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.
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!)
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
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
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
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
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?
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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.