Moving to the South can be a huge culture shock for those who have lived in the North their entire lives. The weather, environment, wildlife, food, and culture are all going to be different. Depending on where you are moving from and to, you may feel like you are going to a foreign country at first. It is important to remember you will be okay. Here are a few tips for moving to the south that will help you get acclimated quickly.

1. Learn about the climate before buying or building a house


Before you buy or build a home, learn about the climate so that you can make the most economical decisions. While most people assume “hot” when they think of the South, many areas actually get quite cold at night or have surprisingly cold winters, even if they are shorter than winters in the North. Understanding what the weather will be like will give you the information you need to make important decisions. For example, if you are moving to an area that does experience cold, you may want to invest in a geothermal HVAC system. A geothermal heat pump is an economical choice for your new home that will reduce your utility bills. Areas like South Carolina, North Carolina, and other states along the east coast are ideal for geothermal heat pumps. States more inland like Arkansas and Oklahoma are also ideal for heat pumps because they have cold seasons and can get cold at night, even during hot seasons.

Depending on whether you buy or build, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit since geothermal energy is renewable energy and brings considerable cost savings for homeowners because it doesn’t rely on local utilities. As a Northerner, you already know how expensive utilities can be when the weather gets cold and the heating costs go up. It is essential to find ways to save money on utilities regardless of where you live.

2. Learn about the environment you’ll be living in


Your environment goes beyond the weather. Learn what kinds of plants and animals are native to your area. Is there anything poisonous you should know about? Are there deadly insects or spiders you need to watch out for? Are you going to wake up to an alligator sunbathing on your back porch? These are the kinds of things you need to know before making a big move. If this is your first time living in the South, there is a lot you may not be prepared for without doing your research ahead of time. Most of this can be learned online as you research the area you are moving to.

3. Learn about local tourism


When you move south, you’re going to want your family to vacation with you, so you can see the people you love. Planning the perfect road trip for them will help entice the visits. You can use Google Maps to plan a road trip for your family that includes national parks, roadside sights and attractions, best places to eat with locals, and scenic routes. Regardless of whether your family is driving from New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville, you can research the best sights and stops on the open road between them and where you move.

Learning about attractions, parks, and local diners will not only benefit your visitors but will also help you feel more at home quickly. Since you’re new to the area, you can be a tourist in your new hometown and visit all these places, too. Going to these places first will offer added incentives for your family to want to see them as well. It is important to keep an open mind when visiting new places in order to have a good time.