Hawaii is an amazing
place to live if you enjoy experiencing different world cultures, exploring unique
ecosystems, enjoying ocean activities, warm weather year round, and being surrounded by
beautiful scenery. Although it does cost more than most other places to live in Hawaii,
for us the quality of life we are able to enjoy is worth it. There is no other place in
the world like the Hawaiian Islands! Below are our personal tips and suggestions
based on our move to the Hawaiian Islands from Massachusetts in 1993. We also provide a
resource of links to make your move to Hawaii easier that we have compiled. Please note due to our business keeps us very busy we do not personally
assist in finding or doing research on moving companies, housing, jobs, or schools. Lots
of folks use our web site and it is impossible for us to personally assist everyone so we
have tried to put up all of our tips and suggestions on our web site. Whenever we are
emailed a new question relating to moving to Hawaii we add it and our answer to this page.
Lava Tunnel on Maui
Wave Crashing on Lanai
Living in Hawaii can be paradise everyday but there are many things to consider
before packing your bags and buying a one way plane ticket. Although it is hard to imagine
anyone not wanting to live in Hawaii there are some who move to the islands without
visiting first or have no choice in the move (like military) and find that Hawaii is not
for them. The hardest part of moving to Hawaii is being so far from friends and family.
Homesickness can become unbearable when you are 2,000+ miles from your loved ones! Another
major consideration is that the cost of living in Hawaii is very expensive. We have been
told it compares with other major cities like San Francisco and New York City. The island
of Oahu is the most populated and is more expensive to rent or buy a house/apartment than
the other islands. Outer-island housing is less expensive but there are fewer job
opportunities. Almost all consumer items are shipped into the islands which adds to the
cost because everything is shipped into Honolulu Harbor then on to other islands.
Oahus grocery stores seem to be less expensive and offer a larger selection of items
than the outer island stores we have checked out. There are wholesale clubs like
Sams Club and Costco/Priceclub in the islands which makes food even more affordable
if you have the space to store it. It does take a lot of effort to maintain a decent life
style in the islands. Tourism is Hawaiis major industry and a lot of tourism jobs
are only part time paying workers minimum wage. Many of these workers rely on tips and
work several jobs to make ends meet.
PRICE CHECK - price as of February 2013
|Honolulu Single Family Home Median Sale Price
|Honolulu Condominium Median Sale Price
Small Island off the shore of Maui
Kualoa Mountain Range and Chinaman's Hat
Some of the
things we had to adjust to when moving to Hawaii:
*Figuring out how to pronounce Hawaiian street names.
*The cockroaches in our house no matter how clean it is.
*Cockroaches outside that are larger than a half-dollar and fly!
*Grocery stores do not always have the freshest of items and often leave rotting fruits
and vegetables in with the fresh items. UPDATE: We do not find this happening anymore in
the large supermarkets like Safeway, Star Markets, and Foodland. We have only seen it in
recent years in small Mom & Pop stores and at road side farmers markets.
*You can legally drive your car and enter stores/public buildings while barefoot and Men
can go shirtless.
*Many locals speak a version of English called Pidgin which is takes a while to get used
to and understand.
*National sporting events are usually on in the morning due to the time delay and are then
also rebroadcast in the afternoon.
*Being Caucasian and being a minority.
*Learning Hawaiian history to understand what has happened to Hawaiian people and what
makes Hawaii so special.
Steam and Lava from Puu Oo Vent on Big Island
Lava Flow at Dusk on Big Island
Some of the things that make
Hawaii exceptional to live in:
*The Aloha Spirit expressed by many island residents.
*The exposure to interesting people and cultures from around the world.
*Hawaiian traditions like leis and aloha wear incorporated into everyday life.
*Hearing many languages spoken intertwined with English during everyday conversation.
*Low violent crime.
*Lots of options on how to enjoy "free time".
*Rare plants and animals found only in Hawaiis unique ecosystems.
*Waterfalls and rainbows.
*Beautiful beaches just a short drive from anywhere on the islands!
*Beautiful scenery just about everywhere you look.
