When you've been around the military life for a while, you have a tendency to go into autopilot mode when faced with PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders. Well, at least I do!
Lists for my lists? Check.
Househunting online? Check.
Connecting with local spouses and the receiving base's social media? Check.
Still, it can all seem so natural that I take for granted that other military families know all about the great, free resources out there, too. But in recently talking with our oldest son and his wife about their recent PCS move together—they’re adorable, by the way—while we go through our last military move with my husband’s retirement (woot!!), I was reminded to share with you some of the great information that you may not realize is out there.
So in no particular order, here are some great FREE resources for your upcoming PCS move!
While MILLIE’s Scout program is not strictly free, their site is a treasure trove of information. (And you will definitely want to check out their Scout program!) As well, they offer some great free guides in their toolkit section, including neighborhood comparisons and school search help.
MilitaryByOwner Advertising is your one-stop source for renting or buying a home near military bases across the U.S. Searching for homes is free, and the search filters make it easy. Looking within specific parameters such as a pet-friendly home, a certain number of bedrooms, within a specific area near a military installation, and more? You can do that! (In fact, beware of falling down a rabbit hole of home shopping online with the easy search features!)
The company understands the stress of PCS, since the owners are a retired military family themselves, and most of the staff are either current or former military members and spouses. I’ve had the privilege to work for MBO for the past several years. We’ve worked hard putting together resources for your move, as well as a series of free downloadable PCS ebooks that cover every aspect of a PCS, including overseas moves! And don't forget their blogs posted every week day, which discuss topics from military life to home selling and buying.
Military Town Advisor
Sometimes you just want to hear from someone who’s been there. Military Town Advisor was set up for military families to leave unbiased reviews regarding neighborhoods, housing areas, and local businesses. Once you’ve checked out where you’re going, make sure to pay it forward by leaving helpful info about your location for other families!
This clearinghouse of both on-base and off-base lodging information lets you search by military installations across the country, making finding lodging easy!
Articles and Printables
An official site for the DoD, don't overlook the massive amount of information for military families on the move here. Find out about getting a 'sponsor' for your child at the gaining location, Military Kids Connect, and more.
For support and how-to’s, take a look at their PCS category of articles (disclosure: I write for Military Spouse!).
Want some cute printables for all your PCS to-do lists? Look no farther! Simply sign up for access to Sarah’s printable resource library.
The Military Wife and Mom
Prolific blogger and author Lauren Tamm has loads of military family and PCS information on her site, including a checklist for military kids changing schools.
So, tell me, what am I missing? I'd love to hear YOUR favorite PCS resource! Let me know in the comments.