Who wouldn’t love to move to Hawaii? It is known that approximately 10,000 people move to this beautiful island, from both the U.S. mainland and from foreign countries. The fact that so many people want to live in Hawaii is not surprising, especially considering that one of the island’s nicknames is “Paradise of the Pacific”.
- Mountains in Kauai, Hawaii.min.jpg
- Beach in Kilahuea, Hawaii.min.jpg
- Makapu’u Point Lighthouse, Hawaii.min.jpg
- Lava from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.min.jpg
- Houses near the volcanic cone known as Diamond Head.min.jpg
- Tourists watching a performance in Hawaii.min.jpg
- Front of the ‘Iolani Palace in Hawaii.min.jpg
- Staff of the Hawaiian Airlines.min.jpg
- Turtle swimming in Hawaii.min.jpg
- Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii.min.jpg
- Road in Kauai, Hawaii.min.jpg
- Residential area in Hawaii.min.jpg
- With over 1,4 million residents, Hawaii is the only island state in the United States, as well as the only American state with an official second language
- Aerial view of the mountains in Kauai
The thing about moving to Hawaii is that it isn’t as simple as moving to another state on the mainland. Hawaii is an island that is at least 2,500 miles away from the state of California, which is the state that is nearer to Hawaii, and you can’t always transport your belongings by airplane — which can be pretty expensive!
But don’t worry! In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about moving to Hawaii!
Pros and Cons
As much as Hawaii is commonly regarded as paradise on earth, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this paradise is actually heaven. Far from that: Hawaii has its many qualities, but it also has quite a few flaws. Here is a list of 7 pros and 7 cons of moving to Hawaii!
- Great views: Obviously, the very first pro about moving to Hawaii is that you’ll have great views wherever you go. You can probably even get an ocean-front office if you want!
- Perfect weather: If you’re not a fan of wintertime and want to enjoy the warm sun for as long as you can, Hawaii is the perfect place for you!
- Health care: Among all 50 states, Hawaii ranks #1 in terms of health care — it has the best health care quality in the country and the third-best access to health care in the country!
- Warm people: Hawaiian culture is really fun and interesting, and the Hawaiian people are incredibly nice and warm!
- Ultra-fast internet: According to sources, Hawaii is the best state when it comes to access to ultra-fast internet — this is perfect if you’re an avid internet user!
- Unexplored places: Hawaii is an island, but it also has smaller islands that are yet to be explored or inhabited. If you feel like going on an adventure, Hawaii has a lot to offer in that department.
- Crime rates: Although you may see a comment or two about how Hawaii is not exactly the safest place in the U.S., it still ranks #5 among all states in terms of crime and corrections!
- Distance from the mainland: California is the U.S. state that is closest to Hawaii’s main islands — and the distance between these two states is over 2,000 miles!
- Difficult logistics: Because of its distance to the mainland, and because it can only be reached by air or by sea, transporting things to Hawaii is more difficult than to other states.
- Expensive housing: Hawaii is one of the favorite destinations for tourists, both international and national. A lot of people want to move to Hawaii or to own a summer house on the island and, consequently, that makes house prices skyrocket.
- Local culture: As much as Hawaiian culture is warm, people moving to the island need to keep in mind that it is not unusual to come across natives who aren’t as welcoming to visitors as others.
- Bad traffic: If you’re moving to a smaller island in the region, you’ll find that the traffic on the highways is just as bad as in major cities.
- Mail delivery: Unfortunately, there are some areas of Hawaii where mail is not delivered straight to your home. In those cases, the homeowner may have to rent a PO box from the local Postal Service.
- Water distribution: Just like mail delivery, there are parts of Hawaii that don’t have formal water distribution, which leads residents to rely on other sources of water catchment.
- Hawaii is the only place in the United States that is still growing — the volcanic eruptions cause the island’s landmass to increase constantly!
- View of the beach from a resort in Kilahuea..