*Each island offers a different experience so you don't have to travel far to go on
Once you decide to make the move to
Hawaii you then will need to decide what
to take with you and what to sell or give away. If you have items of value that you intend
to keep for several years like reliable car, entertainment system, computer, furniture,
bikes and other recreation equipment it will probably cost less to ship them then replace
them and would be worth hiring a moving company to relocate those items. Shipping a car or
household items generally takes three to four weeks. Cars are shipped in individual
containers, but many shipping services will allow partial containers of household goods. A
three-bedroom home will typically fill a 24-foot container. Some shipping services will
deliver the container to your house for packing then retrieve it for delivery to the docks
while others require you to bring your items to their shipping facility. If you do not
plan to move with much we recommend arranging for a mail box service in the area of Hawaii
you plan to move to and ship
whatever you wont be taking on the plane with you to the mail box in Hawaii. This
will also allow you to establish a forwarding address. The USPS and Mailboxes Etc are just
a two of the national mail box services available across Hawaii.
The easiest way to move to Hawaii
is to plan the move far in advance. Then prior to moving find a job, find living
accommodations , and when you are ready ship your belongings to right to your new island
home. The reality is most people are not able to make the move this way. Some people may
find a job prior to moving to the islands but it is a little more challenging to find
living accommodations remotely. What we did to prepare for our move to Hawaii was save
enough money to cover 2 months living expenses including first months and last months
rent. Then we purchased an airfare, hotel, and car rental package deal when we made our
move. We used the week at the hotel and the rental car to check out the island and find an
apartment to move into. You may not find exactly what you are looking for but just get
yourself into something clean and affordable with a short lease. Then once you are settled
in after a few months you can find something that better meets your needs. This same
theory applies to finding a job. You may not be able to find a job prior to arriving or
your dream job when you first arrive but there are plenty of jobs available that will help
you pay your bills while you continue your search for your ideal job and make contacts.
Keep in mind you will be starting a whole new life in Hawaii and your life will not be the
same as it was but if you are willing to do what it takes and have a bit of faith in
yourself you can make your dream of moving to Hawaii a reality. We found all the
sacrifices we made and the temporary set back in the standard of living we endured was
well worth it. We have seen and experience so many amazing life changing things while
living in the Hawaiian Islands and do not ever plan on living anywhere else but these
Gold Dust Day Gecko on Oahu
Spider Eating a Bee on Maui
Since Hawaii is very remote the people of Hawaii
are considered one big Ohana
(family) and it is very community oriented here. Once you arrive in Hawaii if you would like to meet new
people we recommend getting involved in some of the following:
* Volunteer at a community program that interests you like hospitals, schools, animal
shelters, Zoos, Aquariums, community centers, museums, etc.
* Ethnic community groups are a great way to mingle with folks that share your same ethnic
background or an ethnic background that interests you.
* Take dance classes and learn to hula, salsa, swing, or line dance.
* There sports clubs for children and adults like canoe paddling, football, softball,
baseball, soccer, roller derby, rugby, running, biking, etc.
* Take classes to learn more about Hawaiian history, culture, and its unique
environments or other classes of interest.
* Participate in community clean up and beautification projects.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Below are links to more details on other items you
may want to consider when moving to Hawaii. They are provided for information purposes
We do NOT personally endorse any of these businesses or have additional information
Sailfin Tang at Waikiki Aquarium
Mahi Mahi at Waikiki Aquarium
Mongoose on the Big Island
Wild Goats on Kauai
EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES & RECRUITERS IN HAWAII
Recruiting in the fields of Accounting, Finance, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Credit &
Collections. Call 808 531-8056 for more information.
Adecco- Recruiting in the fields of
IT/Technical, Secretarial/Clerical, Legal/Admin, Executive/Mgmnt. Call 808 533 8889 or 808
486-9696 for more information.
Aloha Nursing & Rehab
Care Center - Recruiting for RPN & LPN to for long term care
facility. Call 808 247-2220 for more information.
