• Doctors Our most recent move was only 22 miles, but I ended up switching my own general practitioner, the kids' pediatrician and the dog's vet. By keeping things local we cut down on travel time and last minute office visits are faster and easier. I never wanted to think twice about getting medical attention for fear of getting stuck in rush hour.
• Markets Look past the megamarkets to find the best that your new community has to offer. Between a few locally owned grocers, farmers markets and a nearby Trader Joes, we quickly found our rhythm to source quality food pleasurably, efficiently and affordably.
• Pharmacy Make friends with your pharmacist! A great one will go beyond filling prescriptions and help families choose the right OTC solutions.
• Hardware Store Whether your home is a fixer or in turnkey condition, you will need various bobs and bits and answers to some weird, random questions. It pays to build a relationship with the staff at the local hardware store.
• Hairdresser Breaking up with a stylist can be hard, but it's harder still to schedule an appointment around school, naps and long drive times. Instead of postponing the inevitable, minimize bad hair days and find someone in your new neighborhood.
These are just a few starting points for finding your way around a new neighborhood. What are your priorities when it comes to easing your family's transition into a new community?
(Image: Flickr member hjl licensed for use under Creative Commons)