The 10 Best Warm Weather Locations for Remote Workers this Winter

The winter season can be especially tough on freelancers. Remote work often means working from home, and the plunge in temperatures and dwindling sunlight can get to even the heartiest of souls by February. So before you go all Jack Nicholson in The Shining, consider planning a month (or three) away to one of these amazing warm weather remote work locations. Can’t swing it this year? Comfort yourself by dreaming and planning for next winter and bookmark this post.

Why We Think These Are the Best Remote Work Locations

There are dozens, if not hundreds of places to choose from when it comes to remote work. To pick the best locations for remote work for this list, we judged them by the following criteria:

  • Average temperature in January: We looked for average January highs of 68 degrees or more, but we let in a few spots in the low 60s since winter can be a great time to do off-season travel to otherwise crowded destinations.
  • Adventure potential: We’ve got you covered whether you love the city life, or you’re looking for a more remote, nature-filled getaway.  
  • Max stay without a Visa: All of the places on our list require either a passport, or a relatively easy Visa application for a stay of 30-90 days.
  • Cost of living: We looked for spots that are comparable to the average cost of living in the U.S. or lower so these trips won’t break the bank (and you might even save some extra cash). The cost of living numbers below are all sourced from Nomad List, and are based on renting a hotel room in the city center and eating meals out.

Unlisted categories: Internet speed and safety. Working abroad is a whole lot easier when basic needs safety and internet access aren’t a concern. While we don’t include these categories specifically in the details for each location below, they were key criteria for selecting these spots. Whenever you travel, you should exercise normal precautions and thoroughly research accommodations, neighborhoods, and local customs to make sure both you and your equipment stay safe

1. Auckland, New Zealand

Combining the convenience of city living with surroundings of beautiful nature, Auckland offers remote workers the best of both worlds.
  • Average Temperature in January: 74° high / 61° low
  • Adventure Potential: Whether you’re into art, adventure, or animals, Auckland is a city with endless entertainment options.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $3,000 per month

Combining the convenience of city living with surroundings of beautiful nature, Auckland offers remote workers the best of both worlds. On your days off, you can easily visit dormant volcano, Mt. Eden for an easy hike and breathtaking views of the city, or hop a ferry to Waiheke Island to take in the aqua blue beach waters and explore local vineyards. During the work week, stay closer to town with a stroll through more than 10,000 plants at Auckland Botanic Gardens or peruse contemporary art at Auckland Art Gallery. Meeting all of your deadlines will be easy with the local coffee culture, just grab a seat at one of the amazing cafes scattered throughout the city.

For more on what it’s like to live as a nomad in “the land of hobbits,” check out this interview with Lizzie Brandon on BBC. 

2. Bangkok, Thailand

There’s a reason Bangkok consistently ranks amongst the most visited cities in the world for remote workers.
  • Average Temperature in January: 90° high / 72° low
  • Adventure Potential: With 8 million residents, Bangkok is truly a city that never sleeps.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 30 days
  • Cost of Living: $1,400 per month

There’s a reason Bangkok consistently ranks amongst the most visited cities in the world. With its affordability and endless activities, you may find that your biggest challenge is balancing work and fun. On your off time, get out to explore the street food scene, visit the many local shrines and colorful markets, take in a kickboxing match, and immerse yourself in the booming nightlife. When you’ve tuckered yourself out, you can get a Thai massage, or head off for a long weekend to recover at one of Thailand’s many beautiful beach towns. When it comes to getting work done, most digital nomads who travel to Thailand recommend renting an apartment and shelling out for an internet package for a reliable connection, but there are also many co-working options in the city as well.

For more details on what it’s really like to live and work from Bangkok, check out this Goats on the Road post detailing their 2 months in the city. 

3. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain

While more expensive than Southeast Asia, Spain’s Canary Islands are a still a nomad’s dream.
  • Average Temperature in January: 67° high / 56° low
  • Adventure Potential: Black sand beaches, a dormant volcano, and a local population that loves food, music and dancing.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $1,950 per month

While more expensive than Southeast Asia, Spain’s Canary Islands are a still a nomad’s dream. Amazing weather, affordable living, and a timezone that makes it much easier to communicate with clients back in the U.S. or E.U. make them a popular destination for digital nomads seeking a winter refuge. Blanketed in landscapes from beaches to rainforest and volcanic craters, opportunities for adventures off the beaten path abound. In Las Palmas, expect a walkable city with plenty of co-working spaces, relatively cheap accommodations, and lots of choices of what to do with your downtime. Hint: island life is all about getting outside. Now’s the time to book that surfing lesson!

Want to know more about what it’s like to live in Las Palmas? Read up on Chris the Freelancer’s blog about his month-long stay. 

4. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

If you want to get away from it all, but still be able to reach clients and have an internet connection for work, Costa Rica tops many lists.
  • Average Temperature in January: 82° high / 66° low
  • Adventure Potential: Costa Rica is the perfect destination for aspiring yogis and outdoor lovers.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $1,500 per month*

If you want to get away from it all, but still be able to reach clients and have an internet connection for work, Costa Rica tops many lists for offering more secluded small towns where you can still get in a full day’s work (if you can get out of your hammock, that is). Imagine ending your work day with a beach-side yoga session, or taking your days off to surf, snorkel, or explore dirt-roads by ATV and you’ve got Playa Santa Teresa. You won’t find a 24-hour nightlife culture here, but if you’re ready to ditch the city and soak up some nature this winter, this beach town is where it’s at. Just leave a little extra time in your travel schedule for getting there since it’s one of the more remote spots on our list.

Learn more about this Costa Rica coastal town from freelance designer Michelle who spent 6 weeks there in 2017. 

* Cost of living data was not available on Nomad List for Santa Teresa, this is an estimate based on averages of reports from digital nomads in Costa Rica.

5. Lisbon, Portugal

All the amenities and infrastructure of a major European city, plus a mild climate and affordable prices make Lisbon a great choice for the winter nomad.
  • Average Temperature in January: 59° high / 47° low
  • Adventure Potential: The beauty of old Europe meets a bustling, modern city scene.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $1,875

All the amenities and infrastructure of a major European city, plus a mild climate and affordable prices make Lisbon a great choice for the winter nomad. Throw in lots of places to grab a desk and a wifi connection, beautiful architecture, delicious food, a thriving nightlife, and easy transportation and you’ve pretty much got it all. While you probably won’t be hitting Portugal’s beaches in January, with an average high of 59 degrees you’ll be warm enough to get out for some serious city exploring.

Want more? Get a firsthand glimpse of living in Lisbon from Girl Gone Abroad. 

6. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a metropolitan paradise for digital nomads.
  • Average Temperature in January: 56° high / 45° low
  • Adventure Potential: You’ll find out of this world architecture, incredible food, and a cosmopolitan feel in this coastal Spanish city.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $2,800

While it’s one of the cooler destinations on our list, Barcelona’s weather is still mild year round, and with tourism on the rise, the off-season may your best bet to experience it without the crowds. The highlight of Barcelona is most definitely Gaudi’s other-worldly architecture, and you should set aside a few days to visit Casa Batlló, Park Güell, and Sagrada Família, which will all make your jaw drop. Finish your work, grab a siesta, and then head out to enjoy to a stroll down the bustling Las Ramblas and one of the best food scenes in all of Europe.

Learn more about why Barcelona is a metropolitan paradise for digital nomads on freelance writer and designer Daniel Schwartz’s blog. 

7. Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne is host to meet-up groups for freelancers and many co-working options for remote workers.
  • Average Temperature in January: 79° high / 60° low
  • Adventure Potential: Enjoy a hip, culture-filled city with tons of excursion potential.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: Get an ETA Visa for visits less than 90 days 
  • Cost of Living: $3,200

Melbourne is one of the most expensive cities on our list, on par with Paris and Singapore, but with it’s Yarra River views, lively arts and music scene, urban beer gardens, and friendly culture, it’s worth considering if you have the money to fund it. The city is host to meet-up groups for freelancers and many co-working options for remote workers. The bonus? You’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Australia’s Yarra Valley wineries if you have a free weekend. Not into vino? How about some koala and penguin viewing on nearby Philip Island?

Get more tips on getting networked in Melbourne from Alex Malone on her post for the WDN blog. 

8. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

While not as popular as other Southeast Asia cities like Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh city is an uber-affordable and up-and-coming option for remote workers.
  • Average Temperature in January: 90° high / 72° low
  • Adventure Potential: Get off the beaten path in Southeast Asia.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: You’ll need a 30 day Visa 
  • Cost of Living: $1,020

While not as popular as other Southeast Asia cities like Bangkok, and Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh City is an uber affordable and up-and-coming option you’re looking for something new. Known for its coffee culture, traditional architecture and friendly locals, the city is becoming home to more digital nomads and entrepreneurs, giving it an exciting, youthful edge you won’t find in more established destinations. When you’re not moving, shaking, and sipping at every local cafe, you can hop a bus and head to the beach for the weekend.

Find out why blogger Anna Wickham thinks you should start your digital nomad journey in Ho Chi Minh city. 

9. San Diego, CA, U.S.

If you just realized your passport is expired, but you still want to get out of Dodge for the winter, San Diego offers flip-flop weather days for digital nomads, even in January.
  • Average Temperature in January: 66° high / 50° low
  • Adventure Potential: Surfing, beaches, and craft brews. Need we say more?
  • Max Stay without a Visa: Unlimited for U.S. citizens
  • Cost of Living: $3,700

If you just realized your passport is expired, but you still want to get out of Dodge for the winter, San Diego offers flip-flop weather days, even in January. In addition to the beaches, the city has great dining options, a major craft-brew scene, beautiful botanical gardens, and easy co-working. At $3,700 a month, it’s the most expensive spot on our list, but if you’re a U.S. citizen, not dealing with Visa limits means you could look for a cheaper sublet and prepare more of your own meals to bring those costs down. Plus, if you’re coming from San Francisco, L.A. or N.Y.C., it’s probably still cheaper than your hometown.

Looking for more on San Diego? Check out this Pommie Travels interview on why it should be a destination for digital nomads. 

10. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Affordable living, steak and Malbec dinners, and fairly easy to find wifi make Buenos Aires a digital nomad’s dream
  • Average Temperature in January: 84° high / 69° low
  • Adventure Potential: Find gorgeous scenery, fantastic food, and spontaneous tango scenes in this South American city with a European flair.
  • Max Stay without a Visa: 90 days
  • Cost of Living: $1,250

People who have been to Buenos Aires often rank it as their favorite city and gush over its culture and architecture. With a mash-up of traditional South American music, food, and culture, in a city that feels distinctly European, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place. Throw in very affordable living, steak and Malbec dinners, and fairly easy to find wifi and it’s a digital nomad’s dream.

Find out more about Buenos Aires and nearby Montevideo on freelance digital marketer Kalei White’s blog. 

Remote Work Locations to Avoid

Two places you won’t see on our list? Ubud, Bali and Chiang Mai, Thailand, which have been at the top of just about every other best places for remote workers list for years, have also recently become over crowded, and in the case of Bali, more expensive. As the most well known hubs for digital nomads, it can be hard to find good accommodations and co-working spaces these days, so you’re better off setting out for less trodden territories with a lower risk of monkey bites. 

Got the travel bug, but having a hard time making the leap to becoming a digital nomad? Check out our post 10 Inspiring Digital Nomads You Can Actually Aspire to Be.