Making the switch to island life can be one of the best decisions you ever make but it’s not for everyone. There are a number of factors to consider before packing up all your stuff and making the move. In this article we’ll cover some basic things to look at before deciding if the move is right for you. If you’re coming from stateside there are fewer hurdles you have to jump compared to moving internationally to Hawaii.
There are a number of great reasons to move to Hawaii. First and foremost, the islands are a tropical paradise. You can swim in the ocean year-round, don’t need to wear a jacket even in the middle of Winter and the Sun shines just about every day. When you move to Hawaii you’re literally living where people go for holidays.
Hawaii also has an amazing culture. When you’re living here things tend to slow down. Island time is real and with it comes lower stress levels and more enjoyment in life.
If you’re an outdoor person than Hawaii is full of hiking trails, volcanos and of course beaches where you can swim, surf, sail and much more.
Hawaii like everywhere isn’t perfect for everyone so there are some things you need to look at before making the move.
While Hawaii is a paradise it still has many of the same problems as other places in America. There is still crime in Hawaii, there will be people you don’t get along with and drug problems still exist as well. If you’re coming to Hawaii and expecting everything to be perfect than you can only be letdown.
The cost of living here is also high. The islands are small and not getting any bigger so property prices are high. On top of high property prices with limited area for agriculture everything needs to be shipped to the islands so you can expect to pay a little more for just about everything on the island compared to stateside.
Expect things to take a little longer in Hawaii. If you’re use to the hustle and bustle of places like New York or Los Angeles then Hawaii can be a bit of a shock to the system. We walk a little slower, talk a little slower and don’t rush unless we have to. You’ll often find us cruising at 35 miles an hour enjoying the views rather than sitting right on the speed limit while we’re driving.
If you have decided you want to make the move here than one of the most important things to consider is which island you want to move to. Each of the islands has its own personality and the residents of each island act a little differently. We’ve included the 4 main islands people choose when moving to Hawaii.
Oahu: With around a million residents Oahu is the most populated island in Hawaii. The hustle and bustle in Honolulu is similar to many other cities throughout the US and with more job opportunities and higher salaries Oahu is the most common island people move to when coming to Hawaii.
Maui: A larger island than Oahu but with only 10% of the population. Compared to other islands Maui is still a fairly fast paced island although finding a job can be more difficult than on Oahu.
Kauai: Kauai definitely has more of a small town vibe about it than the previous islands and with only around 70’000 inhabitants it seems like everyone knows everyone. Most of the residents on Kauai live on the coast and much of the interior is made up of impassable terrain.
The Big Island: As the name suggests the Big Island is the largest island in the chain. With around 200’000 residents it actually feels more like Kauai than Oahu due to everyone being more spread out. The West Coast is where most of the work is located (tourism based mainly) and traffic can be bad in the mornings and afternoons as many people drive to the East coast for work before returning home in the afternoon.
If you’re moving with a pet you have a few more hoops to jump through before you’re allowed in. Hawaii is an island nation with unique flora and fauna that needs protecting so stringent quarantine rules apply when bringing in a pet. The full list of requirements can be quite complicated but the following requirements are necessary:
There are 3 quarantine options and each has specific requirements that need to be completed to qualify. There is a DAR (direct airport release) option, a 5 day or less option or a 120 day quarantine option. Too see which one you would qualify for visit here.
When moving to Hawaii be prepared to pay a lot for property. The islands are small and large parts are unhabitable so land prices are understandably high. If you're planning on buying or renting here expect high prices