The hardest part about vacationing is inevitably leaving. But what if you never had to return to reality? GOBankingRates analyzed the top travel destinations according to Travel + Leisure and U.S. News Travel to determine the feasibility of living where others only dream of visiting.
Taking into account the average rent, utilities, food and transportation, these cheap travel destinations have surprisingly affordable cost of living. So why limit yourself to a short-lived visit when you can actually put down roots? Check out these affordable travel destinations, and see if you have the budget to spend every day of your life in paradise.
1. Cairo, Egypt
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $200.30
- Cost of utilities: $23.99
- Cost of food: $117.05
- Cost of transportation: $8.56
One of the cheapest places to live on our list, Egypt has been the cradle of civilization since antiquity. History buffs will revel in seeing the pharaohs, Sphinx and, of course, the Great Pyramid of Giza — the last remaining ancient wonder of the world.
Beyond archaeology, though, Egypt has a lot to offer to all kinds of travelers, from top-rated beaches to eco-attractions and religious retreats. The country is also a leader in desert safaris and various outdoor adventures.
The Middle East is a fascinating place to live with the capital of Cairo being a sensory overload in all the right ways. It’s an interesting mix of old and new with taxis and donkeys vying for roadways and street markets competing with trendy bars and boutiques for business, all resulting in travelers and residents having plenty of options and purchasing power.
2. Mexico City, Mexico
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $548.16
- Cost of utilities: $41.12
- Cost of food: $158.21
- Cost of transportation: $15.53
One of the top travel destinations of 2019, the capital of Mexico is hot, hot, hot. The entire downtown, Zócalo, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site with robust neighborhoods full of culture, gastronomy and more museums than anywhere else in the world, many of which are free to visitors.
The New York Times called it “the metropolis that has it all,” for its diversity in attractions. Make a point to see the presidential residence and the Palace of Fine Arts, home to many of the country’s top cultural institutions from the ballet to paintings and sculptures.
A haven for the artistically inclined, Mexico City is one of the best places to live in the world for creative millennials. The street markets are affordable, and the city as a whole is much more cosmopolitan than it’s given credit for.
If you’re looking for an urban hub where you can make a name for yourself, Mexico City is a great place to leave your mark.
3. Bali, Indonesia
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $263.20
- Cost of utilities: $48.64
- Cost of food: $224.89
- Cost of transportation: $12.37
The picture of paradise, Bali is a dream destination full of idyllic white sand beaches and 50 shades of blue. And while the all-inclusive resorts and overwater bungalows may conjure up dollar signs dancing in your head, the island is actually a bohemian haven for those in search of an “Eat, Pray, Love” journey.
One of Indonesia’s 17,000-plus islands, Bali is part of the Coral Triangle, which has the highest diversity of marine species on Earth, making the underwater world just as incredible as the lush jungle above. Indonesia is also situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire with volcanoes a major part of the landscape.
One of the most sought after cheap places to live in the world, there are plenty of ways to save money from traveling in the off-season (if you don’t mind a bit of rain) to making your base at one of the less touristy hubs. You can do Bali on a budget by staying in guesthouses, dining at warungs and shopping at the local markets.
4. Athens, Greece
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $385.42
- Cost of utilities: $157.93
- Cost of food: $221.40
- Cost of transportation: $33.99
Athens is a city that predates modern times. Home to the Parthenon and the Acropolis, the city is virtually an open-air museum with marvels that are major bucket list attractions. Connected by the Archaeological Promenade, a 2.5-mile, pedestrian-only thoroughfare, the city is walkable and welcoming.
It’s also a prime base for exploring the rest of Greece, especially the islands, and a major international hub. Athens is one of the best countries to live in if you want to travel around Europe with a robust train, bus and air network that offers many options for commuting and connecting.
While the economy is rebounding after the crash of 2015, the exchange rate is still in our favor. As a whole, the country remains a better value than other Mediterranean hot spots like Spain and Italy.
Just Visiting?: Affordable Historic Hotels and Places to Stay in Europe
5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Average rent for one-bedroom apartment: $476.52
- Cost of utilities: $102.71
- Cost of food: $157.82
- Cost of transportation: $51.39
Rio has been on the world radar a lot in recent years after hosting both the 2016 Summer Olympics and the 2014 World Cup. Known for its sizzling party scene, the Carnival-like atmosphere is said to exist to some extent year-round with the beaches and nightclubs a major draw.
Take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to snap a photo of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Give surfing a try, and walk the golden stretches of sand at Ipanema and Copacabana as you adopt a laid-back lifestyle.
To save some dough, seek out “por kilo” restaurants where you’ll pay for your food by weight. There are also open-air street parties for raucous and affordable fun after dark, most notably in Praça São Salvador to samba in the streets.
Keep reading to see the cost to retire in America’s warmest cities.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Amazing Travel Destinations You Can Actually Afford to Live In