Ultimate Packing List for a PCS to Incirlik, Turkey


When researching what to pack in our unaccompanied baggage and our luggage we would be carrying with us, I found a few lists here and there of essential household items that the typical person would need in order to get by until their household goods arrived. All-in-all I would say these lists made a lot of sense, but what they, or maybe I, did not accommodate for was the time between our arrival in Turkey, and our UB actually being delivered. So I thought it would be helpful to put a list out there of what you will need to get by, period. And how to avoid having to buy a ton of stuff when you’ve most likely got it coming in your UB.


These are things that you will need once you get in your house, and possibly while you are in lodging waiting for your house, in order to function day-to-day.

Pack in Luggage

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair Dryer (if you are used to drying your hair instead of air drying)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Lotion
  • Soap – body, hand, and dish
  • Nail Grooming Supplies – clippers and a nail file always come in handy!
  • Towels (and washcloths if you use them)
  • Shower Curtain
  • Shower Hooks
  • Pet Food – enough to get through three or so days until you can buy more on base
  • Pet Supplies (leashes, food bowls, medicines, toys, treats, etc…)
  • Water Bottles – so you can refill at the water fountains and not spend a fortune on bottled water at the commissary
  • Chopping Knife (they only have a few steak knives in the loan locker, so if you cook a lot you will need a decent knife)
  • Pillows (*see note below in loan locker list)

Buy Upon Arrival:

  • Paper Towels 
  • Toilet Paper
  • Trash Bags (and trash cans if you don’t have them coming in your UAB or HHG)
  • Laundry Detergent

Between what you have provided in temporary lodging and what you can usually acquire from the loan locker, these few items will at least allow you to get by without too much discomfort. The first few days here there are lots of in processing tasks, and unless your sponsor is available to be your personal chauffeur, this means you will be doing a lot of walking in the Turkish sun. Instead of filling your suitcase with fun outfits and your favorite shoes, I strongly recommend going heavy on things like tennis shoes and workout clothes that you will be comfortable in and not afraid to sweat in or get dirty. Remember that you will have washers and dryers available to you, so really try to maximize your luggage space for things you really need versus another dress or pair of shoes that you most likely won’t end up wearing for a while. You can always pack those extra clothes you want in your unaccompanied baggage.

Another thing to note is that unlike many other assignments, you most likely won’t be leaving the base to go out to eat in your first week or two here. Until you acquire your temporary gate pass you actually can’t leave. There are a few dining options on base, but we found cooking at the hotel or our house was really the easiest, even if it wasn’t anything fancy. So if you require anything more than the basic provisions of the loan locker (pots and pans, basic utensils, a can opener, etc…), you may consider packing them in your luggage. Of course you can always enjoy a few days of Burger King, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut if you would rather 🙂

Available From the Loan Locker

I know the loan locker is changing how it does things, so the process and availability may be a little different for those arriving from this point on, but these were the things available to us.

  • Plates, bowls and cups
  • Eating, cooking and serving utensils
  • Pots and Pans
  • Baking Pans
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Coffee Makers
  • Irons and Ironing Boards
  • Bottle and can openers
  • Colanders
  • Bedding and Linens – note, they only generally give you one linen set per bed, and each set only includes one pillow and a blanket that doesn’t fully cover the double bed you will most like receive in the loaner furniture

In your unaccompanied baggage, with the theory that it will be arriving weeks or months prior to your household goods (although ours arrived on the same day and I have heard stories of people who received their HHG before their UB), you should include the following…

Unaccompanied Baggage Checklist

  • Broom and or vacuum 
  • Linens – blankets, comforters, sheets (I’ve heard beds are made in odd sizes here so it can be hard to find sheets in the correct size to fit your american bed. It’s a good idea to buy an extra set to have if you need them), pillows, and padding – the beds are hard so you may appreciate packing your mattress pad or down comforter to help make your loaner bed sleep-able
  • Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Laundry Baskets
  • Trash Cans
  • Coffee Maker
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Drill
  • Tools
  • Medicines
  • Pet Food – if your dog requires a special food that can’t be bought on base
  • Bikes
  • Bike Helmets
  • Bike Locks
  • Bike Tire Pump
  • Extra Clothes, Lounge Clothes/PJ’s, and Shoes – it’s amazing how tired you can become of wearing the same things for months on end
  • Jewelry – so it doesn’t have the chance to get lost in the sea of your household goods
  • Air Mattress (optional) – you will most likely get a bed(s) from the loan locker, but it’s always a good idea to come prepared in case they are out of stock for some reason…or in some cases your air mattress may actually be more comfortable that the rock hard beds they have here

I’m no expert at PCS’s, but those are the things that got us through, or that we wished we had packed differently, so we hope it is of some help to those of you coming to the ‘Lik.

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