There’s a lot to take care of when you’re moving to a new area, and it’s easy to overlook even the most essential tasks. Use these tips to make sure you’re taking care of all the important parts of getting settled into the Sarasota and Bradenton areas.
1. Get Your Vehicle Up to Date
If you’re new to Florida, it’s important to get a Florida driver’s license and Florida plates for your vehicle. Florida license plates are good for 10 years with a new decal added annually or biennially. If you have a valid driver’s license from another state, getting your Florida license is quick and easy. You must get a Florida license within 30 days of moving to the state. If you have a Florida license already, you must change the address within 30 days of your move. Visit your local Sarasota or Bradenton Motor Vehicle Service Center to take care of these important tasks.
2. Forward Your Mail
You can set up mail forwarding online for $1 or at any United States Post Office for free. Set your mail forwarding to begin on your first day in your new apartment to make sure you don’t miss a thing. Contact your bank, credit card companies and others to update your address, as mail forwarding is only a temporary service.
3. Visit Your Local Library
Your library is an invaluable resource for everything from educational classes and story time with your children to free movies, music and reading materials. Visit your local library and sign up for a card as soon as you can. Check out their calendar of events for fun offerings you may be interested in. Not only is this a good way to learn more about your new neighborhood, it also presents easy opportunities for meeting new people. There are several locations in both the Manatee County Public Library System and Sarasota County Library System.
4. Get Involved in the Community
Getting involved in your new community will give you a sense of pride and ownership in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas. The Sarasota Newcomers Club is a great resource that offers special interest groups, social events and a community outreach program. Bradenton offers a wealth of volunteer opportunities at locations ranging from the Birds of Paradise Sanctuary & Rescue Inc. to the Turning Points center, which helps those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
5. Find Your New Go-to Destinations
Settling into a new area means finding your way around a fresh and unfamiliar landscape. You can begin orienting yourself by pinpointing your go-to spots for essential activities like grocery shopping, ordering a pizza or picking up a prescription.
Also find the closest hospital accepted by your insurance plan in case of an emergency. Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Manatee Memorial Hospital are both close-at-hand. If you have children, start checking out local playgrounds like Payne Park or the Children’s Garden.
What are your best tips for settling into our area? Recommend your favorites in the comments below.