Finding accommodation needn't be stressful
You don’t want to spend your first days in London with a headache because there are so many new things to discover. To relieve part of the stress of moving, why not look for a temporary let before your arrival?
There are many agencies that offer short-term accommodation in London. A short-let accommodation agency is an ideal solution for anyone who’s moving for the first time to the big city. They are usually cheaper than spending the same amount of time in a hostel, and significantly less crowded. It’s a good idea to look for an agency that gives you the possibility to leave your accommodation with short notice (one or two weeks) so that after you have settled down a bit in London, you can start to look for a more permanent home.
Studying the area, avoid surprises
With more than 8.5 million inhabitants, London is a huge city and the quality of living varies hugely from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Before renting any accommodation, you should check whether it suits your needs. Are there enough shops and supermarkets located nearby? Are there green areas?
Whether you are studying or looking for a job, the chances are that you’ll join the crowd of commuters that use the public transport on a day to day basis.
If this is the case, it’s worth finding a place to stay that is only a short walking distance from the main transport network saving you time in the mornings and evenings.
You can find out about the safety of the area by asking people living in this area already. There are a number of social media groups and blogs of expats which are great for connecting with others and asking questions about your future neighbourhood.
Prepare a budget for London by thinking about your needs
It’s no secret, living in London can be really expensive, especially if you are still looking for a job and don’t have any fixed income yet. The best thing to do is to create a realistic budget for how much you think you will spend in London. Before moving, buy a notebook and start keeping track of your expenses. How much do you spend per week when you’re at home? Is there anything you can cut down on? Try dividing your expenses into two categories: “necessary” and “superfluous” to help you evaluate how much you need per week.
Then you can compare the cost of living in your city with the cost of living in London at the moment. This exercise will help you understand the amount of money you need to bring with you.
Check your documents
Citizens from the EEA don’t need a visa to travel and live in the United Kingdom. In any case, don’t leave your country without having checked all your documents beforehand. It may look like an obvious piece of advice, but going to the authorities and ensuring that your documents are valid and not expiring soon will prevent you from having an emergency trip to the embassy when in London.
If you are not sure if you need a Visa to enter UK you can find out on the government website.
If you are an EEA citizen: don’t forget your EHIC! For the first months of your stay, the European Health Insurance Card covers emergency and extraordinary medical treatments you might need when in London. If you still don’t have one, find the closest office to you to get your EHIC card in your country.
Bring a copy of your certificates and qualifications
If you are looking for a job, it is quite likely that the employer will ask you to provide a copy of your certificates. You might also need them if you decide to enrol in university or take a course for further education. The more documents you bring with you the less likely you'll need to ask to someone at home to send you certified mail.
Being prepared is the best way to break your way into London!
This article was submitted by EazyCity London, a short-term accommodation agency.