Hawaii is easily one of the most popular islands in the world, receiving thousands upon thousands of visitors every year. The 50th state has an extensive history and there are several interesting facts that we can learn about Hawaii — and we picked 6 fun facts to help you before you move to Hawaii!
- Hawaii’s landmass growth: Due to the volcanic eruptions that occur on the island, Hawaii is the only state which has seen landmass growth!
- Hundreds of islands: When people think of Hawaii, they may envision one big island that is home to different regions. But the truth is that the Hawaiian islands are composed of more than 100 islands!
- Home to Barack Obama: Former President Barack Obama was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He became the first President to be born in the 50th state!
- Official languages: Hawaii wasn’t originally a U.S. state, hence why it has two official languages: English and Hawaiian.
- No billboards: In order to preserve its natural beauty, the Hawaiian government banned billboards. This happened back in 1927!
- Jurassic Kong: The island of Kauai (in Hawaii) has served as a set location for box-office hits that include the classics Jurassic Park and King Kong!
Funny State Laws
Hawaii may be paradise on earth, but that doesn’t mean it is exempt from having some pretty funny and senseless laws just like every other state. In case you’re wondering what types of funny laws there are in Hawaii, here are 5 of them:
- No coins in my ears: In Hawaii, it is illegal to place a coin in someone’s ear — so, no magic tricks, all right?
- Aimless driving: Do you sometimes like to get in your car and drive aimlessly to clear your thoughts? Well, you’re not allowed to do that in Hawaii!
- No twins allowed: Apparently, there’s a law in Hawaii that forbids twins to work in the same company.
- Pet lovers: Pet owners in Hawaii are forbidden by law from having more than 15 cats and dogs at home!
- No disturbing the birds: If you’re visiting a park in Honolulu, keep in mind that it’s illegal to annoy the birds there!
Weather and Climate
- Most of Hawaii has warm weather all year-round. Some mountain regions, however, can get pretty cold sometimes
- View from the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail in Hawaii.
Rather than being one major island, Hawaii is actually an archipelago composed of over 130 islands. Because of its extensiveness, this state is home to 10 of 14 climates that exist in the world, which is an incredible feat. Each island has its climate, though they’re mostly tropical. In the summer, the temperature in Hawaii can go up to 88 °F. As to the winter, Hawaii mostly doesn’t experience snow (only in a few regions) and the temperature is usually around 83 °F.
When it comes to nature, Hawaii needs no introduction. This state has several natural attractions that range from waterfalls to volcanoes and dazzling beaches. There is a reason why Hawaii is called paradise. In fact, here are 5 natural attractions that earned Hawaii the nickname of ‘Paradise of the Pacific’:
- Glass Beach, Kauai
- Garden of the Gods, Lanai
- Mauna Loa, Hawaii Island
- Sea Cliffs, Molokai
- Pipiwai Trail, Maui
- Hawaii is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the great volcano Kilauea — lava flows are one of the biggest natural threats in the island
- The volcano Kilauea spilling lava into the ocean.
Islands may be the prettiest pieces of land on the planet, but they’re also some of the most vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters. If the island’s infrastructure is not good enough, a single day of torrential rain may be enough to cause large damages. In Hawaii’s case, here are the main natural disasters that can happen in this state:
- Lava flows
Moving Prices from Major Cities
Moving to Hawaii will be more expensive than moving to any other state, no matter where you’re moving from. If you’re from major cities on the East Coast or in the Midwest, be ready to pay quite a lot of money. Now, if you’re moving from the West Coast, especially from California, moving to Hawaii may be easier and less pricey! Here are the estimated moving prices to Hawaii from 6 major cities in the United States:
- New York City, NY, to Hawaii: $3400 – $6750
- Houston, TX to Hawaii: $3450 – $5750
- Chicago, IL to Hawaii: $3440 – $5780
- Seattle, WA to Hawaii: $3540 – $5850
- Los Angeles, CA to Hawaii: $2450 – $4750
- Austin, TX to Hawaii: $3450 – $5750
If you want more estimates, you can get free quotes using our moving costs calculator!
