The 10 best destinations to spend your winter working from
Although it may still be scorching hot in parts of the western hemisphere, the winter months are approaching…fast. The good news is, that it’s easier than ever to pick up and work from anywhere in the world.
Several of today’s top tech companies have adopted remote work culture in order to attract top talent regardless of their location. And with 34%of the workforce (expected to grow to 40% in 2016) being independent workers, we’ll continue to see more people adopting the remote work lifestyle, working with each other from opposite corners of the world.
Working from a beach when half of the U.S. is covered in snow sounds pretty great. To help you escape to paradise, we scoured Nomad List and reflected on our own experiences to identify the ten best places to work from in the coming winter months and beyond.
1) Budapest, Hungary
Cost of living: $1,600/month
Budapest (once two cites: Buda and Pest) is a favorite among digital nomads, offering decent internet, free wifi everywhere, reasonable cost of loving, great food at cheap prices, efficient public transit, a ton of sites to see, plenty of places to work and a high quality of life. Oh, and the thermal baths. What many people don’t realize before visiting Budapest is how truly beautiful it is. However, unless you like cold weather, you might want to save Budapest for the warmer months as the average temperature in November is 45°F.
The cost of living for a nomad is about $1,600/month with a one-bedroom running $543/month and coworking spaces at about $450/month.
2) Chiang Mai, Thailand
Cost of living: $794/month
If you are running away from the cold weather, Chiang Mai is the perfect place for you. Although it’s generally hot and humid — typical to its location in the tropics — Chiang Mai is known as the ‘cool capital’ with a climate far more temperate than the sweaty heat of Bangkok. The preferable cool season is December through February — perfect timing for your winter escape.
It costs approximately $794/month to live and work in Chiang Mai with a studio or one-bedroom apartment running you about $160-$300/month. You can find places to work for free as long as you buy a drink, or you can rent a coworking space for $100-150/month. Within recent years, the city has also seen a huge improvement in internet speed and wifi.
3) Taghazout, Morocco
Cost of living: $1,400/month
Known for its surfing opportunities and sunshine, Taghazout is an ideal location for ocean-loving nomads. Average cost of living for a nomad is about $1,400/month with a one-bedroom apartment costing $260/month and coworking space at $124/month. A coworking and living community like SunDesk is an option if you’re looking to stay and work with fellow nomads. There’s not much to do in Taghazout other than enjoy the amazing weather, sun, surf and fishing, but it’s an excellent base for exploring the rest of beautiful Morocco.
4) Charleston, South Carolina
Cost of living: $2,400/month
You don’t have to necessarily leave the country to escape the winter. Charleston has a lot to offer for nomads and residents alike. The city offers a vibrant nightlife, cute shops, great food, a healthy amount of tech innovation, an emerging startup scene and beaches! The weather is mild year-round with the cold season running from December through February with an average daily high of 63°F. Arguably, the best part about Charleston is all the amazing, fresh food it has to offer at very reasonable prices.
It will cost a nomad about $2,400/month to live and work with one-bedroom apartments running at about $1,000/month and coworking spaces at about $350/month.
5) Austin, Texas
Cost of living: $2,470/month
As the second fastest growing city in the U.S., people are flocking to Austin for its warm weather, burgeoning tech scene, reasonable cost of living and rich culture. This all explains why keeps appearing on the best places to start a business lists. If you’re into art, music and keeping it weird, Austin is the place for you. As for the weather, winters are comfortable compared to much of the country with average highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 40s.
The only downsides are that wifi has only been rated as “okay,” and cost of living is more than many of the other locations on our list at $2,470/month for nomadic living. A one-bedroom apartment will run you about $1,500/month (although you can find one with roommates for much less) and a coworking space will cost about $100/month.
6) Berlin, Germany
Cost of living: $2,588/month
Berlin is the epicenter of all things cool in Germany with favorable ratings on everything from high-speed internet to leisure and nightlife, and beyond. Our own community pro, Kat Loughrey is currently living there and fully enjoying the food, cafes and live music. At $2,588/month, cost of living as a nomad is on the pricier side, but still considerably more affordable than New York or San Francisco. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for about $794/month and a coworking space for about $415/month. If you’re looking to escape the city, there’s a neat coworking / coliving space an hour and a half outside of Berlin called Coconat that looks like it’s worth checking out.
