Warm, cheap, safe bolt-hole?

18 messages
28/01/2012 at 14:54
Might want to live v. simply abroad for a while. Quite happy to tab around from place to place. V. small budget.

Somewhere with reciprocal healthcare arrangements with UK might be best as am on common medications, long-term; though is not an absolute requirement as I could lay-in a store for, say, three months at a time.

Any recommendations for regions that are beautiful and interesting; and of cultures tolerant of the lone traveller? (Can't stress enough the need for cheapness, though. And as am not young nor in the best of health working my way thro' is not open to me.)

Thank you, all.

28/01/2012 at 15:22

From what I've heard and seen a long as you keep your nose clean and don't attract attention to yourself then the USA especially has an understanding of this sort of 'lifestyle'

There are some chain hotels that offer 'long term' accommodation rates in suites i.e. weekly and monthly. I know that there are large number of people living like this in the US. Depending on your exact location and level of facilities I've seen cost as low as $140/week.

If your looking for dirt cheap and a fair standard of living then you can't beat the more rural parts of India. Its more expensive to get there but boy will you save money while your out there.

If your looking to do the true full on hobo thing then unless your doing it in the EU your going to be finding foreign immigration official a real problem. Firstly when going through immigration look presentable i.e. clean (showered, shaven etc) wear good quality clothes (cheap new ones won't do) and if possible have a good selection or more than 2 credit/debit cards. Amex and Diners.... perfect. Have a good plausible story of why you want to go to that country and make sure you can add lots of detail if needed. Its now also worth noting that with the computerisation of govt. its much easier for officials to see how frequently you've been coming and going. This can also be a 'red flag'.

BTW care to explain the "Safe bolt-hole' thing??
Edited: 28/01/2012 at 15:24
28/01/2012 at 15:59
Is it also important that they have liberal tax laws and no extradition agreements with the EU?
28/01/2012 at 16:24
EU for health care and somewhere warm e.g Spain. These sort of questions underestimate the challenge and the cost, it soon gets boring sat on a beach alone for hours on end. Keep moving is the answer but then it  costs. Also a lot of the locals are searching around as well. When I travelled around Europe I sought out hostel noticeboards for information e.g share gas for trip to Greece. Film extras wanted in Rome- those days may have gone though.
28/01/2012 at 17:21

Do you speak any foreign languages?  If just english then try (in no particular order)

Belize is warm cheap and safe(ish) - most fo the people there are relaxed but there is a growing drug courier culture through the country which has led to a gang culture for the young men.  - not sure what the healthcare is like though? but it is a commonwealth country, so may be reciprocal.  Lots of walks and a generous retirement scheme (you have to be over 45) to encourage pensioners to move there.  Met a really nice couple over there a few years ago, but he was attacked by one of the drug gangs who thought he had money and has now moved back to the UK, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

British Virgin Islands, was sailing there over Christmas, its full of british and US expats, very relaxed and laid back and safe - off the beaten track, commonwealth country - the ale is cheap, but that's about it really, food is expensive (if you are a tourist) - might be cheaper places if you are a local.

Sweden - its warm in the summer (between July and September) can get up to 40C in stockholm and hardly any rain - colder in the winter like!   And down south they all speak very good english and they are all very relaxed about things, massive country with a relatively small population - especially further north where towns are virtually empty and they are crying out for immigrants - good healthcare.  Ale is expensive though... er... and so are most things, but you can live cheaply - with the high taxes there most people have to.

Cornwall - warm in the summer, speak moderately good english and ales realtively cheap - you can get fish and chips on the sea front which is a bonus.

28/01/2012 at 19:05
Thank you, all.

Nod-nod, wink-wink to a blind horse etc., aside, nope, am neither on the lam nor list of any sort. Am on the sick. But because I've been 'prudent' i.e. lived frugally for many years I have some savings hence am in receipt of nil State aid. Naturally, my resources are diminishing. I hope to slow the haemorrhaging.

I've been seriously injured at work, you see: and the client whose personal fault it was both terminated my freelance contract and is opposing my claim for damages with vigour and lies. I can no longer work. My doctors various have opined that had this been the 1960s I could have been sent away to convalesce somewhere British, bracing, coastal and peaceful; but as it isn't, the 'treatment' these days is the sure onset of boracic-lintedness and imprisonment within your own four walls: either that or being cocooned in prescription drugs. One doc' admitted it's more a case of being subdued by chemical cosh and that I will not allow.

So needs must I depart these shores to turn the pennies into florins somewhere forin.

I speak no other languages tho' expect French wouldn't be so hard to re-learn, n'est-ce caf (as Benny Hill used to so sweetly say).

