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Moving To Hawaii

July 1st, 2016 - 1:34 PM

Planning a move to Hawaii

Are you relocating to Hawaii? If so, get ready to experience a little bit of paradise — lush flora, white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, tropical weather and friendly locals are just a few benefits of living in the Aloha state! Whether moving to Hawaii is a personal choice or something you have to do (for work, family, etc.), you’ll enjoy the laid-back lifestyle and unique language of the island. For those considering a move to Hawaii, we’ve compiled a list of questions and answers to help you plan your move and hopefully reduce some stress.

Moving to Hawaii

FAQs about moving to Hawaii​

Where’s the best place to live in Hawaii?​

Hawaii is the only state that is made up entirely of islands and has 750 miles of ocean coastline. The state recognizes 137 islands, but only seven are inhabited — Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and Niihau. If you’re unsure about which Hawaiian island is best for you, the following information may help.

Moving to Hawaii. This is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands and is the largest island in the United States at 4,028 square miles.  You can explore the Maunaloa Volcanoes, Kau Desert, Puna Fern Forest, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kealakekua Bay. 

Moving to Maui. This is the second largest island with 727 square miles. It’s notable for its mountain ranges, valleys and Haleakala — the largest dormant volcano crater in the world.

Moving to Oahu. Home to the state’s capital, Honolulu, Oahu is the third-largest Hawaiian Island with 597 square miles. It’s the most populated and the most visited by tourists.  

Moving to Kauai. Nicknamed the “Garden Island,” Kauai is named for its tropical climate, lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls. It’s also the fourth-largest island with 562 square miles.

Moving to Molokai. Molokai is the fifth-largest island with 260 square miles and is known best for ranching and agriculture. It’s home to the world’s highest sea cliffs and the Hansen’s Disease Settlement — a historical park.

Moving to Lanai. Lanai is the sixth-largest island with 140 square miles. It has a small population of slightly over 3,000 people.

Moving to Niihau. Hawaii’s “Forbidden Island” is privately owned by the Robinsons (descendants of the title-holding Sinclair family) and native Niihauans and is inaccessible to anyone moving to Hawaii.

How can I move to Hawaii?

Moving to Hawaii is much different than relocating to other states on the mainland. Because it’s in the middle of the Pacific, you can’t just rent a U-Haul truck and drive there. This means you’re going to have to find an alternative — like a U-Pack® shipping container. With U-Pack, you do the packing and loading and we handle shipping to Hawaii. Our transportation partner, ABF Freight, is the largest transcontinental carrier operation on the islands, so you can rest easy knowing your household goods are in safe hands.

We offer two options for shipping to Hawaii — a ReloCube® or an ocean container.

  • Cubes are 6’ x 7’ x 8’ (LWH) weatherproof metal containers that hold a maximum of 2,500 pounds and have a capacity of approximately 306 cubic feet. Use just one or several to complete your move.
  • Ocean containers are 40’ x 8’ x 8’6” metal shipping containers that hold a maximum of 44,000 pounds and have a capacity of approximately 2,395 cubic feet. You have the entire container available for your use.

Should I use an ocean container or ReloCube?

This answer really depends on your specific needs (destination, household size, budget and delivery preference). Customers moving a large home to Hawaii often choose the ocean container. If you have a smaller move, the ReloCube is a great choice.

Delivery preference can impact your decision, too. We have two options — door or terminal. Door delivery is available in most locations with an ocean container, but Cubes can only be delivered to your door on the islands of Oahu and Hawaii. Terminal unloading is available on any island, but is required if you’re using a Cube to move to Maui or Kauai. The good news is that unloading at a terminal can save you up to $300!

U-Pack space estimator tools are a great way to figure out what shipping option you need. You can also call one of our Hawaii moving specialists at 800-413-4799 to discuss these options.

How much does it cost to move to Hawaii?

Shipping to Hawaii costs are based on the details of your move. Because each move is different, the best way to determine the price of your shipping container is by getting a free online quote or calling a representative at the number provided above. The online quote requires you to enter some basic information about your move (where, when and how much you’re moving). Once we have that information, you’ll receive an email with pricing (and transit time) within 24 hours.

Most online quotes are emailed within a business day so that our specialists can look over the quote and ensure you’re getting the best option at the best price. Keep in mind that the cost of moving to Hawaii with U-Pack is calculated per container, not by weight or linear footage.

Is there anything I can’t ship to Hawaii?

Yes, just like shipments moving interstate in the upper 48, there are items that can’t be shipped to Hawaii. As you pack, make sure to check out our do not ship list so you know what to leave behind.

How long does it take my belongings to ship to Hawaii from the mainland?

Transit times depend on the moving company you choose, but U-Pack transit times top the list of the fastest ways to move to Hawaii. Shipments sail out of California two times a week. This means your belongings should arrive in the Aloha state approximately one week after they arrive in California. If you decide to move with U-Pack, your quote includes the estimated transit time.  

