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If you grow up in the midwest you know that the being in the middle of anything, is still the middle of nowhere. Sure, the cost of living is some of the best in the nation but the summers are the hottest of hot, and the winters are cold for nothin'. It rarely snows and the hopes of a "Winter Wonderland" are preceded by a short love affair with Autumn who brings you 2 months of fiery red and yellow trees and Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. The one on cold, grey morning you wake up and she's gone. Enter seasonal depression.

moving to hawaii guide

It was truly winter that ran me out town, coupled by the fact of knowing it doesn't have to be this way. I grew up in Jefferson City, MO with a divorced Missouri Born Father and Hawaii Born Mother. The seasonal depression thing was either learned or genetic because I watched my mom suffer through each winter, separated not only from the sun and sea but from her family as well. If we were lucky, we would make it to Hawaii every other year for vacation and that contrast between a Missouri winter and just "every day in Hawaii" implanted an idea in my head I was never able to shake... As soon as I get the chance, I'm outta here. I'm going to live in Hawaii.

It's been 14 years in Hawaii now and I've never looked back. What I do look back on is a pattern that has persisted in my family for 3 generations; moving to, moving out of, and moving back to Hawaii.  My mom's side of the family is of Filipino & Hawaiian descent and nearly all of them live in Hawaii today. My mom's mom, my grandma, grew up poor in the Central Oahu town of Wahiawa, home to Schofield Barracks Army Base Hawaii.

Like many young girls in her time, she met my Missouri born grandpa while he was was stationed at Schofield Barracks Hawaii and after a short period of dating, the old cliche of "go with the white man and have a better life" would ultimately see my Hawaii-born grandma with a new life in Missouri. The "better life" portion of that cliche didn't quite pencil out to permanence, and my grandma would later find her way back to Hawaii, separated from my Grandpa, but now with 3 young daughters. 

My mom and her sisters would spend their entire childhoods moving back and forth between Hawaii and Missouri; going many years without seeing the other parent. Oddly, the same pattern would persist for me and my siblings as well. So if you're truly considering the move to Hawaii, take it from an Expert!

Before You Move to Hawaii

There are many people out there interested in adopting Hawaii life, whether they have visions of waking up to waves crashing in the distance or access to a slower-paced lifestyle.

Living in Hawaii has its perks, including year-round warm weather and access to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the world. The island lifestyle is laid-back and relaxed, and there is a strong sense of community and connection to the land.

One of the best things about life in Hawaii is the abundance of outdoor activities available, a stark contrast from my upbringing in Missouri and priceless amenities I'm not willing to give up! Whether you enjoy surfing, snorkeling, hiking, or simply soaking up the sun on the beach, Hawaii has something for everyone. The state is also home to a number of national parks and conservation areas, which offer opportunities for exploring the unique flora and fauna of the islands.

The Hawaiian Sun

Being surrounded by water means you've got unobstructed views of the horizon which makes the Hawaii sunset or sunrise very hard to beat. The sky explodes with color every morning and evening with vibrant orange, yellows, pinks, and blues and the best part, it's free!

sunset oahu  sunset oahu
In terms of culture, Hawaii is a melting pot of influences from its native Polynesian culture, as well as from the various ethnic groups that have settled on the islands over the years. This diversity is reflected in the food, music, and art of Hawaii, and makes for a rich and vibrant cultural experience.

Of course, living in Hawaii also has its challenges. The cost of living can be high, especially in terms of housing and groceries. The islands are also isolated from the mainland, which can make it difficult to access certain goods and services.

But what do you really know about living in Hawaii? There are things you should know before any potential move to Hawaii, so that you’re making the right choice based on the right reasons. Let’s take a look at what the island lifestyle is really like, and all the things to know before you make the move to Hawaii.

moving to hawaii

Crime in Hawaii

Hawaii is often thought of as a tropical paradise, but like any other place, it has its share of crime. While the state has a lower crime rate compared to the rest of the country, there are still incidents of crime that occur on the islands.

According to the FBI's most recent data, the overall crime rate in Hawaii is lower than the national average. In 2018, the state had a violent crime rate of 2.1 incidents per 1,000 people, compared to a national average of 3.7 incidents. The property crime rate in Hawaii was also lower than the national average, at 19.6 incidents per 1,000 people compared to 29.1 incidents.

