Cost of Living: Time to Become a “Digital Nomad” in Torrevieja?
24th August 2022
It’s been a tough few years, to put it mildly. And then, just as the worst of COVID seems to be behind us, the UK now is facing a ‘cost of living’ crisis. Food, housing – and above all, energy – are forcing normal working families into lower living standards than they’re used to. Some are even less fortunate. With all this going on, the temptation to leave for pastures new is pretty high among those who’ve embraced remote working: and the lifestyle of a so-called digital nomad looks better and better every day.
What exactly is a digital nomad? Well – it’s just a fancy way of saying “someone who travels as they work online”. A digital nomad doesn’t have a fixed address or place of work – they travel anywhere with an Internet connection, and work from there.
That could be a short-term rented apartment, a tropical beach, a hut in the rainforest, an Alpine lodge, a stopgap hotel – anywhere you can possibly imagine… As long as there’s WiFi, of course.
It’s fairly easy to see why people do it. The freedom, the adventure – the weather. But there’s another plus: you can keep earning what you do now, in a country with a lower cost of living. That means a potentially better quality of life, without having to work more hours or find a better paying gig. And in a crunch, like the one the UK faces, that’s mighty tempting.
So, is Torrevieja good for digital nomads? What can you expect, from WiFi speeds to daily living costs – and ask yourself: “could I live here long-term?”
The weather in Torrevieja
In a word, it’s hot!
Costa Blanca enjoys over 300 days of sunshine each year, and in July, you can expect an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day. August is the hottest month, with daytime temperatures exceeding 30ºC.
March, April and May are much cooler, but still lovely by most standards – and if you’d prefer to avoid the heat altogether, the months of October through to January are the coolest. They’re out of season too, which usually means lower lodging rates and fewer crowds.
Learn more about the best time to visit Torrevieja.
The cost of living in Torrevieja
Can you live better on your current salary by simply changing where you live? That’s what we’re here to find out, after all… So let’s take a look at how living costs stack up for a single person, living in the heart of the town.
According to Numbeo, the average monthly cost of living in Torrevieja is as follows:
- Rent for a single bedroom apartment in the town centre: €475
- Electricity, heating, water and rubbish collection for a small apartment: €105.97
- Internet connection – 60 Mbps or better: €25.27
- Note that, if you’re a tenant in Spain, you don’t have to pay the equivalent of council tax (IBI), only property owners do.
That’s a total of €606.24 – or about £510 a month* for rent, utilities and Internet. For a comparison, the average rent alone for a one-bedroom flat in the UK is £758 (and rising) – without council tax, water, electricity or anything else.
* Going by exchange rates when this article was written.
So, at a glance of some basic averages – you’d likely be far better off living in Torrevieja as a digital nomad.
But is it really that simple?
Working in Torrevieja
There’s a bit more to it than hopping on a plane with a laptop and hoping for the best! You’ll need to do some planning, make some applications, and get accepted into the country as a worker first.
Getting a Spanish work visa
Now that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, digital nomads planning to work in Torrevieja must obtain a Spanish work visa. This can cost from €60 up to €550, and differs depending on whether you’re self-employed, work for a company in Spain, plan to do seasonal work, or work remotely for an international organisation.
The rules are strict, but fairly straightforward, and you’ll need to settle up with the Spanish embassy before you travel. Learn more about applying for a Spanish work visa.
The average download speed in Torrevieja is 168 Mbps – which is better than the UK average, which clocks in at just under 130 Mbps. You’re likely to find WiFi in most of the spots you’d expect (cafés and informal lunch spots), so you can enjoy a change of scenery whenever you feel like it.
So far, so good. But what about life – friends, family, fun? What’s that like out here, and would it even be viable to come as a family?
Living in Torrevieja
As biased as we might be, life in Torrevieja is as sweet as it comes. Enviable weather, beautiful natural wonders, unique shopping experiences, incredible food – and a lifestyle that puts enjoyment of every day first.
But a life full of sunshine, food and retail therapy is meaningless without people to enjoy it with.
Thankfully, Torrevieja is home to a diverse community of lovely locals – and also expats from the UK. English is spoken fluently by many in the town (plus there’s also Spanish language classes, if you want to learn the local language), and making friends is easy around here. It’s a lively and sociable place in the spring and summer, and more tranquil out of these peak seasons – but no less welcoming as a result.
And coming as a family is perfectly plausible, with plenty of international schools in Torrevieja and the surrounding region. All you really have to ask yourself is: “is this what my family wants?”
Because, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Life’s not so much about the “where” as it is the “who”.
Still – 300 days of sunshine a year could tempt just about anyone! And if you’re keen to see what life could be like out here, come and spend a week or so living like a local: book your accommodation in Torrevieja at LosLocosBeach.com.