Moving from a small town or a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

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

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 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, car plate tags, renter’s insurance, and parking tolls ahead of time as well. Check with the DMV.

Explore. Meeting new people can be daunting. Your REALTOR will have a list of schools, utility companies, amusement parks, shopping, dining, social activities, neighborhood on line blogs or FB sites. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. New areas offer so many opportunities to engage others, so find what you like.