An OCONUS (outside the contiguous U.S.) or Overseas PCS move is much harder than a regular stateside PCS. There is much more preparation, paperwork and logistical planning that is involved.
Going overseas with your military family can be quite the adventure, but getting there is the first hurdle in your way. Here are 8 things to do to prepare for your journey:
1. Get organized
Make a PCS binder to keep important documents in. These documents include copies of the military orders, birth certificates, your marriage license and car titles. This binder stays with you at all times. Make sure the movers don't pack it in your household goods shipment.
Ensure you have all the paperwork you need to complete for the move. Keep in mind the due dates for each file. Double-check and triple-check with your family sponsor that you have everything in order.
3. Passports If you or your family members don't already have a passport, get it in advance. Apply for one the moment your spouse starts talking about overseas orders as a possibility.
4. Health checks
Schedule doctors and dentists appointments as soon as possible. If you have a military provider, it may take a while to get an appointment. Make sure all your shots are up-to-date. You'll want to get a hard copy of your medical and dental records as well. If you have prescription medication, ensure you have enough to hold you over until you get an appointment at your next duty station.
5. Park it Be prepared to sell or store your car. Some overseas duty stations don't allow personal vehicles. You'll want to look into storing it, selling it or trading it in. The perk about some overseas duty stations is that they have a very robust commuter system. Once you arrive, you can look into the military car resale lot for a vehicle to get you around.