Life in a big city is usually different from everything you have ever known. Everything seems faster, bigger and sometimes disconcerting.  So how do you navigate all of this? How can you quickly settle down in the big city?  We have some pointers for you.

Settle your accommodation plans as fast as possible

It is often tempting to move to the new city first before analysing property options but this is dangerous path to tow. Your finances might take a beating from overstaying in often pricey hotel rooms. It is therefore always best to sort your accommodation needs before moving to the city. If you can’t find a property right away, explore other options.

When it comes to property options, be prepared to live in an apartment smaller than you may be used to.  Big city apartments with huge spaces, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms will be very costly. Unless you are rich, you won’t be staying in one. The average big city apartment is small and oddly shaped. The pricing may be painfully costly, but that’s just reality.  So sell off some of your current property.  You can find a removals company that will help you move your things even across the Atlantic but of what use would it be if there won’t be enough room for all of it?

When you have found your accommodation, the next thing you should do is to immediately improve security around the property. You can do this after your arrival but the earlier the better. Find a locksmith to change weak locks and put in new ones where necessary.  The statistics on security may look positive but you need to plug all possible holes.

To furnish your new apartment, you can go the DIY route or call in experts.  When properly furnished, even the smallest apartments can glow warmly and come to life.

Embrace public transportation

Whilst it is always nice to have your own set of wheels, big cities all around the world are usually far from car-friendly.  There is traffic all the time. Throw in the often uncomfortable parking laws and you can see why most big city car owners only drive when absolutely necessary. The first thing you should do in your early days in the big city is get familiar with the subway system. Understand routes and learn to hail cabs. You will be glad you did!

Be prepared for the initial cost of living shock

You may have heard theories about living in the big cities. You are about to live out these theories. It only takes a few hours to know that everything is a lot more expensive in a big city than in your small hometown or suburbs. You could be paying 50-100% more on everything from groceries to gas and clothes to fast food.

You need to have a proper hold of your finances if you are to survive the initial period in the big city.

Always have some cash around

You may not want to carry cash around but in the big city, it is important to have some. You want to buy a cup of coffee? You forgot your subway card? Having some cash could save your day.

Factor in delays at all times

You may normally wake up 30 minutes before you need to be somewhere. In the big city, that is recipe for missed appointments (and probably a query at work).  Give ample room for delays. Don’t take a bus that will get to your destination at the exact time you need to be there. Instead, take a bus that is scheduled to arrive there 30-45 minutes before your appointment time.


  1. avatar
    Nick Marr

    I am an internet entrepreneur with a passion for driving big audiences and a love for real estate. I have had plenty of ups and downs which has given me the experience to help others launch their own businesses. I enjoy projects that save consumers time and money, challenge convention and add real value to peoples lives.