1. What items should I bring/not bring to the UK?
Items that you SHOULD NOT bring with you:
- Washer/dryer (these are provided by FMO whether you live on or off base)
- Microwave oven (also provided by FMO)
- Televisions (unless your current TV is multi-system, it won't work over here. It's best to buy a TV at the BX when you arrive here. DVD players and VCR's will work as long as you buy a converter, also available at the BX here.)
- Telephones - American telephones and answering machines will not work over here. Again, it's best to buy that when you arrive here.
- Excessively large furniture - I'm talking about HUGE armoires, entertainment centers, shelving units, etc. You're going to have a hard time fitting them into British housing. Example: We have an eight foot Christmas tree that we brought with us. It takes up so much room in the house when it's up and so much room to store it, I wish I had just left it in the States.
- Guns or ammunition are not allowed at all in the UK. You will have to make arrangements to store those items before you move.
- Large appliances - fridge, freezer, stoves. It would be a HUGE hassle to try to move those items here. Again, the base will provide you with all of those items when you get here.
- If you drive a large SUV (Ford Excursion, etc.) or 4x4 truck, I would suggest leaving those vehicles in the States. Most English roads are narrow and parking is difficult enough with a small car. I should point out that large automobiles are not forbidden over here, they're just much harder to maneuver around.
Items you SHOULD bring:
- Don't throw out those winter clothes! You'll need them over here! Coats, scarves, gloves, raincoats and umbrellas - you'll need these items to get through an English winter!
2. What about bringing my pets? What is the process and what are the limitations?
Britain has some of the strictest quarantine regulations in the world. However, a new program in place called PETS relaxes the strict regulations a bit. Click the link for more information.
3. What childcare options are available at Mildenhall?
Of course, there is the CDC on base. I have never had to use this particular CDC, but I've been to it for several events and I found it to be clean, spacious and there was plenty for the kids to do!
Another option (that I chose) was to put my youngest son in British school. British pre-school starts children at age 3. You'll have to check around your village, some pre-schools are free, some charge. But, you can choose how often your child goes to school - once a week, half a day, every day, etc. British Primary school (elementary school) starts children at age 4. The kids go all day just as if they were in Kindergarten. There are several pre-schools around RAF Mildenhall. Busy Bees is a popular one for military kids, but they do charge registration and school fees.