Travel Orders, Diplomatic Passports, and Pet Shipment

We got our travel orders approved for early August, so it’s official! Now the race to the finish begins. Time to start going through all of the stuff we’ve accumulated here since October, figure out what we need and what we don’t, and start organizing (something we didn’t do before our initial pack-out). We have accumulated a lot of crap here in Falls Church, but most of it isn’t necessarily coming with us to the D.R. I see a good number of Aidan’s older toys being jettisoned, as well as a bunch of my clothes. We also need to start buying some of the things that will be difficult/expensive to procure in the D.R. (i.e. a TV, gift wrap, cleaning products, etc.) as well as get other important things like patio furniture and a dining room table and chairs. It’s funny, now that we’re going to have a real house, I feel like we should also have some real furniture as well. A lot of subsisting on crappy, old furniture needs to come to an end now that we’re moving. Hopefully we can get out with not too much cash being laid out.

We got our passports last week. I finally have my black passport. So excited. It makes me feel so important. Now we just need to apply for our visas and get our vaccinations.

Last topic of today’s post: pet shipment. Shipping your pets is a giant pain in the neck. Airlines have temperature restrictions for shipping warm-blooded animals: if it’s under 45 degrees or over 85 degrees in any city on your route, they won’t ship them. We’re going to a country that rarely is below 85 degrees and shipping out of Washington, D.C. in August during a year that has seen consistently-higher-than-average temperatures since mid-April. Not to mention the cost involved with shipping them. Most of the quotes we got were upwards of $2,800 for 2 pets. Their airfare is only about $900 – the rest of the cost is for “administrative fees” charged by the shipping services. I was lucky enough to find one that is only going to take $1,700 or so of my money… let’s hope that a cheaper price doesn’t equal a pet shipping nightmare.

I’m really beginning to get concerned about cost and deadline for our move. Yes, a lot of cost can be reimbursed by the gov’t, but it’s the gov’t… not known for its efficiency. We can also get an advance on our salary, but the wife’s not too keen on that. All of this is creating a lot of stress for me, and it’s only going to get worse as the big day approaches.

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5 thoughts on “Travel Orders, Diplomatic Passports, and Pet Shipment

  1. I don’t know what we would’ve done with out the salary advance. And we’re not really feeling it down here. In fact in January when we’re done paying it back it’s just going to feel like we got a raise.

  2. Unless the DR is an unfurnished post you will get more furniture than you can deal with. Of course it will mostly be ugly but it will be furniture.

    The pet shipping is a pain the a**! No way around that, but life is so much sweeter with the pets along for the ride.

    After our first packout 4 years ago we set aside one credit card to only be used for PCS and homeleave. All those random expenses that come up and as we get reimbursed we pay it down. Makes it easy to track expenses too, since they are all on one account.

  3. It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!

    Here is the link:
    http://bit.ly/aic8FC

    (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

    Thanks!

    • Forgot to change the link in the disclaimer. Sorry here is the corrected version.

      It’s Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up – and you’re on it!



      Here is the link:
 http://cyberbones.blogspot.com/2010/06/weekly-state-department-roundup.html



      (If I quoted your text or used your photo(s) and you would rather I had not, please let me know. Please also be sure to check the link(s) that I put up to you, in order to verify that they work properly. If you would rather that I had not referenced you, and/or do not want me to reference you in the future, please also contact me.)

Thanks!

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