Housing / Real Estate
- Due to the large influx of tourists and to the wealthy individuals interested in purchasing houses in Hawaii, the median house price in this state is considerably high
- A residential community right next to the volcanic tuff cone “Diamond Head”, in Oahu.
Housing was one of the cons we mentioned about moving to Hawaii. Why is that, you ask? For one, Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from all over the globe, especially wealthy ones. Rich visitors, including celebrities, want to buy a piece of land in Hawaii, and that makes the median home prices skyrocket. Secondly, the 50th state is an island, meaning that everything has to be shipped or flown, making transportation (and everything else) more expensive and complex. In 2020, the median home price in Hawaii was approximately $660,000. In Oahu, the median home price in 2020 rose to $880,000 for a single-family home! As to renting, the median rent price in Honolulu (the capital of Hawaii) was a little bit over $1700 per month.
Price of Living
If you’re moving to Hawaii, be prepared to spend at least $90k per year! This state has one of the most expensive costs of living in the United States, especially if you’re moving with your family. Here are the prices of living in the 5 counties of Hawaii:
All our estimates were calculated using the Family Budget Calculator provided by the EPI.
- Over 37% of Hawaii’s population is composed of Asian people, making it the only state in which Asians are the majority ethnic group
- Hawaiian woman performing a native dance to tourists
In 2019, Hawaii’s population was a little bit over 1,4 million people, with two-thirds of the total population living in Oahu (the island where Honolulu is located). The Aloha State is considered one of the 15 least populated states in America — but it is one of the most densely populated. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Hawaii is evenly divided into 50% of female persons and 50% of male persons, and the median age in Hawaii is 39.3. On top of that, Hawaii is the only state in which the largest ethnic group is not “white”. Here’s a look at the ethnic distribution of Hawaii’s population:
- Asian alone: 37,6%
- White alone: 25,5%
- Two or more races: 24,2%
- Hispanic or Latino: 10,7%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone: 10,1%
- Black or African American alone: 2,2%
While Hawaii is not particularly known for being an exceptional education hub, it still is home to prestigious schools and universities. College students in this have debt at graduation that is below the national average — but, on the other hand, Hawaii’s high school graduation rates are also below the average. Here are the top education institutions in Hawaii:
- Henry J Kaiser High School
- Punahou School
- ‘Iolani School
- Hawai’i Preparatory Academy
- Mililani High School
- University of Hawaii, Manoa
- Brigham Young University, Hawaii
- Chaminade University of Honolulu
- Hawaii Pacific University
- University of Hawaii, West Oahu
Healthcare and Medical Institutions
Hawaii is the best state for health care in America, ranked at #1. It has the best health care quality in the country and the third-most accessible health care system. In addition to that, Hawaii’s public health system is the fourth-best in the United States. The Aloha State was the first American state to require health care benefits for workers, which has led Hawaii to become one of the best states for health care. Here are the top medical institutions in Hawaii:
- Queen’s Medical Center, Honolulu
- Adventist Health Castle, Kailua
- Hilo Medical Center, Hilo
- Pali Momi Medical Center, Aiea
- Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center, Honolulu
Tourism / Attractions
- The ‘Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. After the monarchy was overthrown, the palace became a museum that is open to the public
- Entrance of ‘Iolani Palace in the capital of the Aloha State, Honolulu.
From beautiful tropical forests to scary, fascinating volcanoes, Hawaii has plenty of attractions that will please basically every tourist and newly-arrived resident. If you’re moving to Hawaii, there are quite a few places that you may like to visit when you get there — or even buy a house near them, if you feel like living your best life in The Aloha State! Here’s a list of 5 places in Hawaii you can’t miss:
- Iolani Palace
- The North Shore of Oahu
- Waikiki Beach
- Haleakala National Park
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Hawaii may be relatively small when compared to some other U.S. states, but this island state makes up for the lack of size with its abundance of beauty! Each city in Hawaii has its share of breathtaking places, and here are the top 4 cities in the Aloha State!