Altres - Recruiting in the fields of
IT/Technical, Accounting/Financial, Legal/Admin, General Office Clerk, Warehouse Labor,
General Labor, Project Crews, Construction, RN, LPN, CNA, Medial Assistants, Medical
Techs, Hospital/Facility Staffing. Call 808 591-3232 for more information.
Beneficial Employment Services Inc - Recruiting in the
fields of Sales, Management, Clerical. Call 808 526-4121 for more information.
CareResources Hawaii -
Recruiting for registered nurses to provide in home care services. Call 808 534-4202
for more information.
Recruiting in the fields of Financial/Accounting, Manufacturing/Engineering, and
Sales/Marketing. Call 808 524-2550 for more information.
Employment Specialists - Recruiting for Middle and Top
Management and in the fields of Computers Specialists, Legal & Executive Secretaries,
Accounting, Clerical Support. Call 808 528-1550 for more information.
Hawaii Careers source and place key
executive and upper management persons. Call 808 822-7750 for more information.
Kahu Malama Nurses Inc - RN, LPN, Nurses
Assistants, Medial Assistants, Medical Techs, Hospital/Facility Staffing.
Labor Ready - Recruiting for Construction,
Manufacturing, Landscaping, Janitorial, Hospitality, Merchandising. Call 800 245-2267 for
LAM Associate Physician Search - Recruiting
for Physicians. Call 800 258-4526 for more information.
Management Recruiters of Honolulu -
Recruiting for Hi-Tech Engineering Management. Call 808 521-7828 for more information.
OfficeTeam- Recruiting for Executive
Secretaries, Administrative Assistants, Receptionists, Data Entry, Word Processors,
Customer Service. Call 808 531-0800 for more information.
Olsten Staffing Services - Office Services,
Financial Staffing Services, Technical Services, IT Specialists,
Production/Distribution/Assembly. Call 808 523-3313 for more information.
Staffing Partners - Recruiting for Secretarial, Legal,
Clerical, Word Processing, Accounting, Reception, Bookkeeping, Light Industrial, Computer
Professionals. Call 808 945-9300 for more information.
Staffing Solutions of Hawaii
- Recruiting for General Office Administration, Information Technology. Call 808
949-3669 for more information.
Plover on Oahu
Brazilian Red Capped Cardinal
RESOURCES TO FIND HOUSING IN HAWAII
|Hawaii Real Estate Central
is a resource for locating homes, condos, apartments, and lots on ALL ISLANDS for sale or
rent. This database lists any property with a MLS # regardless of who it is listed with.
It is the largest resource for finding property we have found for the state of Hawaii.
There is also an extensive resource of realtors for each island who would be happy to
assist if you would like personal assistance.
|Craigslist has housing for sale, housing for rent,
autos for sale, items for free and items for sale for all islands.
|West Big Island housing for sale,
housing for rent, autos for sale, and items for sale
|Hilo Area Big Island housing for sale, housing
for rent, autos for sale, and items for sale
|Kauai housing for sale, housing for rent, autos for sale, and items for sale
Pineapples Growing on North Shore of Oahu
Taro Growing on Maui
Taro Patches on Kauai
Waterfall on the Big Island
ORGANIZATIONS ON OAHU WHO
ARE ALWAYS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS
No experience is required to volunteer at any of
and each offer many different ways to volunteer!
We are always looking for additional Hawaii organizations looking for volunteers,
let us know if you know of other.
American Cancer Society
|Family Court Advocates
for Abused Children
|Family Literacy Program of Hawaii
|Hawaii Children Cancer Foundation
on Missing Children
|Hawaii Humane Society
|Hawaii's Only Non-Kill Animal Shelter
|Honolulu Theatre for Youth
|Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden
|Institute for Human Services
|Meals on Wheels
|Memorial Society of Hawaii
|Mission House Museum
|Shriners Hospital for Children
|Waipahu Cultural Garden Park
|Women's Crisis Center
|East Hawaii Cultural Council/Center based in
Hilo, Hawaii on the Island
|Equine 808 Horse Rescue
Located in Kunia on Oahu and cares for injured, abused, neglected & abandonded horses
Beach Toys at Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon
Horseback Riding at Kualoa Ranch
Teams You Can Join
Joining a sports team is a great way to meet people and keep fit!
