5 Tips for Military Families Relocating

Written by Posted On Monday, 25 November 2013 11:19

Relocation is nothing new to military families. Especially with social media, the military moves, deployment and relocation process has become widely visible. Thankfully, as a result of this visibility and open communication, resources abound for families looking for help before, during and after a move whether it is domestic or abroad. And even though there is ample information, sifting through all of it can be an undertaking. In order to simplify the process, check out these quick reference tips to facilitate an easy transition from one home and community to another.


1. Visit the Base Transportation Office

As soon as you receive the news about moving, make an appointment with the transportation office for your respective branch (see list below). Consider your options before the meeting such as doing a Do-It-Yourself move in which you can be reimbursed. Only those experiencing  a Permanent Change of Station, Temporary Duty or Temporary Additional Duty are eligible for this specific move at different points in their service. Explore this and other options at the meeting, factoring in which is best in order to move an entire family.


  • Army: Installation Transportation Office

  • Air Force: Traffic Management Office

  • Coast Guard: Household Goods Shipping Office

  • Department of Defense: Joint Property Personal Shipping Office

  • Navy and Marine Corps: Personal Property Shipping Office


2. Visit the Finance Office in the Current Location

It’s no secret that a move, whether military or not, has the potential to become a financial drain. However, if you begin preparation for the move immediately it will only help in the long run. Do not hesitate to visit the finance office in your current location and glean as much information as possible about every single expected cost throughout the process, especially if this is your first move. Determining which costs are deductible and paid for as opposed to any that you may be responsible for is key. See below for a list of basic costs to discuss:

  • Lodging

  • Potential car rentals

  • Air Fare

  • Child Care

  • Renting a trailer

  • Packing

  • Crates and Boxes

  • Storage throughout the process

  • Insurance


3. Moving Out and Moving In

If you are moving out of military housing, contact the housing office about the move-out date and make sure of all move-out standards including what needs to be cleaned, fixed up or potentially replaced. Also, if government quarters are the projected place to live in your new location contact the housing office there as soon as possible. If not and you are looking to buy, search for a real estate agent with a specialty in military families. For example, Fort Huachuca close to Sierra Vista, AZ is home to several government agencies and local real estate agents will have extensive knowledge of every and all potential fits for you and your family. Fort Huachuca employees alone have several places to choose from such as Huachuca City, Tombstone, Bisbee, Tuscon and Sierra Vista. Only local experts with histories of military family home sales will be the most prepared to help you in the time frames available throughout the move.


4. Contact Family Center at the New Location

Moving by yourself or with your spouse is difficult enough, but when an entire family is involved contacting resource centers such as the Family Centers are key to the move. Not only do they offer relocation assistance programs, but can provide key information on the community, potential jobs, amenities, medical care and endless other pools of information.


5. Prepare For Arrival Ahead of Time

Already, every one of these steps has mentioned doing each step immediately. This is a lot to do “immediately” especially if you are taking care of a family throughout the move. However, the only way to handle a military move and a family is to prepare to the best of your ability. In order to do so take the information gathered from the Family Center at the future location combined with community guides such as those found on local real estate websites for example and compile all of the information. Having contact info ready to go for medical care, schools, local stores and shopping centers and area activities can facilitate a smooth move even if there are bumps in the road. Moving with children of any age comes with difficulties and knowing the local attractions can help to ease the pain of a move.

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