Chicago is often referred to as being the “second city,” falling right behind New York in some peoples’ eyes in terms of size and culture. Step foot in Chicago, though, and you’ll find that there’s more to do in the city than you could ever accomplish on a vacation. It should stand to reason, then, why so many people tend to move to the city. Chicago is home to some of the best restaurants in the country, after all – a foodie’s paradise, and it doesn’t end there.

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Moving to Chicago can be an exciting venture, but it can also be stressful if you go about it improperly. Take the following tips into consideration, however, and you won’t have to worry about running into any problems.

Visit the City First!

Anytime you plan to move to a new city, it’s essential to spend at least a week there to get to know the area before you make such a big decision. Fortunately, there are a great deal of things to do in Chicago that are fun for the whole family. Whether you spend your time visiting Millennium Park, riding bikes along Lake Shore Dr. or visiting the city’s historic Chinatown, you’ll be able to get a much better idea as to what your life may be like if your move to the city than if you were to research the area online.

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Try to book a relaxing vacation that has more to do with getting to know Chicago than actually looking for a place to live, and don’t hesitate to bring your whole family! After all, you’ll want everyone to be on board with the move, and it’s difficult for that to happen if they don’t have a good idea as to what Chicago life is like.

When vacationing in Chicago, you might want to book one of the city’s many historic hotels. The Drake Hotel, for example is a five-star facility that will no doubt impress everyone in your family. Look for hotels that are located right downtown for best results, as this is a great way to get the most out of what the city has to offer. Keep rates in mind, however, as they can be sky-high during the peak months of the year.

Choose the Right Neighborhood

As with any big city, Chicago’s neighborhoods are extremely diverse. Walk from one to another, and you might see a dramatic difference in terms of feel and residency. Because some neighborhoods are safer than others, it’s important to take a good look at where you’re thinking about moving and think about all of the different elements that come along with each neighborhood.

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Edison Park and Forest Glen, for example, are two of the safest neighborhoods in the city, while Fuller Park and Washington Heights are typically not good options for those who have never lived in Chicago. Analyzing crime rates can only get you so far, though. It’s best to take a trip to the city and experience the neighborhoods on your list first-hand, as once you make a purchase, it’ll be difficult to backtrack.

Rent a Storage Unit

Sometimes the best way to move all of your stuff from one location to another is to have a spot to drop things off in-between, and there’s no better option here than renting a storage unit. Storing your items allows you to take your time while moving, rather than having to rush around in a single day. It can also help you to save space in your new home or apartment as you sort things out, which always takes at least a little bit of time once you’ve finished moving in.

Be sure to look for a facility that offers 24 hour surveillance and access, and don’t hesitate to compare prices between different options. A few other things to look for when choosing a storage unit are on-site management, gated access and opportunities to store large items like boats and cars. If you’re making a big move, you’re most likely going to need all the space you can get.

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There’s no need to worry about making a move to the big city, especially if you put the right amount of time into planning things out. Heed the above advice, and you’ll already be on your way.