These resources are intended to help you navigate moving to, living in, and acclimating to Germany, as well as traveling Europe. As additional resources are shared by subscribers or through blog comments, they will be added here. If you have found a resource that has been especially beneficial to you, please share it in the blog comments.
For those who have access to US Military bases, these PRINT publications are free and available
at the Shoppette, USO, ACS, Commissary, PX, etc.
The Find It Guide - Region Specific Editions
Stars&Stripes EUROPE (Arrive, Explore, Discover)
Stars&Stripes WHAT'S UP (What to see/What To Do) Region Specific Editions
The Find-It Guide is extremely helpful; provides address/phone for all military-related services throughout Germany, including banks, fitness centers, thrift stores, the USO and ACS, car washes, emergency numbers .....everything found on base! Regardless of the region-specific edition you have, it will include that info for ALL bases. It also provides "facts to know about Deutschland" as well as Conversions, the VAT Relief program, and much more. In the back you will find maps of every installation.
Stars&Stripes Europe is published twice a year and is likely to help you choose your travel destinations!
Stars&Stripes What'sUp is like a mini (monthly) version of the above; it typically has features. For example as the Christmas season approaches, you will want that issue because it will tell you where all the Christmas Markets are!
If you're just arriving you will want to see what 220 appliances are available for a very affordable price. Many families are PCSing out of Germany and need to part with it. It's also a great source for vehicles, furniture, toys, baby items, clothes, jewelry and even homes for rent! Many people are hanging out at Bookoo before they ever leave the states in hopes of finding the ideal home. It's specific to each base, so go to the general Bookoo site and then locate the largest base near you. The more military families stationed at a base, the more goodies you're going to find at that base as opposed to the smaller bases. Although a major source for military families, Bookoo is not limited to the US military, which is why you can find a lot of furniture, antiques and homes.
On-base thrift stores (Find locations in the print version of the FindIt Guide!)
* Denotes private Groups - you will need to request to join
The three private groups at the top of this list are not at all affiliated with the US Military; many members are now living in other countries but grew up here, or they are Expats, students, and travel enthusiasts who share what they love about Germany. You will discover awesome destinations, hidden gems, and incredibly gorgeous videos shared on these sites! And on the topic of Expats, should you decide you want to stay in Germany or relocate here, do a Facebook search on Expats living in Germany! They have can help you every step of the way!
Top Group of links are primarily US Military related - Bottom Group of links are not!
Just a reminder that MWR includes Outdoor Rec, ACS, etc......and Outdoor Rec includes family-based activities including trips and day-trips!
ToyTownGemrany A very informative English-speaking forum about living in Germany
Andrew Smith's YouTube Channel: The most enthusiastically presented views of Germany! (I'm so sad he's no longer living in Germany, but his videos are so gorgeous, incorporating use of a drone. It was his passion for Germany that makes these so great!)
Alisa Jordan Writes: Blog very well written by an Expat, about living abroad, Germany Culture
As it relates to learning to speak Deutsch, I haven't actually stumbled upon any great FREE resources yet, other than the few phone apps. However, I see A LOT of people asking for tutors or places to learn. So if you become aware of any (Free or otherwise), please send them in so they can be listed here!
Meanwhile, I highly recommend doing a "Learn Deutcsh"search for websites and YouTube videos. Here are a few to get you started.
And don't forget to install the Google Translate add-in on your computer, and the app on your phone. It will come in very handy!
Your new best friend is likely to be the Google Translate website and phone app! Save the link as a favorite!