happiness surveys, and this is shown by the long life expectancy of its residents. So, take a chance and book a ticket to your own happiness without breaking your bank account.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 0.90 EUR 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $8
  • Local beer: $1.50
  • One-bedroom apartment: $675/month

8. Koh Tao, Thailand

Cheapest place to live on the beach
Thai food plus Thai beaches equals dream life vibes.

If you fancy island life, but still want the buzz of being surrounded with entrepreneurs and the motivation of co-working spaces, then Thailand is the country for you. Koh Tao may be small, but there is plenty to see and do.

Your free time can be spent diving, paddle boarding, hiking, or relaxing. There is a tight knit community here, which will be there for you for the fun times (and last-minute deadlines). Other islands in Thailand to consider are Ko Phi Phi and Koh Samui.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 30 THB 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $1.75
  • Local beer: $3
  • One-bedroom apartment: $328/month

9. Budva, Montenegro

Eastern Europe is a great option for being light on the wallet, but still packing a punch with secluded sandy beaches, ready-to-hike mountains, and an old town to wander. Budva is a great place to go and get away from it all. The town has something for everyone — adventure, history, culture, and food. Some celebrities are paying a lot to stay near Budva, but for you, it will hardly break the bank.

  • Exchange rate: 1 USD : 0.90 EUR 
  • Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: $6
  • Local beer: $2
  • One-bedroom apartment: $384/month

Use FundMyTravel to get to the best islands for cheap!

FundMyTravel is an online tool that will help you make your travel dreams a reality. It will help you set your fundraising targets and keep track of your progress all while offering resources, advice, and suggestions on how to reach your fundraising target.

Using FundMyTravel is a secure way for people to donate to you and will help you shout out across social media about your goals, fundraising targets, and events. Every travel dream is a possibility, and FundMyTravel wants your dreams to come true. Make that move to the beach a reality ASAP!

Moving to the beach doesn’t have to be expensive

Cheapest place to live on the beach
Your personal (and cheap) paradise is out there!

For many people, living by the beach seems like unattainable paradise, so surely it must be too expensive. Well it doesn’t have to be! Thankfully for us, there is no correlation between beach quality and living expense. In fact, some beach towns are the cheapest places on Earth. So, don’t wait until you’re retired — start saving towards your beach dream and make it a reality.

Whether you’re moving to the beach to spend more time volunteering, to forge a new career, or to just take some much needed me time, there is a beach out there waiting for you to make it home. Which of these cheapest places to live on the beach in the world are you going to choose?

Sign up for the FundMyTravel newsletter to get more tips on how to make your beach dreams a reality!

rachel taylor

This article was written by Rachel Taylor. After moving to Malaysia, Rachel caught the travel bug and hasn’t been back to the UK since. Her travels have taken her via Europe, East and Southern Africa, and Asia. She is currently settled in northeast China, where she is hoping one day to hold a conversation in Chinese not about the weather.

Comments (15)

Hi, Rachel!
I just returned in August of 2019 from living and working in Portugal for three years. I think Cascais has become much more expensive than folks are reporting.
A set lunch may set you back only $10 US but dinner out somewhere inexpensive can easily be $15-20 a person — for the quality, still an amazing deal. If you use Lidl and things like that, you can get wonderful values . I also think rent has increased quite a bit. Value for money — Exceptional!! but it is more than advertised here and many of the places I have seen reporting — so travelers do your due diligence before heading off — but DO GO!!

Hi Mary. You spent a lot of time there. That’s great. Would love to chat about your stay and hope you could share your expertise with me. My husband and I are moving there. Let me know if open to that

I agree. As a Canadian (aka CANADIAN $$) I spent 10 days based in Lisbon in August 2019 and travelled to Sintra, Cascais, Algarve Albufeira…If you are a US or Euro resident – I get. For us…not so much. Having said that we found an AirBnb apartment in Lisbon overlookng the water (across the street) and just around the corner from the Train/Subway for approx. $CAD 105 a night…with air conditioning. So that was totally affordable for a short stay.

Options look great!

Hi my name is Gina and I live in Sioux Falls South Dakota I’m a 54 year-old woman that is alone and has no family and I’m looking to start a new life I would love to spend out my last days on a beach if anyone out there could tell me how to go about that

Hi Gina, please let me know if you get a reply from someone on your question. My name is Anna-Marie and I’m currently staying in South Africa. I’m 47 and my daughter is also nearly finished with school therefor I also consider moving and starting a new life abroad.

Hi Gina 🙂 I’m a thirty-nine-year-old woman who’s planning to move abroad in a few months. I have a ton of information, both practical and factual. I know how to survive in a new city on a minimal income. I know how to find the cheapest apartments in any city, what software helps you learn a new language quickly, how you can develop other streams of income when your money’s running short and you can’t pay rent.

I’d be happy to share what I know with you, since we have a similar background. Just write me on my website at https://helenoneil.com and let me know how to reach you and what you want to know. Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Hello Helen,I
I too would like to relocate to a beach community abroad or at least have a place to stay part of the year. I have no idea how to start. Would love to hear from you.
My email is faithtruthandlight@gmail.com

Helen O
I’m single and 64 and am so ready to live abroad in warmer, tropical climate when my lease is up in June 2021. I wasn’t able to access your website . I’d like to know the best and a safe place to live on a minimal income. Any information you can provide will be helpful. Thanks.

I am a single man. US citizen and who wants to move to a Beach town and setup my own shack/tikki bar. I am okay if it just breaks even to keep me busy, meet new people and earn some pocket money.
I want to buy a 2 or 3 bedroom small beach house with all the amenities like US.
I will have USD5,000 regular income from my retirement. I will also have fully paid Healthcare insurance.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.


Hello to the single ladies here (or anyone, really) who are looking to start a new life in a beach resort. I am Canadian but have 2 apartments in Penang, Malaysia, very close to the beach, that I would be willing to rent out. They are both fully-furnished, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom units, about 950 sqft. each, in nice condos with pool & sea views. Penang is truly a great place to live, hot and sunny year round, fabulous food (Chinese, Indian, Thai, Malay), very international, and also super safe. Georgetown is a delightful colonial town (UNESCO world heritage site) which you never get tired of exploring. My British husband lived there for 7 years, and I lived there for 1 year. My daughters also attended international high school in Penang for 2 years and got a great education. We moved to Canada in July 2019 so that they could attend university here. I miss Penang, and plan to get back someday, but in the meantime, my places are vacant, so I would be happy to rent them out. Please contact me if you would like more info and pictures. Minimum stay would be 3 months, as per condo bylaws, roughly USD$500/mo + utilities.

Hi Gina, I’m looking for the same thing!! Did you receive any good information? I’d be curious to know where you are thinking. I’m 59

I live in Canada. Every day I pray to leave.

Just turned 60 and am wanting to move to an extremely inexpensive beach town. Sustainable.

Hi Gena.
Many Viet Nam era (Baby Boomer’s) like myself ISO beachfront living must consider infrastructure, and good healthcare along with affordable housing.

With the current surge in US Southeast property prices we are forced to look outside of the country many Veterans served in combat to protect. I’m not complaining – such is life. If, let’s say for example, your grandparents were looking to retire to coastal life, where would you feel comfortable is suggesting they look? Thanks for considering my dilemma,


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