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So you got the call: you’re on your way to an overseas assignment in Guam. After getting over the shock of the pending move, there are a few things you can do to save you some money before you arrive on this tiny island in the Pacific.

Guam’s humidity level is very high and there are typhoons that tend to blow through every now and again, some worse than others are. To help preserve your favorite mementos, best leather shoes and handbags, or the family photo album, bring plastic storage containers. Yes, they’re available on Guam, but the assortment isn’t the best and they can be three times the price of what you’d pay in the States. That goes for most of the brands you’re familiar with. Because the shipping costs and handling costs are factored in, it will throw these same products you know and love into a much higher price bracket.

Even though you may be compensated with a cost of living adjustment from your sponsoring employer or the military it doesn’t hurt to bring a year’s supply of deodorant, toothpaste, and Centrum. Storage in Guam housing is much tighter than what I’ve found in the US, tinier closets, no linen closets, few cabinets so come prepared and don’t load up on the really bulky things.

I had a hard time finding my favorite underwear brand, hosiery, my favorite gym shoe styles. Bring rubber beach shoes as walking out into the bay can be a bit rocky from the coral reef. You will also find that the Public Library is way behind in the best of the New York Times Best Seller List. Stock up on books before your departure and always ask visitors to bring you the latest. There are some better bookstores on the island but don’t expect any discounts.

You will need a passport to move to Guam from the US and your US driver’s license will still apply. Driving, currency, and language are all the same. You will find some of your favorite fast food outlets, some excellent diving and snorkeling. Buy this equipment before you come, as the prices will be higher here. There is a Kmart here and it’s a “scene”, this is a big social meeting place on Guam, if you can believe it, and tourist buses bring the multitudes of Japanese and Korean tourists that visit Guam. There is also a bulk warehouse facility; the prices are still on the high side.

Bring extra extension cords, battery powered radio, a cell phone, and maybe even a small generator. The typhoons that I’ve been through were horrendous and left us without power and running water for weeks at a time. If you do bring a generator make sure you can lock it up as it is a valuable commodity during the aftermath of a storm. The radio will keep you in touch with the outside world if you are without power as will the cell phone (and subsequent calling plan, of course).

Guam is a beautiful island waiting to be explored, get used to the humidity and heat and smile. The people on Guam are a welcoming bunch.