How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii

Written by sara klein | 13/05/2017
How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Moving to Hawaii sounds blissful but there is a lot of planning involved. (Hawaii image by csaba fikker from

Moving to Hawaii is a fantasy for many and a reality for some. When planning such a venture, it is important to take a number of factors into consideration. For example, Hawaii has a higher cost of living than the mainland U.S. but lower average wages. If you're moving for professional reasons then this will be covered, but if not, consider what your employment options are before making the decision.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
There are a number of islands to choose from and each offers something different. (Hawaii state contour with Capital City against blurred USA flag image by Stasys Eidiejus from

Visit one or more of the islands ahead of time, if possible.

Consider the pros and cons of each island. Oahu is the most populous with the state's largest city, Honolulu, and has more job opportunities than the rest of the islands. Maui, Kauai and the Big Island are all dominated by the tourism industry. Molokai and Lanai feature far fewer employment opportunities but plenty of chances for solitude and quiet.

Consider the average home prices and rents on each island.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Hawaii has beautiful, native flora and fauna -- and laws in place to protect both. (tropical flowers image by Gary from

Plan for a possible quarantine. In order to protect native species and to prevent the introduction of rabies which is currently non-existent in the islands, the State of Hawaii has put in place strict regulations regarding the quarantining and shipping of plants and animals to its shores.

Prepare for visits to your veterinarian and arrange for your animal to be held for a period of time up to 120 days depending on your situation.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Animals may need to be quarantined for an extended period of time before coming to Hawaii. (dog in a cage image by igor kisselev from

Plan months in advance for animals and be sure to research the regulations for plants weeks before moving day.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Shipping options vary but the most economical is likely via the ocean. (cargo ship with containers image by JoLin from

Research shipping options.

Consider saving on the cost of bringing many of your belongings with you. Because of the importance of the tourism industry, there are many fully-furnished accommodations in Hawaii so you may not need to bring everything with you.

Sell your furniture and kitchen items on the mainland ahead of time to help defray the costs of moving.

Make arrangements with a shipping company if you're bringing a car, furniture and a large amount of household items.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Book a flight. (aeroplane image by Clarence Alford from

Remember the details. The most affordable time to plan a move is between January and May or between September and November. Flights, car rentals and accommodations tend to be cheaper during these months as tourism slows.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Rent a car. (luxury huge big car speed on road isolated image by alma_sacra from

Work out details regarding transportation and accommodations in your first days as an islander. Depending on your circumstances, you may need a hotel or rental car for a period of time upon arrival.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Purchase sunny locale necessities. (sunglasses image by Bosko Martinovic from

Purchase necessities such as warm-weather clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses and a sun hat. These will likely cost more in Hawaii than they will on the mainland.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Make the most of luggage space. (suitcases image by Alexander Ivanov from

Pack your suitcase and carry-on wisely. If you're shipping the rest of your belongings, it will likely take longer for them to get to Hawaii than it will for you to get there.

How to Prepare to Move to Hawaii
Keep important items nearby at all times. (medicine image by Pali A from

Pack ID, personal documents, medical records, medications and other important items in your carry-on.

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