- Honolulu: The state’s capital, Honolulu is home to more than 300,000 residents, making it the largest city on the island. On top of that, Honolulu is the main entrance to Hawaii.
- Kailua: If you’re moving to Hawaii, Kailua is a great place to live if you don’t want to be around tourists all the time — this city is mostly residential. And it was in Kailua where Former President Barack Obama spent his Winter vacations.
- Pearl City: Home to a little over 47,000 people, Pearl City is a comfortable community, perfect for families who are looking forward to living in a nice and picturesque location.
- Kapolei: This city is mostly part of a private-owned estate and it was built upon a land where pineapple and sugarcane fields used to exist. Kapolei is one of the few planned communities in Hawaii.
- Hawaii has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, mostly due to being a remote location — this fact has driven companies away in the past
- Hawaiian Airlines’ employees posing for a picture
Hawaii has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States, at 10.1% as of November 2020 — the Aloha State is tied at #49 alongside the state of Nevada for the highest rates in the country. There are approximately 680,000 Hawaii residents employed and the persons in poverty make up for 9,3% of the total population. The top hiring companies in Hawaii are:
- Atlas Insurance Agency
- State of Hawaii
- Queen’s Health Systems
- Honolulu Community College
- Hawaiian Airlines
If you’re moving to Hawaii and would like to know more about getting a job at the Aloha State, you can check the state’s official website for more information.
As of 2019, the median household income in Hawaii was a little over $81,200. Out of the approximately 680,000 Hawaiian residents who are currently employed, most of them work in the food industry. According to the U.S. Census, there were over 110,000 firms operating in Hawaii as of 2012. Here are the top industries contributing to the Hawaiian economy:
- Food services
Things to do
- Hawaii is also known as the “paradise of the Pacific’. One of the most popular activities in this paradisiac state is scuba diving
- Scuba diving with turtles in Oahu, Hawaii.
Hawaii is called “paradise” for a reason. On this beautiful island, you’re bound to have a lot of fun and experience adventures like never before. Whether you’re just visiting or you’re moving to Hawaii, it’s likely that you’ll find amazing things to do every other day. If you have no idea what is expecting you in the Aloha State, here’s a list of 8 things to do in Hawaii!
- Scuba diving: Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and plenty of them have dive operators working in the area, ready to give you the experience of a lifetime!
- Take helicopter tours: There are several parts of Hawaii that can only be explored by air — but don’t worry! You can go on a helicopter tour and visit all these secluded regions!
- Go surfing in Waikiki Beach: Waikiki Beach is easily one of the most popular areas of Hawaii. This beach is filled with surfers — a few of which are always open to the idea of teaching newbies!
- Swim with dolphins: If scuba diving is not enough of an adventure for you, you can try swimming with dolphins and manta rays in Kona!
- Ziplining at Kualoa Ranch: If you’re a Jurassic Park fan, you’ll love to visit Kualoa Ranch, one of the set locations for the classic film! You can even go on adventures there, such as ziplining.
- Go on a Submarine tour: Yes, that is very much possible. While you’re in Hawaii, you can hop aboard a submarine and explore the ocean in an incredible underwater tour!
- Visit Ahu’ena Heiau: If you feel like spending some time connecting with your spirituality while you’re in Hawaii, the temple Ahu’ena Heiau is free and open to the public!
- Tour the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Volcanoes are an interesting paradox: at the same time that they’re scary, we’re completely fascinated by them! If that’s your case, you can take a tour at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and appreciate these scary beauties!
