Six tips for Expats planning their ‘Look-See’ visit to the United States.
A look-see trip is an exploratory visit to the country you’re moving to. It can be very helpful for Expats who are planning a move to the United States because it can help determine what life will be like in the area.
The U.S. is a very large country and there are vast cultural differences from region-to-region. Even if you have been to the country before, the area you visited is not necessarily going to be similar to the place you’re moving.
It is very important that you plan your trip efficiently so that you can get as much done as possible on your visit. Give yourself enough time to explore the area and to begin making decisions about your life abroad.
Follow these six tips for planning your ‘look-see’ trip:
1. Stay in the neighborhood
Before your trip do research to find out which neighborhoods you’re interested in living in. If possible, stay in a hotel or rent a home in these areas. Spend as much time as possible in each neighborhood living like a local to get a feel for the area.
2. Avoid Tourist Attractions
Spend time living like a local, not a tourist. Try to get a feel for everyday life in the neighborhood. You can set aside time at the end of your trip for tourist activities.
3. Meet the Neighbors
Try to interact with the locals and see who is living in the area. Visit local restaurants and hangouts and spend time just walking around the neighborhood.
Research what transportation options are available in the area. Determine if you can easily take public transportation, or if you will need to obtain a vehicle. Test your commute to your new job from the neighborhood you’re interested in.
5. Visit the Schools
If you’re relocating with your kids it’s important to check out the schools in the area. Set up appointments with local schools in the area. Be aware that where you live affects which schools your children can attend – remember to ask about the enrollment requirements.
6. Meet the local Expats
Use social media networking groups to find local Expats living in the area and ask them to meet up while you’re in the area. They will be able to tell you better than anyone what it’s like to move to the area.