A Guide to Moving to Hawaii Affordably

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Moving to Hawaii? Here are some tips

Hawaii has always been an attractive destination for folks to move to. Unfortunately, the remoteness of Hawaii from the mainland doesn’t make it the most convenient place to get to!

Until now, it had also been a bit of a tricky spot to make a long-term living move to. But with the emergence of high-paying remote work, mainlanders are now seeing there is a great opportunity. Remote workers can live on the island and make their wages at home but without the commute! For many, there’s never been a better time to pick up the stakes and move to their dream home. Who can deny the appeal of logging off after an 8-hour workday to go surfing or hike in the rainforest?

That being said, making the physical move to Hawaii can be challenging. The islands are nearly 2,500 miles from the mainland – meaning it can be a much longer move if you’re from mid-country or the East Coast. So let’s talk about moving to Hawaii and why you need to work with Number 1 Auto Transport to make it work!

Making the Move

It’s hard enough making a move from one state to another. Making a move from the contiguous United States to Alaska is tougher. But Hawaii? That’s the most challenging state to move to or from! Not only will you need to deal with all of the common problems associated with moving, but you’ll also need to plan for loading and transport across a good portion of the Pacific Ocean.

To make a move to Hawaii, you’ll need to:

  • Find a new residence in Hawaii
  • Pack your belongs and secure transport
  • Sell or rent out your current home
  • Get your car, truck, or SUV shipped to the island by a car transporter

Find a Home

To start, you need to figure out where you’re moving to. Hawaii comprises eight major islands – seven inhabited – and numerous minor atolls and small islands. Each of the islands has specific challenges and certain advantages and disadvantages. Some islands are highly developed and feature up-to-date infrastructure, ready or work-from-home pioneers. Others are more rural and difficult to navigate and may not have the infrastructure that someone from a mainland city will need for comfort and success.


Oahu is probably what most folks think of when they think of Hawaii. It is the most populous island, with two-thirds of the state’s population. This means it has the Hawaiian islands’ best, most up-to-date infrastructure. There are parks, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, highways, and anything else you’d expect from a US state. It’s ready for the traveler who wants to settle in and move immediately without missing a beat or preceding anything they enjoyed on the mainland. Unfortunately, this also makes property on Oahu the most expensive on the islands.

The Big Island

The island of Hawai’i, also called The Big Island, is the largest in the chain of Hawaiian Islands. Why isn’t it reasonably as populated as Oahu? Well… it’s home to no less than five active volcanoes, making it the most volcanically active of the island chain. On top of this, the island is home to inclement weather and hazardous conditions, more so than the other main islands. This means it has some of the lowest real estate prices out of the Hawaiian islands. But you’ll need to be adventurous and tolerant of infrastructure that is still developing.


Surfers Paradise! Maui is where some of the worlds best have chased waves for decades. It’s the ideal destination for those who love history, nature, and gorgeous homes. Still, Maui is growing and has cities for remote workers who need to be near a hub. Unfortunately, while Oahu has regularly updated its infrastructure, Maui is still lagging. It’s somewhat rural and sports a fair amount of rough and unpaved roads outside the city centers, making it hard on cars. Still, property on Maui is being snapped up quickly and is likely to be just as pricey as Oahu.

Moloka’i, Lana’i, Ni’ihau

These small, rural islands are rarely the first stops for folks moving off the mainland. For example, Molokai – known as the Friendly Isle – offers spectacular weather but limited infrastructure. There aren’t any traffic lights on the island! However, it is welcoming to families and maybe the island to call home with your children and spouse. It does have the necessary services, including a hospital, but home prices on this island are surprisingly low.

The other rural islands are incredibly limited and not suggested for first-timers to Hawaii. You’ll need to decide between buying a home in Hawaii and renting one on the island of your choice. If you’ve already traveled to Hawaii and have a good idea of the place, you might be ready to buy. However, if this will be your first time in Hawaii, you may want to rent a home for the first year. This will allow you to explore your new locale and decide upon the perfect residence for you and your family. Once you’ve found a great place to live, it’s time to start packing!

Pack and Ship Your Belongings

There are two ways to move – hire a moving and packing company to do the hard work for you, or try to save a few bucks by packing your own home. While we often go with the latter for regular moves, you may want to consider a comprehensive moving company due to the headaches of making that trans-Pacific trip. You may even need to find temporary storage, depending on the timeline you’re looking at.

Moving your gear to Hawaii may seem like a difficult, headache-inducing process. It might even seem overly expensive. However, any Hawaiian citizen will tell you everything costs more on the islands. Part of paying to move what you own is saving from overpaying for something new in your tropical destination! Take the time to find a transport company to ship your stuff to your new spot. While at it, consider Marie Kondo-ing your property – eliminating non-essential belongings you may want to bring. The fewer items you’ll be shipping to your new home, the less it will cost to make a move. This could be your opportunity to get rid of stuff accumulated over the years – maybe even sell it on Facebook or at a yard sale to get more money toward the move!

Getting Out of Your Current Home

Were you renting? Cool, nothing to worry about – make sure to let your landlord know you’re leaving, wrap up the lease, and let them know where to send the security deposit they’ll be returning to you. And make sure to get your mail forwarded!

If you’re a mainland homeowner hoping to move to Hawaii, there will be some extra steps. First, you’ll have to decide whether you want to rent or sell your home. This could mean finding a rental agency to work with that can handle the day-to-day issues of being a landlord. After all, you’ll have half an ocean between your old home and your new one. Or you’ll need to engage a real estate agent – do you want to try and deal with the owner’s sale of a house while juggling family duties and organizing your move?

Transporting Your Vehicle to Hawaii

Like everything else on the islands, vehicles are expensive and relatively limited supply. Particularly if you have a car that you love or multiple cars, you’ll want to ship your car, truck, SUV, or other vehicles to the islands with you. Maybe you want to take your dirt bikes to get around the poorly paved tracks on rural Moloka’i, or perhaps you want to get your classic convertible to Oahu for some top-down enjoyment of Hawaii’s incredible weather. Or maybe you want an SUV that can tackle dirt roads, cities, and sand, all without flinching.

If you’re determined to hold on to your vehicle, you’ll need a car transport company to pick the car up, store it, and haul it to your desired Hawaii destination. That’s where Number 1 Auto Transport comes in! Depending on your vehicle’s size and the exact pick-up and destination points, transporting your car to Hawaii could cost up to $2,000 – or more. Depending on the number of cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, dirt bikes, or other vehicles you’re moving to, that bill could keep rising.

Number 1 Auto Transport has a wide net of providers across the country. Some companies offer a California-to-Hawaii service, which may help. But at Number 1 Auto Transport, we can string together the services you need, even if you are starting from New York, Florida, Kansas, Texas… wherever! Don’t deal with multiple companies and worry about transfers and paperwork. Number 1 Auto Transport takes care of all the transport headaches for you and gets your vehicle to Hawaii, so you’re ready to go to your new home!

The Hawaiian Islands are gorgeous places to live. Now is the right time to take advantage of the changes in how people work and live! Moving to Hawaii has never been easier, especially when you have the correct information and the right partners at Number 1 Auto Transport to help you prepare for your move.

If you’re interested in having your car shipped to Hawaii with Number 1 Auto Transport, contact us today!

Have Questions or Need a Car Shipping Quote?

Number 1 Auto Transport is an auto transport service company specializing in transporting all vehicles door to door. We offer the highest quality customer service at the most reasonable and honest rates. Please email us or call 855-422-4141 for a FREE  CAR SHIPPING QUOTE to ship your car.

We look forward to giving you quick answers to any questions you may have!