The Aloha State is an island and, consequently, the public transportation options in Hawaii are more limited than in other states. If you’re moving to Hawaii, your best option for smooth and quick commuting is to buy your own car. However, if you need public transportation to get around the island, here are 8 means of transportation available in Hawaii:
|Maui Bus||One-way: $2.00|
|Maui Bus ADA Paratransit||One-way: $2.00|
|Kauai Shuttle||One-way: $0.50|
|Kauai Bus||One-way: $2.00|
|Hele-On Bus||One-way: $2.00|
|Waikiki Trolley||Tour: $44|
|Maui-Molokai Ferry||One-way: $30.00|
|Maui-Lanai Passenger Ferry||One-way: $40.00|
Crime and Safety
- With 251 crimes per 100,000 residents, Hawaii is one of the safest states in the country. In the past, the state’s capital, Honolulu, has been considered the second safest city in the U.S.
- Patrol cars of the Honolulu Police Department.
When it comes to crime and corrections, Hawaii is among the top 5 states. It is the #1 state for corrections, even though it lacks a bit in terms of public safety, ranking at #25. The incarceration rate in Hawaii is 254 per 100,000 residents, which is below the national average. The number of violent crimes in this state is also below the national average (394/100,000 residents), at 251 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Here are the 5 safest cities in Hawaii:
- Mililani Town
Acquire a new driver’s license
Unlike other states, Hawaii’s official website does not specify a period in which new residents must transfer their out-of-state driver’s license. Nevertheless, you may want to get this process started as soon as possible in order to avoid getting in trouble with the local authorities. If you’re moving to the Aloha State and want to know how to acquire a new driver’s license in Hawaii, here’s what you have to do:
- Visit the nearest Driver Licensing Center in Hawaii, so that you can fill the required forms.
- Bring your documentation (valid U.S. driver’s license, proof of identity, proof of legal presence, Social Security Number, proof of date of birth, two proofs of residence in Hawaii).
- Take (and pass) the vision test.
- Pay the required fees.
Road Safety, Highways and Routes
- Hawaii has the smallest road system in the country — and the interstate roads in the Aloha State don’t actually connect to other U.S. states, though they are built to the same standards
- Road leading to a mountain in Kauai.
Hawaii has the smallest highway/interstate system in the United States, especially considering that this state comprises several islands of different sizes. Although the interstate roads in Hawaii don’t actually connect other U.S. states to the islands, these roads were built under the same standards as regular interstates. Here’s a lit of the main highways, routes, and airports in Hawaii:
- Route 11
- Route 19
- Route 30
- Route 50
- Route 83
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
- Kahului Airport
- Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole
- Lihue Airport
Hawaii’s extensive history can be appreciated in the different museums scattered across the islands. If you’re moving to Hawaii and want to learn more about your future home, it’s definitely worth it to visit some of these museums. Here are the top 7 museums in Hawaii:
- Iolani Palace, Honolulu
- Kauai Museum, Lihue
- Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Hawaii
- Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie
- U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, Waikiki
- Hawaii Nature Center, Iao Valley
- ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo
In the end, is moving to Hawaii worth it?
- Hawaii may be paradise on Earth — but living on this beautiful island comes with a rather expensive price
- Aerial view of houses in Hawaii.
Hawaii is the very definition of paradise, most people are aware of that. Beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, comfortable routine. These are all reasons why people consider moving to Hawaii — but they often ignore the not-so-positive aspects of relocating to the Aloha State. As mainstream as it is, Hawaii is still a remote location, an island in the Pacific. Living in Hawaii means that you won’t always find the items you may be looking for — and it also means that you’ll probably have to ship them from the mainland, which is much more expensive. Moving to Hawaii is worth it if you’re looking forward to living a peaceful life at a higher cost.
How to Move to Hawaii
Moving to Hawaii will take significantly more time than moving to states in the U.S. mainland — more time, more money, and more planning. If you want to move to Hawaii but have no idea where to get started, we’re here to help you: here are 10 simple steps on how to move to Hawaii!
