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The Essential Moving to Hawaii Checklist: Everything You Need to Know Before You Go

Thinking of moving to Hawaii? Here’s the ultimate moving to Hawaii checklist, along with a few helpful tips to make your move go as smoothly as possible. Aloha State is a paradise of beautiful beaches and great weather, making it an enticing destination for many Californians looking for a change of pace. It’s easy to get caught up in the dream of living in Hawaii, but it’s important to remember that a move to Hawaii is no small feat. 

Therefore, it is important to be prepared for the changes in lifestyle and culture that accompany such a major move. This moving to Hawaii checklist is designed to help you think through the practicalities of moving and make sure that you are ready for whatever Aloha State has in store. So, before packing your bags, take a look at the checklist to ensure you have taken all the necessary steps to make sure your move to Hawaii is a successful one. 

How to Move to Hawaii from California

Move to Hawaii from California

Moving to Hawaii from California can be a daunting yet exciting task. It requires careful planning, research, and preparation. Whether you’re moving to Hawaii for a job, family, or just a change of scenery, here are some helpful steps to get you on your way. 

Research the cost of living in Hawaii: Hawaii has a high cost of living, especially for housing and groceries. It’s important to budget for these expenses and make sure you can afford to live in Hawaii before you make a move. 

Consider the job market: While Hawaii has a strong tourism industry, it may be harder to find work in other fields. Research the job market in the specific area of Hawaii you are considering moving to, and consider whether you will be able to find work in your field. 

Find a place to live: Start looking for a place to live as soon as possible, as the housing market in Hawaii can be competitive. Consider whether you want to rent or buy, and research the different neighborhoods and communities in Hawaii to find the best fit for you. 

Make arrangements for your belongings: Decide how you will transport your belongings to Hawaii. You can choose to hire a professional moving company, rent a moving truck, or ship your belongings. Consider the cost and convenience of each option. 

Take care of any necessary paperwork: If you are moving to Hawaii permanently, you will need to change your driver’s license, register to vote, and update your tax and insurance documents. Make sure to take care of these tasks before you move. 

Get to know your new community: Hawaii is made up of several islands, each with its own unique culture and way of life. Take the time to get to know your new community and learn about the local customs and traditions. This will help you feel more at home in your new home. 

How Much Does It Cost to Move to Hawaii?

Cost to Move to Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii can be an exciting and thrilling experience. But it can also be a costly endeavor. Depending on the size of your move and the distance you’re traveling, the cost of moving to Hawaii can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. 

The cost of moving to Hawaii typically includes the cost of packing and shipping your belongings, as well as expenses related to preparing your home for sale, such as staging and cleaning. Depending on the size of your move and the distance you’re traveling, the cost of shipping can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. 

In addition to the cost of packing and shipping, you’ll likely need to factor in the cost of renting a storage unit. If you’re moving from the mainland, you may need to store some of your belongings until you find a place to live in Hawaii. This can add to the overall cost of your move. 

Finally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of your plane ticket. Depending on the airline and your destination, this could cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. 

Overall, the cost of moving to Hawaii can vary greatly depending on the size of your move and the distance you’re traveling. However, if you plan ahead and take the time to research your options, you can usually find ways to save money and keep your move to Hawaii as affordable as possible. 

How to Move Your Pets to Hawaii

Move Your Pets to Hawaii

Moving your pets to Hawaii can be a tricky process. It is important to plan ahead and make sure all of the necessary steps are taken to ensure your pet’s safety and comfort. Here are some tips on how to move your pets to Hawaii: 

Check the regulations: The State of Hawaii has specific regulations for bringing pets into the state. Make sure you are familiar with all of the requirements, including rabies vaccinations, health certificates and quarantine procedures. 

Get a health certificate: You will need a health certificate from your veterinarian that states your pet is in good health and free of any communicable diseases. 

Contact the airlines: Many airlines will allow you to bring your pet on board with you, but you will need to contact them in advance to arrange for it. Make sure to find out what documents you will need to provide and what restrictions may apply. 

Prepare your pet: Your pet will need to be comfortable, so make sure to provide a comfortable carrier, plenty of food and water, and toys or other items to keep your pet occupied during the flight. 

Arrive early: Make sure to arrive at the airport early so that you have enough time to check in and go through all the necessary procedures. 

Be prepared to pay: Be aware that airlines may charge an additional fee for bringing a pet on board. Make sure to find out the cost ahead of time so you can budget accordingly. 

By following these steps, you can make sure that your pet’s move to Hawaii is a safe and comfortable one. 

