Moving to Hawaii | Country Guides | I Love International Moving

Is Moving to Hawaii Different from Going to any Other State? Here’s the Answer

Posted Country Guides / May 16, 2018
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Moving to Hawaii isn’t exactly like relocating cross country, even though it is a US state. This is the only state that’s a tropical island outside North America, so choosing to reside here isn’t your regular move. If you desire to become a resident of these paradise islands, you have to be very well informed about what you can expect, so you don’t return disappointed, because residing in the Aloha state isn’t the same as coming for a vacation.

If you’re wondering can I move to Hawaii, the answer is yes, of course. This is a part of the United States, and you won’t have to worry about documents needed to travel abroad. However, there are things that you should be mindful of. Hawaii is a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, isolated from everything, so you can’t expect it to be California or Florida. There’s magical scenery, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and everything else that one tropical island brings. Coming here and expecting a regular life as you would have on the mainland isn’t really a smart move. If you decide that you’re relocating to Hawaii, then do your research and learn more about life here.

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Moving to Hawaii Isn’t for Everyone – What You Can Expect?

One of the most common mistakes people make when moving overseas to HI is having a life they had before coming here, which is quite impossible. Hawaiian islands offer a completely unique and specific life that isn’t for everyone. Before you come, ask yourself what is the reason that you want to come. If it’s just to change your surroundings, then you should think one more time. The answer to “should I move to Hawaii” is yes, but only if you’re good with the following facts:

  • The almost entire Hawaiian archipelago is a US state, and it consists of 137 islands, which are pretty small. HI is the eighth smallest state geographically, which is a downside for some. There’s also a thing called “Island Fever” when people start feeling claustrophobic. There are folks that love that they have everything close by, while it might take years to explore all the nature here.
  • It is very far away from the mainland. The closest point on the East Coast is twelve hours of flying away, while the closest West Coast place is five hours away. You will be separated from people you love, and they won’t visit you often, so make sure you learn all the tips for how to keep in touch with friends.
  • HI has a history of tsunamis and earthquakes, but since 1960, no deadly and destructive tsunamis have happened.
  • The cost of living is very high, and you have to save a lot of money before relocating here.
  • There are no seasons – if you’re someone who loves to see how leaves change color or who likes the cold, HI isn’t a place for you. This is a tropical state, so the climate is typical for the tropics but also remember that not every island has the same climate. However, you won’t have problems with what to pack when moving abroad – just bring summer clothes.
  • Outdoor activities are endless. The warm weather allows you to do any type of outdoor activity at any time of the year. Nature, flora, and fauna are magically beautiful, so you can go exploring, hiking, and be in the water any time you want.
  • The pace of living here is pretty laid back, and things are slow. You’ll rarely see someone in a hurry. The dress code is also very casual.
  • The traffic can be a pain, especially when all the tourists arrive.
  • It is very diverse, there are so many different cultures, ethnicities, and races.
  • The food is just amazing, and even McDonald’s adapted their menu for HI. Living overseas here guarantees healthy, fresh, and delicious meals all year round.

The Most Important Moving to Hawaii Advice Is to Know the Real Cost of Living

Finances are very important here, so if you’re wondering how to move to Hawaii with no money, keep in mind that it would be a very bad idea (unless you have someone here that can provide you with food and a place to stay for free for unlimited time.) This is the most expensive state to live in the US. The cost of living in Hawaii is so high because everything needs to be shipped to the middle of the ocean. However, there are less expensive places where you can reside – the cheapest places to live in Hawaii such as Oahu, Kapaa, and Waimea, or you could be moving to Kona. Honolulu, the capital, isn’t the cheapest place, but according to Numbeo, it’s still cheaper than New York City and San Francisco. A family of four in Honolulu needs around $4,400 per month, while a single adult needs $1,250 – both figures are without the rent for a home. In the center of the city, the rent for a one-bedroom place can be around $2,000, while you can pay $500 if you decide to reside in a home a bit further from Downtown.

How Much Money Should You Save Before Moving to Hawaii? Leave at Least Two Thousand Dollars for Housing

We would say at least three months’ worth of costs, but it also depends where you plan to have a home. Relocation costs are also expensive. The rent, groceries, utilities, gas, and everything else is much more expensive than in the mainland US, so plan to have around $10,000 to $15,000. If that’s not doable, one of the most important tips is to save as much as you can, especially if you’re moving overseas and you haven’t found a job yet.

