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6 tips for Moving to San Francisco With Kids

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Alt-tag: A view of the Golden Gate bridge

Some things in life are worth doing despite how challenging and complicated they might seem. Moving to San Francisco with kids is one of those things. Whether you’re relocating your family for work or simply because the idea of living in The Golden City excites you, you’ve likely questioned your decision once or twice. San Francisco’s cost of living is what nightmares are made of for most people. However, this is still one of America’s most sought-after cities, so it’s safe to say its pros outweigh the cons in many people’s eyes. To help you enjoy these benefits and deal with the obstacles, we have created a list of tips for relocating your family to San Francisco.

  1. You can’t overprepare when moving to San Francisco with kids

Every parent knows that preparation is imperative when it comes to significant life changes involving kids. When moving to San Francisco with your family, you might want to consider using this as a calming mantra when you look at yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning. It’s no secret that San Francisco is expensive. From housing to groceries, the prices here will have you shaking your head in disbelief. However, thorough research, planning, and knowing your priorities will certainly aid in adjusting to your family’s new reality.

Since San Francisco won’t be kind to your wallet, you will want to start being savvy with your finances. Relocating is strenuous on any family’s budget, so you will likely try to DIY every aspect of it. However, remember that moving house is much easier with pros. Hiring residential movers will enable you to focus on preparing your kids for the move. Additionally, having one less thing to worry about will do wonders for your wellbeing during this stressful time.

  1. Choose your new neighborhood wisely

Choosing a neighborhood is one of the most exciting things about moving. Your daily routine can considerably differ depending on your immediate environment. However, when it comes to San Francisco neighborhoods, you might want to base your search on more complex factors than convenience and aesthetics.

Caption: Every neighborhood in San Francisco has a unique vibe, so you will need to figure out what works best for your family.

Alt-tag: Colorful houses in a San Francisco neighborhood

You already know that San Francisco is expensive. Therefore the price of your new home will play a huge role when deciding on the location. This is the time to think about your goals for your kids, as well. Do you want to live near their school or in the city’s hip area? Do you want to be surrounded by parks or convenience stores? Some neighborhoods families seem to approve of are Bernal Heights, Noe Valley, and Inner Sunset.

  1. Research the school assignment system

If you think getting into college is complicated, you’re in for a surprise when it comes to enrolling your child in a San Francisco school. Keep in mind there is no guarantee your child will go to a school in your neighborhood. The school assignment system is so perplexing that many refer to it as the lottery. Unless you’re prepared to cash out an exorbitant sum for a private school, you will have to do a lot of research, fill out many applications, hold your breath, and hope for the best. And yes, these steps apply from kindergarten to high school. With this in mind, it’s understandable why many young San Franciscans rather opt for pets instead of children. But hey, at least your kids will think you’re cool for going through the hassle of enabling them to grow up in such a fabulous city!

  1. Embrace public transportation

When moving to San Francisco with kids, it’s essential to start working on your saving skills. An easy way to do this is to embrace the city’s public transportation. While families with children prefer to rely on the convenience of owning a car, in The Golden City, this might prove counter-effective. The traffic is hectic, and you will likely grow old searching for parking. Luckily, your kiddos will surely enjoy riding historic streetcars. And that’s not even your only option! You can opt for buses and trains, as well. Additionally, San Francisco’s size makes it incredibly walkable and bike-friendly, which will help keep your family fit and healthy.

Caption: Kids will enjoy hopping on and off streetcars – just remember to teach them about safety.

Alt-tag: A historic streetcar in San Francisco

  1. Think about childcare

If you don’t have any friends or family in the city, you might want to research some childcare options for those long days at work and date nights with your partner. There are long waitlists for daycare, so even if you don’t have any children yet, you might want to sign up for a spot! On the other hand, many nannies and au pairs are available, but their services aren’t cheap. Considering how renting in San Francisco isn’t easy, you will likely want to avoid these added luxuries. You might need to cancel some activities due to the lack of appropriate childcare options sometimes, but don’t despair. Over time, you will figure this out just like you’ve figured out everything else in this quirky city.

  1. Enjoying the city will help your children adjust

When moving to any new city with kids, the best thing you can do to help them adjust is show them its fun side. Fortunately, when it comes to San Francisco, this won’t be too hard. The city has many options that will appeal to children of any age. Whether you want to visit museums and the aquarium or play in one of the city’s 220 parks, your kids will come home feeling too exhausted to think about the home you had to leave. Oh, and keep in mind that walking over the Golden Gate Bridge is so exciting you might have to do it every week – the adventurous kids will undoubtedly enjoy it.

Caption: Spending time in San Francisco’s aquarium might help your child fall in love with the city.

Alt-tag: A child looking at the fish in the Aquarium of the Bay

Final words

Moving with kids is challenging. However, moving to San Francisco with kids is a whole new level. You will feel overwhelmed, and you will doubt your decision many times, but once you feel the city’s energy, your efforts will suddenly become worth it. 

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Moving with kids is far from easy. Moving to San Francisco with kids? Not for the faint of heart. Here are 6 tips on how to make the transition as smooth as possible.

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