Moving tips for military families

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When you joined the military, you probably expected the hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. But you may not have foreseen the frequent moving. As a member of the Armed Forces, you go where you’re needed. This may change as often as every couple of years. In fact, the average military family moves once every 2 to 3 years! That’s far more often than the average American civilian who moves 11 times in their lifetime. And where you’re moving changes as well: your new orders may take you somewhere halfway across the world. In such cases, you’ll need the help of reliable international moving companies such as Transparent International NYC even if you do have plenty of experience with relocation. Not only can we offer you excellent relocation services but we are also going to share some of the best moving tips for military families to help you prepare.

Moving tips for military families preparing for an international relocation

The US military maintains many bases outside of America. As an American soldier, you may therefore receive orders that require you to look into overseas relocation services and move to another continent. This can be an exciting opportunity for you and your family. But it will also require some preparation.

Military people boarding a plane.
Military personnel often move to other countries during their service.

Do your research about where you’re moving

Life on a military base is not likely to be very different in the US and in other countries where you may be stationed. However, living off the base for both you and your family might change significantly. So as you’re looking into moving companies to Germany that can help you relocate, remember to also find out more about the country itself. What language do people speak? How is the weather? Are foreigners welcome and accepted in society? Are there international schools for your children? This information can be very useful to have in advance.

Keep track of important documents

Wherever you’re moving, you’ll need to bring some important documents with you like your ID and birth certificate, vehicle registration and license, medical records, and more. But when you’re in the military and moving abroad, you’ll need a few extra pieces of paper, including:

  • a valid passport (for yourself, all family members, and even pets if you have them),
  • visas, work and residence permits (if applicable), and
  • your orders

To keep all these safe and easily accessible, it’s best to have a moving binder for all relevant documents.

Know that you may need to wait on your belongings

Most of the time when you’re moving abroad, your belongings move at a different time. That is to say, you may schedule a flight and arrive in a new country on the same day, but your things will probably be shipped as freight which takes longer to arrive even if you opt for airfreight. This means that even the best door to door delivery is likely to happen days or even weeks after you’ve already arrived at your new home. So bring the most important things with you and be prepared to wait for the rest.

Pack at least some of your belongings into a suitcase and bring them with you so you don’t have to wait on them.

Moving tips for military families preparing for relocation within the US

If you’re moving to another base on US soil, your relocation will probably be faster and easier. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare!

Packing is going to be your biggest challenge

Packing is typically the most difficult and time-consuming part of any move. When you’re not moving abroad and therefore don’t have to worry about traveling overseas or figuring out different immigration processes, packing is the hardest thing you’ll do before moving. So here are some tips to make packing easier:

  • start on time: packing takes longer than most people think so it’s important not to procrastinate
  • declutter before moving: getting rid of the stuff you don’t need will make it easier to pack
  • gather packing supplies in advance: this way you won’t have to worry about running out of boxes in the middle of packing
  • go room-by-room: this strategy can help you stay organized
  • pack the things you use least first: this ensures you can continue living comfortably in your current home even while packing
  • label your boxes: unpacking will be easier if you know what’s in each box you pull up

Plan your way to your new location

One of the great things about moving to another part of America is that you can easily drive almost anywhere! Make your relocation into a road trip so you can see and get to know this beautiful country by driving through it. You can plan your route online so that it includes some of the most popular highway attractions that you and your family will enjoy.

Person reading moving tips for military families on their phone in a car.
Turning your relocation into a road trip makes it more fun for the entire family!

General moving tips for military families

Regardless of whether you are moving to a US base or a foreign base, some things will always make your relocation easier. And if you’re in the military, you can expect to be moving a lot so make sure you know these tips well!

Start preparing early

It is vital not to underestimate how long relocation takes. Between planning, packing, and arranging for transport, we’re talking about weeks (even months for international moving) of preparation in an ideal situation. Of course, sometimes you will receive your orders on short notice and won’t have that kind of time. But even then, it is important to start planning your relocation as soon as possible and not to procrastinate. This will greatly reduce your stress levels.

Rely on a strong support system

One of the best moving tips for military families is not to do it alone. The military fosters strong bonds among its members so take advantage of that! Ask your friends, family, and fellow military personnel for help with your relocation. Finally, look into getting a sponsor at your new base. The military has plans and programs you can take advantage of to connect with people at your new base who will guide you through the relocation and help you settle in once you arrive.

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