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Recommended Things to Bring and Ship to Germany - Europe

Updated on January 28, 2017

You Know You're Moving - Now What?

By: Dan and Yollie Bunag

We wrote this hub as a follow on to our hub titled "Dan and Yollie's European Travel Adventure." Every year thousands of military members, families, civil service civilians, and Department of Defense contractors get reassigned, transferred and / or rotate to Germany and Europe. We made this hubs to help those of you who will be moving to Germany or Europe for the first time, as an additional checklist on the recommended things to pack or ship with you to Germany or Europe.

Certain items are not commonly found in the local European stores, or if you can find them at all, they're somewhat pricey. Additionally, due to shipping limitations for heavy or bulky items and extra shipping/freight costs, it is wise to have the items shipped with your household goods versus having to order the items while you're in country.

The list is intended to be an open list and will be updated based on readers' feedback. We hope this hub will be of help to military and DoD members getting reassigned to Germany or Europe.

1. Countertop Water Filter

1. Countertop Water Filter with Extra Filter Cartridges: In most places in Germany and Europe, tap water is not suitable for drinking. Drinking tap water may give you a good case of diarrhea or start getting bladder or kidney stones. Having a good countertop water filter, preferably NSF-certified, with multi-stage filtering will save you money from buying and hauling cases or jugs of drinking water.

NOTE: Make sure you buy an assortment of faucet adapters so you can easily install the countertop water filter. A good source is

Countertop Premium Water Filter

The Premium 10 Stage Filter removes or greatly reduces the following: chlorine, cancer causing organic/chlorine compounds called trihalomethanes (THM), bad odors, such as., hydrogen sulfide which gives water a rotten egg smell, pesticides, herbicides, PCB's, toxic heavy metals i.e., lead, cadmium, organic arsenic, asbestos, micro-organisms (protozoa and cysts) such as cryptosporidium and giardia, and dozens of other lesser known organic contaminants.

2. Global Power Adapter Kit

Don't Get Burn - Make sure you read and follow the instructions!

2. 120VAC to 220VAC Adapter Kit: The kit consists of different AC plug adapters for use in European outlets. European houses, apartments, hotels or inns use different AC outlets and they're 220VAC. The adapters safely convert 110VAC to 220VAC. NOTE: Make sure you read and follow the directions on proper use of adapter kit. Unless your appliance is rated as auto-voltage or set to proper voltage is dual-voltage, plugging a 110VAC appliance to 220VAC will burn it. Using 110VAC surge protector outlets even with a 220VAC-110VAC transformer will cause problems.

Samsonite Converter/adaptor Plug Kit with Pouch

PowerLine 0900-27 Global Power Travel Kit

Sleep Better 3-Inch Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Full

Sleep Better 3-Inch Visco Elastic Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Queen

Sleep Studio 3-Inch ViscO2 Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress Topper, California King

3. Visco-Elastic Mattress Toppers

Goodnight Sleep - Take Care of Your Back

3. Visco-Elastic Mattress Topper: Select and buy the size you're planning to use. If you already have them, you can pack one in your luggage or have them shipped with your household goods. They're not too heavy or bulky once packed in a vacuumed-sealed bag. The visco-elastic mattress toppers will do wonders with government loaner beds/mattresses or the real firm ones you'll find at a local hotel or inn. So take care of your back and have a restful sleep with visco-elastic mattress toppers.

4. Exercise Equipment

4. Exercise Equipment (such as treadmill, elliptical trainer, Bowflex, etc.): If you have them and plan to use them in your new location, have them packed and shipped with household goods. Since they're normally heavy and bulky, they're more expensive to buy in your new location. Even if you can order them in the U.S., there are shipping and handling limitations. Although the company may be willing to ship them, it'll costs so much more for shipping and handling.

5. Tires, Wheels and Car/Truck Spare Parts

5. Tires and Wheels: if your car or truck tires are worn out, it's better and cheaper to get them replaced in the U.S.. Just make sure your buy the proper tires rated for your car or truck. Driving on the Autobahns normally requires H-, V-, or higher speed, load, and temperature ratings. Buying tires at the exchange or local economy usually costs more in addition to labor and installation charges. While you're at it, make sure the car or truck you will be shipping is properly maintained and tuned up. Again, parts and labor normally cost more in Germany or Europe. If you're planning to buy alloy wheels for your car or truck, it best to get them in the U.S.. You can also get some spare auto replacement parts for your car or truck and ship them with your household goods, especially if you own a non-popular American model.

6. Portable GPS with European Map Preloaded

Don't Get Lost, Have your GPS Handy

It's hard enough being in a foreign country. European driving has its own challenges. Driving on European streets maybe downright confusing. Having a portable GPS will help you avoid getting lost or ending on a wrong-way street.

Garmin nÃvi 370 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Text-To-Speech, North American and European Maps

7.0 Inch GPS Navigator with Full Multimedia Player, map coverage of USA, Canada, Europe

TomTom GO 920 Portable GPS Vehicle Navigator

Additional Tips:

Hold off for Multi-voltage and Multi-system Electronics Purchases

Just as we have listed a few items you should buy and pack or ship with you to Germany or European assignment, there are a few things you should hold off and suggest you buy at your new location.

TV sets and other Electronic Devices: If you were planning to buy a new TV set, it's better to wait and buy them at your new location. Military exchanges (PowerZones) carry plasma, LCD, and projection TV sets. You can buy them on sale. The TV sets sold in Germany or Europe are normally auto-voltage and multi-system meaning they will work on 110-240VAC and also work with both NTSC (US) and PAL/SECAM (Germany/Europe) TV standards. If you plan to buy a satellite dish, you can pick up European stations with a multi-system TV. The same goes for VCRs and DVRs, it gives you capability to record and watch European channels, if you so choose. As for other electronic devices, buying them at your new location means you won't have to use bulky voltage transformers with 110VAC electronic devices or appliances.

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