When you imagine a stress-free beach lifestyle, more often than not, that daydream revolves around one (or more) of these things: the luxury of an unlimited budget, a relaxing getaway that never feels quite long enough, or the fantasy of retirement that's decades away. But as it happens, you don't have to be insanely wealthy to enjoy coastal life on the regular; Thrillist recently rounded up the most beautiful beach cities that are as affordable as they are breathtaking. From a California-like commune to a charming European gem, here are the top five picturesque beach paradises where you can really stretch your dollar and live like a millionaire for $1000 a month.
1. Canggu, Bali: A popular spot among American expats, yogis, artists, startup entrepreneurs, and other bohemian-minded folks, this South Pacific surf town requires about $500 to $900 per month to live, with monthly rent averaging about $200.
2. Hoi An, Vietnam: This UNESCO World Heritage site not only promises views of gorgeous green mountains—here, $500 a month can get you an apartment or house with all of the amenities, with the average cost of living ranging from $550 to $1100 a month.
3. Algarve, Portugal: While about $325 per month is all you need to rent a one-bedroom in the heart of this quaint European city, you can upgrade to a spacious three-bedroom for around $600. Your total monthly living cost will average roughly $1000, which easily covers dining out (dinner is usually under $10) and bar hangouts with friends (beers are only $2), to name a few expenses.
4. San Pancho, Mexico: Looking for California vibes south of the U.S. border? Head to this coastal surf town, where "towering cliffs, impressive waves, and a Downtown lined with restaurants serving up all things organic" are just a few things that await. It'll cost you about $1000 per month to live here, and what the city lacks in square footage it makes up for in its proximity to equally scenic nearby towns like San Blas, Sayulita, and Punta Mita.
5. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand: If bustling nightlife, socializing with other globetrotters, and a truly carefree lifestyle is what you seek, this popular honeymoon isle (where The Beach was actually shot) is for you. A seaside apartment with views costs about $720 a month, and you can live comfortably on a monthly budget of around $1100.
Head over to Thrillist to see 12 of the world's best beaches for living on a budget, including one that's right here in the United States.