7 essential tips for Americans relocating to London

London street

 

London is an amazing and culturally diverse city with so much to do and see. It is both modern and full of history. If you are relocating from the U.S. for a new job or business opportunity, you will be amazed at how easily you can explore all of Europe and then some. You will experience culture shock, and there will be many little (and big) differences that you weren’t expecting, but if you keep an open mind you will be able to take things in stride.

Relocation can be an overwhelming ordeal for anyone, particularly if you are relocating overseas. No matter how exciting it is, there is so much to be done. If you are moving to London, here are some tips to take the stress out of the move so you can focus on the excitement and fun of exploring your new city!

Time to adjust

If possible, give yourself a couple of weeks to adjust and get settled in before starting work. Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych, is a clinical psychologist and he suggests trying to form a routine as soon as you can: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/im-in-a-new-city-and-horribly-homesick-how-do-i-adjust/article11652587/

Measurement systems

Unless you are familiar the the measurement system, then this seemingly small detail can really be a pain when shopping for food and other essentials such as items of furniture online. Understanding conversions will really reduce brain strain. You might want to bring over your own measuring spoons and cups whilst you learn! Heres a list of useful tools:

Currency convertor 

Weight and distance

Pets

If you will be bringing pets with you, make sure you give plenty of time to get things in order. It can take a while for all the paperwork to go through, and if it is not followed to the letter, it can cause delays. The UK has guidelines for bringing new pets into the country follow this link for details bringing pets into the UK. You also may need someone to look after them for a while.

Find a suitable hotel for your pet! Finding pet boarding

Pet walking: Happy Dogs is based in both Notting Hill and High Wycombe and is run by Lucy Kennedy. There website states that: ‘We offer a totally unique service for your dog or pets. We create a safe, healthy and happy home from home for dogs of all kinds’, their customers seem to think so to. http://www.happy-dogs.co.uk/

Pet sitting: Find a suitable pet sitter at the national association of pet sitters. http://www.dogsit.com/

Furnishing your new home

You will need to furnish your new apartment. One easy and stylish solution is to purchase Ikea furnishings and have them shipped to you in their flat packs. If you loathe the idea of assembling your new furnishings, an Ikea assembly service (shameless plug alert) like ours, can come and put it together for you!

Use the IKEA planning tool to help you visualise and prepare. http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/rooms_ideas/splashplanners_new.html

Why not mix the fasionable practical style of IKEA with some luxury, timeless, classics, at the ARAM store. http://www.aram.co.uk/ The kind of furniture they sell are sensible investments.

Getting about

Getting around in London is best using public transport. Get an “Oyster Card” for a discounted rate. It works out much cheaper than single journeys and has more flexible options than a travelcard. You can also have an Oyster Card prepayed for your visitors when they come to stay.

Get an Oyster Card online or from your nearest rail or tube station. https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

Meeting new friends

It can be difficult for spouses to adjust to living abroad, especially if they are not working. There are many online communities set up by other expats that can provide resources, advice and social interaction with other spouses who are going through the same adjustment.

The London Expat community

If you have a new baby NCT provides great support and can introduce you to local mums and all sorts of recommended classes such as Baby Yoga, sensory classes, and swimming. http://www.nct.org.uk/branches/london

Schools

If you have school age children, do your homework when it comes to selecting a school. Things are run differently over here, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. London pre prep offers great advice www.londonpreprep.com

 

So, if London is your destination, remember: Do your research, get an Oyster Card, furnish your flat easily,  meet new people, and most importantly, enjoy yourself! And also remember that we will be here for you to assemble your furniture.

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