Whether you’ve got your heart set on moving to the Windy City, the Big Apple is calling your name, or you’ve been offered your dream job a thousand miles from home, there are some pretty important things to think about before you relocate to a new city. You’ve made the decision to pack up and move, but you’re not ready to step on the plane until you’ve checked these nine things off your list.
1. RESEARCH THE COST OF LIVING
It’s important to know how far a dollar stretches in your new city, so research housing, transportation, healthcare, and food prices in order to create a realistic budget. The trusted experts at Aviation Relocation can provide information on average prices of everything from housing to recreational activities and household supplies, but it’s also a good idea to do your own research by looking at gas prices, activities and even area restaurants.
2. SEE HOW YOU STACK UP
Whether you are a new hire, upgrading or retiring, calculate how your new salary will affect your daily budget and your ability to save money. If you’re moving from Portland, Ore. to New York City you may need to tighten your purse strings. If you don’t have a job yet, it’s crucial that you figure out how long your savings will last and how long you can go before you find a job. (Experts recommend having a minimum of three months of savings.)
3. RESEARCH YOUR JOB OPPORTUNITIES
If you are looking into new job opportunities in a new city, either for yourself or your spouse, start applying before you move. Get a sense of the city’s major industries and what kinds of jobs are available. If you haven’t yet set a moving date, find out if there are more job openings during a certain time of year (some industries hire seasonally), and make sure you have a concrete job hunt plan: What companies do you plan to target? What connections do you have? If you’re looking for retail or part-time work that’s difficult to apply for remotely, make a list of local business and pay attention to location. If businesses you think sound promising seem to be concentrated more in one area, look for housing in that area. (Remember, Aviation Relocation can also assist you with finding cities and communities to satisfy your airport commute needs.)
4. MAKE SOCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS
Connect with friends, acquaintances, and distant family in your new city. Use your alumni network and past or present work colleagues to identify social and professional connections. Reaching out to friends of friends for a coffee or lunch date is a great way to start –and while it may sound cheesy, a simple Facebook post asking for introductions often starts the ball rolling.
5. EXPLORE THE CITY AND LEARN ABOUT ITS NEIGHBORHOODS
If you can’t visit before you move, learn the lay of the land from afar. Before you choose an area of the city to live in, find out what areas are residential and commercial, which neighborhoods are considered dangerous, and which areas have the kinds of amenities that interest you, for example. If you’re outdoorsy, get a sense of where the parks are; if you’re into music and nightlife, make sure you know where those venues are located. If you are able to take a trip, think about booking an Airbnb in your new location instead of staying in a hotel to gain a better sense of what it feels like to live there.
6. LEARN ABOUT TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
Decide whether you’ll be driving a car or using public transportation to get around. If you’re planning to keep a car in the city, find out the parking and storage options that are available. If you’ll be relying on public transportation, get a sense of the neighborhoods that have the best service. Conduct research to learn which bus and/or train lines are considered the most reliable, and how frequently each runs. You don’t want to be stuck living somewhere with a single bus that comes once a day.
7. PURGE UNNECESSARY POSSESSIONS
There is a lot of work to do before you leave. One way to make the move a little easier is to get rid of anything you don’t need. Have a yard sale, donate old clothes to charity, and sell things online. Symbolically, you’ll be getting rid of the old to make room for the new. But, more practically, you’ll have less to transport when you move.
8. MAKE A LIST OF GOALS
Make sure you know exactly why you’re moving and what you’re hoping to achieve. It’s easy to lose focus in the chaos and excitement of setting up a new life once you actually move, so it’s a good idea to make a list of your personal and professional goals before you pack up and leave.
9. SAY GOODBYE
Throw a farewell party, have a casual get-together, or just make sure you say a proper goodbye to the important people in your life. Not only will it help you leave your old city on good terms, it might unexpectedly reveal connections and opportunities in your new one.