Moving to Hawaii

Everything You Need to Know About a Move to Hawaii

Ready to make your dream of moving to Hawaii a reality? If yes, then you’ve stumbled upon the right page. Because we want to help you make your move to Hawaii go as smooth as possible, we developed this handy how-to guide that contains all the little details you need before you say aloha to your new life! 😉

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Tip!: To make your reading experience even more enjoyable, give the playlist below a play before you continue with the rest of the article!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Moving to Hawaii: How Much Does It Cost?

We can imagine you’re probably more than ready to pursue your dream of moving to Hawaii and just hop on a plane already. And, although we would feel the same, it’s important that we first talk money. To shorten an otherwise very long explanation, the cost of your move to Hawaii will be affected by multiple factors, but the size of your move is what holds the most weight.

Tip!: Want to make sure that your shipment isn’t too bulky? Then make sure that you make decluttering your new bff and hold a yard sale to sell your unwanted items.

Picturing how much your move can approximately cost can be a bit tricky. So, to illustrate this better for you, below you can find the average cost of moving different household sizes to Hawaii via sea-freight.

Household SizeTimeCosts
1-bedroom7-9 weeks$2,900 – $4,000
2-bedrooms4-6 weeks$3,900 – $5,400
3-bedrooms4-6 weeks$6,700 – $9,100
4-bedrooms4-6 weeks$7,200 – $9,700

Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure.

Want to make sure you get the most accurate price possible for your move to Hawaii? By filling out our quote form, you’ll be able to receive free moving quotes!

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How to Move to Hawaii: Checklist

Wondering exactly how to move to Hawaii? To help you out, we’ve developed a comprehensive (and quite handy!) moving checklist to help you out throughout your entire move to Hawaii. In case you’re interested in a lil’ teaser, the infographic below summarizes a few of the key points you must keep in mind when planning your move!

Checklist with key points to remember when moving to Hawaii

Costs of Living in Hawaii

When it comes to living costs in Hawaii, we have some unfortunate news. As of 2020, Hawaii ranks among the top 10 most expensive states to live in America. So, if you’re planning to make the Aloha State your forever home, it’s important that you keep this in mind.

Hawaii is composed of six main islands: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the Big Island. Generally speaking, the larger the island, the higher the living costs. An easy way to analyze the costs of living in Hawaii is to break them down into three categories: housing, food and groceries, and transportation.


To rent or buy? That’s the never-ending question. When it comes to housing, the average rent in Hawaii is around $2,300. Compared to the national average of $1,650, this means that rent in Hawaii is around 40% more expensive than in the mainland. The amount you’ll pay in rent per month of course varies depending on the island you choose to live in as well as the size of the property you’re renting.

Below you can find a rough estimate of the average rent costs based on property size across Hawaii.

Property TypeAverage Monthly Rent

Please keep in mind that the prices reflected above are just estimates. The rent can vary depending on location and characteristics of the property.

If you’re interested in purchasing rather than renting a property, the average cost of a medium-sized house in Hawaii is well above the $700,000 mark.

Moving to Hawaii: Everything You Need to Move About Your Move to Hawaii

Food and Groceries

Are you a total foodie? Then you’re probably ecstatic about being able to indulge in the rich and diverse cuisine Hawaii has to offer. Whether you do this by treating yourself out to a nice dinner every now and then, or by incorporating state products into your home-made meals, it’s super important that you have a rough idea about the costs of food in the Aloha State –this will help you budget accordingly!

Due to the fact that most of the food-related products sold in Hawaii are imported from the mainland, grocery prices are a bit steep compared to other states in the United States. In general, the price for groceries in Hawaii is 62% higher than national average.

Because we know you might be wondering what 62% even represents, below we provide you with a rough estimate of how much common grocery items cost in Hawaii.

Gallon of milk$3.14
1 lb. of chicken filet$4.93
1 lb. of beef round$7.43
Loaf of bread$5.39
1 lb. of bananas$5.44
Carton of eggs (12)$2.93
1 lb. of potatoes$2.08
1 lb. of local cheese$7.20
Bottle of wine$15

When it comes to eating out, you can expect an average cost of around $7 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and between $12 to $30 for dinner per person.

Tip!: Want to really experience traditional Hawaiian flavors? Be sure to give poi a try as soon as possible!


If you’re not planning on bringing your vehicle along on your move or simply don’t own one, there’s no need to stress. When it comes to public transportation, most islands in Hawaii offer convenient and affordable options for its residents. Bus ticket prices range between $2.50 and $1 depending on the island. As well, taxi services are available on all islands.

Healthcare in Hawaii

Like in many other states within the US, you can be under the coverage of the Medicaid program in Hawaii. As well, the Hawaii Prepaid Health Care Act requires all employers to offer medical coverage for employees working at least 20 hours a week.

It’s important to keep in mind that, under either of these, there are certain medical expenses which aren’t covered. If you’re interested in a full coverage policy, you’d be better off taking out a private health insurance.

Moving to Hawaii for Work

As of March 2020, Hawaii scored a 2.6 in unemployment rate –a relative low score compared to the national average of 4.4 (great news!). If moving to Hawaii without a specific job is something you’re pursuing, we recommend the following platforms for job seeking:

Depending on the island you move to, there will be a specific demand for particular jobs. The most popular industries per island include the following:

  • In Oahu expect a demand for jobs in tourism, government, military, healthcare and construction.
  • In Maui you can expect a demand for jobs in the agriculture and construction sector.
  • At the Big Island, tourism, agriculture and civil related jobs are the most demanded.
  • In Kauai expect a demand for jobs in tourism and the military.

Moving to Hawaii: Everything You Need to Know About Your Move to Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii with Pets

It’s very likely that you will like to bring your furry friend with you in this moving to Hawaii adventure. Because of this, it’s super important that you’re aware of the requirements associated with it. The general recommendation is to start prepping up your pet 6-7 months prior to your move. This prep includes:

  • Rabies vaccinations (2 shots – 30 days apart);
  • Microchipping;
  • Rabies OIE-FAVN blood test;
  • Collection of required documents (vaccine certifications and health certificate);
  • Submission of documents to the Animal Quarantine Station.

After obtaining the blood test results, you must wait a minimum of 120 days to bring your pet into Hawaii. If this isn’t the case, you won’t be able to directly release it once you arrive to the state and will be required to keep your pet in quarantine for a fee of approximately $14 per day.

Tip!: For more information regarding the specific requirements and pet entrance fees, please visit the Animal Quarantine Station’s website.

Shipping a Vehicle to Hawaii

Wondering if you’ll be able take your vehicle with you to Hawaii? Short answer is yes, of course! Luckily, shipping you vehicle from the mainland won’t take too long. On average, you’ll probably have your vehicle within 5 to 7 days —but of course this can vary depending on the departure point of the vehicle.

As well, the cost of shipping a vehicle to Hawaii is on average  between $1,000 and $1,500. This cost can vary depending on the size of your vehicle, the departure point and the means you choose to ship it.

Did You Know…?

  • Hawaii is the only state in the United States that actually grows coffee —good news for all of our coffee lovers out there!;
  • The only snakes that you will find in Hawaii are the ones kept at zoos (they’re actually outlawed in the islands!) —nice to know these little reptilians won’t be giving you any surprise visits… phew;
  • The official fish of Hawaii is called Humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa — a mouthful? Definitely;
  • Coconuts, yes coconuts, can be mailed for free to any destination —you don’t even have to wrap them up!

We hope this article managed to give you a better understanding of everything you need to know regarding how to move to the Aloha State. Need further assistance? We got you! Why don’t you give the pages we’ve linked for you below a look? 😉