How to Move Your Car to Hawaii

Move Your Car to Hawaii

Moving your car to Hawaii is a great way to save money and avoid the hassle of renting a car when you get there. It can also be a great way to transport your belongings as well as give you a sense of familiarity with your own vehicle while you’re in paradise. Here are the steps to take to move your car to Hawaii: 

Prepare your car: Before you can ship your car to Hawaii, you’ll need to get it ready for transport. Make sure you have the necessary paperwork and documents, such as your title, registration, and proof of insurance. Then, check your tires, brakes, and other mechanical components to ensure your car is in good working order. 

Choose a shipping method: You have two options for shipping your car to Hawaii: air or sea. Air shipping is the most expensive option, but it’s also the quickest. Sea shipping is much less expensive, but it can take up to two months for your car to arrive. 

Find a shipping company: Once you’ve chosen a shipping method, you’ll need to find a company that can help you move your car to Hawaii. Do your research and read reviews to make sure you’re hiring a reputable company. 

Schedule your move: Contact your chosen shipping company and schedule a date to have your car shipped to Hawaii. Make sure to book your move at least six weeks in advance to ensure your car has enough time to arrive. 

Prepare your car for shipping: Your car will need to be prepped for shipping. Make sure to remove all personal items, such as clothing and electronics, and fill your gas tank up to a quarter full. 

Ship your car to Hawaii: Once you’ve completed all the preparations, your car is ready to be shipped to Hawaii. The shipping company will pick up your car and transport it to its destination. 

Receive your car in Hawaii: When your car arrives in Hawaii, you’ll need to pick it up from the port and register it with the state. You will also need to pay taxes and fees, as well as any shipping costs. 

Moving your car to Hawaii can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s worth it in the end. With your own car, you’ll have the freedom to explore the island without having to rent a car. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your car is safe and sound in paradise. 

Which Island Should You Choose to Move to Hawaii?

Which Island Should You Choose to Move to Hawaii

When considering a move to Hawaii, there are several islands to choose from. Each island offers its own unique opportunities, attractions, and experiences. To determine which island is best suited to you, it is important to consider your lifestyle, interests, and budget. 


Oahu is the most populated island in the Hawaiian chain and is home to the capital city of Honolulu. Oahu is an ideal choice for those seeking an urban lifestyle and plenty of entertainment options. It is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and a variety of outdoor activities for all levels of adventurers. 

The Big Island 

The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest in the archipelago and is known for its active volcanoes, lush rainforest, and stunning coastline. It is a great choice for those looking for an outdoor adventure holiday, with plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as camping and fishing spots. The Big Island is also home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the world. This Island has a beautiful beach called Manini Beach. I have also written an article about Manini Beach.


Maui is known for its stunning beaches, lush valleys, and incredible sunsets. It is a great choice for those looking for a relaxing holiday getaway, with ample opportunities for snorkeling, surfing, and other water activities. It is also home to the famous Hana Highway, which takes visitors on a winding journey to some of the most picturesque sights in the area. 


Kauai is the oldest island in the archipelago, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, lush rainforest, and dramatic cliffs. It is an ideal choice for those who want to explore the outdoors, with plenty of hiking trails, waterfalls, and hidden beaches to discover. 

Rent or Buy? 

The cost of living in Hawaii is high, and rental prices can be quite steep. This can make renting a house in Hawaii a more attractive option for those on a budget. Renting also offers flexibility and the ability to move easily if your situation changes. On the other hand, buying a house in Hawaii can be a great investment and provide more stability in the long run. The real estate market in Hawaii is highly competitive, and the cost of buying a house can be quite high. 

When deciding whether to rent or buy a house in Hawaii when moving from out of state, it is important to consider your financial situation and lifestyle. If you are able to make a large down payment and commit to a long-term investment, buying a house in Hawaii may be the right choice for you. However, if you are on a tight budget or prefer more flexibility, renting may be a better option.  

The Culture of Hawaii

The culture of Hawaii is one that is filled with diversity, warmth, and aloha. It is the only state in the United States that is made up entirely of islands, and its people embody the spirit of “aloha“—love, respect, and appreciation for all. 

Hawaii has a rich and vibrant culture that is steeped in traditions, values, and beliefs. From hula to luaus, there are many unique activities that are an integral part of everyday life. The Hawaiian language is also widely spoken throughout the islands and is a source of pride for many. 

The islands of Hawaii are also a melting pot of cultures, with influences from the Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and Portuguese communities. As a result, the cuisine of Hawaii is incredibly varied, with dishes like poke, Lomi Lomi salmon, and kalua pork being popular dishes that have been around for centuries. 

