Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

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Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

Are you planning to move or relocate to Hawaii? If so, there are some important things you’ll need to know. 

Every year, thousands of people decide to move to Hawaii for any number of personal or professional reasons. While moving throughout the continental United States will result in some minor adjustments, moving to Hawaii will change your life. Hawaii is unlike anywhere in the U.S. and has a unique culture, lifestyle, and is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Whether you want to find a relaxing place near the beach or immerse yourself in one of the many bustling cities, there are a few things you need to know before making the transition. Since moving costs are a lot higher when going to Hawaii, it’s important to fully understand your options beforehand and make a decision based on what’s right for you. You’ll need to consider employment options, cost of living, and what kind of lifestyle you want to live as every island offers something different. To help you along the way, here is your ultimate guide to moving to Hawaii.  

Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

Living in Hawaii

Before you consider where you want to go in Hawaii, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what life in Hawaii is like. For starters, since Hawaii is an island state, it can sometimes be more difficult to get certain things or more expensive to receive and ship items. Things take longer to get to the island and sometimes stores are out of stock of what you need. Even Amazon shipping is limited, as some items are only eligible within the continental U.S. or other landlocked countries. You’ll need to learn to live with what’s available or be willing to wait for longer delivery times. However, many people are fine with these adjustments because of how much Hawaii has to offer. 

What is Hawaii Known for?

Hawaii is commonly known for its beautiful beaches, laidback lifestyle, and diverse cultures. Since Hawaii is a state comprised of many different islands, wherever you decide to live will have easy access to the ocean. This is great if you love swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, or just lounging on the beach. Hawaii is also a good place to slow down and start enjoying the little things. The lifestyle is very laidback, and that city rush isn’t very common. The primary culture in Hawaii is based around aloha—being in the presence of and sharing the essence of life. It’s a great change of pace from the mainland and even has a number of health benefits.  

Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

What is the Cost of Living in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s lifestyle is appealing to many, but the cost of living is much higher than most places on the mainland. The median home price is about $616,000 in Hawaii, which is similar to the housing in San Diego. However, on a positive note, Hawaii does have some of the lowest property taxes in the country. If you’re looking to rent, you can expect an average rent for a decent sized home to be about $2,300 depending on which island you live on. In addition to these costs, utilities tend to be higher—especially energy bills. The average energy bill in Hawaii is at least $150, but often higher due to the year round high temperatures and humidity levels

What are The Pros and Cons of Living in Hawaii

Before making your decision, you should carefully consider some of the pros and cons of moving to Hawaii

Some of the pros of living in Hawaii include:

  • Great weather
  • Phenomenal nature
  • Low sales tax
  • Low property tax
  • Diversity 
  • A more laidback lifestyle
  • Generous people 
  • Great access to military jobs
  • The ability to live in a beautiful oasis

Some of the cons of living in Hawaii include:

  • High cost of living
  • High renting costs
  • Expensive utilities
  • Salary jobs without adjustments to the cost of living
  • Expensive travel
  • A general lack of parking
  • More outdated facilities
  • Island fever
  • Frustration from elongated deadlines
  • Lack of nightlife
  • A harder time meeting people 
  • Difficult adjustment

The Best Islands in Hawaii

If you do decide to move to Hawaii, you’ll need to first figure out which island is going to be best for you and your lifestyle. While it’s a bit more expensive, you might consider packing your stuff into short term storage and visiting each island to see what it has to offer. This gives you a chance to look for employment and housing in person rather than remotely, which can be extremely beneficial in such a big move. Each island has a different feel, some being more remote and others being bustling with city life. The six main islands that people choose to relocate to are Oahu, Maui, The Big Island (Island of Hawaii), Kuai, Lanai, and Molokai. 

  1. Oahu – Oahu is a great island with a mix of city and island lifestyles. You’ll find a perfect balance to help you transition from mainland to island life. However, due to this balance, Oahu gets the most tourists yearly and can sometimes be frustrating to those looking for some relaxation. 
  2. Maui – Maui has access to world class beaches but is also an area where there are frequent sugar cane burnings, which can cause vog (volcano smog) and smoke. 
  3. The Big Island – there’s plenty of employment opportunities on this island. There are also frequent bouts of vog and lava, which can cause disruption to daily life. 
  4. Kuai – this island maintains a very simple lifestyle and has a tropical climate with lots of things to do outside. This simplicity also means there are a lack of dining options and you may get “island fever” more easily. 
  5. Lanai – housing is limited here, and the size of the island makes island fever even more problematic. But the sense of community is strong, there aren’t many crowds, and it’s very easy to take a ferry to Maui. 
  6. Molokai – there are abundant amounts of areas for snorkeling and scuba diving and a tight-knit community. But again, Molokai is small and can be a difficult transition for many. You will likely have to downsize to a much smaller home than you previously had, which isn’t necessarily a bad!
Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

Finding Work in Hawaii

Unless your job is relocating you to Hawaii, you’re going to have to find work to pay for your new lifestyle. While employment is more difficult to find in Hawaii, there are plenty of options for certain industries. The islands are built entirely on tourism, so it’s best if you have experience in sales, the food industry, customer service, construction, or healthcare. It is a tougher job market, so just be prepared and don’t get discouraged if you can’t find something right away. It’s also important to remember that while you can start the job search before moving, it’s going to be much easier once you’re there in person. 

Things to do in Hawaii

There’s no shortage of things to do in Hawaii and many people move there in an attempt to connect with nature. Just remember that moving to Hawaii is going to be what you make of it, so don’t be afraid to immerse yourself completely. 

Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

Head Outside

One of the best things to do in Hawaii is enjoy the outdoors. With continual sunshine throughout the year and a surreal outdoor oasis, it’s hard to get bored. You can enjoy plenty of hiking such as The Kalalau Trail, Kaena Point, The Diamond Head Trail, The Koko Crater Trail, The Manoa Falls Trail, and even summit the highest mountain in Hawaii—Mauna Kea. For those that love the ocean, there’s no shortage of world class beaches. If you’d prefer to be under the water, you can enjoy some great scuba diving and snorkeling. When you move to Hawaii, don’t forget to take some surf lessons—it’s one of the best ways to socialize with the community. 

Your Ultimate Guide to Moving to Hawaii

Enjoy the Cuisine

Hawaii has a unique cuisine that is much different than that of mainland United States. Not surprisingly, seafood is abundant, fresh, and comes in many different forms. Hawaii is also home to the local cuisine saimin and luau stew. There’s also plenty of natural shaved ice, acai bowls, and fresh coconuts for you to enjoy. On many islands, you’ll also have access to plenty of traditional western foods. 

Experience the Culture

When you want to dive into the culture of Hawaiians, a luau is a must. Luaus are traditional feasts that feature live music, cultural performances, and plenty of dancing. We recommend asking the locals on your island where the best luau is and participating in one as often as possible. 

If you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii, just make sure you do your research and make a plan for moving. Since moving to Hawaii is a bit more difficult than moving to other places on the mainland, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. The Lock Up Self Storage offers convenient temperature controlled self storage in Honolulu, Oahu to help with your move. If you’re coming from the mainland and need some time to determine where you want to live, The Lock Up Self Storage will help you store anything you don’t need so you can focus on finding the perfect new home. All of our self-storage units are safe, secure, and are climate controlled so you don’t have to worry about the safety of your things. Call us today at (866) 327-LOCK to learn more about our Hawaii storage location and inquire about our flexible leasing options.