However, certain types of crime are more common in Hawaii than others. One of the biggest concerns in the state is the high rate of drug abuse, particularly the use of crystal methamphetamine. In 2018, there were over 1,000 drug abuse violations reported in Hawaii, with nearly half of them involving methamphetamine. This has led to an increase in drug-related crime, including theft and violence.

Another area of concern in Hawaii is property crime, such as theft and vandalism. In 2018, there were over 12,000 incidents of theft reported in the state, with an average value of $606 per incident. There were also over 2,000 incidents of vandalism reported, with an average damage cost of $739 per incident.

Overall, while the crime rate in Hawaii is lower than the national average, it is still important for residents and visitors alike to take precautions to protect themselves and their property. This includes being aware of your surroundings, locking your doors and windows, and not leaving valuable items unattended. By taking these simple steps, you can help keep yourself and your community safe in Hawaii.

Tips to stay safe

It’s also important to note that Hawaii safety isn’t only about Hawaii crime statistics. The natural wonders on the islands are beautiful and should be explored, but there are common sense tips everyone should follow when they’re out there having adventures:

When on a hike, stay on designated paths. You aren’t only risking your own safety when you blaze your own trail, you may be affecting local habitats, as well. The good news? Hawaii has no natural predators(on land); not even snakes! We can't say the same for the ocean but shark attacks are very rare. 

Wear sun protection, even when the weather calls for a rainy day. The weather in Hawaii is unpredictable.

Pay attention to posted signage, particularly around cliffs and overlooks. Those signs are likely warning you where the limit is as far as your selfie-taking.

Protect yourself from mosquitoes and other biting pests, particularly in the summer months when they’re most active.

The ocean is wonderful, but it can also be dangerous. Be aware of regular ocean activity, like rip currents and changing tides. Watch the waves facing the waves, so that you’re not surprised by a sneaker wave coming to shore. If you’re not a strong swimmer, don’t push it. Swim at beaches with lifeguards present and practice the buddy system.

Transportation in Hawaii

hawaii transportation

Despite some improvements in public transportation and bus systems on at least some of the islands, the Hawaiian islands remain very car-centric. That means anything you’ve likely heard about Hawaii traffic, particularly on Oahu, is true. Avoiding rush hour times is key if you’re wanting to cut your travel time in any significant way.  

If you need to travel between islands, the easiest way to do that is to catch a regional flight from one island to the next. Those on Maui will have access to Molokai or Lanai on two different passenger ferries, as well.

Cost of Living in Hawaii

The pleasure of living in paradise comes at a cost, and if you’re not doing your research before a move, you can experience some sticker shock after moving to Hawaii. The Hawaii cost of living is some of the highest in the United States, with Honolulu topping most lists of the country’s priciest cities.

If you’re looking to purchase real estate in Hawaii, your moving costs will vary considerably depending on location and home size. The Oahu real estate market is the most intense since this is the state's most populous island. Median home prices are still near record highs, despite population drops in recent years. As of March 2023, the median single-family home price on Oahu was $987,000 -- down 12% from the year prior while the and the median condo price on Oahu was $480,000 -- down 3.4% from the year prior. 

oahu real estateVisit our comprensive guide to learn everything you need to know about the Oahu Real Estate Market in 2023. Enjoy Neighorborhood Tours and Real Estate insights via our Living in Hawaii Youtube Series and dive into one of our many blogs about Hawaii's most buzzworthy real estate topics like Short Term Rentals, New Construction Homes, Beachfront Properties, and Hawaii Real Estate Investing.

Certainly there are options for housing well below those numbers, but scarcity is something to contend with on the islands. Hawaii remains a very desirable place to live despite the cost of moving to Hawaii, on top of existing housing shortages.

As far as Hawaii homes for rent, you’ll find studios on Oahu starting around the $1,300/month mark in more rural areas with studios on the high end netting upwards of $2600+/mo in luxury condos in Kakaako. Proximity to the beach, views, and access to additional amenities will certainly drive up rental costs, with the average rental price on the island around the $2,000/month mark.

When considering job prospects on the islands, it’s important to understand the biggest local industries. Tourism is the largest economic driver in the islands. Hawaii also has a strong military presence, with branches of nearly all aspects of the military represented on the islands. Agriculture, the fishing industry and manufacturing all round out an economy propped up by the millions of visitors who come to the islands each year. 


The state also has a high-quality healthcare system, most of which is situated on the island of Oahu. Hawaii has a number of hospitals and medical facilities that provide a range of services to residents and visitors.

