Toss That Snow Shovel and Savor the Sun All Year

“I never want to shovel snow again.” When you ask somebody who is thinking about life overseas why they’re investigating their options, more often than not their response has at least something to do with escaping the cold.

jenSo it makes sense that when you ask expats what they most appreciate about their lives overseas—they almost always include an enthusiastic nod to the pleasant climate. It’s convenient then that so many places where your dollars stretch also happen to be spots where snow is unheard of. Like Chiriqui, the bread basket of Panama, a land of rolling hills and deeply green valleys where the temperate weather is served with a side of good-value homes. yes, it rains a bit—that’s where the green comes from—but folks living there say the mistiness ensures a nice garden around homes whose prices start at $76,900.

If it’s warmth and sunshine you’re after, you’ll find a nice dose of both on the Costa del Sol in Spain. The once-industrial city of Málaga is clean and bright today with a pedestrian-only city center and revamped harbor front. It’s brimming with museums, great dining options, roman ruins, and good value, too. You can rent a 900-square-foot apartment for just $650—and it could come with a sea view.

Just an hour-and-a-half flight from Bangkok, the palm-lined Thai island of Koh Samui offers some of the best snorkeling in the region. On sun-rich days you can relax on a white sand beach, go zip-lining, or charter a sailboat. As expat Sam Rogers puts it, “it’s like Hawaii, only easier.”

Or consider Ecuador, “Land of Eternal Spring.” On the coast, daytime temperatures typically stay in the mid-80s F. Up in the Sierras, you can expect 75 F most days. This good weather contributes to the lower cost of living. After all, if you don’t need heat or air conditioning, you can pocket the savings…and trade that snow shovel for a hammock.