So you’ve got your job lined up or have enrolled at a London university and are eagerly anticipating your big move to London. Just moving to London itself can become a little stressful if not done right. Before you pack your cases, here are some tips we’ve compiled to help you plan your move and make it a successful one! London can be such a beautiful but also overwhelming city to live in, so make sure to plan ahead.
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Meet up with people
Don’t be afraid to ask for information! People are generally nice and will probably stop to help you. Even if you’re shy, asking is always better than getting lost and not going where you want to go. Once you’ve arrived, joining an evening class or a gym is a great way to start building up contacts.
Make yourself at home
It’s important, mentally, to set your room up as your new home. It’ll help you feel comfortable in your new surroundings and give you a sense of familiarity and stability which, I believe, is really important in the early days.
It’s best to arrive during winter
Given the weather, this may seem counter-intuitive, but January and February are the best arrival months, after the Christmas and New Year crush. Tourists are much fewer than in summer, public transport is less crowded, and there may be better deals on accommodation in London. Additional weather tip: always carry an umbrella! British weather can be very temperamental so always be prepared.
Set up a bank account
Another task which shouldn’t be left too long is setting up a bank account. You may be lucky enough to find a bank that will allow you to open an account before arriving, but many require your presence in a London branch.
Walk where possible
Don’t just use the tube everywhere. Some stations are so close it isn’t worth the hassle or the money. Not only will you get to know the most of the major London streets but you will also save money. The tube is quite expensive here in London. Remember that the direction of traffic is different in the UK. Therefore, be extra careful and always look to your right first before crossing the street. Bonus: traveling aboveground will give you a much better sense of how the city is laid out, and you’ll feel at home sooner.
Moving to London can be a wonderful experience, but be realistic about your goals and the time it takes you to get them. Be prepared for some cultural shocks, but also to meet some of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet.
Living in London can be a life-changing experience, so embrace it Good luck with your move, it will be so worth it.