After you land in London to start your new adventure, you’ll want to hit the ground running and settle into life here as quickly as possible. You won’t want to get caught out by the capital’s quirks, its inflated prices or the UK’s political turmoil. So, here are five top tips to help you avoid those obstacles that might trip you up when you arrive in this world-class city.
Top tip 1: Count your pennies
London is one of the most fascinating, exciting and vibrant places to live in the world. But all this comes at a cost. According to Expatistan – the international cost of living calculator – London is the sixth most expensive city to live in Europe. Unless you budget carefully for essentials like accommodation – which costs considerably more than the rest of the UK – transport and food, your disposable income – and quality of life – might suffer.
Top tip 2: Don't just shake on it
Most people enter the rental market when they first arrive in London but are unsure how it all works. If you decide against using the services of a letting agent – who can guide you through the entire rental process – make sure you protect your deposit and your rights by signing a tenancy agreement that you’ve reviewed thoroughly.
Top tip 3: Beat Brexit
Don’t let the UK’s divorce from the EU split up your family. If you’re planning on moving them to London with you, make sure your brush up on Brexit’s impact on the movement of people. How they apply to stay in the UK depends on where they’re from and how they’re related to you. Key facts include:
- They must live in the UK by 31/12/2020 to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- If they aren’t living in the UK by 31/12/2020, they can apply to join the scheme if you have pre-settled or settled status – you must also prove your relationship began before 31/12/2020.
- If any family member is a citizen of a country outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they will require an EEA family permit to enter the UK – this will be valid for 6 months.
Top tip 4: Get around like a local
Around 46% of Londoners – that’s almost 4.2 million people – use the city’s world-class public transport system to get from A to B. Travelling around this vast city can be a real joy if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going. Here are a few tips to give you a head start:
- Nothing annoys the locals more than someone standing on the left side of an escalator, so keep to the right if you don’t feel like walking up or down.
- Don’t take a taxi unless you absolutely must, or someone else is paying. The iconic black cabs might look charming, but they’re not cheap. Stick to the tube and bus networks.
- Go contactless with a credit/debit or Oyster card; it’s cheaper, more convenient and the only way you can travel by bus.
- Know what travel zone your destination is in, so you can work out the most cost-effective means of getting there.
- Don’t press the open button on tube doors, or you’ll hear a few sniggers at your expense when nothing happens. We’re sure they’re only there to embarrass visitors.
Top tip 5: Don't overburden yourself
Moving to London is an exciting, life-changing experience. However, with so much to arrange to guarantee a successful move, don’t overburden yourself and run the risk of cutting corners. To relieve yourself of this often-overwhelming workload, consider using a relocation agent like Simply London. They provide a comprehensive range of services – home search, school search and family services – designed to manage the entire relocation on your behalf.
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