Home Expat Focus: Low Cost Emigration Destinations with a High Quality of Life

Expat Focus: Low Cost Emigration Destinations with a High Quality of Life

Posted by on January 2nd, 2018.

Thinking of making a fresh start abroad in 2018? These nations offer an extremely high quality of life without the hefty price tag.


Average Cost of Living: 35% lower than in the UK

Price Average for a Three-Course Meal for Two: £13.71

Rent Average: 49.01% lower than the UK

Whether you’re planning to work in the nation or spend some golden years in the sun, Thailand is an extremely popular and wallet friendly choice for expats.

The ‘Land of Smiles’ has a population of some 68 million people, with various estimates putting the expat populace somewhere between 500,000 and a whopping 1 million. Students, retirees and business people alike contribute to that number, and on top of that, a staggering number of tourists and backpackers that fly to Thailand every year.

Thailand caters for young professionals in more industrialised areas like Bangkok and Pattaya-Chonburi, (situated on Thailand’s eastern seaboard), while retirees tend to gravitate to the quieter nirvana’s like Koh Samui and Chiang Mai – the former known for its idyllic sands and turquoise seas and the latter known for its mountain views and historic significance.

Retirees also flock to Thailand because of the quality of life the nation offers. Pensions are also able to stretch a lot further than they traditionally would in the United Kingdom.

Housing is comparatively cheap, consumer prices are sound, and luxuries that one might not have been able to afford in the UK are easily accessible – and to top it off; the massive number of expats living there means that there are large and extremely welcoming communities of Brits (should you be feeling homesick).

For more information, an introduction to visa requirements and finding work, check out our Little Introduction to Moving to Thailand.


Cost of Living Average: 19.33% lower than in the UK

Price Average for a Three-Course Meal for Two: £30.87

Rent Average: 35.07% lower than in the UK

Spain remains the UK’s #1 expat destination in terms of sheer numbers, with its glorious climate, striking architecture, fantastic food and relatively affordable cost of living making it the most attractive option for expats (there was an estimated 320,000 Brits living in Spain as of 2016).

Spain also offers culture and travel opportunities in spades, with the likes of the Balearic Islands, Morocco, the Alps and Gibraltar practically on your doorstep.

While Spain is notorious for its high unemployment rates, the nation is steadily recovering from the last decade’s economic carnage.

Will young professionals still find it hard to find employment? Perhaps – but the situation is improving. Beyond this, if you’ve got relevant skills and determination you might find yourself in demand.

If you’re looking to retire in Spain, the employment situation won’t be an issue, and nation offers plenty to recommend itself to retirees.

The average rent per month for a 3 bedroom property outside of the city centre is a measly €661.81 (£582), although the closer you get to the Mediterranean coastline, the higher rental prices climb.

In terms of transport, Spain’s extensive coach and rail network is both reliable and cheap – so reliable in fact that many often opt to avoid purchasing a car – whilst food is both reasonably priced and delicious (the ancient Basque city of San Sebastián has more Michelin stars per capita than any other city in the world).

For Brits, the most popular areas are Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Majorca and the Costa del Sol (translating literally to the ‘Sun Coast’).

You can find our Little Introduction to Moving to Spain here.



Cost of Living Average: 2.96% Lower than the UK

Price Average for a Three-Course Meal for Two: £39.69

Rent Average: 14.44% lower than in the UK

If the idea of living in a clean, well ordered environment appeals, Germany might be the destination for you.

Although Germany isn’t significantly cheaper than the UK, there are some serious savings to be made. Consumer prices are 4.25% lower than in the UK, groceries average at 4.96% less and rent comes in 14.44% lower.

In terms of numbers, there are an estimated 250,000 expats living in Germany, with its lively cities and enviable employment prospects making it a beacon for many students and professionals.

When it comes to property costs, cities in the former East Germany are particularly inexpensive, with many homes – including the large, stately type manor houses and even castles – being surprisingly low-cost.

Prices in areas like Berlin, Cologne and Bohn, however, are more competitive, with the property boom having driven the market price higher and higher.

It should also be pointed out that Germany has one of the highest tax rates in the world – though salaries are also significantly larger than what you’ll find in the rest of Europe to compensate.


For those of you planning a move abroad this year, good luck! And keep an eye on our blog for the latest emigration news and information.

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