10 Simple Tips for Moving to Hawaii

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Moving to Hawaii? Well, you’re quite the adventurer. Here’s what we at the Montway Auto Transport company can do to help.

Below, you’ll find 10 simple tips for moving to Hawaii. Learn more about Hawaiian culture, discover what kind of discounts you can expect from a “kamaaina,” or simply find how to quickly find car shipping costs to Hawaii. Whether it’s just for a bit, or you’re shipping off for good, keep reading to get ready for your big move.

Pick an island

For starters, you’ll need to pick an island.

This might have been obvious. But hey, there’s a lot of good options. Plus, you’ll need to know which island you’re moving to first and foremost for things like sending furniture, shipping a car and getting birthday presents (of course).

The Hawaiian Islands are one of the most geographically isolated places on earth, over 2,400 miles and nearly 4,000 km to the closest landmass (which you might know as the state of California).

Hawaii is comprised of eight islands. The largest island, “Hawai’i” (huh-wahy-ee), has just over 4,000 square miles and a population of around 190,000 residents. To determine which is the most likely to fulfill your Hawaiian hopes and dreams, do some homework on each of the following islands and what they have to offer:

  • Hawaiʻi
  • Maui
  • Oʻahu
  • Kauaʻi
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Niʻihau
  • Kahoʻolawe

Read up on Hawaii’s culture (and cost-of-living)

What’s up with Hawaiian culture? It’s pretty ancient, blending a wide range of different ethnic influences and unique traditions over the course of its history. And now in 2019, Hawaiian culture still influences all types of trends, fashion, and lifestyle.

One contributing factor to their way of life, of course, is the weather. Tropical storms or hurricanes don’t necessarily affect the islands that much. Hurricane season in Hawaii falls between June and November. Almost all of the actual hurricane activity occurs from July through September, however. The islands themselves rarely experience significant effects.

It’s warm in Hawaii all year round — with daytime high temperatures ranging from 78F in the colder months to 88F in the hotter months. And while the weather is certainly one of the biggest calling cards, it’s the vibes that make people (like yourself want to move there).

Be ready to learn new things and don’t shy away from befriending a local.

Set a budget

With plenty to do in Hawaii, there’s also plenty to spend money on. And, on top of that, Hawaii is notorious for being one of the more expensive states. This is primarily because salaries in Hawaii are generally lower than in the continental U.S., despite the fact that the cost of living is higher in the islands.

Although about 90% of all food in Hawaii is imported and things cost more here than in the U.S.  mainland, you can buy food at relatively affordable prices at chains like Costco, WalMart and Sam’s  Club. You might be able to use public transportation, but for the most part, you should incorporate the cost of gas into your budget.

Decide what kind of place you want to live in

If you’re moving to Hawaii and planning to pay rent, you need to realize that Hawaii is going to be more expensive.

No matter which price range you’re looking at, or what your income level is, your cost-of-living will be higher than it was in the states. Set your budget, and when doing so, make the hard decision of what type of living quarters you want (or need). For example, if you’re working from home, you might want to consider getting a space that has room for a work desk.

When you’ve made these decisions, you’ll be able to determine your housing costs. To rent a place in Hawaii is significantly more expensive than in most places on the U.S. mainland, according to To-Hawaii.com.

“A studio on Oahu, for example, costs anywhere from $800-$1,200+ per month, depending on the location. A two-bedroom apartment or a house typically starts from $1,800 per month and up.”

The chart below also provides a nice summary of this information.

*For Two-Bedroom Apartment 2016 Fair Market Rent
**Source: National Low Income Housing Coalition


Get a job (if you need to)

In 2016, the estimated hourly mean renter wage in Hawaii was $14.53 Assuming a 40-hour work week, a household must include 2.2 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment (at Fair Market Rent price), according to To-Hawaii.com.

In a nutshell, you need to plan accordingly.

If you have a job already set up in Hawaii (with a salary curbed towards the increased cost-of-living), this isn’t something you need to worry about as much. If you’re seeking new employment when you get there, here are a couple of avenues you can take to further tackle this item from your moving to Hawaii checklist.

Tips for getting a job in Hawaii:

  1. Find a job that pays more (hire a recruiter, work on your resume, etc.)
  2. Get a part-time to job to supplement income if you’re concerned your full-time job won’t be enough
  3. Consider exploring new career paths

The chart below might be useful if you’re considering exploring a new career type.

***Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011


Book a one-way flight

Now, the exciting part is about to happen. Before you move onto car moving companies and other matters for getting there, let’s review what you’ve done so far:

  1. Picked an island
  2. Read up on Hawaiian culture & cost-of-living
  3. Set a budget
  4. Decided on living accommodations
  5. Solidified income

Next, you’re about to officially make the leap: booking a one-way flight. Like any flight, auto shipper or other travel reservation, the further in advance you book, the better. For a flight to from Chicago to Hawaii (two months in advance, United Airlines, Basic Economy), you can find a one-way flight for anywhere from $500 to $600. Flights from the west coast will be much cheaper typically, with flights staying primarily between $400 and $500.

Decide how you’re going to get around (ship your car)

What’s involved in shipping a car from or to Hawaii? Shipping a car to Hawaii (or shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland) is less complicated than most people imagine. The key is to find a vehicle transport company with a lot of experience shipping cars to and from the Hawaiian islands — like us here at Montway Auto Transport.

The first step in shipping your car to Hawaii is getting a quote and booking your order. You can get an instant price quote and book your order directly through our online calculator, phone or live chat. If you’re shipping a car there, or are thinking about buying one, don’t forget to check out the most popular sports cars and trucks in Hawaii.

When you’re ready to ship your car, book with one of the best car transport companies in the business. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of our car shipping experts via live chat or phone!

Montway is here to help with your move to Hawaii.

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.

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Don’t ship everything

Finding a trust car transporter is easy, but this next part is always a big hurdle for people moving to Hawaii: moving your stuff.

It’s very intimidating to pack up everything you own and ship it to Hawaii. But who would have thought it would be so expensive? Montway is one of the best-rated car transport companies.

When doing your research for a company to move your boxes, furniture or even valuable items — make sure you look for similar accolades. Unlike your car, moving all your furniture can be an excessive financial burden. The chances of you needing all that stuff are slim, whereas a vehicle you’ll be depending on to explore the outdoors.

What’s the common consensus? Simply pack as you would for a vacation. In this case, less is more. If you’re really attached to a specific piece of furniture, then it might be worth taking. Companies like U-Haul, for example, can deliver the container straight to your home or store it at a U-Haul store until you need to access it again.

Get your license ASAP for “kamaaina” deals

A “Kamaaina” may be considered to be someone who currently lives in Hawaii. Many businesses in Hawaii offer a “Kamaaina rate.”

For locals, this is an often sizable discount which is primarily offered at restaurants, hotels, and tourist attractions. This policy has broadened over time to include long-term residents, as well. If you lived on the island for a decade or longer, this discount will commonly be applied.

But for new residents, just make sure you get your Hawaiian license ASAP. Many merchants today offer these “kamaaina discounts” to anyone with a local ID.

Enjoy the island life!

It’s tough to be hobby-less when you’re living like a true Hawaiian local. You can admire the spectacular sunsets, roam the beautiful beaches or even learn how to become a world-class surfer (yeah right).

Our final tip for moving to Hawaii? Soak it in!

If you’ve completed this checklist, kick back and relax —  it’s time to let the hard work pay off.

Ready to transport your car with Montway?

Our car shipping advisors are available by calling (888) 666-8929 to answer all your questions.

Get an instant quote
Get an instant quote