One of the largest hospitals in Hawaii is The Queen's Medical Center, which is located in Honolulu. The Queen's Medical Center is a nonprofit, acute care hospital that provides a wide range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialty care. The hospital is also home to the Queen's Medical Center West Oahu, which offers primary and specialty care services to residents of the Leeward Coast.

Another major hospital in Hawaii is The Kuakini Medical Center, which is located in Honolulu. The Kuakini Medical Center is a nonprofit, acute care hospital that offers a range of services, including emergency care, surgery, and rehabilitation. The hospital is also home to the Kuakini Geriatric Care, which provides specialized care for older adults.

Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, commonly known as Kapiolani Hospital, is a hospital located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is the only hospital in Hawaii that is exclusively dedicated to the care of women, infants, and children. The hospital offers a range of services, including neonatal intensive care, pediatric care, and maternity care.

Tripler Army Medical Center, commonly known as Tripler Hospital, is a hospital located in Honolulu, Hawaii. The hospital is operated by the United States Army and serves as the main military hospital for the Pacific region. Tripler Hospital offers a range of services, including emergency care, surgery, and rehabilitation. The hospital also serves as a teaching facility for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

In addition to these larger hospitals, Hawaii also has a number of smaller medical facilities that provide essential healthcare services to residents. These facilities include community health centers, urgent care clinics, and primary care clinics, which serve a variety of patients and communities.


Tourism is the largest industry in Hawaii, accounting for a significant portion of the state's economy. In 2018, the state welcomed over 9 million visitors, who spent a total of $17.5 billion during their stay. The tourism industry supports a wide range of businesses and jobs, including hotels, restaurants, and retail shops.

Agriculture is another important industry in Hawaii, with the state being a major producer of coffee, sugarcane, and pineapples. In addition to these crops, Hawaii also grows a variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers for local and export markets. The agriculture industry supports thousands of jobs and contributes to the state's economy.

Hawaii is also home to a number of technology companies and research institutions, which have helped to establish the state as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. The tech industry in Hawaii is growing, with many companies choosing to locate on the islands due to the state's favorable business climate and access to a skilled workforce.

The military also plays a significant role in Hawaii's economy, with several military bases located on the islands. In addition, the state is home to a number of defense contractors, which provide goods and services to the military.

Can I bring my pet to Hawaii?

The state’s Animal Industry Division FAQ's will give you all the information you need about bringing your pet to Hawaii, but generally, expect to have updated vaccinations, including recent rabies shots for your pet, to avoid lengthy quarantine requirements on the Hawaiian islands. Check out our related post Moving to Hawaii with Pets.

Shipping A Car to Hawaii

How can I ship my car to Hawaii?

Shipping your car to Hawaii can be done through various shipping companies that specialize in transporting vehicles across the ocean. Contact a reputable shipping company, get a quote, and follow their guidelines for preparing your car for shipment. Here's a few common vendors that people use to ship a car to Hawaii:

The cost of shipping a car to Hawaii can vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the car, the distance it needs to be shipped, and the type of shipping method used. On average, however, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 to ship a car to Hawaii.

The size of the car will play a role in determining the cost, as larger cars will require more space on the shipping vessel and may be more expensive to transport. Additionally, the distance the car needs to be shipped will also affect the cost, as longer distances will typically require more fuel and may be more expensive.

The type of shipping method used can also impact the cost of shipping a car to Hawaii. There are two main options for car shipping: container shipping and roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) shipping. Container shipping involves placing the car in a container and loading it onto a cargo ship. This is a good option if you want to ship other items with your car, or if you want added security during the shipping process. RoRo shipping, on the other hand, involves driving the car onto the ship and securing it for the journey. This is a faster and more affordable option, but it does not offer the same level of protection as container shipping.

About Hawaii

When did Hawaii become a state?

Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959, but locals were able to retain some of their independence following statehood. In 1978, the Hawaiian language became the state’s official language, the only state where English is not the only official language. The current Hawaiian alphabet only has 13 letters, by the way, five of which are vowels. That makes all of those long Hawaiian words that much more impressive.

To ensure you’re ahead of the others at your next trivia game, here are a few more fast Hawaii facts:

State nickname: Hawaii is known as the Aloha State. Aloha, by the way, is more a way of life than anything else, the idea of living with a respect for others.

State motto: The state motto of Hawaii is “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka 'Aina i ka Pono,” which translates to “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” You’ll find the motto on the official state seal.