How far in advance should I reserve my move?

We recommend booking your move as soon as possible to ensure availability. If you’re moving in the 40’ ocean container, your signed Bill of Lading (contract) must be received at least seven days prior to the move date. Because of this, we ask that you book your move at least one week in advance. We can typically reserve ReloCubes on shorter notice, but booking your move earlier is always better. Check out our moving to Hawaii checklist for a week-by-week schedule of what to do starting eight weeks before your move! 

How do I pay for my move?

U-Pack accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. If you’re using an ocean container, payment is required before we deliver the equipment to your home for loading. If you’re moving in a Cube, payment can be made while your shipment is in transit to your new home in Hawaii.

Does U-Pack offer storage if I need it?

Storage is available using a ReloCube (not ocean containers) when moving to Oahu. If you’re moving to a Hawaiian island other than Oahu and need storage, we can still help! You can store your ReloCube at a service center closest to your origin location or at the service center in Los Angeles, California. Talk with one of our U-Pack consultants about storage by calling 800-413-4799.  

Can I load my motorcycle or vehicle in the ocean container?

Motorcycles can be shipped inside Cubes or ocean containers as long as they’re used (rather than new) and the fluids are drained. U-Pack doesn’t ship vehicles, but we do recommend uShip® — a reliable option for shipping automobiles to Hawaii. You can get an online quote from uShip to figure the cost to ship your car to Hawaii.

What is the cost of living in Hawaii?

You may have heard that the Hawaii cost of living is much higher than most mainland cities, and it’s true. The costs are high because most products available for purchase in Hawaii have to be shipped into the state via plane or boat — which means shipping costs are passed along to the consumer. If you’re trying to figure out your budget for living in Hawaii, try using a cost of living calculator.  

What’s the job market like in Hawaii?

As of May 2016, Hawaii’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics) with job growth up 1.4 percent (Forbes). Main industries include tourism, military defense, agricultural products, cotton-based manufacturing and services (hotels, healthcare, finance and real estate). Here’s what you can expect to make (according to the United States Department of Labor) with some sample jobs:

  • General/Operations Manager—$101,630
  • Construction Manager—$96,810
  • Registered Nurse—$90,130
  • Administrative Assistant—$52,030
  • Postsecondary Teacher—$46,260
  • Customer Service Representative—$37,190
  • Retail Salesperson—$26,860

You can search for jobs in Hawaii using the jobs and employment page on their state website.

Is moving to Hawaii with pets allowed?

If you’re moving to Hawaii with a dog, cat or some other family pet, you can bring them along, but there are some very strict requirements. You see, Hawaii is the only “rabies-free” state in the country and they work hard to keep it that way — no exceptions. Your pet will be quarantined for a little while upon entrance. Some dogs and cats may qualify for the 5-day-or-less quarantine program, but if the animal doesn’t meet the requirements they’ll be quarantined for up to 120 days. Once they’re cleared, you can take them home. Learn more about Hawaii’s animal quarantine law.

Can I bring my plants?

Because live plants are included in the “do not ship” list, you can’t load them in your moving container. However, you can still take them with you! We refer our customers to uShip for transfer of special care items. An inspection is required before entering the state — you can get more information by contacting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Insurance Service in Honolulu County.  

Is moving to Hawaii with guns allowed?

You can move to Hawaii with guns, just be sure to register them with the Hawaii Police Department (HPD). According to the Hawaii Rifle Association, “All firearms brought into the State must be registered with the county police within 72 hours. Aliens may bring in firearms for 90 days only for bona fide hunting or target shooting. You do not need a permit to bring your own firearms into the State.”

To register your guns, take them to the Firearms Division of HPD for inspection along with proof of identification and ownership. Failure to do this within three days may result in a felony possession of firearms charge. Military members who plan to live on a base need to register their guns with the base’s security office following registration with the HPD.

How do I become a resident of Hawaii?

Becoming a resident of Hawaii is simple — just apply for a Hawaii driver’s license, register to vote or register your vehicle. Learn more in the Hawaii newcomer’s guide.

How do I move to Hawaii with PCS orders?

If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, U-Pack would be honored to help you make a military move to Hawaii. We provide direct service to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, MCB Hawaii and Schofield Barracks/Fort Shafter. Call us at 800-413-4799 and ask about our military discount!

Ready to move to Hawaii?

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to ship to Hawaii, try U-Pack! Get a free online quote now or call a Hawaii moving specialist at 800-413-4799.

If you don’t see the information you’re looking for above, let us know in the comments. We’d also like to hear about your experience if you’ve previously moved to Hawaii — what else should people know?

We hope you enjoy your new life soaking in the sunshine. Aloha!