Things to Know Before Moving to Hawaii | Latest Guide On 2022

Hawaii is a top dream destination for many people worldwide, which is no surprise. After all, it is a gorgeous tropical paradise filled with beautiful beaches teeming with wildlife.

However, while it is undoubtedly a great place to move to, it has its fair share of issues. So, before you start packing up, here are a few things to know before moving to Hawaii. Check them out here.

What You Should Know About Hawaii

Things to Know Before Moving to Hawaii

So, what should you know about Hawaii before moving here? 

The cost of living is pretty high.

Since Hawaii is quite famous as a tourist destination and the island is about 2471 miles away from the nearest mainland, California, it isn’t that much of a surprise that the cost of living there is high. 

Everything – from the food to the other grocery items and housing costs – is expensive. Aside from this, Hawaii is also known to have the highest income tax rates among the other states, and it even has an estate tax.

Heavy traffic is typical in Hawaii.

You may think that Hawaii is safe from heavy traffic, but the truth is, this state has one of the worst traffic situations among all the US states. The reason traffic is so bad in Hawaii is because the roads there are primarily two lanes only.

Another reason that affects the traffic in Hawaii is that people would rather drive their cars rather than take public transportation.

It rains a lot in some places.

There are some parts of Hawaii where it rains a lot. The rain doesn’t last long, though, just about ten minutes or so, and then the sun would come out and dry off everything. 

However, there are also some places that rain doesn’t just stop, so the ground would always be wet. Also, thanks to the different mountain ranges and valleys in Hawaii, the microclimates there are pretty distinct. 

Some places are hot and dry or cool and wet, while others are windy. So, if you are planning to move to Hawaii, make sure that your realtor has complete knowledge of the microclimates present in each island.

Almost everything will rust.

Things tend to rust faster here in Hawaii because of the salty breeze and constant wind and rain. So, whatever item you have that’s not rust-proof will eventually rust and may need replacement sooner rather than later.

However, there are still some parts in Hawaii where rust isn’t that much of a problem because, as mentioned earlier, there are some hot and dry places all year long. So, if you are planning to move to Hawaii, always make sure that you are prepared for this kind of problem.

Hawaiians have a deep sense of community.

Hawaiians are known to be very friendly towards everyone. They tend to know most of their neighbors, and daily greetings are pretty common there. 

Although most people there aren’t permanent residents, some could be tourists; making friends is still pretty easy. 

While it may entail a bit of an adjustment if you’re not used to it, people in Hawaii are friendly enough that they won’t judge you if you don’t share the same traits.

Moving to Hawaii can be an extravagant move.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of living in Hawaii is high because of the great distance between the islands and the mainland. Because of that distance, moving to Hawaii and moving your possessions there can be very expensive. 

For example, you will need to purchase plane tickets for yourself and anyone else who’s coming along with you, and those tickets aren’t exactly low-cost. 

Moreover, even moving your pets to Hawaii requires an additional cost, a cost that could potentially be more expensive than your plane tickets. There is also the issue of moving your things to Hawaii, for which most shipping companies would charge a lot.

The cost to ship a car to Hawaii is expensive.

Again, the distance of Hawaii to the mainland is what makes moving costlier than other states. For example, let’s say that you want to ship a car from California to Hawaii; this alone would cost you almost a thousand bucks. 

So, the cost of shipping your vehicle to Hawaii plus your plane tickets and the cost of shipping your other items will probably make this move the most expensive endeavor of your life.

However, if you think that your car isn’t worth bringing along or doesn’t hold any sentimental value, you may opt just to leave it behind. Moreover, selling your old vehicle might just help you with the moving cost.

Moving your pets won’t be easy.

The problem with moving your pets to Hawaii is not just about the cost. But also because of the strict policies that the government of Hawaii has imposed. 

Hawaii’s government is stringent in foreign pets and plants because they tend to be invasive or carry unfamiliar diseases.

So, if you are planning to bring your pet with you to Hawaii, make sure you are prepared for the lengthy and costly screening process and quarantining your pets.