- Plan Ahead
- The logistics of moving to an island are completely different than those moving to other U.S. states. That’s why it’s incredibly important that you plan ahead of moving to Hawaii. One tool that can assist you when planning your move is our downloadable moving checklist.
- Relocating to a new place can be quite expensive — even more so when you’re moving to Hawaii. You can’t transport your belongings by land, thus you should try to downsize as much as possible in order to save money.
- Get Moving
- Now, this is a very important step. When you’re moving to Hawaii, it’s crucial that you get as many moving quotes as possible so that you don’t end up hiring a mover that is more pricey than others.
- Once you’re done with step #3, it’s time to contact a mover and hire them. Don’t forget to book a mover that transports items to Hawaii especifically!
- Visit Your
- If you want to be 100% sure that moving to Hawaii is right for you, you may want to visit the island before making your final decision. We’re pretty sure it won’t be that troublesome to spend a couple of days at this beautiful island, right?
- If after visiting the Aloha State you decide that you’ll move to Hawaii, it’s time to start packing your belongings. You may want to contact your mover beforehand and ask for instructions on how to proceed with packing.
- Moving to Hawaii means that you’ll spend at least 6 hours on a plane — or even days, if you travel by boat/ship. Because of that, you may want to create a box with all the essential items you’ll want to have access to as soon as you get to your new home in Hawaii.
- Once the logistics of your move to Hawaii are done, it’s time to start the emotional phase of relocating. Now that you’re going to the Aloha State permanently, you’ll be far from your relatives and friends, so you may want to take your time saying your farewells.
- Get Some
- Moving is probably one of the most stressful things in life — there’s always something that doesn’t work according to plan, no matter how much planning you put into this. Thus, we recommend that you get some rest before the big day (and also on the way to Hawaii)!
- Enjoy the
- Yes, you’ll basically be leaving your life behind once you move to Hawaii. But you’ll be starting a new chapter of your journey in one of the most beautiful places on the planet — so enjoy the move as much as you can!
Moving services to help you relocate to Hawaii
Moving to Hawaii is going to be slightly more difficult than it would be to move to a state in the mainland. The logistics of transporting your belongings by air or by sea are significantly different than moving your items by land. If you’re moving permanently to Hawaii, here are 9 moving services that will help you in this process!
- Moving furniture to a new house is the most common service offered by moving companies. Moving to Hawaii means that your furniture will probably be shipped, which will take longer than transporting them by plane, but also less expensive.
- If you’re moving from your residence, residential movers are what you’re looking for. These movers will help you relocate to Hawaii and make this process as simple as possible.
- You don’t need to own a piano to know that this instrument is large and heavy. Because of that, not all moving companies offer piano transportation services. You’ll probably want to ask your mover if they transport pianos to Hawaii.
- Art and
- Art pieces and antiques are extremely fragile and require more attention during the moving process than other items. Art and antiques movers are experts in moving these items to your new location carefully!
- Hot Tub
- You may not know this, but it’s possible to hire a moving company to relocate a hot tub. However, not all movers will transport a hot tub to Hawaii, so you should check if it isn’t cheaper to buy a new one when you get to the island!
- Pool Table
- Pool tables, just like pianos and hot tubs, are heavier and larger than most items, thus they’re not always transported. If you’re moving to Hawaii, maybe it would save you more money to buy a new pool table rather than moving your old one to the Aloha State.
- Office Movers: Residential moving is not the only service offered by moving companies. Movers also work with office (or commercial) moving!
- Long Distance Movers: A long-distance mover is probably what you’ll be looking for if you’re moving to Hawaii — the nearest state to Hawaii is more than 2,500 miles away!
- Last Minute Movers: If you have a sudden change of plans and need to move to Hawaii as soon as possible, you’ll need to find a moving company that works with last-minute moving. Keep in mind that this service may be more expensive!