Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be exciting and a bit unnerving as well.

As I have lived in several large cities, like Los Angeles, Toronto, Frankfurt Germany and San Friancisco and a small town, I wanted to share with you a few tips that might help.

Always Do theResearch  internet research makes it all that much easier. Research things school systems, neighborhoods, weather, public transportation, and laws that are local to that area. Check out the local tv news channels website. If you can, visit the city for a week or two before making the move. If you belong to an organization like Junior League, Kiwanis etc see if they have a chapter in the city you are moving to and reach out to that organization to see if you can find someone to talk and connect with.

Plan It There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing that moving truck. Identify housing before you arrive, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home to purchase. 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 driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a new city can be challenging. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive. Take the initiative. If there are things you like to do, find ways to do those things in your new city. Be adventurous,try new things. Volunteer is fabulous, gets you out there and creates a circle of friends.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, mortgages. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.