Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moving Across the World: Helpful This and Thats

Well, we've made it!  We got our crazy circus of a family and bags from Michigan to Costa Rica!  And what an amazing help my sister and brother in law were!  I don't want to make this trip again without them, although I am not sure they are going to want to come with us every time.

Now that we have made it, there are some things I wanted to mention that were helpful this time around for us.

The stroller-  yes, it's one more thing, but my it was helpful for our big boys, and there was one particular connection in Cleveland I don't think we would have made had it not been for the stroller.  Little legs couldn't have walked that fast.

Baby Wrap- or sling or whatever.  I used my moby this time and loved it!  Quinn was secure and snug, and slept a lot of the time.  It also freed my hands up for other things and it made it so I could push the stroller, while the other adults pulled bags and carried backpacks.

A car seat bag-  If you are bringing car seats (we brought two with us, and we had one here already) make a simple huge drawstring bag out of some heavy material.  I went to our local thrift store in Michigan, bought a big piece of ugly purple fabric, and wiped it up.  I had a left over lime green ribbon from a wedding shower I used.  Overall the thing is hideous, but it kept our car seats safe and clean.  I was also able to put a couple other stray things in it too at the last minute.  And here's another tip, airlines will check car seats for free!  So do it!

A porter- yep, that guy got all those bags on the cart there!

Ask about gate checking your carry on-  we had a lot, and there were a couple of times my husband asked if there was going to be room in the overhead bins for our rolling bags.  I think every time the flight attendent looked at us and said, "nope, let me gate check those for you."  While we still had to pick them up at the end of the flight, a couple of times they sent them through to baggage claim, and it saved us the hassle of putting them in the overhead bins.  So ask!

If you are staying overnight somewhere, the number for the hotel shuttle-  this was very handy to just have in our phone to call once we were ready in Orlando.

A social living coupon for Starbucks-  seriously, a week before we left, I got a $10 card for $5 and it went to good use the second day of our fight.  I was able to bribe our kids out of bed at an obnoxiously early hour with the promise of hot chocolate.  I think I got both their hot chocolates and my last pumpkin latte for $10.12.  Ha!

Paperclips-  One of the Grandmas gave us a bag of paperclips for the boys to play with on the planes and oh my!  They were great!  Our middle guy, Elliot, spent the better part of two days making a paperclip chain with them.  Yes, he is our engineer, I am sure of it!

Know how many pieces of luggage and what color they are-  Seriously, we did a count every time, "Do we have 12 green duffels?  3 red roller bags, 2 foot lockers, 1 action packer, 1 black roller bag, 1 obnoxious purple car seat bag?  Ok, we're good!"

Have all your paperwork in order-  In order to enter Costa Rica as a tourist (which we did, and now we are working on our visas) you have to have a exit strategy.  This means an exit ticket of some sort, plane or bus ticket.  We had copies of our bus tickets which was perfect, but we saw several other people get held up at the gate to the plane because they couldn't prove they were going to leave by bus.  They ended up having to buy a return plane ticket at the last minute.  Yikes!

So any last thoughts about moving?  What is the one thing you would tell a new missionary about the process?

Want more MAW?  Check these out
Moving Across the World:  The Beginning
Moving Across the World:  Toys 
Moving Across the World:  Buying and Acquiring 
Moving Across the World: Packing 
Moving Across the World:  The Big Day(s)


  1. Yay! You're finally in Costa Rica!

    We had a box of stuff left at my parents' house that was marked 'take across later.' The stuff in the box could either be taken across by family members who were visiting or ourselves the next time we were in the US. It saved us from having to pay for extra bags because we were limited to 2 checked bags each (and we had to pay for the 2nd bag).

    Love the carseat cover idea. :) At least it won't blend in with the other luggage in baggage claim...

    1. nope, it won't! Ha! And yes, we did the "Send later" boxes too. Noah's parents are coming in Feburary and we left two bags with them too.

  2. Loved the paper clip idea to keep little hands busy... they are small and it is no big deal if some (or all) of them get lost. GREAT idea!!!

  3. We're getting ready to go back for an extended furlough, and since I tend to get really stressed about the details of packing, I'm trying to just take it as an opportunity to seek the Lord over each decision.

    When we moved here 4 years ago, there were so many things I wanted to bring on our shipping container that didn't make the final cut... BBQ, plastic drawer sets, bikes, etc.... When I find myself wishing we could have brought those things, I try to rest in this verse: "no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

    Serving Jesus In Kenya

    1. Yep, we prayed a lot over this stuff! Great verse too!

  4. I read this blog 4-5 years ago when we were already living overseas in Asia. We started our family after we had already lived abroad for 2-3 years, and I found myself marvelling over these moving posts and "wishing" I could do it all again WITH my kids and family in tow. HA! What a crazy wish. And I knew some day it would actually happen....
    Now in 2017 I still remember the impact from reading these so I came back to make sure I got all the specifics! We are moving to Africa this time, new continent, 3 kids, ready and go! Thanks for logging all these tips for us (and future families who will need it as well!)

    1. That's great! Thank you for letting us know that it was an encouragement to you. I'll stop now and pray for your move.