22 Overlooked Necessities For A Perfect Deployment Visit
One of the best ways to counter the discouragement of deployment is to plan to visit your sailor at some point during the separation. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but if your service member’s schedule will allow it, I highly encourage you to go for it! But before you jump on that plane, don’t forget to follow this list to make it a perfect deployment visit.
I’m so thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to visit my husband several times during deployments. The first time was as a military girlfriend when he flew me to meet his ship when it pulled into Thailand. I returned from that trip as his fiance’, because he proposed on a Thai beach and I said yes! It was pretty amazing!
I was also able to visit him during one of his deployments to Japan. We had so much fun touring Tokyo and the surrounding areas.
During those trips I brought along some helpful items that you definitely will want to bring as well. I also learned a few lessons that you’ll want to note so you can have a smooth experience:
- Get shots beforehand if needed
- Snacks for you (foreign food might not always agree with you)
- Snacks for your sailor
- Medications you take regularly, cold medication or some basic over the counter pain meds, depending on the country you visit. If they speak another language, it will be a lot easier for you if you don’t have to search for a store and read a foreign language to buy an ibuprofen.
Money and ID:
- Credit card (using it gives you the best exchange rate for that exact moment)
Night time adventures:
- Items for sexy time
- Eye mask for sleep
- Ear plugs
- Benedryl, lavender essential oil, or some type of sleep aid to help with jet lag
Fun items to bring:
- Ornaments or seasonal decor- When I visited hubby over Christmas, I took along a gingerbread christmas tree kit. We wouldn’t have a tree in his room but this way we could have a mini-tree. It was extra-special for us because we had started a tradition of doing a gingerbread house together, so we were able to carry on the fun.
- Notes from friends/family
- Gifts for your service member
- Your baby! Ok, that’s not really an “item” but I would have loved to take our baby to visit Adam during our last deployment. Unfortunately, on that particular deployment, we weren’t allowed to visit our spouses, so we stayed home. But I know of several adventurous moms who traveled for hours with their newborns to spend some time with daddy– some to meet for the first time.
- Guide book for the local area so you can read it on the way over. You can research and see if there are any sites you’d like to check out.
Don’t leave home without it:
- Confidence- You might have to change planes or even airports in foreign country (I had to spend the night by myself in Tokyo, then head to a different airport to continue my trip)
- Cell phone- Be sure to bring your cell phone- You can use it for a camera, and may need it for iMessage on airport wi-fi. Just be sure to turn off cellular data and data roaming.
- Print out instructions for how to get to your destination. Don’t count on being able to get reliable directions in the foreign country, especially if it’s not your native language.
- Consider leaving your wedding/engagement ring and other items of value at home, depending on where you’re going.
- See if your spouse can connect you with other spouses heading out on the same flight, if possible. It’s fun to have flying buddies!
If you’re unable to visit your sailor and you want some tips for getting through the long separation, check out my Guide To Deployment
What else would you bring on a deployment visit?