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How Much Does It Cost to Move to Hawaii? (Updated in 2024)

beautiful beach in Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii can be a long and tedious process. However, the recreation, sunshine, and amazing views tend to make the process well worth it when all is said and done.

Imagine having the opportunity to head to a white sandy beach any day of the week that you want to. Think about enjoying beachside restaurants that serve the freshest fish available. Consider a life of camping in the mountains, hiking through rainforests to see huge waterfalls, and spending quality time with friends and family under coconut trees on warm breezy days.

These are all things to look forward to when you decide to make the big move to the Aloha State. So, how much does it cost to move to Hawaii this year? Let’s break down all the information that you need to know.

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Deciding Whether to Move to Hawaii

The process of deciding to move to Hawaii should not be taken lightly. There are many factors to consider, and they should all carry a certain amount of weight. Important things to think about include:

Moving Pets to Hawaii

Hawaii is a rabies-free state, so there is a rabies vaccination and quarantine plan¹ that must be followed when moving pets to Hawaii from any other place in the world. Therefore, multiple veterinary visits are necessary.

Chihuahua dog in transport bag or box ready to travel
Image Credit: Javier Brosch, Shutterstock

The Items That You Want to Ship to Hawaii

You will have to decide whether to ship items through UPS, FedEx, or the United States Postal Service to get your belongings to your new home in Hawaii. Anything that is too large to be shipped in boxes must be sent via cargo boat.

Whether You Should Ship or Sell Your Vehicles

Shipping a vehicle to Hawaii can be expensive because it must fit inside a shipping container and be shipped via cargo boat, just like oversized belongings. Depending on the age, condition, and value of your vehicle, it may be more cost-effective to sell it and then buy a new one once you get to Hawaii. It’s a big decision to make!

What Island You Will Live On

There are four major islands that you can choose to live on, which are Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii (the Big Island). They all have unique landscapes and different price points when it comes to things like home prices and entertainment costs. You will have to decide which island will best suit your preferred lifestyle and your family budget.

Whether to Purchase or Rent a Place to Live

You also have to decide whether you will purchase or rent a home when moving to Hawaii. Both options have pros and cons to consider, especially if you aren’t sure whether you will stay in Hawaii for more than a few years.

Make a list of all the aspects of moving to Hawaii that could impact your life and those of your family members. Then, round out the list with pros and cons and how things on your list may change once you move away from the mainland or other parts of the world to come to Hawaii.

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How Much Does Moving to Hawaii Cost? A Breakdown

There are many aspects of moving to Hawaii that costs money, and until you consider them all, you can’t properly budget for your big move. Breaking down all the costs into categories makes it easier to understand how much the overall cost of moving to Hawaii will be for you.

Here is what you need to know:
  • Airline Tickets — $400–$600 Per Person: You only need a one-way ticket when moving to Hawaii, so you can expect to spend between $400 and $600 on a ticket for each of your family members.
  • Relocating Pets — $185–$250 for Import Fees, Plus $150–$300 for Veterinarian Services: You’ll need to have your pet vaccinated and tested for rabies before bringing them to Hawaii. The state of Hawaii charges a fee for each pet that is processed and released into the state.
  • Transporting Personal and Household Goods — $50–$5,000: The overall cost of transporting your items to Hawaii depends on how much you want to send. You can send a couple of boxes through USPS for about $50, or you can spend between $2,500 and $5,000 on a shipping container that can be filled up at your home and then shipped to Hawaii through companies like Matson¹.
  • Transporting a Vehicle — $1,500 and Up: A basic sedan costs about $1,500¹ to ship to Hawaii. The larger the vehicle, the more you can expect the shipping to be. It can take up to 19 days¹ for a vehicle to arrive in Hawaii after being shipped from the Continental U.S.
  • Buying a Home — About $900,000: Hawaii is considered the most expensive state in the United States to call home. According to Zillow, the median sales price of homes in Hawaii is about $900,000¹.  However, housing costs vary greatly from island to island. For example, you’ll likely spend less than half the amount of money on an average single-family home on the Big Island than you would on Oahu.
  • Renting a Home — Between $1,500 and $3,500 a Month: If you plan to rent an apartment when moving to Hawaii, expect to spend more than you would where you live now. The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment is $1,630¹, while a two-bedroom apartment rental is $2,180.

Additional Costs to Anticipate

You will need to pay for things like food and accommodations while you travel from your old home to your new home in Hawaii. It can take an entire day to travel to Hawaii in the first place, and your new home may not be set up to comfortably sleep in the first night. So, it’s a good idea to put about $1,000 away for use during your travels in case you get stuck on a layover or can’t get to your new home right away once you land in Hawaii.

If you don’t plan on shipping a vehicle to Hawaii, you should have a few thousand dollars set aside to buy one. Both new and used vehicles are more expensive in Hawaii than on the mainland.

Tips on How to Effectively Budget for a Move to Hawaii

Budgeting for a move to Hawaii doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Start at least a year before your prospective move so you have time to plan and ensure that everything is set in place before your arrival to your new Hawaiian home. Make a list of everything that you’ll need to spend money on to make your move to Hawaii become a reality — you can use this list as a template and expand from there if necessary.

Then, you should research each item on the list to determine an accurate estimate of the costs associated with the items. From there, you can start adding up the costs to create an overall budget for a comfortable relocation experience.

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It isn’t cheap to move to Hawaii, but if living in one of the most beautiful places in the world is a dream of yours, the cost can well worth it. Before making a final decision about moving to the Aloha State, it’s important to sit down and figure out what kind of budget you’ll need so you can ensure that you won’t be in over your head when it’s time to move.

Featured Image Credit: BKD, Pixabay


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