Inflation is a hot topic right now, as it seems like everything is getting more expensive. This has made budgeting for a digital nomad lifestyle more difficult. It also makes it harder to save for the future.

According to a CNBC report, lots of necessities have risen in price since 2021:

  • Eggs are 43% more expensive
  • Health insurance is 21% more expensive
  • Utilities, such as gas service, are 21% more expensive

Needless to say, it’s getting pricey just to cover housing and food. Fortunately, when you have the whole world at your disposal, you have available tools to beat inflation (or at least offset its impact).

Specifically, you have this wonderful strategy available:

In this article, we’ll discuss more about how to apply geoarbitrage to overcome the financial difficulties of inflation.

First, what is geographic arbitrage?

Geographic arbitrage, or geoarbitrage, sounds like a complex term, but it’s actually quite simple. Geoarbitrage is moving to a location with a lower cost of living while maintaining or increasing your income. The result is that your money goes further and you’re able to save more and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Coined by Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Workweek, geoarbitrage has been around for some time. It’s becoming increasingly popular with the FIRE crowd, digital nomads, remote workers and other travelers with location-independent income.

With inflation raging (it’s over 11% in the UK as of this article’s publication, for instance), geographic arbitrage may just be the perfect financial solution for those that can move around the globe. It will allow you to lower your expenses while still having the same salary.

What are the best geoarbitrage locations to beat inflation?

As long as you have location-independent income, arrange health and accident insurance, and qualify for a visa to that country, you have ample options around the globe.

  • Note: For US citizens, it’s good that the U.S. dollar is quite strong right now. This means your USD will go further in many destinations around the world. This will help combat the effects of inflation.

Certain destinations are specifically great for digital nomads and remote workers, not only because of the reasonable cost of living but also because the country makes a concerted effort to attract foreigners to live and work there. That makes adjusting to the culture and handling things like residence permits, health insurance, transit cards and more much easier.

Any of the locations below are wonderful geoarbitrage destinations for beating inflation:

1. Costa Rica

Cost of Living (Individual): $1,400—$1,700 USD per month

Cost of Living (Family of 4): $2,500—$3,000 USD per month

Residency/Digital Nomad Visas Available: Yes

Whether you’re on a surfboard, walking around San Jose, or trekking in the jungle, Costa Rica calls you to the pura vida lifestyle. With an affordable cost of living, great healthcare, and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s one of the best destinations to live and work if you’re looking to offset the effects of inflation.

2. Portugal

Cost of Living (Individual): $1,500—$1,800 USD per month

Cost of Living (Family of 4): $2,700—$3,200 per month

Residency/Digital Nomad Visas Available: Yes

Portugal unveiled their digital nomad visa in 2022 and it’s caught the attention of remote workers worldwide. Portugal, with medieval castles, golden beaches and captivating cities, is a delightful place to call home. The great food makes it all the better. As far as value for the type of lifestyle you can have, Portugal is among the best destinations worldwide during the era of inflation.

3. Mexico

Cost of Living (Individual): $1,300—$1,600 USD per month

Cost of Living (Family of 4): $2,300—$2,800 USD per month

Residency/Digital Nomad Visas Available: Yes

From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico amazes in every way imaginable. With an affordable cost of living and proximity to the States, the country is a great option for those looking to save money while living and working abroad.

4. Thailand

Cost of Living (Individual): $1,100—$1,500 USD per month

Cost of Living (Family of 4): $2,000—$2,500 USD per month

Residency/Digital Nomad Visas Available: No specific digital nomad visa (though they did recently unveil a Long Term Resident Visa, which is similar to a digital nomad scheme), but Thailand does have lengthy tourist visas, entrepreneur visas, investor visas and other options (read our article on Thailand cost of living)

Thailand, the Land of Smiles, has long been a favorite destination among global travelers. The people are kind and welcoming, the food is delicious, and the healthcare and infrastructure are solid. The country is a great geoarbitrage destination if you’re looking to beat inflation.

Consider countries that aren’t experiencing inflation as a geoarbitrage destination

Any of the geoarbitrage destinations above are great choices if you’re looking to get around inflation, live more comfortably, and save money. It’s also worth noting that some countries aren’t experiencing inflation, and are thus solid geographic arbitrage destinations now.

Some geoarbitrage destinations where inflation isn’t happening so dramatically include:

1. Japan

The inflation rate in Japan is at just over 3%—higher than its historic norm but much less than the 8% or so the USA has. When you also factor in a strong dollar, living in Japan may be a more affordable option for you.

While Japan doesn’t have a digital nomad visa yet, they do have the JET teaching program or you could stay on a 3-month tourist visa and renew it.

2. Fiji

Fiji is one of the most beautiful places in the world. With inflation actually under the historical average there now, it’s an affordable time to visit and live there.

While Fiji doesn’t have a digital nomad visa, they do have a multiple entry visa that allows a single stay of up to 4 months, as well as a business visa option. Read more on Fiji’s immigration website.

3. Maldives

Inflation in Maldives is around 3%—much lower than most major economies. With pristine beaches, tasty seafood and plenty of entertainment, Maldives offers a relaxed lifestyle for digital nomads. And now, it’s more affordable, due to low inflation and the strong U.S. dollar.

Maldives doesn’t have a digital nomad visa, but they have a tourist visa which can be renewed as well as business and work visas. See what you qualify for on their government website.

Beat inflation with geographic arbitrage

By leveraging the power of geoarbitrage, you can beat inflation by spending less per month to live and saving more. Plus, you’ll get to experience life in another country. How great is that?

To help prepare for your trip, check out our other digital nomad guides:

The geoarbitrage locations listed in this article are our suggestions, and the list is by no means exhaustive. Do you have any other destinations you’d suggest? Join our Facebook group and let us know!

About the Author

Nick Callos has always had a passion for reading, writing, and discovering the new and unknown. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nick holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Boston College. He currently splits his time between his hometown, Chengdu, China, and the open road. A full-time travel writer, Nick hopes his work can inspire others to explore the world more deeply and enjoy the digital nomad lifestyle.

Featured image by Tuomas Härkönen on Unsplash 

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