How Do You Prepare for the Military Move?
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  1. #1
    McD
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    Default How Do You Prepare for the Military Move?

    A recent post about waiting on orders for a new duty station had me thinking about the adjustment to a new location, new base, etc.

    How do you prepare for it? Do you scout out the location on your own? Do you try to get into contact with current military spouses?

    How long of an adjustment does it take for you to get used to new prices, new commissaries, new location, new routines?

    Do you have any tricks or tips to make it easier?

    I find this aspect of military life so interesting since hubs and I don't move due to our Guard status.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    I get way too excited and I start looking at where I might go way too early. We've been looking at Monterey for months. I read about it, look at rentals, call ahead to schools in the area. There's a limited number of duty stations in our community so it's not hard to find someone who's been to where we're going.

    It takes me about a year to get my bearings in a new place.

    I've never gone ahead of the spouse to look around. We basically just show up. At our last move, we had housing available so there was no drama. This time, we showed up in Washington with no place to stay, so we ended up living in a hotel for about a week while we house hunted.

    I do a lot of preparing because it's exciting, but I really doubt it makes much of a difference. The best way to learn about a place is to just show up.

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    Registered User Lindsey's Avatar
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    I also start looking waaay to early! LOL

    Google is my friend. I google everything...playgroups, homeschooling laws, dance studios, and so on. I'll call ACS and ask for a new comer packet.

    I might join a couple of groups on Yahoo to ask my questions and learn more info. By doing this, I usually have a few "friends" in the area to BBQ with or something when we first move there. I also like meetup.com (not it's not a singles site

    So far, I have not gone ahead of him and he has not gone ahead of me. We have always shown up together (3 bases so far). But, if we go somewhere like Campbell from here, I would go ahead and go to find a place to live and then come back. If we go to Hawaii, I'll wait till he has cleared.

    I think the biggest part is waiting on orders. When we moved from Alabama to Drum (NY), it was a big surprise. We were told Hawaii and then 10 days out, orders changed to Ft. Drum. Coming here, we knew a year out, but we didn't get family traveling orders until 5 days before we were supposed to leave. You can't have them come pick up your HHGs unless you have orders, ship my car, or make my plane reservations without them.

    It takes me about 6 months to settle. I read in a military spouse book that the average is a year. I jump right in though. We moved here when the girls were 4 and 2. The very next day I had the 4 year old in pre school, on a soccer team, and had them in gymnastics. I also went to a playgroup that same day and story time the day after that.

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    Registered User Lindsey's Avatar
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    Oh, I also try to find out the deployment schedules!

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    McD
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    The mommy's group that I am in uses meetup too and whenever I recommend it to someone I always tell them it's not a singles site!

    A friend of mine started a 'by invite only' Facebook group for Army wives. It's really intriguing to see the questions people from different bases (including overseas bases) are asking. They are giving neighborhood suggestions, sharing names of realtors, talking about the Balls, etc.

    I love that the Internet has made it easier for families to transition. And thanks for answering my questions guys--I love being a nosy Nellie.

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    Registered User wanderlusting's Avatar
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    I get really excited once I find out where we're PCS'ing to. It takes me about 6-8 months to have someplace feel like "home". My first PCS move overseas as an adult took 1 year though. The key for me is to get off base and explore the area once I get to the new place.

    My parents and me and DH have never scouted an area first. We just show up. Although I do look online about the area and if we have a decent sponsor, I ask questions.

    I do try and save a few thousand dollars before we move (I've only PCS'd overseas as an adult). We have to pay for our two pets to get health certificates and sometimes for their transportation (the Air Force reimburses $200 total for pet expenses). And rental car- we've never had a sponsor offer to drive us to look at houses or take us to the commissary before our car arrives. And then for rental deposit or anything else that comes up. A lot of expenses are reimbursed, but I don't like putting it on credit cards.

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    Registered User madkat2618's Avatar
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    Wow, it's totally different in the Canadian military!
    When we get posted somewhere, we have 2 options. First, if we are moving into base housing, one of us is sent on a DIT (destination inspection trip). It is ususally 3 or 4 days long, completely paid for. When you get there, you have a chance to see the house you're moving into, register the kids for school, and see the area. We've done this 3 times.
    Second option is a HHT (house hunting trip). This is for the couple to look at houses to buy. I think it's around 5-7 days long (not sure because we've never done this). But again, it's all paid for.
    Another thing is, once we are posted, we can move into base housing, but if we buy a house within 2 years, the military will still pay all the costs associated with buying a house. The only thing that we pay for is the actual moving of belongings.
    Our moves are also completely paid for. They bring in a moving company to pack, load the truck, and unload and unpack at destination. Flights are paid for, or if you are driving, gas, food and lodging is paid. They give you plenty of time to drive, too, so it's possible to make it into a holiday. Our pets have always been flown to our posting, and sent to a kennel to wait until we arrive.
    It is possible to actually make money during the move, because they give you a set food allowance per day, per person. We figured out that if you stay at a hotel with free breakfast, then buy sandwiches at the local grocery store, and have a reasonable dinner, you've probably only used one person's allowance for the day. Everything else is extra.

    Anyways, sorry this was so long. I found the differences quite interesting!

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Canada has a military?














    I kid, I kid!

    With the exception of the pets, that's basically how it works for us. We can take house hunting leave if our command can spare us for that amount of time. It's all reimbursed. We've never asked house hunting leave because it would be more trouble than it's worth. The amount of time to report to new commands varies but 2 weeks plus is pretty normal. Our moves are paid for and we get allowance for food and travel expenses. We also get 10 days paid lodging either at the destination or origin of the move. A lot of people make money on the moves with the military. We seem to get more than we need to move on.

    The US military doesn't pay for pets to move. I don't really know what you mean but all expenses involved with buying a house.

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    Registered User Mamaof2rugrats's Avatar
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    We are looking at our first overseas PCS in less than a year. We are excited!!!

  11. #10
    Registered User wanderlusting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamaof2rugrats View Post
    We are looking at our first overseas PCS in less than a year. We are excited!!!

    How exciting! I hope you enjoy wherever you go! DH and I are trying to stay overseas as long as possible!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamaof2rugrats View Post
    We are looking at our first overseas PCS in less than a year. We are excited!!!
    Where are you headed to? We just got back from 4 years over seas. The first 2 I did unaccompanied to Japan and the 2 set was a 2 year accompanied to Korea. We got our orders to Texas with six days to clear before hubby's visa expired and before the post closed for Labor Day. That was fun-NOT

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