International Locations so Cheap You Can Thrive On $1000 a Month

Strapped for cash but desperate to travel? Or searching for somewhere new and cheaper to live? These destinations let you live and explore comfortably for $1000 a month.

Feeling the pinch? You’re not alone. Almost half of Americans currently lack the cash to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense.

In times like these, things like vacations and adventures can seem off-limits. But they don’t have to be! In some parts of the world, your dollars stretch insanely far, meaning you can live lavishly on limited funds.

Read on to discover 12 countries where $1,000 a month is more than enough to, at the very least, cover your essential costs. If you’re desperate for a change of scenery or even contemplating a permanent move to somewhere more affordable, these places are great to keep in mind.

A heads up, though: this post doesn’t consider expenses like taxes and utilities. The focus is on things like accommodation, food, transport, and activities – i.e., the costs most likely to impact travelers. With that said, let’s dive into the destinations…


Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This post estimates the costs involved using two main sources. The first is Numbeo, the “world’s largest cost of living database.” For the purposes of this article, I’m looking at the price it gives for a single person without rent.

To get a sense of accommodation costs, I’ve checked the price of booking an Airbnb for a month in peak season in one of the country’s most popular places. Of course, this isn’t a perfect science! There will be cheaper and more expensive options available in all cases. Please view these costs as a guide.

1. Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Located on the border of Europe and Asia, Georgia is an undiscovered gem with landscapes as impressive as the prices. It ticks all the right boxes.

You’ve got mountains to hike in, cities full of culture, history, and food, a lack of crowds, and enviable prices. According to Numbeo, a single person can live in the capital, Tbilisi, for around $630 per month. That price is without rent, but you can book a simple Airbnb there for a month in July for as little as $175 (at the time of writing).

Related post: Fairytale Towns in Europe.

2. Thailand

When is the best time to visit Thailand?
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Thailand is a tropical wonderland in Southeast Asia that’s a notoriously cheap and delightful travel destination. It has bustling cities, laidback mountain towns, party islands, and beaches galore. The people are welcoming, the food is spectacular, and everything from activities to accommodation is inexpensive.

Numbeo puts the cost of living in Phuket, one of Thailand’s most popular places, at just over $600 a month without rent. Airbnb prices for January vary a lot, but they’re available in Phuket from roughly $430. For significantly cheaper accommodation, you could consider hostels.

3. Bolivia

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Bolivia is known as one of the cheapest places in South America. A mountainous country with epic landscapes and outstanding scenery, it’s full of history and unique natural attractions.

Numbeo says spending a month in its capital, La Paz, costs around $520 without rent. On Airbnb, you can rent an entire apartment in July, peak season, for a similar amount of money.

4. India

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If you want one of your life’s biggest and most budget-friendly adventures, go to India. This enormous country is notoriously chaotic and will be an assault on the senses. But if you can see past the challenges of traveling in India, you can expect a unique, vibrant, historic, diverse, and spiritual country with wonderful food and friendly people.

Numbeo says your estimated monthly costs in India (without rent) would be $344. Renting an apartment in New Delhi throughout January on Airbnb can cost around $400.

5. Vietnam

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Vietnam is another go-to destination in Southeast Asia. It’s known for its incredible food, friendly locals, diverse landscapes, countless temples, world-class natural attractions (e.g., Ha Long Bay), and atmospheric ancient cities, such as Hoi An.

According to Numbeo, monthly living costs in the country are around $455. In terms of Airbnb accommodation in January 2025, you can live like royalty for approximately $500.

6. Nicaragua

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If you want to explore a more affordable version of Costa Rica, head to the country on its northern border: Nicaragua. With its twin coastlines, volcanoes, lush rainforests, and colorful colonial towns, the “Land of Fire and Water” is every bit as beautiful.

The cost of living runs to around $550 a month, and you can find an Airbnb in Managua, the capital, from $400 or less.

7. Albania

Albanian Riviera, Albania
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This Balkan beauty rarely features in the upper echelons of peoples’ bucket lists. But it should. While Albania is one of Europe’s most underdeveloped countries, it’s also one of its most picturesque. Expect a mountainous interior and gorgeous coastline that rivals what you find in places like Croatia. The lack of crowds adds to the appeal.

Estimated monthly costs for a single individual in Albania’s capital, Tirana? Almost $700. On Airbnb, an apartment in the same city throughout July will set you back at least $750. Obviously, that’s more than $1,000 altogether!

But keep two things in mind: 1) Those prices are for peak season in the middle of the city on one booking platform, and b) we’re looking at July 2024, so only a couple of months away.

8. Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is another oft-overlooked Balkan destination with mountains, beaches, history, culture, and nightlife – not to mention fantastic prices.  Highlights include ancient Roman ruins, the Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia (Bulgaria’s capital), the Vitosha Mountains, and the Seven Rila Lakes.

The estimated monthly cost of living in Sofia is just over $670. You can book an Airbnb apartment in the city for around $700. Alternatively, venture outside Sofia for prices as low as $425.

9. Laos

Luang Prabang, Laos
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Laos is a jewel in Southeast Asia’s crown. It’s a popular travel destination, but – partly because it’s a landlocked country – fewer people visit compared to places like Thailand. Despite the lack of beaches, Laos packs a punch in terms of its natural beauty, wildlife, culture, and history.

Numbeo says the estimated monthly costs in are $633 – but that sounds high. Airbnb shows accommodation options in the capital, Vientiane, from $350. However, paying $600 a month gets you a much nicer place.

10. Bali, Indonesia

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Bali is most peoples’ go-to Indonesian island. It heaves with tourists, but they’re there for a reason! Among other appealing factors, the Island of the Gods provides outstanding weather, beaches, surf, scenery, cultural sights, restaurants, and nightlife.

The price is right, too. According to Numbeo, most people spend around $560 a month here without rent. There’s no shortage of affordable accommodation options in Bali, either. On Airbnb, spending $400 gets you a beautiful guest house in peak season in a sought-after location.

11. Colombia

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Leave your preconceptions at the airport gate. Colombia is finally moving beyond its reputation as a dangerous, crime-ridden country. It’s vibrant, intoxicating, and jam-packed with things to do. From its sun-kissed coastlines and colorful cities to the national parks and ancient attractions, there is always something else to see.

Better yet, your budget will stretch a long way. The estimated monthly cost of staying in the capital, Bogota, is less than $540, and you can find a month-long Airbnb in January for approximately the same price.

12. Romania

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Many people associate Romania exclusively with Transylvania and all the Dracula connotations that go with it. If you fall into that category, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This scenic Eastern European country is home to the mighty Carpathian Mountains, medieval towns and fortresses, and cities full of history and life.

It’s one of Europe’s cheapest destinations, too. The estimated monthly costs for a single person in Romania are $624, and you can book a month-long Airbnb in some places for a few hundred dollars.


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Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including and news sites across the US.