What to Know When Moving to Hawaii

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Each year, thousands of mainlanders plan the move over the ocean to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Even if you have moved frequently, moving to Hawaii offers some interesting moving challenges. Here’s what you need to know to make a smooth transition to paradise.

1. Plan carefully when moving with pets

Unlike the mainland, Hawaii is a rabies-free state, a condition they maintain with a serious pet arrival policy. You need to have excellent records of your pet’s vaccinations to present to the Animal Control Quarantine Facility. If your papers are not in order, expect your pet to be quarantined for a considerable length of time.

And, when making your flight plans to Hawaii, be sure to arrive before 3:30 pm if you want to take your pet home with you that night. Animal Control is open only from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, but won’t process pets after 3:30 pm. If your pet is held overnight, arrange to collect them before 10:00 am the next morning or pay an additional charge.

moving to hawaii

2. Moving to Hawaii is expensive, so downsize

Since your household possessions will be moved via container on a ship, moving costs will be high, very high. So, you will want to downsize, unless you can afford to pay more to move your items than your items are worth. In other words, pack like you would when you go on vacation, rather than for a move. And, if you aren’t sure that your move will be permanent, put possessions into a storage unit for a year.

Give your car the same consideration. Compare the value of your car to the cost of shipping it over. Chances are, it will be cheaper to sell your car on the mainland if you do not live on the West Coast and buy a new once you relocate to Hawaii.

3. Mail what you can

Given the high costs for moving to Hawaii, mail as many items as you can to lower your moving costs. For example, investigate US postal media rates for a cheaper option for moving educational materials, like your books.

4.  Move with reputable moving companies

There is an extraordinary number of moving scams that offer cheap rates moving to Hawaii. So, get the background on your movers. Get estimates from at least three companies, check each company’s business reputation thoroughly by calling the Better Business Bureau and asking each company for references, and get an in- home quote.

Don’t move yourself. It might seem like a bargain, keep in mind that professional movers know how to pack containers. Their packing expertise will likely save you money.

5. Hawaii may be more expensive

Hawaii might be paradise, but for most of us, our cost of living will go up. If you are moving with a job expect to have health insurance; if not, be aware that many jobs in Hawaii are part-time, so you’ll have to arrange for health insurance.

Housing will be more expensive, whether you want o buy or to rent, and it will likely be smaller square footage, less room in the yard, and so forth. Also, the price of gas and foodstuffs, along with entertainment other than the beach, can also put some pressure on your wallet. Budget carefully before you move.

Finally, when you move to Hawaii, everyone you love will be moving with you. Plan your move with the expectation that your friends and family will all come to visit.  It’s never too early to get into an aloha state of mind.