I mentioned a little about the apartment we are living in, but let’s back up a little and talk about getting here. Getting here as a family of five and fourteen pieces of luggage! Each airline has different rules for military people flying – some will offer a certain number of free luggage pieces, some will offer free up to a certain weight limit, check with the airline to see what their rules are. And keep in mind that the airline website may say one thing and someone on the phone can say another. Take something in writing to the airport if you want to be sure.
When you move with as much luggage as we had, you need a much larger vehicle to get from the airport to wherever you are going. We didn’t risk hoping that the available taxis would be big. A little searching online and you can find so many travel forums! Look to a well established forum and see what others have done in terms of renting a large vehicle to get you from the airport.
We found a company and rented a large passenger van that met us at the airport. It took a few trips from the area of the airport we were at and the taxi area because the elevators are so small and we just couldn’t fit. A half hour or so ride into Paris and we made it to our hotel!
So much of overseas feels small – elevators, vehicles, roads, portions (they are regular size, not super size like in the US), and more. It just takes a little reaching out to realize that it’s okay, it’s manageable and you will be fine. I did have some moments of freaking out because I found a company to rent a van from – and then I kept looking! It was hard for me to judge who to trust so I had to leap. Once we got to our current location, we had to find another van to pick us up – except this time the awesome hotel we stayed at made the arrangements for us. I was so thankful to give that over to someone else to take care of for me.
My tip is this – military spouses are a great network to turn to for help, but if you are moving to a remote location with no other spouses to lean on, you have to ask the stranger at the hotel reception desk, you have to ask the strangers on the travel forum, you have to trust that one bad review isn’t the be all end all. So don’t be afraid to ask someone for help booking your transportation or finding a really great hotel to stay in.
Check out my four tips for moving overseas for a bit more info.