State flower: Hawaii’s state flower is the yellow hibiscus, also known as the Hawaiian hibiscus.

State tree: The state tree of Hawaii is the Kukui Tree, or candlenut in some circles. Hawaiians have numerous uses for kukui nuts, from condiments for their poke to ink for their tattoos to leis from the shells.

State mammal: Hawaii’s state mammal is the Hawaiian monk seal, but the state has an additional state marine mammal, as well. The humpback whale boasts that title.

Where is Hawaii?

where is hawaii?

Hawaii is the only state without any physical connection to North America, an island-state surrounded by the waters of the Pacific Ocean more than 2,300 miles away from the mainland United States.

How big is Hawaii?

The Hawaiian islands have an area of 10,931 square miles. Looking at a Hawaiian islands map, you’ll certainly notice some differences in size among the main landforms that make up the island-state. There are eight main islands that make up the Hawaiian islands: Ni?ihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kaho?olawe, Maui, and Hawai?i, or as it’s more commonly known, the “Big Island.”

The Big Island is, predictably, the largest Hawaiian island, at 4,028 square miles.

The Hawaiian islands are actually made up of volcanic islands, which sounds scary until you realize living among Hawaii volcanoes is a way of life for locals. While scientists are not yet able to predict when a volcano will erupt, the volcanoes in Hawaii are of the type that do not erupt violently but produce slow-moving lava flows, instead. Where lava will flow following an eruption is easier to predict, as scientists can look at the topography surrounding a lava flow to generally determine its direction. 

That doesn’t mean living in Hawaii is free from risk when it comes to the volcanoes. Hawaii boasts two of the most active volcanoes in the world: Kilauea and Mauna Loa, both on the Big Island. Mauna Loa is actually the largest volcano in the world, but Kilauea has been more active in recent years.

The last eruption by Kilauea that caused a mass evacuation was in 2018, an event that destroyed hundreds of homes. Kilauea erupted again in December 2020, sending ash into the sky but allowing most residents to stay put. 

Despite the danger, Hawaii’s volcanoes bring tourists from all over the world to get up close and personal with active volcanoes and lava fields. See them for yourself at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Take a scenic drive around the crater, or if you’re more adventurous, tackle one of a number of hikes across the lava fields to some impressive geological diversity.

What time is it in Hawaii?

Hawaii observes Hawaii Standard Time (HST). The state does not observe daylight savings time, a positive for most who don’t enjoy those biannual time changes.

What are the demographics in Hawaii?

The state is racially diverse, with the largest racial group being White (24.7%), followed by Asian (38.6%), Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander (10.3%), Two or More Races (26.5%), and Hispanic or Latino (8.9%).

Hawaii also has a diverse ethnic makeup, with the largest ethnic groups being Japanese (24.7%), Filipino (21.5%), and Chinese (10.4%). Other significant ethnic groups include Native Hawaiian (8.9%), Korean (5.5%), and Hispanic or Latino (4.8%).

In terms of religion, the largest religious group in Hawaii is Christian (57.2%), followed by Buddhist (11.3%), and No Religion (8.8%). Other significant religious groups include Catholic (6.7%), Other Religions (6.3%), and Hindu (1.1%).

Hawaii has a relatively young population, with a median age of 38.8 years. The state also has a higher proportion of females compared to males, with women making up 51.4% of the population.

How many people live in Hawaii?

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Hawaii as of 2019 was estimated to be 1,420,491.  About two-thirds of that population live on the island of Oahu, home to Hawaii’s capital of Honolulu. Population growth on the islands has trended upward since 2010, with recent swings downward since about 2018. Experts point to the average cost of living in Hawaii as one reason why population numbers have declined in recent years.

How is the weather in Hawaii?

weather in hawaiiHawaii weather is a big reason why it’s a bucket list destination for many. With moderate temperatures that don’t experience much change throughout the year, a visit to Hawaii is generally safe weather-wise no matter the time of year. 

That doesn’t mean there are no variations. Hawaii does have both a wet and dry season. April through October is Hawaii’s dry season, or summer. November through March is Hawaii’s wet season, or winter. If you’re into surfing, you’ll want to travel during those winter months, as that’s when you’ll get the biggest waves.

