If you want to relocate to a city with a vibrant cultural and social scene, as well as access to more job opportunities and cosmopolitanism, London could be an excellent choice. According to a Getamover survey, London has the lowest percentage of people who want to leave the city. There are valid reasons for this. London is a vibrant metropolis and capital city with its own historical and cultural attractions, as well as a thriving economy, nightlife and eating scene, and a diverse range of job options.
Now that you’ve considered a move to London, here are some things you should know to make your transition to the British capital go more smoothly. We’ve got you covered for local surprises, packing advice, connectivity, and mundane paperwork.
Find the best mover
The most reputable companies are always fully insured. This means that all of their vehicles are insured to carry out residential and commercial removals. If you don’t have time to pack and unload, hire a moving company that provides a comprehensive removals service. This should include packing, boxing, labeling, removal van, and unloading – getting your belongings from point A to point B and ready for you to move into your new home. Select a company that has been in operation for a long time to ensure that they have a track record and are successful in assisting their clients.
Keeping in touch
When relocating to a new place, staying connected is critical and can help you feel less lost. If you are staying in London for an extended amount of time and have special needs, purchase a local pay-as-you-go SIM card or a data package before you arrive (calling abroad, being able to send large files etc.) If you only need (free) Wi-Fi, keep in mind that airports and most organizations provide free Wi-Fi in exchange for your data.
Apps that can save your life
Use Citymapper to plan your trip around town, complete with route, time, and price indications. Pre-book a taxi with Hailo or order a ride from Uber anywhere in the city at any time. The best part? There is no need for cash because all payments are made with your pre-registered credit card. Do you have a craving for Korean cuisine? Deliveroo will bring your favorite bibimbap right to your door. Don’t forget to download Met Office for weather forecasts and Dojo or Great Little Place City Guide to stay on top of all the cool things going on in your city.
The Oyster Card regulations
You’ve probably heard of the all-powerful Oyster Card – this reloadable pay-as-you-go travel card grants you access to the London tube, Docklands Light Railway, and bus system. You can get it online or at any tube station. London’s public transportation system is divided into six zones and is now providing 24-hour service: the Night Tube (Central and Victoria lines) and bus lines connect Central London to the city’s outskirts. Sporty types will appreciate Santander Cycles, which offers self-service bikes for short journeys starting at £2. You can also get around the city using black cabs, taxis, and Uber cars.
Paper is still important
Make sure you bring all of your crucial documents with you. Make sure you have your ID images, as well as digital and print copies of your documentation, on hand at all times. A quick checklist: a photo ID, bank statements, proof of employment (if you’re working), a reference from your previous employer and printed resumes (if you’re actively job-hunting), proof of address (an electricity bill under your name, for example) once you’ve found a place to live, and evidence of your place at university (if you’re enrolled).
Londoners follow their own set of rules
What are the similarities between foxes, jaywalking, and postal codes? When you move to London, you’ll need to become acquainted with all of them. What about foxes, you ask? The British capital is teeming with red foxes. It is not unusual to come across one in parks or backyards. Jaywalking? While most European countries make it illegal to jaywalk, you can do so guilt-free in London (just look before you do it!). In addition, unlike in most other countries, British postcodes are quite elaborate. They are made up of a compass-points district code and a sub-district serial number – for example, SE1 8SE – and can be a true indicator of one’s social standing – some postal codes just scream ‘posh.’
The NHS is a sacred institution (and so is your GP)
Upon your arrival, you must take care of a few time-consuming but crucial tasks: One of them is registering with your local general practitioner or GP. How do you go about doing it? Lookup a practice in your postal area using the National Health System (NHS) index and then register once you have an address and evidence of residence. It wasn’t all that horrible, was it?