Published: Jun 14th, 2024
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Moving isn't always as simple as packing your bags and hitting the road. It usually requires careful planning and managing various details to make sure everything goes smoothly. After all, "the devil is in the details.

This is particularly evident in places like Hawaii, which has experienced population growth over the years, primarily driven by migration from the mainland United States and also international immigration, particularly from Asia.

It can be confusing for those considering Hawaii as their new home. To simplify things, we have thoroughly discussed everything there is to know about 'How to move to Hawaii. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine— so take the time to research before you make the move —let's dive in!

Did You Know?
Did You Know?

Hawaii is entirely made up of volcanic islands. It's home to the largest volcano in the world, Mauna Loa, and one of the most active volcanoes, Kilauea.

What is the population of Hawaii?

The population of a city is important when deciding whether to move there or not. It's usually one of the first things we look into.

According to (World Population Review)​​ and (World Population Clock ), Hawaii's population is around 1.44 million people and is increasing in 2024​. This population includes a mix of ethnic groups, with significant numbers of Asians, Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders, Whites, and people of two or more races​.

Top Reasons Why People are Moving to Hawaii

Although everyone has different reasons for moving, there are some common factors people share. Here are the top reasons why people are moving to Hawaii:

  • Beautiful Scenery and Climate: Hawaii's natural beauty, including its beaches, mountains, and forests, is a major draw. The weather is warm and pleasant year-round.
  • Relaxed Lifestyle: The slower, more relaxed way of life in Hawaii is appealing to many. The culture emphasizes community and a laid-back approach to daily living​.

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  • Outdoor Activities: Hawaii offers various outdoor activities like hiking, surfing, and snorkeling. The islands provide plenty of opportunities for adventure and enjoying nature​.
  • Privacy and Seclusion: Many people seek the privacy and seclusion that Hawaii offers, with its many quiet and beautiful spots​
  • Consistent Weather: Hawaii's consistently good weather, with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine, is very attractive. Even when it rains, it usually doesn't last long​.

Curious about the cost of moving a house? Read How Much Does It Cost To Move A House?

Did You Know?
Did You Know?

Hawaiian is an official language alongside English. It's part of the Polynesian language family and has only 13 letters: five vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and eight consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w, ').

What to Keep in Mind When Moving to Hawaii

Researching is key when planning a move. Before tackling the question 'How to move to Hawaii,' it's essential to dot your i's and cross your t's, considering various factors.

So, let's address the elephant in the room without any further ado and answer all your questions related to “How to move to Hawaii”:

  • Housing Market in Hawaii

The first thing to keep in while considering “How to move to Hawaii” is the housing market.

Location Types of Housing Available
Honolulu Apartments, condos, single-family homes
Big Island Single-family homes, rural and suburban areas
Maui Condos, beachfront properties, vacation rentals
Kauai Homes, cottages, agricultural properties
  • Job Opportunities and Salaries in Hawaii

Hawaii has a wide range of job opportunities. You can find work in tourism and hospitality, healthcare, military bases like Pearl Harbor, booming construction, education, technology, finance, government roles, and retail.

Each sector has different jobs with varying pay scales, so there's something for everyone.

Sector Average Salary Range
Tourism/Hospitality $30,000 - $60,000
Healthcare $50,000 - $120,000
Military $40,000 - $100,000
Construction $40,000 - $80,000
Education $40,000 - $80,000
Technology $60,000 - $130,000
Finance $50,000 - $120,000
Government $40,000 - $100,000
Retail $25,000 - $45,000
  • Education and Schools in Hawaii

The education system plays a crucial role in determining whether families should move to Hawaii or not, especially for those with school-age children. It's a make-or-break factor for many.


Type Details
Public Schools Includes top-ranked options like Punahou and Iolani in Honolulu.
Private Schools Schools such as Punahou School and Iolani School known for their quality education.
Charter Schools Offered across islands, providing alternative educational choices.
Higher Education University of Hawaii campuses on Oahu, Big Island, Maui, and Kauai.
  • Healthcare Facilities in Hawaii

Healthcare facilities in Hawaii are also important to consider when considering moving there. It's a significant factor to think about before deciding.

Facility Details
The Queen's Medical Center A major healthcare provider in Honolulu offering comprehensive services.
Kaiser Permanente Provides healthcare across multiple Hawaii locations.
Hawaii Pacific Health Offers medical services and specialized care throughout the islands.
Telemedicine Services Expanding to provide remote healthcare access across Hawaii.
Specialized Care Facilities Available for unique health concerns in Hawaii's communities.

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  • People and Culture in Hawaii

When researching how to move to Hawaii, it's important to consider the local people and culture. As Helen Keller once said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

Cultural Influences Details
Native Hawaiian Influence Rich heritage is seen in traditions like hula and festivals.
Asian Influence A significant part of Hawaii's diverse community.
Mainland U.S. Influence Blends with local cultures, adding to Hawaii's diversity.
Native Traditions Includes hula, luaus, and other traditional practices.
Aloha Spirit Represents a welcoming and inclusive community spirit.
  • Outdoor Activities and Recreation

Considering outdoor activities and recreation in Hawaii, one might ask: What are the best spots for hiking and surfing in Hawaii?

These types of opportunities can make the move worthwhile. As the saying goes, "Take time to smell the roses"—or, in Hawaii's case, to feel the surf and enjoy the trails.

Activity Description
Beaches Abundant options for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing.
Hiking Trails range from coastal to rainforest, offering scenic views.
Water Sports Snorkeling, diving, and paddleboarding in crystal-clear waters.
Volcano Exploration This is a unique opportunity to visit active volcanoes on the Big Island.
Golf Championship courses with stunning ocean views.

