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Moving to Hilo Hawaii

May 6th, 2016 - 2:37 PM

Moving to the Big Island, Hawaii​

If you want to move to Hawaii, Hilo is an amazing place to consider. For those who are interested in learning about world cultures, living in a unique environment and enjoying the surroundings of nature, it’s a wonderful place to put down roots. Fortunately, it’s one of the least expensive Hawaiian cities to live in, too.  Located on the eastern side of Big Island, Hilo is a picturesque retreat that’s sure to make your friends and family a little jealous!

Moving to Hilo, Hawaii

What is life like in Hilo?​

There are a variety of reasons why moving to Hilo sparks interest, but the clean and fresh island life is what draws many people. Life in Hilo can appear as the ultimate paradise, but it’s very different from living on the mainland — so you may need time to adjust to the relaxed island lifestyle. Hilo’s history is rooted deep in agriculture, from a start in farming and fishing to becoming an important part of the sugar industry in the 1800’s. Sugar plantations drew different cultures to the area, so you’ll hear many languages spoken including English, native Hawaiian and even some Chinese and Japanese.

Outdoor exploration​

Hilo offers activities such as volcano and cave tours, fresh farmer’s markets and hiking and sightseeing the waterfalls, breath-taking beaches and vegetation-filled parks. It’s a wonderful area for experiencing the great outdoors. If you’re searching for more outdoor beauty, check out these other attractions Hilo and the surrounding region have to offer:

  • Wailuku River State Park
  • Liliuokalani Gardens
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
  • Pololu Valley Lookout
  • Panaewa Rainforest Zoo

Cost of living

The great thing about moving to Hilo is that housing is more affordable than many other Hawaiian Islands and cities. According to Areavibes, the cost of living in Hilo is 15% lower than the Hawaii average. While some of the goods, services, housing and other amenities may cost just a bit above the national average, the opportunity to live in Hilo is priceless.


Finding a job anywhere can be a difficult task. Hopefully if you’ve already decided to move to Hilo you have a job lined out. However, if you don’t, there are many employment opportunities in Hilo. With a diversified economy, Hilo has major industries and commercial activity in agriculture, tourism, aquaculture, livestock, trade, education and government. Top employers include: University of Hawaii, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, Hilo Medical Center Radiology and Walmart. A great place to start searching for jobs in Hilo is the Hawaii Tribune Herald or on helpful job sites like LinkedIn and Monster.


Researching the educational system is important when moving with children. Hilo offers a variety of public and private school options at the elementary, intermediate, and high school levels with a 75% graduation rate. More information can be found on the Hawaii State Department of Education website. For higher education, the city offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  


Although Hilo isn’t known for having abundant sunshine and clear blue skies like the rest of Hawaii, it doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful. With a warm, semitropical climate, Hilo has only 175 sunny days per year on average and the temperatures average between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is frequent with 150 to 200 inches annually, making Hilo and its Pana’ewa Rainforest incredibly lush. The rain also results in many natural waterfalls. Hilo’s rich soil provides growth to a variety of agricultural products.

How do I move to Hilo?

If the decision to move has been made, all you need is a plan of action to get there quickly and easily.

Since you can’t drive a rental truck across the Pacific (obviously!), U-Pack is a great, affordable option when moving household goods long distance. You’ll pack your items and then U-Pack will take care of moving them for you.

Moving to Hilo, Hawaii with U-Pack

We offer solutions for moving to Hilo using ocean shipping in moving containers. U-Pack offers two different options: a ReloCube® or a 40-foot ocean container.  

Using a Relocube. ReloCubes are great for moving a 1-2 bedroom apartment or home. Constructed of metal and designed to be weatherproof, each Cube measures 6’x7’x8’. They’re ideal for smaller moves because one ReloCube typically holds the contents of a studio apartment. A 2-bedroom home would normally use 2-3 ReloCubes. You have the ability to reserve as many Cubes as you need, but will only pay for the ones you actually use.

Using an Ocean Container. For moves of a 3-bedroom home or larger, using our 40-foot ocean container is typically the best option. Priced per container, they’re convenient for moving large shipments to locations such as Hawaii.

How using a U-Pack moving container works

Whether you decide to use a ReloCube or an ocean container, the moving process works the same for both:

  • U-Pack delivers the moving equipment to your door
  • You load everything the way you want it, and call us when it’s ready to be picked up (you have three business days to load)
  • Your container travels to either Oakland, CA or Pico Rivera, CA, where it sets sail for Hawaii
  • Once it arrives in Hawaii, you unload (transit time averages 9-14 business days)

The best part about U-Pack service to Hawaii? Your stuff is never co-mingled with other household shipments — no matter which type of container you choose.

Shipping a car to Hilo

Some people decide to sell their vehicles before moving across the ocean. However, there are plenty of options to get your car to your new location in Hilo. Though U-Pack doesn’t provide auto shipping services, we recommend uShip for transporting your vehicle. To prepare your vehicle for shipping, don’t forget to clean out personal items, disable the alarm, fix any leaks and make sure the battery is charged and fluids are full.

Go U-Pack

Moving to Hilo doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Save your money for a little island exploring when you arrive by moving with U-Pack. Find out more about our moving containers by calling 800-413-4799 or see how much your move to Hilo will cost with a free moving quote online.

If you have any additional questions or concerns about moving to Hilo or questions about costs when moving to Hawaii, give us a call or let us know in the comments below. Happy living in Hilo, Hawaii!