Move to Florida

If you’re longing to move to the Sunshine State, you’ve got plenty of company: Florida is one of the fastest-growing states in the US. Beyond visions of palm trees and flamingos, however, you’ll need a little practical planning to make your move a success.

Working in Florida

Tourism is probably the best-known sector of Florida’s economy, with career options ranging from captaining a charter boat to teaching visitors about alligators and manatees to designing the hottest new hotel, but there are plenty of other industries to consider. The state has a large and respected presence in aerospace and aviation (both public and private sector) that employs research scientists, engineers, skilled machinists, and countless others. Healthcare, biomedical research, and pharmaceutical manufacturing also make up a healthy part of the economy, as do international trade and even banking. If you’re planning to start your own business, be sure to consult Florida regulations as they may differ from those of your current state.

Bringing Your Car

If you plan to own a car as a Florida resident, you’ll need to register it with the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and get car insurance through a licensed Florida insurance agent. You’ll also need to apply for a Florida driver’s license (and don’t forget to register to vote while you’re at it!).

Traffic laws in Florida are generally similar to those in other US states. And though you’ll almost never need to worry about damage to your undercarriage from road salt, if you live in a beach town the salt air can cause rust, so you’ll want to wash and wax your car regularly and think about covering it when it’s not in use.

Choosing Your Community

Do you know exactly where in Florida you can find your dream spot? Maybe you’re interested in homes in New Smyrna Beach FL for sale, or perhaps a condo in the middle of bustling Miami is more your style. You may want to be close to the Orlando theme parks or to snorkeling and diving sites in Crystal River or the Gulf of Mexico. You might even plan to live on a houseboat and sail from island to island in the Florida Keys! Remember that Florida is a relatively large state (it takes approximately seven hours to drive from Tallahassee to Miami) and think carefully about what’s most important to you, whether it’s proximity to a major airport, a lightly-populated area with lots of access to nature, a mix of entertainment and nightlife options, or a waterfront view.

Going From Snow to Sun

It’s very rare for any part of Florida to get cold enough to produce snow or sleet, so you won’t need to bring your shovels and snow boots. You may not want to donate all of your long sleeves and light jackets just yet, however. While daytime winter temperatures in parts of northern Florida are usually in the 60s or 70s, evenings can sometimes be chilly.

If you’re coming from the northern parts of the US, know that the sun’s UV rays get stronger as you get nearer to the equator, so you may need to swap your current sunscreen for one with a higher SPF and apply it even during the winter. For beach days, consider using a mineral-based sunscreen that’s less damaging to marine ecosystems.

One other thing to keep in mind when making summer plans: in Florida, the school year starts in August and ends in May or early June (though exact dates can differ from county to county).

A little preparation and attention to detail will go a long way towards a smooth moving experience. Welcome to your new home!

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