London, it is the capital of England. It is home to 8.6 million people. It is often described as the best city in the whole world. But, it is also somewhere you do not want to move to without preparing. After all, it is also one of the world’s most expensive places to live and also one of its loneliest, at least for many.
Then, to ensure your move to London is everything you hoped for, give the following 5 tips some food for thought before packing your bags; from how to find accommodation to what not to do on the tube, here is how to not only survive but live the good life in The Capital.
1# Learn to Share
For a city with a reputation of its residents being aloof and unfriendly, there is one thing millions of Londoners do share and that is accommodation. In fact, for many, shared accommodation, such as that provided across the county by London Fox Lettings, is the only way to afford living in London at all.
Hence, if you are moving to London for the first time this is a reality you might have to wrap your head around, especially if you want to enjoy and afford some of the bright lights London has to offer.
2# Shell Out on an Oyster Card
Public transport in London (despite the fact us Brits are always moaning about it) is actually fantastic. Buses and tube trains arrive at stops in Central London ever two minutes and service the entire county. Further, with the tube now operating a night service (visit the TfL website to learn more), this has made London a far safer and easier place to get about, even at night – no more extortionate Uber rides!
In order to keep transport costs down though and because owning a car, at least in zones 1 and 2 if that is where you intend to live or need to travel to, is expensive and plain stressful, a tip that needs giving is: shell out on an oyster card.
Sold just about everywhere in London and for the measly sum of £5, which is also refundable if you return your card should you no longer need it, you can top an oyster card up as you travel and stand to save a minimum of £2.50 on every individual tube trip you take. Hence, especially when learning your way around, this is one tip that could save you hundreds and will no doubt stand to save you thousands over the years to come.
For a detailed comparison of prices when travelling with and without an Oyster Card, head over to the London Tool Kit website.
3# Underground Etiquette
Up to 4.8 million people use the tube everyday according to official statistics provided by Transport for London, and if you are moving to London it is more than likely you are about to add to that number. Then, it is paramount to get to grips with a little tube etiquette.
While there are maps to guide you geographically speaking on the tube, there are no in-station guides to tell you how to behave whilst travelling via the underground. Despite this, stand on the wrong side of an escalator, fail to mind the gap or start making eye contact with those you are squashed against on a rush hour service and you can expect to receive some very funny looks…or worse.
So, to make using the tube a smooth ride, before hopping on, give the Telegraph Newspaper’s Unbreakable Rules of the London Underground a read.
4# Act Like a Tourist
Visit all the free museums, galleries and exhibitions you can get to. You can find a list of them via the Time Out website.
Not only will getting to and from them prove an exciting way to orientate yourself in what is a massive and busy place, it is likely that if you do not do these things now that you never will; a surprising number of Londoners have never been to many of the most popular museums, galleries or attractions in London.
Then, to avoid becoming one of them, learn more about your new home and spend some time doing something enjoyable before having to get down to the daily grind, spend a week if possible acting like a tourist and just enjoying what is one of the best cities in the world.
5# Make the Move in Winter
Moving in winter when the weather is against you might seem like a bizarre tip to offer, but when moving to one of the most densely populated and popular tourist traps in the world, you can expect to cut down your travelling time, stress and the human traffic you might have to deal with considerably simply by moving during the winter months – when the tourists are few and there is no sun to make the people flood the roads and streets. This is especially true if you are hiring removal’s transport and being charged by the hour.