6 Ways To Learn About A New City Before You Move

Are you moving to a new city? If yes, we’ve done some research for you to make your move less nerve-racking. With our technological advancements in today’s digital age, you don’t necessarily have to be physically present in a city to know about it – you can do your research right at home. With the right research, resources, and accurate use of tools, you’ll find all the information you’re looking for and have a better feel of what a move to this destination might be like.

We’ve put together a list of 6 ways you can learn about a new city before you move:

1. Start researching your new destination.
Sometimes, familiarizing yourself about the city itself may prove to be the best method. You can start by contacting city hall, or even visiting the city website to find relevant resources. Many city websites have resources that include guides for tourists/new residents, which include the basic information such as best restaurants, grocery stores, public transit, and recreational activities. Click here to see Toronto’s visitor guide.

In addition, there are numerous databases that are solely dedicated for cities. In this method, you’ll be able to find city profiles and other important information such as cost of living, area demographics, crime rates, neighbourhoods, etc. This will help you understand the type of city it is.

There are great events happening all the time, all year round. So before you move to the city, find out what’s happening that month. Read up on everything that’s relevant to you and your family, children’s interests or perhaps explore your industry area and how you can engage in the community. Whether it’s a meet and greet, motivational event or workshop, or attending an art event or sporting activities, consider adding some activities for you and your family members to your calendar planning. Events are a great place to meet and network with other people with similar interests, activities or even hobbies as you and your family members.

2. Read user forums.

Who better to give you information about the city than locals residing in that city? People currently living in the city will give you honest feedback and even answer any questions you may have prior to moving there. They can give recommendations from different communities in the city, to the best restaurants, to different activities in the city. A review website that might be helpful is TripAdvisor. Reading through reviews and posts are sure to answer questions you, your children and family members may not have considered and give insight into the different interests people share – perhaps even new assignees or expats returning to Canada.

3. Be courageously friendly. Delve into your contacts.
Take a moment to consider your contacts: a distant relative that lives in the new city? Perhaps, friends of contacts whom may have lived in the city? The more information you have, the more you will feel comfortable in deciding if a move to this destination city is a great fit for you and your family. Consider sending an email or reaching out to your contacts, friends and family members to explore what they may know or have experienced about moving to this destination. Also, ask if they have any contacts who have made a move or career change to this destination – especially if it is a major change for you and your children and family members. Being friendly, communicating within your contacts and reaching beyond your own network may introduce new people or information from experienced voices. Moving away from your city and current lifestyle may bring challenges to you and each of your family members, individually. Preparing in advance, expanding your contact circle for you and your family members, and perhaps even making new friends or contacts, may bring a sense of excitement to all, considering this new adventure and major move.

4. Expand your professional and social network.
Expanding social and professional connections in advance can dramatically impact and contribute to a smooth transition for you, your children, and elderly family members. Leaving friends, coworkers, clients, and associates may be a challenge for you, for your children or family members but in order to be comfortable in your family’s new destination area, it is helpful to expand social and professional connections – and for each family member, individually. Another idea may be to identify your new neighbours and connect with them through social media. You may even receive their phone number so you can chat with them prior to moving. The more social you reach out, you may find that the easier your transition will be to the new city for you and all members of your family.

Additionally, expanding your network with the new destination area via LinkedIn is a great way to explore this major move. This professional platform will allow you to understand the industry in the new city/country that you’re moving into. It’ll also give you an opportunity to connect with some of the industry professionals and ask questions.

5. Understand the transportation options.
Whether you’ll be buying a car or using public transportation to get to different places for you and every member of your family, explore your transportation options for each family member. You should also look into how the parking, licensing, and validation works, should you purchase a vehicle. For public transportation, research the bus, train, school bus, or walking routes available for you and your family members, along with costs, if any, per trip. Researching the schedules for public transportation, and checking if it’s reliable and fits the needs for you and/your family members is crucial. Conducting research and making use of all resources available to be researched in advance will assure that you are better prepared in making your decisions. Find out which cities currently provide public transport for free, click here.

6. Visit the city/country.
If you and your family are able to physically visit the city or country you are relocating to, it would provide so much information, experience, and feeling for you and your family members! A research trip to the destination area (may even be covered by your employer) would be truly helpful. We would recommend finding out from your new potential employer if this may be an option. It is highly recommended to consider a pre-trip; something like a weekend getaway or a mini vacation to the new city or country will be extremely effective for you and perhaps your spouse, and/or family members, in order to better understand the destination area, offerings and surroundings. You will be able to go out, explore the city, and learn about the neighbourhoods and get a personal experience and learn about the different qualities of your new destination area to call home.

Following some of these tips, you and your family members will be sure to make your move to a new city less overwhelming. Remember to stay calm, and research about where you are considering a move to ahead of time.

If you are relocating to Canada, TransferEASE Relocation can help. We are proud members of CERC and are an ISO 9001:2008 registered corporation. At TransferEASE Relocation, our knowledgeable relocation experts can help guide your relocation from start to finish, with care and attention. Call us today to speak to a representative.

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