17 Countries To Move to That Are as Dreamy as They Are Inexpensive

The rising cost of living has many Americans looking to save money in travel and entertainment. The good news for those considering a move abroad? You can save a significant amount of money by living in certain places.

U.S. News & World Report determined the easiest countries on one’s bank account that are also great travel destinations. Hint: The United States doesn’t even make the top 50. 

Cheap Countries 

Pile of coins.
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U.S. News & World Report conducted a global survey of more than 17,000 people to determine which countries are the most affordable. They used data from their “best countries” survey, which asked participants whether they associate specific attributes with different countries, including friendliness, affordability, and quality of life.

So, this list isn’t about the cheapest countries in the world, but rather countries tourists love that also happen to be economical.

1: Thailand 

Traditional boats in Phuket, Thailand.
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Thailand came out on top as the most affordable country in the world. Fun fact: Thailand’s name translates to “land of the free.” From delicious cuisine and friendly faces, the popular destination ranked high in the adventure, quality of life, and cultural influence categories. 

2: Vietnam

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With a low cost of living, Vietnam is an ideal place to live for anyone pinching pennies. There are plenty of picturesque landscapes to explore, along with delicious food and adventurous activities. While some exceptions exist, rent, public transportation, and street food are significantly cheaper than in other countries, especially compared to the US. 

3: Philippines 

El Nido, Palawan, in the Philippines.
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Comprised of thousands of islands in the South China Sea, the Philippines is one of the most affordable countries in which to reside. It ranks high in adventure, adaptability, and a great environment to start a business, with cheap manufacturing costs. 

4: Indonesia 

Green Bowl Beach in Bali, Indonesia.
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Indonesia is another cluster of islands that offers a vibrant way of life for less cash. Expats get to enjoy the country’s tropical climate, natural beauty, and diverse cultures with a relatively low cost of living.

5: India

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Home to the world’s largest democracy and the birthplace of multiple religions, India rounds out the top five most affordable countries in the world. Its fast-growing, diverse economy opens plenty of opportunities for newcomers, though its dense population in many areas could cause some expats to choose countryside settings. 

6: Malaysia 

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Malaysia may be a small country, but its rapidly growing economy makes it an appealing place to live. Retirees may want to consider settling down there as well, as it received high marks for providing folks with a comfortable retirement. 

7: Turkey 

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Acting as a bridge between Asia and Europe, Turkey is a unique country that also happens to be one of the most affordable in the world. It ranked number eight on U.S. News and World Report’s Best Countries for Heritage list, receiving high marks for being culturally accessible with delectable food and many cultural and geographic attractions. 

8: China 

Great Wall of China.
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Second only to the United States in size of economy, China is home to some of the world’s oldest civilizations. While it’s an affordable place to live, eat, and explore, political freedom in China remains tightly controlled. You may want to consider the restrictions you’ll face, especially on internet usage.  

9: Mexico

Colorful buildings in Mexico.
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Neighboring the US, many travelers love heading to Mexico for a vacation, but it’s also an affordable place to live. It’s home to the world’s largest population of Spanish speakers and, according to Forbes, has one of the largest expat populations in the world. There are several places in Mexico where one can live under $1,250 a month, including rent, groceries, transportation, clothing, utilities, and leisure. 

10: Cambodia 

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Cambodia is predominantly rural and has an affordable cost of living compared to Western countries. Its tropical climate and growing economy make it an enjoyable place to live, and there’s a strong sense of community support for newcomers. 

11: Bangladesh 

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The People’s Republic of Bangladesh ranked among the most affordable countries in the world. While you’ll find a vibrant experience and lush greenery living there, challenges like dense populations and natural disasters pose issues for some prospective expats. 

12: Argentina 

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Ranking highly in the adventure and heritage categories, Argentina is known as an affordable country to call home. According to numbeo.com, the cost of living in Argentina is 62% lower than in the US, and rent is 85% lower. 

13: Morocco 

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Located in North Africa, Morocco is another country that won’t break the bank. Its enchanting mountain scenery, open-air marketplaces, and recent economic progress make it a fascinating place to live. 

14: Brazil 

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If you’re searching for a thrilling place to live that’s also affordable, consider Brazil. It ranked number one overall on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Countries for Adventure list. It occupies a significant portion of South America’s land mass and is one of the top ten countries to start a business in. 

15: Chile 

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Anyone who is outdoorsy would love living in Chile with its stunning natural landscape. On top of having a stable economy and decent healthcare, it’s one of the most affordable countries to call home. Their culture is generally welcoming to newcomers, and it’s easy for Chileans to travel to the US compared to citizens from other South American countries, should you fall in love while there.

16: Sri Lanka 

Tea plantation in Sri Lanka.
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Located near India, Sri Lanka is notably affordable. According to numbeo.com, rent in Sri Lanka is, on average, 87.5% lower than in the States. The cost of living is just over half less than in the US. 

17: Peru 

Peruvian causa dish.
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Peru is an exciting and affordable destination in South America. From mountains to jungles and coastal beaches, there’s no shortage of ways to keep yourself in touch with nature. Plus, low taxes and inexpensive daily living will treat your wallet well. 

Traveling Without ATM Fees

Woman at an ATM.
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How does never paying an ATM fee when you travel sound? Discover the trick to doing just that from a traveler who’s saved hundreds of dollars in ATM fees.

How To Never Pay an ATM Fee Abroad

Most to Least Expensive States To Retire

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Are you hoping to settle down in a cheaper state during retirement? These are the states to consider and, equally important, those you’re better off avoiding.

Most to Least Expensive States to Retire Ranked From 1 to 50

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