Love the comments, NedRN! Soooo true! I remember when I left for my first assignment, I can't believe now how much stuff I took. I shed more and more over the past year. I was a bit dillusional on how much I NEEDED! Especially, when it came to clothes! Still don't know why I was trying to lug around 5 coats!! My wardrobe is definetely simplified now and I could not be happier...especially when it comes to moving day!
Yes, think of vacation, not moving!! If you will have a furnished place though, make sure that a tv is included...usually is but I have seen it both ways.
I travel with my dogs too and as long as they have a bed and food, they are good to go!
Must haves for me: laptop, ipod, a couple of small lamps. (I like to have good lighting and they are easy to pack and move usually) I can get by with a minimal kitchen too but if you have a couple of your favorite tools, take them too (as long as they are small!)