Moving to Hawaii Checklist

You’re ready to drop everything and move to Hawaii! If this is not just a dream but your next life adventure, then take a deep breath and relax.

There’s a lot of work to be done, but you can handle it! Follow this moving to Hawaii checklist and make the process smooth and easy.

Make sure to do each task with care because once you’re done, it means that you are one step closer to living your dream life in this special island paradise.

1. Get a place to live

If you’re ready to live in a neighborhood from another planet, then Oahu is your best choice. If a luxury home in a resort community with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head Crater sounds good, then Kailua, Hawaii is for you. But if a condo along Waikiki Beach where you can party all night is what you are after, then Oahu is your best bet.

Don’t forget that all these luxury high-rises come with a hefty price tag i.e. rent, so make sure to consider it when you decide on Hawaii’s island where you will live in.

Living in an apartment or house/villa shared with other people is a nice and affordable option. Usually, such units are self-contained with the bedroom and bathroom, living room, and kitchen shared by all tenants.

2. Get to know Hawaii’s culture and lifestyle

You must get familiarized with Hawaiian life before moving here because the last thing you want is to show up here, not understanding the local language and customs.

The culture is rich with tradition, history, and folklore that you can read about in books or learn more about it by enrolling in a course at the University of Hawaii (Manoa Campus) where locals support their education through working nearby farms.

Hawaii is known for being laidback so get ready to chill out and take it slow while the locals will be more than happy to offer you a piggyback ride or some free surfing lessons.

3. Get a job in Hawaii and earn some money

You’ll need an income to pay for rent, food, transportation, and many other expenses that are just unavoidable. If you have the skills needed in Hawaii’s job market, then consider yourself lucky because there are thousands of locals available to hire.

However, if you don’t have a job lined up before moving here or would like to supplement your income with another job, then there are lots of opportunities that you can consider.

4. Get a free travel insurance quote

Be smart and protect yourself from possible mishaps that might ruin you’re moving to Hawaii trip. Hawaii is incredibly beautiful and the locals are extremely friendly, but emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. So get covered with a good travel medical plan and relax knowing you and your family will be safe and healthy!

5. Rent or buy moving boxes

Hawaii is an island, so it’s highly recommended that you pack your belongings in sturdy containers to prevent them from getting lost at sea. Also, if you live in Oahu and plan on taking public transportation, then use the free bus system to go to work or school without any worries of traffic jams or parking problems.

If you are concerned about the cost involved with renting boxes, don’t be. You can find promo deals on Craigslist or check with your local grocery store for discounts.

6. Learn about Hawaii’s climate and weather patterns

The best time to move to Hawaii is during winter which starts in December and ends in March since this period is also known as Hawaiʻi’s green season which features mild temperatures and moderate rainfall. On the other hand, the worst time to move to Hawaii is during summer (June through August) because it represents Hawai’i’s wet season that is characterized by high humidity and the chance of tropical storms.

7. Get a local SIM card and cell phone plan

Getting a local SIM card is important because you can use it to contact your friends and family as soon as you arrive in Hawaii.

Also, if you plan on renting an apartment or house/villa, then you will need some starting money for the deposit and monthly bills.

8. Find a home to live in Hawaii

There are plenty of options available when it comes to renting a place to live in Hawaii, so be smart and compare prices from different landlords before picking one. If you don’t have enough time on your hands then ask family or friends for suggestions or check out Craigslist!

Are you thinking about how to move to Hawaii? Well, if your answer is yes, then this moving to Hawaii checklist should give you a helpful long-term guide. Don’t forget to get an I-94 travel visa and make sure that you follow all the steps mentioned in this article for a successful move! Good luck!


Hawaii is undoubtedly a beautiful and peaceful place, and moving there can be an excellent opportunity for many. However, like with any location, Hawaii has its fair share of issues as well. 

So, suppose you’re planning on moving to Hawaii soon. In that case, it’s best to learn more about what these potential issues are so you can adequately prepare for them. This will help you adjust to the new place immediately and enjoy your new home.

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