Berlin might not be the best for escaping winter weather, as the patterns are similar to those in New York. In November through February, the average high temperature is 44°F. So if you’re looking for more temperate weather, you might want to wait till the spring and summer months.
7) Melbourne, Australia
Cost of living: $2,373/month
The vibrant city of Melbourne has been named the most livable city in the world for five years straight for good reason. For one, it’s summer in Melbourne when it’s winter in the U.S. with temperatures ranging from a low of 55°F to a high of 75°F in December. The trendy city continues to make its place in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and is home to hidden bars, cobblestone laneways, live music, and of course flat whites and avo toast.
Like Berlin, the cost of living is closer to what you’d expect in parts of the U.S. at about $2,373/month to live and work as a nomad. A one-bedroom apartment will cost about $1,240/month on the lower-end, and coworking spaces are a few hundred dollars plus per month on average.
Our founding software engineer, Mat is from Melbourne and Kate lived there for a while too. Melbourne is actually where Kate founded The Fetch (our sister company) and where the idea for CloudPeeps was born! She also started #socialmelb there – regular gatherings of Melburnians interested and/or working in social media and the web. The group is a great way to connect with locals in the industry!
8) Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Cost of Living: $2,050/month
Playa del Carmen is one of those places where the infrastructure isn’t quite the quality you’d find in the States, but it offers amazing leisure and nightlife activities, beautiful surroundings and incredible food for cheap. There isn’t much free wifi and the internet is just okay, but the cost of living is reasonable at about $2,050/month, with a one-bedroom running about $1,000/month and coworking at about $300/month.
The weather is unbeatable from October through March — dry with highs in the high-80s and lows in the high-60s. Located along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline, Playa del Carmen is known for its palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and scuba diving. Who wouldn’t want to live in a lovely resort beach town during winter?
9) Ubud, Bali
Cost of living: $898/month
Kate spent some time in Ubud a couple years ago at Startup Abroad, and it still holds a special place in her heart. The internet isn’t the fastest, but with an estimated cost of $898/month to work and live as a nomad, Ubud presents an opportunity to live in paradise on a budget. An Airbnb apartment will run you about $28/day or you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $420/month. A co-working space will cost you about $85/month.
Regarded as the cultural center of Bali, Ubud’s ultimate perk is quality of living. It has tons of things to do with great restaurants, cafes and streets of shops. Then there’s the weather. Even in January, the temperature doesn’t drop below the mid 70. January through March see quite a bit of rain, but October through December are known as beautiful transition months with just enough rain to keep things green.
10) Grand Canaria, Spain
Cost of living: $2,000/month
The Canary Islands are one of the most underrated destinations for digital nomads. Politically they’re part of Spain, but geographically they form part of the African continent. Sharing the same latitude as Florida and Western Sahara, the islands are known as the best place to visit in Europe during the winter months. It’s capital city, Las Palmas offers shopping, cultural events and close proximity to Playa de Las Canteras, Europe’s best city beach. Other activities include pretty much any outdoor sport you can think of, such as surfing and mountain biking and eating like a king for cheap.
The islands also offer a ton of cafes, restaurants and coworking spaces with free wifi. Surf Office – another coworking / coliving space – has a location there as well. It’s also very affordable with a studio apartment costing about $400/month.
Digital nomad resources
If you’re looking to for some new scenery and want to give digital nomadism a try, we suggest reading up on people’s experience and what you can do to prepare for your travels. Here’s some of our favorite resources:
- Nomad List
- Nomad Stories
- Nomadic Notes
- Making It Anywhere blog
- The ultimate guide to being a lady nomad
- One Way Ticket documentary
- How the sharing economy makes digital nomad life affordable with 11 resources
Many of our freelancing Peeps work remotely as digital nomads. Follow along with their journeys:
Have you worked from an amazing location that should’ve made this list? Let us know in the comments below!
- 8 ways to grow your freelance business for the holidays
- How to move from an employee to entrepreneur mindset
- Minimalism for freelancers: letting go to live a life you love
- How to take a vacation as a freelancer (without taking a hit to your bank account!)
- Why over 35s are choosing to freelance
- 8 freelancers reveal how they got their first client
- Why you’re not winning any freelance clients or jobs
- The top 10 books for freelancers
- How to hire an accountant for your freelance business
- How to hire a virtual assistant for your freelance business