Moving to Hawaii

11 Things to Know When Moving to Hawaii

The warm and tropical weather is what attracts most people to Hawaii. From hidden waterfalls to volcanic landscapes, Hawaii can be a great adventure for many. It is the only island state located outside North America, and the only state in the tropics. Tourism is the biggest industry in Hawaii, not only that, but its unique location also makes it a hub for sustainable living entrepreneurship, marine research, and environmental technology.

Hawaii’s adventurous lifestyle is one of the main reasons why it is known as the happiest state in the country. Before moving to Hawaii, there are several things that you need to consider and prepare for. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Hawaii.


What to Know Before you Move to Hawaii

1. Before you Arrive in Hawaii

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Hawaii, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Hawaii, look for good reviews, a professional-looking website and years of experience.


Forward your mail

If you are moving to Hawaii permanently and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding will allow your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.


Sell or donate items you won’t need in Hawaii

Life in Hawaii can be expensive, some extra cash from selling out stuff that you will not be needing can help you out with the moving expenses. For example, the weather in Hawaii is warm and tropical so you will not be needing winter clothes there. You can simply put your items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or donate them to your local charitable organization.


2. First Steps When Arriving in Hawaii

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Hawaii like The DMV and your voter registration (see next section on driver’s license).

You should also change your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.


Exchange your driver’s license and register your vehicle

You will have 30 days to exchange your non-Hawaiian driver’s license. During these 30 days, you may continue to use your current license issued by another state. To exchange your driver’s license for a Hawaii-issued one after the 30 days, you will need to book an appointment online and fill in this driver’s license application form in which you can also update your voter registration. You will also have to give in your previous driver’s license. If you do not have it with you, you may have to undergo a short theory exam and road test.


Consider getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you won’t have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the US and so the state of Hawaii proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Hawaii as your state and create an account.

Consider getting home insurance

Home insurance is not mandatory in Hawaii. However, if your property is mortgaged with a lender, the lending company may contractually obligate you to purchase insurance to safeguard the amount outstanding on the loan. Being surrounded by water, Hawaii does get hurricanes and floods and all sorts of natural disasters. So, if you want to avoid paying for the damages, consider getting home insurance that will cover the damage caused by natural disasters.


3. Best Places to Live in Hawaii

If you’re a couple, you might want to consider living in Maui. It is home to some of the most breathtaking views and top-rated restaurants.

If you’re a family, you might want to consider Waikele. Homes are much more affordable here as compared to other places and it has a big shopping mall as well.

If you’re single, you should consider moving to Honolulu. It is a vibrant city with a lot of rental property options available.


4. Housing and Renting in Hawaii

The cost of living in Hawaii is considered to be high, almost similar to that of San Francisco or New York. Finding a place to live, whether you’re looking to buy, or rent can be difficult as there is a lot of competition and the prices are high.

How to find an apartment in Hawaii

If you are looking for an apartment in Hawaii, these sites will help you out:

How to find a house in Hawaii

These websites will help you find a house in Hawaii


5. How to Set Up Utilities in Hawaii

Electricity, water, and gas in Hawaii

Hawaii has various electricity providers such as:

Electricity bills in Hawaii are the highest in the US. To set up electricity in Hawaii, you can visit the websites of the electricity suppliers listed above, fill out the required information or you can contact them by calling the numbers on their contact page. For water supply, you can reach out to the Board of Water Supply. For gas set up, see set up instructions on the Hawaii Gas Company’s website.


Internet and cell phone in Hawaii

Hawaii has good internet at reasonable prices and speeds. You may need satellite internet if you live further away from the main cities. To save money on the internet and your cell phone plan, it’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. The best internet providers in Hawaii will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Hawaii

The average cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii is $4625 per month. The cost of each individual expense is listed below:



Rent – Mortgage


Utilities (gas, water, electricity, phone, internet)






Insurance  (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Bestplaces, Payscale, Numbeo, Expatisan

Living in Honolulu

7. What’s the Weather like in Hawaii?

The weather in Hawaii is quite consistent with only little changes in temperature throughout the year. There are only two seasons in Hawaii, winter (from November to April) and Summer (from May to October). 

The average winter temperature is 78° and the average summer temperature is 85°. Rainfalls are expected from November to March.


8. How to Get Around in Hawaii?

There are various ways to get around in Hawaii. The options vary from island to island. Most people enjoy taking the bus to explore Hawaii. However, you can also opt for taxis, shuttles, and ride-sharing apps. Having a car is required on some smaller islands as they don’t have the most convenient bus system. You can always rent a car if you don’t want to purchase one.

If you really want to explore Hawaii, you can either take a hike, walk your way through or take a cruise or ferry.


9. Where to Shop and Eat after Moving to Hawaii?

If you are looking for a convenient grocery shopping experience, you can try out these grocery stores in Hawaii: 

    • Foodland Supermarket 
    • Safeway 
    • Whole Foods

2 most popular big chain stores are Costco and Walmart.

Popular fast food places include Romy’s Kahuku Prawns Shrimp Hut and Rainbow Drive-In.


10. What’s There to Do in Hawaii?

If you are looking for an adventure, Diamond Head park is famous for its fun hiking trails with amazing views. The view at the top is worth the hike. The Pearl Harbor tour is an experience that one should not miss when in Hawaii. It is Hawaii’s #1 attraction. 

Locals in Hawaii spend their weekends sightseeing, playing golf, swimming, and surfing.

11. Fun Facts About Hawaii

  • Hawaii is the only state in the US which is composed entirely of islands. 
  • Surfing was invented in Hawaii.
  • It is considered rude to refuse to wear a lei flower if someone offers it.

Special Mention!

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