The climate in Hawaii is a tropical one. Severe weather is most often limited to a handful of heavy storms in the winter months, and the occasional Kona storm. Kona storms are technically extratropical cyclones, which just means they have a cold core. Kona storms can bring heavy rain, high winds and hail, which can lead to problems with flash flooding in affected areas. The Hawaiian islands get an average of two to three Kona storms per winter, with some seasons seeing none at all.

Hawaii is relatively protected from the most extreme weather. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are generally rare, and hurricanes don’t usually make landfall in Hawaii thanks to the cooler waters that surround the island. The last hurricane that made landfall in Hawaii was Hurricane Iniki in 1992, although hurricanes that make it close will bring inclement weather like heavy rains.

A Little Hawaiian History

how to move to hawaii

Hawaii’s history is as colorful as the floral offerings you’ll find on the islands. 

Somewhere between 124 and 1120, the islands were settled by Polynesians, who found Hawaii using the stars as their only navigation system. Their history was an oral one, so what we know about their time on the island is limited until 1778. This is when British explorer Captain James Cook came upon the islands, specifically Waimea Bay on Kauai. Cook renamed the Hawaiian islands the Sandwich Islands, not because he found them delicious, but after the Earl of Sandwich. 

Years of interactions, even clashes, with explorers followed, until Hawaii became an independently ruled kingdom in 1810. The annexation of Hawaii by the United States happened by 1898, but it would be years before Hawaii was recognized as a U.S. state, even well after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

What are the Pros and Cons of Moving to Hawaii?

living in hawaii

Now that you have a background about Hawaii and what living in Hawaii may look like, let’s sum up the pros and cons of moving to Hawaii to help you make your decision.

Pro: Hawaii’s natural resources make it one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Con: You pay a premium for all of that beauty. Hawaii has a high cost of living.

Pro: The mild climate makes Hawaii a year-round destination.

Con: It can feel isolating living on an island if you don’t embrace it.

Pro: Moving to Hawaii is an adventure, and you’ll be the envy of everyone you know if you take the dive and do it.

Con: Being the envy of everyone you know means those visitors you’ll get will never want to leave!

Pro: Honolulu, Hawaii is often revered as one the healthiest cities in the nation and with so much to do outdoors, your health could surely benefit from moving here. 

Con: Moving to Hawaii generally means that close family and friends get left behind somewhere else. The distance can put a strain on family and social connections, especially given the cost of travel. 

So what’s it like living in Hawaii? It’s incredible. Hawaii is a paradise that boasts many perks, but it’s important to have all of the information about real Hawaii life before making the move. Now that you do and are considering a Hawaii move with an informed mind, you may find that any negatives are far outweighed by the magic that is Hawaii.

The Art of the Move

When thinking about how to move to Hawaii from the mainland, you’ll likely need to look into shipping many of your belongings. Moving to Hawaii shipping costs will vary depending on what you’re shipping, how much you’re bringing along with you, and the distance between Hawaii and where you’re coming from. Moving to Hawaii from California will likely cost you less than moving from the East Coast, for example, and shipping your car will add to the expense, as well. It may make sense to downsize a bit if you can, or find a home that includes some furnishings to help you save on the move.

Hawaii overall is a very pet-friendly state, particularly if you’re moving to Hawaii with dogs. You’ll find a number of dog-friendly beaches, green spaces and boarding facilities to choose from once you’re there with your furry friend. It’s important to understand that moving to Hawaii with pets will require some additional steps before enjoying those amenities, though.

What should I know about the lifestyle in Hawaii?

The lifestyle in Hawaii is laid-back and focused on outdoor activities, family, and community. Emphasis is placed on enjoying nature, spending time with loved ones, and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the islands.

Do Hawaii people like outsiders?

Hawaii has a very hospitable culture but it is very much a place of "you get out what you put in." If you put negative energy and bad behavior into the environment, as an outsider, you're going to see it come back quick. It's important to learn the culture, the customs, and the sensitivities of locals in Hawaii and in doing so, we're confident you'll enjoy living here. 

What is the culture like in Hawaii?

Hawaiian culture is a rich blend of indigenous Hawaiian traditions, Asian influences, and Western customs. It is characterized by the Aloha spirit, which emphasizes kindness, compassion, and a deep respect for nature and community.

How is the weather in Hawaii?

Hawaii has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The islands have two main seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March).

What types of jobs are available in Hawaii?

Hawaii's job market is diverse, with opportunities in tourism, healthcare, education, construction, agriculture, and more. However, competition can be high, so it's important to have relevant skills and experience.

