Unaccompanied Baggage - note to self

I'm not sure if this is advice for others who may be facing an overseas (aka OCONUS) move or simply a note to myself for the next time WE face an overseas move (since the Army seems to make moving SUCH a part of my life these days..."stabilization" my...anyway...). But here are a few things I have learned about what to pack and take with you for immediate use.

First, call the hotel/temporary lodging facility you will be staying at and find out what amenities they will have available. For instance, at Fort Campbell, we had a stove, an oven (in some rooms), a fridge, and a microwave as well as pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc.

Here at Schofield, the amenities are fewer but the per diem rate is higher. Because all we have in our room to prepare food with is a mini fridge and a mini microwave, the Army gives you more money with which to frequent local restaurants. But eating out 3 meals per day EVERY DAY gets old REALLY QUICKLY.

So, with that in mind, if I had to do this over again knowing THEN what I know NOW, here is what I would pack :

IN MY LUGGAGE (or in a box to be mailed ahead...parcel post rates aren't that bad) :
* toaster oven (you'd be AMAZED at what you can cook with a toaster oven)
* crock pot (ok, I'd probably just buy one when we got there like I did here)
* camping stove
* 1 skillet, 1 pot, 1 ladle, and 1 spatula
* my OWN pillow and comforter
* portable high chair/booster seat
* umbrella stroller

* air mattresses and linens
* DVD player and DVDs (the Inn here doesn't have a DVD player...grr)
* more clothes (I'm so sick of the 5 shirts I packed, I could scream. And I can't really justify buying more because I have plenty...they are just PACKED)
* more toys for the kids (they are a bit tired of the few toys I did pack for them. Again, I can't justify buying them more because they had too many already)
* seasonal items for the area you are heading to. We have plenty of summer stuff towels, toys, chairs, etc) but didn't think to send them ahead)
* jog stroller and baby backpack - it's hard to get any kind of benefit from a walk when you have to go at the 3 year old's pace...
* cookbooks and/or recipes (actually these will be on our laptop next time we PCS)
* TV
* CDs - I have my CD changer in my car but my CDs are packed

I'm sure there are things I am forgetting - I can add more later. But I wish I had sat down and tought about this BEFORE the movers came. We've easily spent $250 on things we ALREADY OWN but don't have access too. I hate that. I'd rather spend $250 on things I don't already have!


Rhianna said...

It's a learning experiance. Each base is something new and different from the ones you've been at before.

Your list is pretty good actually. I'd add some cheap plates and utensils, or a picknic basket. Disposable dishes get really tired really quickly...

Take the kids to the local library. Books are some of the coolest 'toys' out there, and they're free! A PCSing spouse's dream.

From a USAF wife soon to make the trip from England to Italy with 3 kids and a dog...I know where you're coming from and you'll be fine. You're made of some pretty strong stuff military sister!

Homefront Six said...

You're right - it IS a learning experience each time. Dh has a camping box that has old plates (the unbreakable plastic kind) and old utensils in it that we DID put in our UB. Thank goodness.

And the library is RIGHT across the street from lodging here which is a GODsend.

Good luck in Italy - my BIL is there now!

Jennifer said...

Thank you for posting this! We have done the OCONUS this before but not with children and I am stressing out trying to figure out what to pack and what to leave, and whether it should be in luggage or UB or HHG! Thank you for this list there are some things on here I would not have thought about!


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