Tips for Moving to London

London night view shard

I first announced last January that I was moving to London to further my blogging career and finally made the big move at the beginning of February 2015. It’s not an easy process and was super overwhelming at times so I thought I would share my experiences here and some tips I learned along the way that might help you in adjusting to London life. These tips can be applied to most big city moves and please do let me know in the comments if you found them useful.

Do your Research

London! It sounds so exciting and more often that not the grass always looks greener on the other side. I’m a Galway girl and although Galway city (Ireland) is my favourite place in the world there was something about moving to London which I felt I needed to do. It’s not as simple as just upping and leaving though and that’s why it’s key to do your research first.

I asked around my company for any contacts living in London so I could try and nail down a suitable area to live in. This helped to narrow down the options as, believe me, it’s quite daunting when you start hearing about zones, North London V. South London and the likes. It really helped me having some recommended options first and then I used my main base for work as a guide to figure out what tube line (London Underground transport) I would be travelling on the most. Once you settle on a commute time and tube line everything else will fall into place.

Finding Work

I would strongly recommend finding work before moving here. I was lucky as I transferred with my current employer to their London office so I had a job lined up before moving here. My friend who also made the move, put in the groundwork in the months leading up to moving date by contacting recruiters based in London in his industry and providing them with a copy of his CV. This way he also ensured he had a job lined up in advance of arriving in London. If you are freelance I’d recommend building your network in London once you begin even considering the move. There are really easy ways to do this online now with Facebook groups and LinkedIn.

Save your Money

They don’t say London is one of the most expensive cities in the world for the fun of it! It really is! You definitely need to have some saving set aside before moving to London mainly for putting down a deposit on a flat. Most agencies require a 6 week rental deposit along with the first month’s rent upfront and agency fees. Add that to the fact that the rent is extortionate – you end up paying over quite the lump sum shortly after your arrival in a new city.

Getting Around

City mapper London App blog
It might appear really daunting at first as London is such a widespread city but it’s surprisingly one of the easiest places to get around I’ve found. There are super convenient maps scattered around the city which you can look to see ‘Where you are‘ and plan your walking route. The tube is also really easy to understand once you get used to it. I have only had one incident of ending up at the wrong platform and I put that down to tiredness moreso than lack of understanding. I have also become really dependent on apps such as CityMapper which allow you to plan your route before leaving home.

What are your tips for making the move to a new city?

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