What is the average income in Hawaii?

The median household income in Hawaii is around $81,000, but this can vary depending on the island and occupation.

How does the cost of living in Hawaii compare to the mainland?

The cost of living in Hawaii is higher than on the mainland due to factors such as housing, food, transportation, and utilities.

What is the average price of a condo in Hawaii?

The average price of a condo in Hawaii varies depending on the island and location. In 2023, the median condo price on Oahu was around $480,000, but this number may have changed since then.

How can I buy land in Hawaii?

To buy land in Hawaii, work with a local Hawaii real estate agent who can guide you through the process of finding suitable properties, negotiating prices, and handling the necessary paperwork. You'll likely be required at least 30% down payment and you'll want to get versed with Land Loans in Hawaii as they're typically very short terms with higher interest rates. 

What are the property taxes like in Hawaii?

Hawaii has relatively low property tax rates compared to other states. However, rates can vary depending on the island and the value of the property. Learn more about Honolulu Property Taxes on our blog.

What are some popular things to do in Hawaii?

Popular activities in Hawaii include surfing, hiking, snorkeling, visiting historical sites, attending cultural events, and exploring the diverse natural beauty of the islands.

What are some important things to know before moving to Hawaii?

Before moving to Hawaii, research the cost of living, job market, housing options, and cultural differences. Be prepared for a slower-paced lifestyle, limited shopping options, and a strong emphasis on community and nature.

Who are some famous people from Hawaii?

Some famous individuals from Hawaii include Barack Obama, Bette Midler, Jason Momoa, and BJ Penn.

How does the military presence impact life in Hawaii?

The military presence in Hawaii has a significant impact on the local economy and job market. Military bases provide job opportunities, and military personnel contribute to the local communities. However, there can be traffic congestion around bases and concerns about land use and environmental impacts. 

What military bases are in Hawaii?

Here are the major military bases in Hawaii:

  • Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam
    • Pearl Harbor Naval Base
    • Hickam Air Force Base
  • Schofield Barracks (U.S. Army)
  • Fort Shafter (U.S. Army)
  • Marine Corps Base Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay)
  • Camp H.M. Smith (U.S. Marine Corps)
  • Wheeler Army Airfield (U.S. Army)
  • Tripler Army Medical Center (U.S. Army)
  • NCTAMS PAC Wahiawa (U.S. Navy)
  • Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (U.S. Navy)
  • Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point (U.S. Coast Guard)

Check our blog if you're planning to PCS to Hawaii and want to learn more about your new duty station, the neighborhoods closeby, and kind of lifestyle to expect!

What are the main differences between the Hawaiian islands?

Each Hawaiian island has unique features and attractions.

  • Oahu is the most populous and developed, with urban centers like Honolulu.
  • Maui is known for its luxurious resorts and the famous Road to Hana.
  • Kauai is lush and less developed, with natural attractions like the Na Pali Coast.
  • The Big Island is the largest and has diverse landscapes, including active volcanoes and black sand beaches.

What should I know about living on Oahu?

Oahu is the most populous island and has a mix of urban and rural living options. It offers a range of job opportunities, cultural events, and attractions. However, traffic can be a concern, and the cost of living is high.

What is unique about living on Kauai?

Kauai, known as the Garden Isle, is less populated than Oahu and Maui. It offers a more rural, laid-back lifestyle with a focus on nature and outdoor activities. Job opportunities are more limited, and the cost of living is still high.

What can I expect from life on Maui?

Maui offers a mix of tourist-driven areas and more remote, rural communities. It is known for its luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, and the famous Road to Hana. The cost of living is high, and job opportunities may be more limited than on Oahu.

What are the pros and cons of living on the Big Island?

The Big Island has diverse landscapes, including active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and lush rainforests. There are more affordable housing options compared to other islands, but job opportunities can be limited, and the island is more spread out, requiring a car for transportation.

What should I know about living on Lanai?

Lanai is a small, sparsely populated island with a single town, Lanai City. It offers a rural, relaxed lifestyle, but job opportunities and amenities are limited.

What is the history and significance of Kahoolawe?

Kahoolawe is the smallest of the eight main Hawaiian islands. It has a history of use as a military bombing range and is now uninhabited. Access is restricted, and the island is undergoing environmental restoration efforts.

Does anyone live on Niihau?

Niihau is a privately owned island with limited access. It is known as the "Forbidden Isle" because only residents, invited guests, and those on approved tours can visit. The island is home to a small Native Hawaiian community that maintains traditional ways of life.

