New Report Explores Seven of the World’s Best Islands for Good-Value Living –

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Island living is more possible—and more affordable—than many people think, reports editors hand-picked seven of the best islands on the planet for comfortable, good-value living. All are locales where, expats report, they appreciate privacy, peace, a simpler way of life, and strong communities.

The Caribbean island of Roatan is great for good-value, laid-back living in the sun. It’s a good pick for anybody who likes to dive, snorkel, swing in a hammock or sit with feet in the sand.

Thirty-five miles off the coast of Northern Honduras, English is widely spoken. That, along with an established expat community, makes it a relatively easy place to settle in.

Rhode Islander Asa Davis owns a vacation rental on Roatan, which he enjoys about eight weeks a year and rents out the rest of the time. He says he chose the island because, “Roatan had the perfect combination of great diving, hospitable environment for new business and investment, reasonable real estate and construction costs, and friendly locals who like and appreciate visitors.”

On the island of Koh Lanta in Thailand, there are no masses of drunken backpackers or any McDonalds or Pizza Huts.

Here, it’s all about a casual lifestyle: chilling on the beach, trekking in the jungle, dining on world-class cuisine (or cooking it), and relaxing with friends.

Koh Lanta is pricier than other popular expat havens in Thailand. But expats report they still live well here for much less than they’d pay in North America.

Koh Lanta is actually several islands. Koh Lanta Yai or “Big Lanta Island” is where most of the expats, locals, and visitors stay.

Rentals include deals like a one-bedroom, ocean-view apartment with air conditioning, cable TV, a water boiler, a refrigerator, hot and cold water, kitchenware, and a terrace for $767 a month during high season (December to April). A studio ocean-view apartment with all the same amenities rents during low season (May to November) for half that amount. A two-bedroom oceanfront villa can cost as little as $575 a month.

“If you want to ‘get away from it all,’ tropical-island style, there may be no place better in Belize to do it than Caye Caulker, says editor Glynna Prentice. This five-mile-long island—only half of which is really inhabited—sits in dream-worthy, turquoise Caribbean waters.”

The ocean is visible from almost every place on the island, the sun glinting off the waves.

With its laid-back style, Caye Caulker gets its share of young, active tourists. But it appeals to older expats, too. They come for its simple lifestyle, stunning views, and for still-affordable seaside real estate. (A small one-bedroom, one-bath condo with a rooftop terrace and sunset views is for sale now for $150,000.)

“On a good day the Aran Islands are among the most beautiful and dramatic places in the world,” reports Ireland editor Eoin Bassett. “Sunlight kindles vivid greens in the patchwork of fields and casts a spell on the swelling Atlantic.” The three islands of Inismor, Inismaan and Inisheer get more good days than most travelers might think.

Despite being nestled in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland, the islands are actually the most temperate spot in Britain and Ireland and have the longest growing season.

Though thousands of tourists visit in the summer, the islands retain their character—each different from the other.

Adventurous folks, artists, painters, writers, and those trying to do something different, have long been attracted—and accepted—here. Good broadband Internet on the islands makes them an ideal base for an expat with a portable career. And the locals are keen for new blood to help bolster the population as young people leave in search of work.

The full report on the lifestyle and the real estate market on all seven islands, which appeared in the September edition of International Living magazine, can be read here: Live on an Island - Seven of the World's Best.

See here for a slideshow of images from the seven best islands in this report: In Pictures: Seven of the World's Best Islands.

Editor’s Note: Members of the media have full permission to reproduce the article and slideshow linked above, once credit is given to

Media Contact: For information about content republishing, available source material or to book an interview for radio, TV or print with one of our experts, contact Associate Editor Carol Barron, 772-678-0287 (US), CBarron(at)InternationalLiving(dot)com or visit the Media Center. For automatic updates on the most current stories, follow International Living Media on Twitter.

For more than 30 years, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.


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