Try Not to Move to Hawaii Without a Job

Have you prepared relocation questions to ask the employer? If not, get ready for finding employment before preparing your belongings for shipping to Hawaii. Check websites such as Linkedin, Monster, and Indeed, and see what companies in your field of interest are hiring, but also keep in mind that Corona impacted the economy world-wide. Create a resume and adapt it to each company you’re applying to. It would also be very helpful to know some friends who live here and know some tips. Networking is crucial when finding a job in HI, so you might want to find some expat communities before arriving.

Don’t Forget to Learn What Jobs Are in Demand Before Moving to Hawaii

If you have experience only in a specific field, you might want to check if you can find a job here easily, because this is a small state, and job offers might not be that plentiful. The most needed jobs are mostly in healthcare, tourism, construction, and education. According to Zippia, the top five highest-paying jobs here are:

  • General internal medicine physicians,
  • Surgeons, except ophthalmologists,
  • Physicians, and ophthalmologists, except pediatric,
  • Family medicine physicians,
  • Nurse anesthetists.

Make Sure You Know the Best Places to Live Here

Do your research before moving across the world and shipping overseas everything you own. Different places here will give you a different experience, so it’s very important to know where you would like to reside. You can choose between four bigger islands – Oahu, Hawaii (a.k.a. the Big Island), Maui, and Kauai. Lanai and Molokai are much smaller and much less populated.

Visit the Island You’re Interested in Before Relocating from the US Mainland

Don’t rely only on photos or YouTube videos – it is crucial that you come, see, and feel the communities for yourself before relocating. Oahu island is the most popular destination because of its livability, salaries, and job opportunities. It also has many microclimates, so it’s not irrelevant where you will reside in Oahu. For example, Hahaione valley is wet, green, and windy, while in Kalama Valley, you can expect higher temperatures, less rain, wind, and less greenery. The Big Island is famous for its volcanoes, tourism, and affordability. Kauai is peaceful and quiet, while Maui is known for breathtaking beaches, sunrises, sunsets, and farm-to-table cuisine. Since Oahu is the most desirable place, take a look at the following video and see where should you reside if you’re with your partner or you’re moving abroad alone:

What Are Schools and Healthcare Like?

Before you find the perfect overseas moving company and tackle the topic of how to move to another country, you should see what the educational system is like, especially if you’re moving with kids or you plan to have them. To put it simple, public schools are not the best – they are 39th out of 50 states. That is why people choose to put their kids in private schools, which cost a pretty penny. On the contrary, healthcare is excellent. It’s one of the healthiest states, and their healthcare is the third in quality compared to all the other states.

Get to Know the Culture

The Aloha State is one of the friendliest countries in the world and adjusting to a new country will be a piece of cake here. People here are easygoing, smiling, and helpful. Their culture is about the philosophy and spirit of aloha that teaches about peace, kindness, and compassion. They are very warm and welcoming. There are many legends about the islands, the spirits that inhabit them, and natural forces that made everything. You should take some time to learn about that, and their history as well. Learning how to live in another country can be difficult if there’s a need for breaking the language barrier. Here are two official languages – English and Hawaiian. You can get around well enough without learning a language abroad, but it’s still respectful to learn a few phrases. These islands had a pretty dark history, which you should also learn about. You can start by watching this brief video:

You Will Always Have So Many Things to Do After Moving Internationally

The fact that you’re hiring an overseas shipping service and that you can call a tropical island your home can instantly lower your moving stress. You can go and do just about anything you want, except skiing. There are flights to the nearby islands that you can explore, but there can be some difficulties to travel abroad during Covid-19, so make sure you check everything before going. If you are moving to another country for love, and that love is nature, you’re in the right place.

If You’re Wondering How to Move to Hawaii, Call an International Moving Company

Is it realistic to move to Hawaii? Is it expensive to move to Hawaii? Can any US citizen move to Hawaii? Yes, yes, and yes. International moving to this stunning location is easy for any US citizen, but since the travel is very long, the price can be high. That’s why it is crucial to work with an overseas shipping company that has all the services, and that can provide you with packing services for all your boxes, putting them in a storage unit after custom crating, and that can also provide you with an oversized freight. You should schedule a free survey, choose between moving by air or by sea, and check whether they offer vehicle overseas shipping if you want to bring your car as well. Shipping a car overseas and moving to Hawaii with pets are also expensive services, so prepare your wallet. The Aloha State is an incredible place that will give you a life that no other place can, so book your move, create a moving abroad checklist, pack your bags, and become another resident of this beautiful destination.

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