How can I find a job in Hawaii before moving there?

To find a job in Hawaii before moving, start by searching online job boards and networking with professionals in your field. Consider contacting a local recruiter or reaching out to companies directly. Keep in mind that the job market can be competitive, so be prepared to be patient and persistent.

What industries are most prevalent in Hawaii?

The most prevalent industries in Hawaii include tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, military, and construction. Healthcare and education are also significant sectors.

How does the cost of living vary between the islands?

The cost of living varies between the islands, with Oahu and Maui typically being the most expensive, followed by Kauai and the Big Island. Remote islands like Lanai and Niihau have even fewer amenities and can be more expensive for basic goods due to transportation costs.

What are the average rental prices in Hawaii?

Average rental prices in Hawaii vary depending on the island and location. In 2023, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment on Oahu was around $1,800 per month, but this number may have changed since then. Prices can be lower or higher depending on the specific area and type of rental. Check out homes for rent on Oahu here.

What should I consider when buying a home in Hawaii?

When buying a home in Hawaii, consider factors such as location, proximity to amenities, local property taxes, and potential natural hazards like flooding or volcanic activity. Working with a local real estate agent can help you navigate the market and find the right property. If you're planning on moving to Oahu, here's everything you need to understand about Oahu Real Estate.

Are there any specific taxes I should be aware of when living in Hawaii?

Hawaii residents are subject to federal and state income taxes, as well as general excise taxes on goods and services. Property taxes in Hawaii are generally lower than in other states, but they vary depending on the island and property value.

What are some popular outdoor activities in Hawaii?

Popular outdoor activities in Hawaii include hiking, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, and whale watching.

Are there any cultural customs I should be aware of when moving to Hawaii?

When moving to Hawaii, it's essential to respect local customs and traditions. The Aloha spirit is central to Hawaiian culture, emphasizing kindness, compassion, and community. Be open to learning about the local history and culture, and engage with the community in a respectful manner.

What is the main language spoken in Hawaii?

English is the primary language spoken in Hawaii. However, Hawaiian is also an official language of the state, and many residents speak Pidgin, a local creole language.

How can I learn more about the history of Hawaii?

To learn more about the history of Hawaii, visit local museums, cultural centers, and historical sites. Books, documentaries, and local experts can also provide valuable insights into Hawaii's rich history. Visiting Bishop Museum is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Hawaii. 

Who are some historical figures from Hawaii?

Some historical figures from Hawaii include King Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian islands under his rule; Queen Liliuokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom; and Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic swimmer and the "father of modern surfing."

What is the significance of the military in Hawaii's history?

The military has played a significant role in Hawaii's history, from the establishment of Pearl Harbor as a naval base in the early 1900s to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which led to the United States' entry into World War II. Today, the military presence remains substantial, with numerous bases and installations throughout the islands.

How do the Hawaiian islands differ in terms of landscape and geography? 

The Hawaiian islands have diverse landscapes and geography, ranging from the lush rainforests and waterfalls of Kauai to the volcanic landscapes of the Big Island. Each island has its own unique features, including beautiful beaches, towering mountains, and dramatic cliffs.

What are some must-see attractions on Oahu?

Must-see attractions on Oahu include Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, and the North Shore.

What are the top attractions on Kauai?

Top attractions on Kauai include the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay, and the Wailua River.

What are some popular destinations on Maui?

Popular destinations on Maui include the Road to Hana, Haleakala National Park, Lahaina, Kaanapali Beach, and Iao Valley State Park.

What are the must-visit attractions on the Big Island?

Must-visit attractions on the Big Island include Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Kea Observatory, Akaka Falls, and the black sand beaches like Punalu'u Beach.

What is the best way to travel between the Hawaiian islands?

The best way to travel between the Hawaiian islands is typically by air, with several interisland airlines providing regular flights. There are also ferries available between some islands, such as Maui and Lanai. Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines provide most of the inter-island flights. 

How can I prepare for the cost of living in Hawaii?

To prepare for the cost of living in Hawaii, research housing costs, transportation, groceries, and other daily expenses. Create a budget based on your expected income and expenses, and consider ways to save money or supplement your income.

What are some challenges of living in Hawaii?

Challenges of living in Hawaii include the high cost of living, limited job opportunities, distance from the mainland, and natural hazards like hurricanes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity.

