PCS season is here and many military families are likely feeling a mixture of excitement and dread. Moving for a Permanent Change of Station is a part of military life. According to the Department of Defense, nearly one third of service members make a PCS move every year.

While the process can feel overwhelming at times, there are several ways to help take the stress out of the big move.

Allow plenty of time. As soon as you receive your PCS orders, start working on a plan.

Get organized. Use a binder to keep important documents together like medical records, housing information and contact details.

Take advantage of military resources. Stay up to date on the latest PCS guidance from the Relocation Assistance Program and Military OneSource. The DoD continues to make PCS less of a burden each year. For example, service members going through PCS can now be reimbursed up to $550 for costs associated with transporting a pet—a dog or a cat.

Develop a budget. Estimate all your expenses for things like transportation, food, and shipping.

Pack like a pro. Start by decluttering your home. A silver lining of making a big move is that you can take stock of the items in your home you really want to keep. As you pack, remember to organize your belongings by category and label your boxes so it will be easier to find things later. Make sure to pack essential items like medications, a few clothes and toiletries in a separate box or suitcase.

Research your new home. Getting to know the area before your move might make the transition easier and even give you and your family something to look forward to.

Take care of yourself. Eat well, stay hydrated, and remember—taking on PCS requires some R&R to maintain a good life balance.

There is nothing more daunting than trying to find available housing in your new location, and the right lodging choice will make PCS a smoother experience.

At IHG® Army Hotels, we know how important it is to have a quality place to stay when you’re between homes. Many of our team members are veterans and military spouses so they know all about the unique challenges families face during PCS.

Our hotels are ideally suited to meet the demands of PCS travel because they’re conveniently located on post and include several amenities including:

• Complimentary hot breakfast

• Fitness centers

• Pet friendly accommodations

• Free guest laundry facility – a huge convenience for extended stays

• Weekly evening socials – a chance to relax, enjoy a meal, and mingle with other guests

• IHG One Rewards points – perfect to bank during extended stays and redeem toward a relaxing vacation later

If you’re looking for an extended stay during PCS, many of our hotels also offer:

• Vending Pantries – packed with snacks and quick meal options, our Candlewood Suites hotels offer the Candlewood Cupboard, and all hotels have a lobby pantry area

• Lending Locker – has many items for Candlewood Suites guests to check out, including:

• Board games

• Kitchen appliances

• Office supplies – for work or crafts

• Outdoor gazebos and patio areas

• Playground equipment and courtesy shuttle service (at select locations)

If you and your family are moving for PCS this year, consider staying at IHG Army Hotels. We’re experts on PCS who offer top quality accommodations and hospitality for the military community.

Safe travels! We hope to see you soon.

To book a room at IHG Army hotels, visit IHG Army Hotels.

Lendlease is the owner, design-builder, asset manager, and the exclusive developer for the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) portfolio, the Department of Defense’s only lodging privatization program. IHG Hotels & Resorts is the hotel operator and manager of IHG Army Hotels.