So you’ve got the visa sorted, got some money into the bank account and have told friends and family that you’re about to cross the other side of the world…. now what?
Lets be honest, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis have been here and many more will choose to make this trip. But how can you hit the ground running without too much drama?
When I came to the UK I had finished a 4 month trek through SE Asia and India so was pretty much broke and living off my NZ credit card, not a great start for the finances! No surprises that my first piece of advice is to save as much as you can to prepare for your arrival. I know many people like to pad their bank accounts with other peoples savings to make the visa threshold, but I highly recommend you start saving as from yesterday!
While food and alcohol is cheaper than it is in NZ, Flatting (deposits, rent up front) Transport (Tube/trains/buss) and other unknown factors can take up a lot of money in a short time. Even if you’re a seasoned traveller London is one of the cities that will happily take your cash, especially with what is on offer here – so the first few weeks can be expensive while you get your bearings.
I can’t tell you how much everything costs as this changes all the time. I recommend you look at our live flatting board to get an idea of what a room costs as well as the popular areas. And why not download our free flat app where you can do the same and this is generally the best way to know what you’re looking at price wise.
Transport is also one of those variables, but it will be the first you you’ll encounter when arriving here! The very helpful Transport for London website has fares easily available. When you arrive into London you’ll be tired, jetlagged and probably hungry, so for the first few days you’ll be using public transport either by using your contactless card (NZ – Paywave) on tubes/buses/trains. Make 100% sure for trains outside London that your contactless payment is valid. Some trains will only allow this for a certain distance!