About 40% of military families PCS – or move – each summer. But another big wave of PCSing happens in the winter. We all know PCSing can be a blast, and incredibly stressful! Some of the good parts are: eating out every day (no cooking!), staying in hotels (no cleaning!), and traveling. PCSing does require a lot of work to successfully move your family, household goods, and pets. So, if you are not well prepared, you could be missing out on information or some of your belongings by the end of the move. Here are a few tips that will not only help your PCS go smoothly but also help you be the boss of your move!
Find a way to safely store all your important documents.
Once you receive a hard copy of your orders, make a few extra copies. You will be asked to provide a copy of your orders throughout your PCS. If you are married, keep an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate in the folder. Kids? Bring birth certificates, shot records, school records, and any other record that may be needed for school or child care enrollment at your new location. And, as any seasoned military spouse knows, make sure you have a power of attorney for everything, not just a general power of attorney. You may need special powers of attorney for things like housing, finance, and vehicle transportation.
Don’t Put Off the Planning
Start planning your move!
Head over to www.move.mil – a guide through the PCS process where you can schedule appointments, print checklists, and even file claims if any of your property becomes damaged during the move. And don’t forget to check out your housing options over at PCSgrades, for the real deal on what military families think about their current duty station.
If you are like me, you accumulate a lot of stuff at each duty station and need to eliminate most of it prior to your household goods pickup date. I suggest getting started about 90 days before your scheduled pick-up. Sort through old paperwork, children’s toys, and anything you won’t use within the next two to four years.
Make Travel Fun
Make travel plans!
Whether you are traveling by car, plane, or train, there are endless opportunities for sightseeing and PCS mini vacations. Map out amusement parks, cool diners, rare scenic areas, and more. Sites like TripAdvisor make it easy to find all the great stops during your family’s PCS travels. If you are looking for a cool place to stay that feels like home, don’t forget about Military Crashpad! We have multiple locations, and like other military lodgings, Military Crashpad can be paid using your Government Travel Card. Reserve your home away from home today!
Don’t let PCS Season bring you down. It is an amazing opportunity to get organized, do a little traveling, and reinvent yourself. We love a fresh start… just like our junk drawer does!
Written By: Marla Bautista