Cheapest and safest places to live in the world

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

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

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

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 Republic and paid jobs available.

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

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 or meet people from all over the world in this amazing hostel.

3. Be a volunteer in Albania

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 exchanges in 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.

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

5. Make Costa Rica your home

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 Panama spending 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

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. 

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 Thailand as 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 Lodge or helping out a hostel as content creator.

9. Venture moving to Malaysia

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 Malaysia where you can help writing content, painting and decorating and 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.

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 these 10 cheap vacations for adventurous couples.

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