So, when you move overseas, many people do not realize you are allotted TWO shipments. (And you can also have a third for storage items, not accompanying you, to your overseas assignment.) One is your HHG (household goods). This is all of your big stuff, and most everything. Then, the unaccompanied baggage shipment. This is a shipment flown to your next destination, under 500 pounds. When you are stateside, heading overseas, I would suggest shipping this ASAP, to ensure it is there. When you are overseas, heading stateside, I would suggest keeping it until last minute.
Your unaccompanied baggage is the stuff to get you by, until your HHG arrives. It is a life saver! When you are overseas, you get FMO furniture (loaner couches, beds, tables, chairs, etc.) until you get your HHG. Depending on your location, some things are for up to 90 days. Other things, such as wardrobes (portable closets), microwave, pantry, transformers, washer-dryer, refrigerator, etc., can be supplied for your entire tour.
Confused? Talk to your TMO (the people who schedule your move). Check ahead if your gaining base has dish packs for you to use until your stuff arrives. Usually at AFRC (Airmen and Family Readiness) has something.
Here is a list I have come up with for our moves. This is stuff you do not want in your suit cases to lug around, or live without for months. I hope it helps some people get organized for a smoother overseas transition. Make your list your own. This is my list…..
– Bedding – sheets and blankets for a queen bed (they issued us a full, but better bigger then too small). Also twin bedding for each child.
– Pillows for each person
– Bath towels and wash clothes
– Bathroom rug
– Shower curtain (if you have one…I never needed one in Germany)
– Books for everyone
– Toys for each kid
– Puzzles and card-board games
– Small TV
– DVD player and DVDs
– Playstation ??????
– Winter or summer clothing you might not need ASAP, upon arrival (going from FL to Germany I sent heavier coats, rain boots, umbrellas, etc.)
– A couple pots and pans (eating out gets old)
– Half your dishes (plates, bowls, coffee cups, cups)
– Half your silverware
– Some cooking utensils (spoons, spatulas, etc.)
– A baking dish
– A cookie sheet
– A couple Tupperware containers (can also be used for cereal bowls)
– Favorite spices (I put a little in bags, labeled. I cook a lot. It can be expensive to replace a bunch)
– A laundry basket or two (great to hold toys or laundry)
– A small trash can (if you have extra)
– Guitar (my hubby plays, so we always ship one)
– School supplies (believe me when I tell you hey are cheaper in the USA!!!!)
– My kids scooters
– Balls for catch outside
– Air mattress (because our FMO bed killed my back and being 6′, sleeping with my 6’2″ football player hubby, in a rock hard full bed is hell!!!! And just in case there is a delay between the end of your TLF (temp lodging), moving into your house and FMO’s drop off. It happens.)
– Extra bedding for that air mattress
Good luck and let me know if you think of something I missed. I will be doing all this again soon….Germany to Alaska! This unaccompanied baggage will need to last me about 3 months.