To those who made specific suggestions as to possible destinations I thank you for passing-on your experience. The tip about dressing well for the Immigration bods strikes me as particularly good sense – and the most fundamental of cons. Politicians have done it for years, home and away.

Thank you, and I shall be glad to receive your further recommendations.

28/01/2012 at 19:19
NOT the US then
28/01/2012 at 19:34

Somewhere warm that uses English would be best. Cornwall or the South West is not a bad idea. You have to fluent in language to be able argue the toss with anyone in authority that you might come up against.

I spent two summers in Sweden but I did have a job, weather is fantastic and hardly any darkness in high summer but it is expensive.

The early part of these jaunts is the worst, it sounds silly when you are asked how long have been away and you say two weeks, but as time goes by and you can say months you start being taken seriously and get more assistance.

28/01/2012 at 19:37

Corfu- cheap, warm and safe - and a lot of english speaking - they even play cricket in corfu town square (true!)

Cyprus - similar with excellent healthcare - no cricket though

28/01/2012 at 19:38
Oops - almost forgot Malta - they speak English, its warm, cheap and safe - not sure about the healthcare though - but been out there a few times to dive with me mate who is a diving instructor out there - so I can ask him some questions if you like?
28/01/2012 at 20:13

I'd second Malta... because I've actually come across a couple of older folks in the same situation as yourself, spending up to 6 months there. A Maltese guy told me how he'd rented out his holiday apartment to a British couple who kept beating him down, over and over again, until the price they paid for each week was actually less than you'd pay to hire a bicycle for a week! They speak English there, and now that they've joined the EU, I guess your European Health Insurance Card (issued free at www.ehic.org.uk) will stretch that far. To see what you can and can't get abroad... check www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad

Apart from that... it's usually sunny... and despite being densely populated there are some very interesting and scenic places to explore, without having to over-exert yourself. You can read more of what I think about Malta here!

28/01/2012 at 22:06
With EHIC, you get what the natives get, and without EHIC, you pay every last penny. With EHIC, you might be able to claim some costs back, and without EHIC, you can't get anything back. With travel insurance, read the small print very carefully, because they might insist that you have EHIC anyway. And in the OP's case, travel insurance isn't going to cover anything that results from anything he already has, or if it does, it will cost a bleeding fortune!
29/01/2012 at 13:38

Before you decide on leaving the UK I'd get some advice on potential benefit entitlement. You may have savings but there are contributory and non means-tested benefits you might be able to claim (contribution based Employment & Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance to name two) and even with capital you may still be entitled to some means tested benefits. Contact your local welfare rights office, law centre or CAB for more information.

01/02/2012 at 03:14

Thank you, everybody.

Sorry I'd not replied till now: been hospitalling (as opposed to hostelling); and coming to terms with the fact that today [whoops, I mean yesterday] I had to pay a damn' great self-emp' tax-bill despite not having had any income for seven-and-a-half months (and counting).

Which brings me back to that last post. Thank you, Sam Harney: yes, I must look into my rights (to aid). I've been so careful to attend to my responsibilities that I'd rather overlooked the fact that benefits are my due. Lord knows I've paid for them. It's just that my long-term injuries have led to low spirits. Frankly, I can't be dealing with the monolithic face of the State, the state I'm in.

But your helpful suggestions embolden me and give me heart. Thank you.

Would the person with the pushy pandas ask his diving-instructor mate on Malta just the one question, please? If he were starting-out there, where would he stay while he looked about him to secure a longer-term perch, please?

And Bedouin, should I decide to go completely the other way, literally - because I tend to be like that - do you have specific parts of rural India in mind, please?

Oh, and while I'm at it: Jim Parkin, did you rule-out the US because of the cost of healthcare? (It's possible I mistook you, there.)

Again, thank you, everyone.


Edited: 01/02/2012 at 03:16
01/02/2012 at 22:04

You didn't misunderstand me AF...

Somewhere where 75% of medical bankruptcies occur to people who had medical insurance at the beginning of their illness.

02/02/2012 at 02:43

Good grief, Jim, I didn't know it was that savage 'over there'. Thank you for what they so obliquely dub 'the heads up' (which I just call, 'telling me').

And as PaddyDillon also so helpfully points-out I wouldn't get medical insurance for my existing conditions in the first place.

'Don't go west, old man.'?


02/02/2012 at 10:51
As a reminder of just how rubbish American health care is, see this excellent song.
02/02/2012 at 18:46

I hadn't seen that before, Kish. 


Here is the news story that I took that from - the study estimated that medical bills were behind 60% of all US bankruptcies (and of this 60%, three quarters had insurance but were overwhelmed)

If you actually want the academic paper the PDF is here

Not that I fund the US system utterly shocking, or anything. OK, I do.  

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