Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. Its important to understand the community you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit the city/town before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Make sure your realtor is one who knows the area. If renting, never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like drivers licenses, car insurance, renters insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting new people in a big city or a smaller suburb or town can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: people’s lives are often too busy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in your new one. Try new things. Volunteer. New places always offer many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like. Join the Chamber of Commerce, local charities, schools.  

Mind your wallet. Moving can be expensive. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.