What to Pack in Your Unaccompanied Baggage

man couple woman friends

Do you have an overseas PCS coming up? As you begin planning for your pack-out, be sure to take advantage of your Unaccompanied Baggage (UB) allotment! This express shipment can be a life-saver at your new duty station while you wait for the rest of your household goods to show up! Depending on where you are moving overseas, HHGs can take months to arrive…so sending a smaller collection of items via UB can help bridge the gap as you patiently (or not so patiently) wait. 

First, a few frequently asked questions:

What is UB?

An expedited shipping option that allows for a small portion of your overall weight allowance to be sent ahead of your HHG shipment.

What type of move qualifies for a UB shipment?

CONUS – TDY Only (Temporary Duty)

OCONUS – PCS (Permanent Change of Station) & TDY

What is the weight limit on UB?

There are a few variables that will determine your UB weight allowence, ie: which overseas duty station you are moving to, if you are doing an accompanied or unaccompanied tour (aka geobatching), and how many total lbs your HHG shipment is estimated to be. Remember, your UB counts against overall weight allowance – it is not mutually exclusive. 

Are there any items that CANNOT be shipped with UB?

Furniture (couches, beds, dining table, etc.), and major appliances (washer/dryer, freezer, refrigerator etc.) cannot be shipped as Unaccompanied Baggage. Larger electronics are also not typically permitted, so before you plan to send your plasma TV, be sure to ask the movers ahead of time as there is a size limit.

What to Pack?

The following is a general list of everyday items that you should consider packing in your Unaccompanied Baggage. Keep in mind, every family dynamic is different, so be sure to tailor this list to your specific needs.

  • Kitchen & Cookware – Think of what basic items you’ll want for cooking a simple meal for your family and what items you’ll need for eating. Some OCONUS duty stations have loaner items at Fleet & Family, but do not bank on this.
  • Bathroom Basics – Towels, bathmat, robe
  • Bedroom Basics – Pillows, sheets, blankets
  • Housekeeping Basics – Broom/dustpan, vacuum, dust cloths, swiffer sweeper, trashcan/trashbags, doormat
  • Clothing & Shoes
  • Simple Tool Kit – Hammer, screwdriver, drill, tape measure
  • Miscellaneous – Umbrella, step stool, yoga mat, beach towles
  • For Baby/Toddlers – Pack n’ Play, stroller, play mats, toys, etc.
  • For Kids – Books, toys, boardgames

Have you packed for UB before? What would you add to the list?

Leave a Reply