Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidatingproposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless aspossible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand theculture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems,neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that arenative to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect withsomeone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through beforeyou start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at leastknow where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on anapartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or anemployer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s notpossible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there.Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’sinsurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting.Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when youarrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If thereare things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in thecity. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities toengage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costsmore: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to getripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and knowwhere your money is going.