Hawaiian art is also quite unique and includes everything from traditional wood carving and featherwork to modern graffiti art. Music is also a big part of the culture, with island-style music like reggae, slack-key, and ukulele being popular genres. 

For those who are moving to Hawaii, it is important to understand and appreciate the culture and customs of the islands. Respect for the land and its people is paramount, and visitors should be mindful of their behavior and interactions with locals. In addition, it is always a good idea to learn a few Hawaiian words and phrases, as this will help in understanding and communicating with islanders. 

Crime Rate in Hawaii 

Hawaii has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States. In 2019, the Crime Index Rate for the state was 6.9, which is substantially lower than the national average of 22.7. Property crime is especially low, with a rate of 22.1 compared to the national average of 35.4. Violent crime is also much lower than the national average, with a rate of 4.1 compared to the national average of 4.7. 

Cost of Living in Hawaii 

The cost of living in Hawaii is notoriously high. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Hawaii has the highest cost of living in the country, with an index of 183.7 compared to the national average of 100. Housing is particularly expensive, with the median home price in 2019 at $653,000. 

Jobs in Hawaii 

The largest industries in Hawaii are tourism, the military, and agriculture. The state also has a booming construction industry, with many new housing and hotel projects. In addition, Hawaii has a growing tech and financial sector, with many start-ups and financial services companies located on the islands. 

Salary in Hawaii 

The average salary in Hawaii is slightly higher than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage in 2019 was $50,720, compared to the national average of $49,764. 

Taxes in Hawaii 

Taxes in Hawaii are relatively high. The state has a flat income tax rate of 11%, as well as a general excise tax of 4.5%. There is also a state sales tax of 4.5%, as well as a variety of other taxes. 

Transportation in Hawaii 

Hawaii has an extensive public transportation system, with buses, light rail, and ferries operating throughout the islands. In addition, the Honolulu International Airport offers flights to many major cities in the US and Asia. 

Healthcare in Hawaii 

Hawaii has one of the highest-quality healthcare systems in the US. The state has a number of major hospitals and medical centers, as well as numerous primary care and specialty clinics. 

Weather in Hawaii 

Hawaii has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The average temperature in the summer is between 75 and 90 degrees, while the winter months are cooler, with temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees. 

Pros and Cons of Living in Hawaii 

Pros of Living in Hawaii

Gorgeous Weather: Hawaii enjoys near-perfect weather year-round and is known for its warm and sunny days with light ocean breezes. 

Natural Beauty: Hawaii offers breathtaking natural beauty, from its lush rainforests and stunning beaches to its stunning mountain vistas and spectacular ocean views. 

Proximity to Nature: Hawaii is a great place to explore nature, with its abundance of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, surfing, and snorkeling. 

Cultural Diversity: Hawaii is home to people from all over the world, with a diverse culture of native Hawaiians, Asians, and other cultures. 

Low Cost of Living: Hawaii has a low cost of living compared to other states, making it a great place to live for those on a budget. 

Cons of Living in Hawaii 

High Cost of Living: Despite its low cost of living compared to other states, Hawaii is still one of the most expensive states to live in. 

Limited Job Opportunities: The job market in Hawaii is limited, and competition is often high. 

Difficult Transportation: Hawaii is an island state, and transportation can be difficult, especially if you rely on public transportation. 

Limited Shopping Options: Shopping options are limited in Hawaii, so if you are looking for variety, you may want to look elsewhere. 

Isolation: Hawaii is an isolated island state, so it can be difficult to get to and from the mainland. 

Moving to Hawaii: Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is moving to Hawaii a good idea? 

Moving to Hawaii can be a great idea, depending on what you’re looking for in a home. It offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, a diverse culture, and a unique climate. Whether you want to retire in the sun, raise a family in a tropical paradise, or just explore a different part of the world, there are plenty of reasons why Hawaii could be a great choice. 

2. Can I just pack up and move to Hawaii? 

You can’t just pack up and move to Hawaii. You will need to acquire the proper legal documents and visas, as well as secure a job and a place to live. The cost of living in Hawaii is quite high, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough money to support yourself and your family. 

3. What salary do you need to live in Hawaii?

The cost of living in Hawaii is quite high, so you’ll need to make sure you have enough money to support yourself and your family. Depending on your lifestyle and where you plan to live, you may need to make a salary of at least $50,000 a year to be able to afford the cost of living.

4. How much money do you need to save to move to Hawaii?

The amount of money you need to save to move to Hawaii will depend on a variety of factors, such as the cost of flights, the cost of your visa, the cost of renting a home, and other expenses associated with the move. Generally speaking, you should plan to save at least $10,000 to cover the cost of moving and the first few months of expenses.



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