2019 Best Live or Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World

Updated March 2, 2019. This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Here is my list of the “2019 Best Live or Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World.” I have been to all of these places on my list. Just click the link in the below list to see pictures, videos, and information about each best live cheap in paradise locations. Whether you just want to live cheap or retire early, this list is your cheat sheet to saving money in paradise.

There are two ideas you may need to make this life happen. You need to learn all of the travel tricks to save money. And if you don’t have enough money yet, you need to create a remote job or be your own boss by creating a passive income stream to help pay for your travels. I cover both of these ideas in my free EBook.

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Estimated Costs of Living in Paradise List

Country Location (Click below links) Range/Day Age Data
Mexico Puerta Vallarta $39-$45/day 2018
Guanajuato $18-$46/day 2018
Chapala-Ajijic $39-$45/day 2018
Querétaro $18-$41/day 2018
San Miguel $19-$48/day 2018
Oaxaca $19-$31/day 2018
Mexico City $20-$42/day 2018
San Cristobal $14-$24/day 2018
Tulum $18-$57/day 2017
Playa Del Carmen $22-$68/day 2017
Merida $16-$35/day 2018
Taxco $30-$38/day 2018
Morelia $32-$34/day 2018
Patzcuaro $28-$38/day 2018
Puebla $17-$31/day 2018
Tepoztlan $34-$48/day 2018
Cuernavaca $29-$33/day 2018
Campeche $16-$27/day 2018
Isla Mujeres $25-$43/day 2018
Top 10 Places to Live or Retire Early in Mexico: Cultural Explorer
Indonesia Bali $30-$65 2007
Thailand Chiang Mai $15-$30/day 2016
Koh Lanta $24-$44/day 2016
Karon Beach $25-$38/day 2014
Bangkok $24-$45/day 2011
Krabi $28-$48/day 2014
Vietnam Nha Trang $11-$35/day 2016
Hanoi $22-$32/day 2014
Hoi Ann $24-$42/day 2014
Malaysia Borneo Jungle $13-$34/day 2016
Sipadan $16-$53/day 2016
Penang $12-$40/day 2016
Perhentian Islands $22-$43/day 2016
Kuala Lumpur $17-$53/day 2016
Nicaragua Granada $26-$42/day 2012
Guatemala Antigua $18-$37/day 2012
Colombia Santa Marta $36-$67/day 2018
Medellin $28-$57/day 2018
Ecuador Cuenca $13-$42/day 2018
Otavalo $24-$40/day 2018
Quito $34-$52/day 2018
Galapagos $33-$48/day 2018
Peru Arequipa $16-$50/day 2018
Lima, Barranco $17-$35/day 2018
Cajamarca $20-$33/day 2018
Mancora $18-$36/day 2018
Trujillo $20-$32/day 2018
Argentina Buenos Aires $42-$58/day 2009
Nepal Kathmandu $26-46/day 2008
India Goa $25-$65 2008
Kashmir $65/day 2009
Rishikesh $27-$47/day 2010
Estonia Tallinn $34-$58/day 2012
Ukraine Lviv $28-$40/day 2013
Poland Gdansk $22-$36 2013
Warsaw $32-$47 2013
Portugal Lisbon $33-$68/day 2018
Sintra $38-$69/day 2018
Porto $34-$53/day 2018
Coimbra $39-$55/day 2018
USA Puerto Rico $28-$39/day 2014
Turkey Antalia $32-$52/day 2008

Travel cheap to paradise while you build your online business, write your first novel, or retire early and enjoy this amazing world of ours.

Travel the world and live on less than $20 a day in some paradise locations. Once you have the idea about how much cheaper it is to live around the world, you may just be jumping on a jet and flying off to paradise. You may also be quitting your job earlier than you thought and following your dreams because you don’t need as much as you thought to retire or travel the world.

Travel cheap to reduce the stress on your start-up business or life. You see, many new businesses fail just because they run out of money before the income matches the expenses. Travel cheap to assure your new life will succeed. Or if you are retiring, travel cheap to make sure you don’t run out of money before you run out of time. Or if you are writing your first novel, travel cheap to make sure you get it published before you run out of money. All of these strategies require you to reduce your expenses.

People always ask me, how can you afford to travel so much? I have a better question. How can you afford to stay home? Read my EBook to know what I mean. You might be amazed by how little it will cost you to live in some parts of the world. I have been traveling the world since 2007 and I’ll bet I spend less money living in some of the world’s most beautiful places than you spend living at home.

Travel cheap and you won’t need to wait to start living your dreams. This 2019 Best Live or Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World post should be your cheat sheet to living internationally.

In order to qualify for being on my list, I have to want to live in a place for at least a year, and it has to be significantly cheaper to live there than the USA, Canada, or Europe. I save so much living in these cheap paradise locations that I am usually able to live part of the year in expensive locations like Europe, the USA, Japan, etc.

I have visited 65 countries at the time of this edit in 2019. In 2016 I started compiling the costs as I go, but I will populate this with more data as I move about the planet. The below estimates quoted from my travels before 2016 are just estimates from my memory. Click any of the below links to see pictures and more information about how to travel cheaply in the respective destinations. As you will see in the pictures, I was there on the dates shown in each post.

Although I have visited or lived in 65 countries in my life, only 18 of those countries had prices significantly lower than the USA and are arguably nice enough to call paradise.