We are looking to post as many listings for children and adult sports teams,
let us know if you know of others.
Aloha City Rollers
Roller Derby League
They are always recruiting for new players, referees, non skating officials, announcers,
The team is on Oahu.
There are also other roller derby leagues on the other islands.
808 Sports League
Co-Ed kickball league for adults
Teams on Oahu
Rugby Football Team
Open to adult Men
The team is on Oahu
|Hawaii Youth Soccer
Youth soccer teams on Oahu, Maui and Kauai. Adult volunteers are also need.
|Honolulu Bulls Soccer
Womens soccer on Oahu.
Mens softpitch and fast pitch teams on Oahu. They are also always recruiting umpires and
offer umpire training.
|Maui Croquet Club
Open to men and women with their primary play location in Kihei on Maui.
|Lanakila Hockey Club
Youth roller hockey team on Oahu.
Inline Hockey League
Youth roller hockey league on Oahu.
|Maui Inline Hockey
Mens and youth inline skate hockey teams on Maui. They also offer their rink open to
public skate and have inline skate rentals.
Men and women Hawaiian outrigger canoe teams on Oahu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai.
Sailing clubs for the island of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii
|Hawaii Kai Youth Baseball
This is an all volunteer non-profit group dedicated to the promotion of youth baseball and
youth baseball opportunities/activities. In addition to seeing youth players they are
always seeking adults to umpire, coach and help organize events.
Based on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii this is one of Hawaii's premier
amateur road, mountain and multisport (duathlon/triathlon) cycling and community sports
organizations. They have a riding club, mens racing team and womens racing team.
The Hawaiian Trail
and Mountain Club
An Oahu based hiking club which hikes over 80 different trails around the island as well
as voluntarily maintains many of the trails. Hikes are open to members and non members.
Club Hawaii Chapters
The Sierra club offers organized hikes for members and non members and has chaperters on
Hawaii, Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.
Pacific Road Runners Club
Oahu running club with over 20 organized races a year.
|Valley Isle Road Runners
Maui running club with over 20 organized races a year. They have adult and youth running
|Hawaii Masters Track Club
An Oahu running club open to men and women 30+.
Swimming club with chapters on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.
|Waikiki Surf Club
Promotes amateur canoe paddling and surfing to men, women, and children.
Canon Ball Tree Flower
Pumice from Active Volcano on Big Island
Web Site User Comments: "A
very big Mahalo for your site. My husband and I are finally making our move to Hawaii to
join our daughter and son in law. The biggest hold back has been our pets. Your site gave
me all the info and link to info that we needed so that I can start the preliminary steps
to get them qualified for a quick release. Your site is a wonderful example of the true
ALOHA spirit. Again MAHALO!!" John and Karen Schneider
ADOPTING PETS IN HAWAII
This adorable but lonely puppy is Rosco and on 3/2/01 he was at the Hawaiian Humane
Society looking for a loving home.
|Consider adopting a loving pet from an animal agency
once you arrive in Hawaii. When we visited the Hawaiian Humane Society on Oahu there were
a great variety of adorable dogs, cute kittens and cats, as well as rabbits and hamsters
available to take home that day.
Humane Society on Oahu offers dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, and other
|Hawaii Dog Foundation is a dog
rescue and adoption no kill shelter on Oahu.
Cat Foundation is a cat rescue and adoption no kill shelter on Oahu.
Humane Society offers dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters, and other animals.
|K-9 Animal Rescue
on Oahu takes in injured or neglected dogs, cats, and birds then nurses them back to
health and finds them a loving home. Call 808 696-4357 for more information.
Friends Sanctuary in Hilo takes in injured or neglected animals then nurses them
back to health and finds them a loving home.
Rescue Coalition of Hawaii offers adoptions of dogs and cats on the Big Island.
|Craigslist often has
ads by people seeking good homes for their dog, cat, rabbit, or bird they can no longer
Thurston Lava Tube on Big Island
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