What are the best ways to meet new people and make friends in Hawaii?

To meet new people and make friends in Hawaii, consider joining local clubs, attending community events, volunteering, or participating in outdoor activities where you can connect with others who share your interests.

How can I find local information about schools, healthcare, and other services in Hawaii?

To find local information about schools, healthcare, and other services in Hawaii, consult online resources, local government websites, and community organizations. You can also connect with locals or expat groups on social media to ask for recommendations and advice.

Are there any specific health concerns I should be aware of when moving to Hawaii?

While Hawaii is generally a healthy place to live, be aware of potential health concerns such as sun exposure, mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, and potential hazards related to volcanic activity, like vog (volcanic smog).

What is the best way to find housing in Hawaii?

The best way to find housing in Hawaii is to work with a local real estate agent or property management company, search online rental listings, and connect with local residents for advice and recommendations.

What are some popular local foods in Hawaii?

Popular local foods in Hawaii include poke, loco moco, kalua pork, spam musubi, malasadas, and shave ice.

What are some tips for adjusting to the slower pace of life in Hawaii?

To adjust to the slower pace of life in Hawaii, embrace the Aloha spirit by practicing patience, kindness, and respect. Enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor activities available and take the time to connect with the local community and culture. If all else fails, just ask us!

How can I be more environmentally conscious when living in Hawaii?

To be more environmentally conscious in Hawaii, consider reducing your water and energy usage, recycling and composting, participating in beach cleanups, and supporting local conservation efforts. Be respectful of the natural environment and adhere to local guidelines and regulations when enjoying outdoor activities.

Are there specific etiquette rules I should be aware of when visiting sacred sites in Hawaii?

When visiting sacred sites in Hawaii, show respect by dressing modestly, staying on designated paths, not touching or removing any objects, and observing any posted guidelines or restrictions.

What is the public transportation system like in Hawaii?

Public transportation in Hawaii varies by island. On Oahu, TheBus provides extensive bus service throughout the island, including Honolulu. Honolulu is also working on the Honolulu Rail Transit project that will open it's first phase in 2023 from Ewa Beach to the Aloha Stadium area. On other islands, public transportation options may be more limited, and a car may be necessary for getting around.

 What is the climate like in Hawaii?

Hawaii has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The islands have two main seasons: the dry season (April to October) and the wet season (November to March). Microclimates exist across the islands, with variations in temperature and rainfall depending on elevation and location.

What is the average income in Hawaii?

As of 2019, the median household income in Hawaii was around $81,000, but this number may have changed since then. Keep in mind that the cost of living is higher in Hawaii, so salaries may be higher compared to other states.

What are some popular things to do on Lanai?

Popular things to do on Lanai include visiting Hulopoe Bay, exploring the Garden of the Gods, and golfing at the island's world-class golf courses.

What should I know about Kahoolawe?

Kahoolawe is an uninhabited Hawaiian island that was used as a military training ground for many years. Access to the island is strictly regulated, and it is primarily used for cultural and ecological restoration projects.


#1 By Brooklyn movers at 5/11/2022 -1:03 PM

Amazing blog! Thanks for writing and sharing this. I like how you touched on every important topic that is going to make your life easier when you move to Hawaii.

#2 By Valentino White at 2/15/2023 7:43 PM

Can I move to Hawaii and start over

#3 By Anthony at 5/23/2023 -1:56 PM

Great Blog. Very helpful. Would love to about renting rooms, being older, I am in a limited income. It has been my dream, like so many others, to live in Hawaii. I am 57, on disability but able to work part-time. Any helpful information would be appreciated.

#4 By Anthony at 5/23/2023 -1:56 PM

Great Blog. Very helpful. Would love to about renting rooms, being older, I am in a limited income. It has been my dream, like so many others, to live in Hawaii. I am 57, on disability but able to work part-time. Any helpful information would be appreciated.

#5 By Anthony Kelley at 5/23/2023 -1:56 PM

Great Blog. Very helpful. Would love to about renting rooms, being older, I am in a limited income. It has been my dream, like so many others, to live in Hawaii. I am 57, on disability but able to work part-time. Any helpful information would be appreciated.

#6 By Jim at 5/26/2023 9:43 AM

Would love to return to Honolulu. I know what you mean by "seasonal depression".

#7 By Move4less Nevada at 9/12/2023 6:59 AM

I appreciate how you explain all the important points that will help you have a better life when you move to Hawaii.

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