How to move to Hawaii

Answering the question "How to move to Hawaii" isn't as intimidating as it sounds. We have laid out everything you need to know to get started so you can hit the ground running.

Selecting an Island

Selecting an island sets the stage for your move to Hawaii—whether you are diving into the hustle and bustle of Oahu or opting for the laid-back vibes of Kauai. Each island has its own flavor.

Island Key Features Lifestyle Jobs & Cost of Living Community & Culture Accessibility
Oahu City life, jobs, nightlife, beaches nearby. Urban, bustling Higher cost; diverse sectors Diverse culture; cosmopolitan vibe Flights between islands, busy roads
Maui Resorts, beaches, snorkeling, relaxed vibe. Tourist-friendly Moderate cost; tourism focus A mix of locals and tourists Interisland flights: car recommended
Big Island (Hawaii) Volcanoes, forests, diverse landscapes. Lower cost of living. Rural, Diverse Lower cost; tourism, agriculture Close-knit communities Flights between islands, long drives
Kauai Lush landscapes, hiking, peaceful lifestyle. Rural, laid-back Moderate cost; tourism, agriculture Strong local communities Flights between islands, scenic drives
Lanai and Molokai Remote, traditional Hawaiian feel. Limited amenities. Remote, traditional Lower cost; limited job sectors Tight-knit communities Limited flights; ferry access

e Visi

  • Visit your preferred islands to understand the lifestyle, job opportunities, and community vibe.
  • Explore different neighborhoods to see where you might want to live based on your preferences.

Consider Cost and Jobs

  • Compare living costs, including housing, groceries, utilities, and transport.
  • Look into job opportunities, especially in tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and agriculture.

Evaluate Lifestyle Preferences

  • Decide if you prefer a busy city (Oahu), a mix of amenities and nature (Maui), diverse landscapes (Big Island), lush scenery (Kauai), or a quiet island life (Lanai and Molokai).

Community and Culture

  • Learn about local culture, traditions, and community activities to find a welcoming environment.
  • Talk to locals or others who've lived there to get insights.

Accessibility and Transportation

  • Consider how easy it is to travel between islands.
  • Check transportation options within each island, as public transit may be limited outside cities.
Did You Know?
Did You Know?

Located on the island of Oahu, Pearl Harbor is the site of the infamous attack by Japan on December 7, 1941, which drew the United States into World War II.

What is the Cost of Living in Hawaii 

Considering a move to Hawaii? Be prepared for the high cost of living—both in terms of dollars and lifestyle adjustments under the island sun.

Restaurants (Eating Out)

Item Cost Range ($)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 15.00 - 40.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 50.00 - 150.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 12.00 - 15.00
Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught) 5.00 - 10.00
Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle) 8.00 - 14.00
Cappuccino (regular) 4.00 - 9.00
Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle) 2.50 - 4.00
Water (0.33-liter bottle) 2.00 - 3.50


Item Cost Range ($)
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.00 - 5.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 80.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 - 6.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 2.61 - 3.11
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 44.80 - 45.00
Gasoline (1 litre) 1.22 - 1.4

General Grocery Costs in Hawaii

Item Description Cost Range ($)
Basic groceries (milk, bread, eggs) $50 - $100 per week
Comprehensive groceries (including fruits, vegetables, meats) $200 - $400 per month

Utilities (Monthly)

Item Cost Range ($) Details
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) 150.00 - 500.00 For 85m2 Apartment
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data 43.00 - 100.00  
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 49.99 - 80.00  


Item Cost Range ($) Details
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly 1,100.00 - 1,500.00 For 1 Child

Rent Per Month

Item Cost Range ($)
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,800.00 - 2,500.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,200.00 - 2,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 3,300.00 - 4,500.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 3,000.00 - 4,300.00

Buy Apartment Price

Item Cost Range ($)
The price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment in the City Centre 8,288.21 - 12,916.69
Price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment Outside the Centre 7,427.00 - 8,288.21

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Is it Better to Buy or Rent in Hawaii?

Deciding whether to buy or rent in Hawaii is like balancing the scales between commitment and flexibility. Here’s a comparison table to help you weigh the options:

Consideration Buying in Hawaii Renting in Hawaii
Financial Commitment Requires a down payment and mortgage payments Requires a security deposit and monthly rent
Equity & Stability Builds equity; potential for property value increase No equity buildup: freedom to move as needed
Maintenance Responsible for upkeep costs Landlord typically handles maintenance
Long-term Plans Investment for the future; stable living situation Flexibility to relocate without property ties
Market & Taxes Subject to market fluctuations, tax deductions Rent prices can vary; no tax benefits

How to Select The Best Moving Company for Moving to Hawaii

Hiring moving companies is inevitable when relocating to a new place, especially to Hawaii.

So, whether moving to Hawaii or relocating within the islands, below are some steps on how to select the Best Moving Company for moving to Hawaii:

  • Research and Compare: Look into several moving companies that specialize in long-distance or international moves to Hawaii. Check reviews online on trusted sites like BBB and My Good Movers to see what others have experienced.

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  • Check Credentials: Make sure the moving company is licensed and insured for interstate or international moves. Ask about their experience with moving to Hawaii and handling customs.

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  • Seek Recommendations: Ask friends, family, or local groups if they can recommend a reliable moving company they've used for a similar move.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hawaii uses the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone (HST), which is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST) and 5 or 6 hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), depending on daylight saving time.

Yes, you can fly between islands in Hawaii. There are several airlines that offer frequent flights, making island hopping convenient and accessible for travelers.

Yes, there are mainland banks with branches in Hawaii, including major national and regional banks. This allows residents and visitors to access banking services that are familiar to those in the mainland United States.

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