For each destination, I estimated the cost of living there for a month for food, lodging and local transportation for Low, Medium and High budget travelers. A Low budget traveler is more likely to stay in a backpacker hostel, eat low priced food and ride public transportation. A Medium budget traveler is likely to stay in moderate hotels, Airbnb.com, hostels from time to time. A High budget traveler will spend more time in service apartments, spend more money on food, and use a taxi more than Medium and Low budget travelers.

But the whole travel cheap to paradise idea is about living cheap so you gain your freedom now instead of later. If you stay in expensive hotels and eat in tourist restaurants, you will need five times as much money to start your travels and you won’t even experience what living like a local really feels like. You’ll be living in a bubble and missing the flavor of our amazing world.

The link to my below EBook talks more about that.

At the bottom of this page, below the live in paradise list, there is a monthly multiplier table that shows the multipliers I used to convert each item as food, lodging, and local transportation into monthly numbers. Each destination link posted on/after 2016 (Data’s Age) has one of the tables calculating monthly estimates. The destinations dated before 2016 just have estimates from my memory of the place.

Basically, a low budget traveler will have a higher multiplier for low budget expenses and a High budget traveler will have a high multiplier for high budget expenses.

If you start clicking the below links for each paradise destination, you will see my pictures and videos of when I was there.

I started VagabondBuddha.com in 2016. Before that I posted my travels on my private blog I shared only with family and friends. Here is that previous blog in case you want to see my first 8 years of travel.

I am not offering you the following prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different if you spend money like you are on vacation while you are there. These estimates are from when I was there. They will be too low or too high if significant inflation or deflation occurs or the market changes after the date of a post: Age Data. I will not update these numbers until I am on the ground again there, if ever. Further, the table is for one person and does not include getting there, excursions, entertainment, or alcohol. See the bottom of the page for further limitations and a discussion.

Here are the Estimated Costs of Living in Paradise List. These are actual places that I have visited and include my actual observations. You can click any of the links below to read and see the pictures I took while visiting there along with a discussion of things to do in that destination and what things cost. These are my best live cheap in paradise locations in the world.

World Traveler versus Vacationer: When you are of the vacation mindset, and only get 10 days off per year for your vacation, you probably spend more money than this. And you come home 10 pounds heavier with a $2,000 bill on your credit card for a 10-day vacation. When you switch to a world traveler mindset, you will learn how to travel cheaper than you would at home, meaning you won’t be spending money like a drunken sailor on vacation.

You can relax and just enjoy your new life on the road without that 10-day mindset. You have time to moderate your food and drink and lifestyle so you will stay alive and within budget. You will be seeing the world, but you can relax because you won’t be trying to do it all in 10 days. Travel cheap and your choices will multiply before your eyes. There is an example below the table of how the table arrives at the monthly numbers.

Notice that these numbers (see table at the bottom of the page) do not include new shoes, a museum, ice cream, or anything other than the expense items listed in the table. This is just a baseline to start from. I don’t think that I have ever been anywhere and stayed within this budget. Usually, I am earning 10 to 20 times the low-end budget estimates, so I am easily able to spend twice the high-end budget and still save money.

Our list of the “2019 Best Live or Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World” are in no particular order. There are links to my visit to each below. Many of these I have been to more than once I loved them so much.

Below is an explanation of the Monthly Multiplier Table. The blog link for each above paradise location posted after 2015 will have the below table explaining the Low, Medium and High living expenses for each paradise location. Just click any of the above links to see pictures of that location and the following expense table. The Monthly Multiplier Expense Table is explained below.

The Medium level traveler is estimated to stay in an Airbnb (1 bedroom Apt) 14 nights per month (14x multiplier), a moderate hotel 12 nights per month (12x) and a hostel (4x) per month. The Medium traveler is estimated to eat at high-end restaurants 4 times per month (4x), to eat at neighborhood restaurants 44 times per month (44x) and a food cart 12 times per month (12x). Thus, the Low, Medium and High living expense estimates per month are determined using the above multiplier table.

Notice that the below table is for one person and does not include excursions, entertainment or alcohol.

Monthly Multiplier

Expense Cost Each Low Medium High
Airbnb $18.00 0 14 30
Cheap Hotel $17.00 0 12 0
Hostel $9.00 30 4 0
$$$ Restaurant $9.00 1 4 8
$ Restaurant $3.00 30 44 48
Food Cart $2.00 30 12 4
Subway $0.00 20 26 8
Bus $0.60 20 10 0
Taxi $3.00 6 10 20
Total Month $459.00 $720.00 $824.00
Total Day $15.30 $24.00 $27.47

How does the table expense estimate table work? Each item (Hostel $9) is multiplied by the number of those items purchased per month (e.g., 30 days). Then each multiple is summed to get the monthly numbers. The daily rate is just the monthly divided by 30 days.

How does the table guestimate $459 per month ($15.30 per day) for in the low budget column?

Above Low Budget: Multiplication: Hostel $9 x 30 days = $270. $$$ Restaurant $9 x 1 month = $9. $ Restaurant $3 x 30 times = $90. Food Cart $2 x 30 times = $60. Subway $0 means there is no Subway there. Bus $0.6 x 20 times = $12. Taxi $3 x 6 times = $18.

Monthly Sum: Hostel $270 + $$$ Restaurant $9 + $ Restaurant $90 + Food Cart $60 + Subway $0 + Bus $12 + Taxi $18 = $459 Monthly Estimate.

Daily. $459/30 = $15.30

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