Welcome to Hawaii Trails, your guide to relocating to Hawaii. Our blog aims to guide people moving from the US mainland to Hawaii. Our articles will include advice on everything from the actual relocation (how to transport your belongings or set up utilities) to living there (finding a job or your new favorite beach). 

The Islands of Hawaii

Your first step will be to pick an island. While six of Hawaii’s islands are populated, most people live on the four largest islands, which are also called the main islands. Oahu is home to Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital, and has a population of nearly a million people. Hawaii Island, also called “the Big Island,” is by far the largest island. Maui is known for its diverse geography, while Kauai has a small-town vibe.

We recommend visiting your chosen island beforehand and paying particular attention to any towns or neighborhoods that catch your eye. Different places offer different attractions and advantages, and you want your new home to suit you.

Moving to Hawaii

The vast majority of people take a plane to get to Hawaii. The islands have about a dozen airports with the Daniel K. Inouye or Honolulu International Airport being the largest and busiest.

Since Hawaii is part of the United States, you won’t need a passport or a Visa. You should, however, have at least two months’ worth of savings available to keep you afloat while you look for work. Hawaii has to import most of its food and other goods, so things tend to be more expensive here than on the mainland.

Living in Hawaii

We also provide advice on whether to rent or buy and how to find work, which you should consider together. For example, Oahu generally has the most expensive housing – but it also has the most jobs and most diverse job offerings. Conversely, the other islands often have less expensive housing, but it can be harder to find work there. Outside of Oahu, many of the available jobs are about the tourist industry. 

The types of housing available include apartments, co-ops, condominiums, and single-family homes. The last is particularly expensive, and many people rent an apartment while exploring their choices more thoroughly. We recommend hiring a local realtor to help you.

You will also have to consider what to bring with you. Since many are furnished apartments, you won’t need to bring all of your furniture. Outside of Oahu, Hawaii has little public transportation, so you will need your car. Sell or donate everything you won’t need while still on the mainland.

Our guide will cover many other aspects of relocating to Hawaii like:

  • how to get a state ID
  • what to do with any pets
  • how to find the best schools or attractions in your area
  • and many more!