Moving to a new city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move to the Historic Triangle as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. If you can, visit Williamsburg before moving and connect with someone who’s lived here before. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. A good place to start your research on local school systems is www.schoolgrades.org/.

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. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend, employer, or real estate professional 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 daunting, even in a friendly city like Williamsburg. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: life is hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your old town, find ways to do those things here. Or try new things. Volunteer. The Historic Triangle offers so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. Life is expensive. Everything costs money: food, insurance, and clothes. And if you are buying or renting for the first time, be prepared for those monthly expenses. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.