Sunday, February 24, 2013

Army Wife 101: PCS-ing Overseas Part I

Hello all!

     I hope your weekend went by much slower than mine. I also hope that it was much less stressful than mine. As you all know, we are PCS-ing to Italy in TWO days. That's right, two short days. This weekend has flown by, and tomorrow is official move out day. My first experience with the Army's movers was pretty okay, let's hope they do as well of a job tomorrow as they did Thursday. (Please, Jesus, don't let them mess up my soo gorgeous, ridiculously overly priced couches!)
    The first thing I thought I would talk about with PCS-ing overseas is "What to Pack on Your Flight" I thought this was appropriate, since this is pretty much the only step we've taken so far. In case you were wondering, Delta (who the Army is contracted with) allows PCS-ing soldiers and their family members to EACH carry up to FOUR checked bags, up to SEVENTY pounds a piece. I know, you're thinking that is a TON. But, when PCS-ing overseas, you have to bring enough to last you 30-60 days. Your unaccompanied baggage (stuff you CANNOT live without) gets shipped from the United States to wherever overseas (in our case Italy) in approximately 30-45 days. It CAN take longer, but typically the longest you will wait is a month and a half. Now, furniture and other household goods can take up to 90 days. These items are just my suggestions and what I think would be most helpful for anyone moving overseas. I'm sure once having actually done this, my packing list might change, but for a first timer giving advice to a first timer, these are the bags/items I would recommend.
     I have a total of three checked bags, and a carry on and over sized tote to bring on the plane. In my largest duffle bag (made by my incredible mother-in-law, NOT Vera Bradley), I have one medium sized space saver bag with...a lot of clothes. Surrounding that space saver bag is more clothes. I have enough to last me for two months. Since we are going in Winter/Spring, I had to bring winter and spring clothes. I have a good variety in this bag. I would highly suggest using the space saver bags. They allowed me to pack twice as much, and my husband was able to fit six pairs of ACU's in one bag, saving him tons of space.
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  In my second duffle, I have pots, pans, plates, bowls, and utensils. This is a MUST from what I have been told. I made this bag a priority to pack.These items are good to have in the hotel room with you, so you don't have to eat out every single meal, and also for when you move into your house. It would be pointless to buy brand new things from the PX just to have your things come a month later. In this bag I also have most of my shoes, belts, scarves, etc. I also have a few plastic bags full of shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, etc. I bought enough to last us a good two to three months. This bag will be a must for any of you PCS-ing overseas.
     My third duffle is probably my most important, to me at least. It is filled with all of my jewelry, three traveling cases full of make-up, a purse, my favorite teddy bear (corny, I know), and my most favorite black wool cape from (it's in its bag, so you can't see it in this photo.) I really wish that I could bring this bag as my carry on, but I'm too scared that TSA would throw away all of my pretty make-up. Now, this bag is NOT essential to everyone, I know. It's just essential to me.
    My fourth bag is a small, carry on sized suitcase. I have about four changes of clothes in there, two pairs of flats, a pair of boots, and a purse. I would pack everything that you want to wear for the next few days in this bag, just because it will be easier to get in and out of than your big bag/suitcase full of clothes. This suitcase will also house my laptop while on the plane.
    My last bag is actually my most important. This bag carries both of my cameras, phone chargers, headphones, and all of our important documents, including copies of our orders and my passport/visa. I also have a hat and scarf in the bag, just in case it gets cold. This bag is something I would say that is a definite must have for the PCS-ing Army wife.
    I hope this post was helpful to any of you who may be PCS-ing overseas soon, or anywhere for that matter. Tomorrow is our last full day in the US and it will be a very long, long, long day. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to it. Can I just wake up and be in Vicenza already?! Womp womp. If only. This will probably be the last time I post for the next few days. I promise to update you all as soon as I possibly can when we settle down in Italy. The husband and I are heading to Venice on Saturday, so I should have some pretty pictures for you all! :)


A very, very sleepy Megan

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