Choosing your expat dream destination

Choosing your expat dream destination

Choosing your expat dream destination

If you’re desperate to get away from the grim, gloomy British scene, what’s the best way to decide on your dream destination?

In general, would-be refugees from battered Britain have two options - to move to a place you’ve come to know and love during several holidays and which is the affordable option, or start the adventure of a lifetime by sticking a pin in the nearest map! Unless you’re independently wealthy or have just won the lottery, the financial aspect of your choice doesn’t just include the weekly shop, it’ll also focus on accommodation, transportation and your preferred lifestyle.

Even in expat destinations where the cost of living is refreshingly low, the cost of a home may be surprisingly high and dependent on that old rule – location, location, location – thus ruling out many world cities in spite of their admittedly delicious and amazingly inexpensive street food. Unfortunately, the least expensive locations as regards buying or renting property may not be high on would-be expats’ must-see lists. As always, online surveys are a good reference point, provided you remember to check the date of the report.

For example, Bulgaria is celebrated as the world’s cheapest expat destination, based on the cost of a two-bedroomed apartment and including utilities as well as the running expenses of a small car. Apartments with two bedrooms average around £92,000, with the annual cost of living at around £18,000, and flights to London take around three hours. Croatia and Poland are two other options, with Croatia winning out on weather, and Ireland is also inexpensive but very, very wet.

If you’re the adventurous type who can’t resist a challenge, affordability is also found in Brazil. Flats are slightly more expensive than in Bulgaria, but living costs average £40 a week lower and this exotic land offers fiestas, sunshine, amazing beaches and all kinds of craziness during religious celebrations. At the other end of the scale, millionaire playgrounds include Monaco, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Switzerland, with apartments costing £millions and the compulsory lifestyle out of reach for any but the wealthiest.

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