So you’re planning to move to London from Boston. It’s an exciting time and one that can seem fraught with potential challenges. But never fear, because with a little forethought, it really is possible to make your move to the UK capital go smoothly.
With this in mind, here are our 9 easy steps to ensure that the big relocation is as hassle free as possible.
1. Get your visa sorted
This is probably the most important step on this list, as without a visa you aren’t moving anywhere. The type of visa you require depends on your reason for moving.
The different visas include a work visa, study visa and family visa. When researching the visa that you’ll personally need, you’ll no doubt start your search online.
However, it’s important to be aware that whilst the Internet is a wonderful tool, the visa requirements have changed quite a few times over recent years, so there’s a lot of mis-information out there. You should ensure to only take information from the official UK government website to make sure that you’re applying for the correct one.
2. Set a date
It might sound a bit obvious, but once you’re sure that the move is going to happen, then you need to know the date you plan to leave. This will be necessary for many reasons. These include applying for your visa, sorting out removals, finding accommodation, telling family and friends… The list goes on.
3. Decide where you want to live
This might not be quite so straightforward, and you may not want to carry out your accommodation search from afar. In such a case, you will need to sort out a temporary place to stay on your arrival.
4. Save money!
And by this we mean that you need to ensure that you’ll have enough liquid cash to fund your move.
In an ideal world, you should have the money needed to relocate, plus around 3 months worth of money safely in a bank to carry you through that time just in case you can’t find work. If you’re moving to study, then you should budget to have enough cash to last your whole stay.
5. Make friends before you leave
6. Decide what to take…
… Or more importantly, what to leave at home! Shipping can be expensive, and in many cases it might be simpler to leave large items at home (or sell them), and purchase new in the UK.
If you do plan to ship furniture across the pond, the best advice is to get a number of different quotes before settling on a removal firm. Companies such as Ship It will provide you with an individual quote, whereas a broker like Gateways will provide you with up to 7 quotes in one easy step.
If you plan to purchase furniture and the like in London, then a good place to start looking is Ikea. Here you can purchase virtually everything you’ll need to furnish a house, and in addition they’ll ship it right to your door.
When it comes to personal effects, our advice is to bring the things that mean the most to you. Even the most temporary of rooms in a shared house will begin to feel more like home once you’ve placed some favourite photos and knick knacks around the place.
7. Sort our banking
Or at least, begin to research bank accounts so you can open one as soon as you arrive. Some of the larger banks with a global presence may allow you to open a UK account before you leave for the UK.
7. Book your tickets
This is a momentous occasion. The day you go online or to a travel agent and confirm the date that the big move is going to take place. In all likelihood you’ll be flying to London. Good flight prices can be found on Expedia, or you can compare flight costs from various airlines using a comparison website such as Sky Scanner.
8. Have a health check
Before you leave the US, book a ‘well person’ check up with your doctor. You can let them know your plans, and they can advise you on any health issues that might be relevant for your move. If you take regular medication you can organise to have an adequate supply to take with you, and also if certain drugs are known by different names in the UK.
9. Organise a leaving do
This is a great way to get all your friends and family together for a big blow out before you head off. You can ensure that everyone you want has all your contact details (print out business cards with your new address – if known -, email and cell phone number).
Not only is getting everyone together a great way to sort such practicalities, but in addition it mentally prepares you for what’s ahead. Make no mistake, moving to another country is a big deal, and the power of being well prepared (both in practical terms and mentally) should not be under estimated.
So there you have it: 9 steps to make your move from Boston to London go as smoothly as possible. And it’s never too early to start preparing. The longer you have to get everything sorted out, the easier it will be.
Oh – and we forgot to mention one very important thing – and that’s to enjoy every step along the way. Moving to London will possibly be one of the best experiences of your life – so have fun.