Moving to a new duty station has its pros and cons. On the positive side, you’re getting to discover a new place you may have never thought to go before. On the flip side, it’s stressful to learn a new town and meet new people. Imagine the compounded stress of moving to a new country!
Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders arrive and the flurry of moving begins. It’s a time of excitement, anticipation and preparations. One of the best investments you can make is to plan ahead of time for the costs associated with a move.
Getting your furry family members here was nerve-racking enough, but upset neighbors and displeased authorities can add to the stress of acclimating to a new place. You and your animal buddies will have a lot more fun if you understand the local laws and courtesies of pet ownership.
Now that you’ve found a place to call home, you’ll need utilities and communication services. The good news is that you have a variety of options, and many resources are available to get you hooked up.
It’s been weeks since your nails were done and the kids need haircuts. You’re due for a date night and want a massage. How do you know that you’ll get your money’s worth? Will the business accept a VAT form, serve quality food or have English-speaking staff?
You may notice many cultural differences between American and German living. Adjusting to these differences and learning how to live like a local will improve your European experience and help you feel at home.
Home, sweet home
Finding a home in Germany can seem intimidating. Depending on the time of year you arrive, it may seem like either feast or famine. But once you understand the process and get going, you’ll find the right place to call home.
Did you take the USAREUR driver’s exam before arriving, and already have your driver’s license? That’s great! If you didn’t, then STOP what you’re doing. You have a lot to learn before getting wheels — keep reading for the scoop on driving in Germany.