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So You Want to Move to Hawaii - What to Consider When Thinking About Moving to the Aloha State

Updated on April 11, 2014

I moved to Hawaii in January of 2014. Believe me, the entire time I was planning and even when I was actually on the plane with my family leaving LAX to head to Honolulu and start our new life, I still could hardly believe that I was moving to Hawaii.

So take this advice: Don’t worry. You can move to Hawaii. While it is the dream place to live it is not the “impossible dream”. The problems that usually stop or prevent people from moving to Hawaii usually stem from assumption and lack of knowledge. Most people have an idea of what their new Hawaiian home will be like and what it takes to get there and they’re usually wrong.

Here are a few things to consider when you’re making your plans to move to the Aloha State and live in Paradise.


Do Some On Island Research

If you are thinking about moving to Hawaii without ever visiting then I admire your bravery. What I don’t admire is your planning and common sense. The first mistake people make is thinking that each island is the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each island has its own weather, lifestyle, housing and job situation, and landscape. You’re going to like some better than others. Oahu, home of Honolulu and Waikiki, has more jobs but is more hustle and bustle while the big Island of Hawaii is more laid back but has less entertainment and employment opportunities.


It Costs to Live In Paradise

Housing, gas, food and almost everything else is more expensive in Hawaii then in most places on the mainland. Here’s the big contradiction: Jobs usually pay less in Hawaii. That’s not to say it’s a bad idea to move to Hawaii, it just means that you better have a good plan or a good job.

Start Making Plans Early

If you’re going to ship your car or bring a pet over to the islands from the mainland it takes a little bit of planning. Shipping a car can be done through Matson, Pasha Hawaii or Horizon Lines and will cost your around $1,100.

If plan on bringing pets or plants to Hawaii, then you should contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture for specific guidance at least 4 months in advance. Hawaii is rabies free and you’ll need to do a lot of prior coordination to make sure your pet doesn’t have to stay in expensive quarantine at a charge to you.

Time to Downsize for Living in Hawaii

Remember all those times that you said you wished you had a reason to throw out all that junk that you have in closets or just laying around? This is the time to do it. Bring clothes like shorts, t-shirts, a few sweatshirts, a rain jacket, flip-flops, dress shoes and walking shoes. Bring important documents. That’s all you really need. It’s pretty easy to find an apartment or house that is fully furnished and comes with pots, pans, silverware etc.


Living in Hawaii is every bit as great as you've come to believe. The sun is bright, the water is warm and the sights are beautiful. You can to move to Hawaii and make that dream a reality with the proper knowledge and planning.

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© 2014 Ken Muise


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    • Aneegma profile image

      Merida Craze 3 years ago

      No I'm currently overseas on a work project but I often come home to visit the folks. Next trip back home will be in September. Love the name!

    • HawaiianGarden profile image

      Ken Muise 3 years ago from Honolulu

      Aneegma...I've been here for about 70 days. I love this place. I actually started following you because it looked like you might be from the Islands and I'm trying to make contacts here. Are you still here?

      I love the snorkeling! I've started calling myself Ken Honu Hawanawana. LOL.

    • Aneegma profile image

      Merida Craze 3 years ago

      As a Honolulu native I'm happy to see you like our home. Welcome Bro! Nicely written. Have you learnt any of our phrases yet?! Huli pau!

    • HawaiianGarden profile image

      Ken Muise 3 years ago from Honolulu

      Kawi...thanks for stopping by. I love it here.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 3 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Nicely done Ken - I'm in Portland now but still consider Hawaii home... I'm there half the time I'm Love the pics. Mahalo. Kawi.