Moving To Hawaii From California – Tips & Guide To Relocate To Hawaii

incredible scenery in Hawaii

Planning to relocate to Hawaii sounds like a dream come true. Trading the daily commute down the 405 or I-80 for life with an ocean view from everywhere? Yes! But before you can enjoy the destination, you must make the journey, and when moving to Hawaii from California, doing it yourself is not an option. We have provided the best information on how you can select and work with the best moving company for a stress-free move to Hawaii from California. We have also curated interesting information on how to move to Hawaii from California and what your new life will look like in your new location. Here are few tips for people moving to Hawaii.

Moving to Hawaii from California
There are a few things that set Hawaii apart from other states in the US, and that’s one of the top Hawaii moving considerations.  One of such is its warm tropical climate, and the variety of climates in the state. The Hawaii island is home to ten of the world’s 14 climate zones. So you have plenty of options of where you can be in Hawaii to enjoy the weather after moving from California to Hawaii. Hawaii is also home to some of the top destinations in the US such as Honolulu and Maui.

Hawaiian Islands

Other Hawaiian islands


The state of Hawaii has six main islands. They are:

  • Kauai, also known as Garden Isle
  • Oahu island 
  • Molokai, also known as Friendly Isle
  • Lanai, also known as the Pineapple Isle
  • Maui, also known as Valley Isle 
  • Island of Hawaii, also known as Big Island or Hawaii Island

Some of the other Hawaiian islands are:  

  • Kahoolawe and
  • Niihau
These islands are inhabited islands. Although the Kahoolawe was said to be habited for a  period of 1000 years in the past.

Hawaiian Culture, Population, and Top Attractions

Before there used to be nearly one million residents in Hawaii but the current population is about 1.4 million. Two thirds of this population reside in Oahu island which is the business hub of the Aloha state, and home to the capital city, Honolulu. However, Hawaii island is bigger than Oahu and other islands. 

Hawaiian culture

Hawaii has the largest proportion of multiracial people, with a mix of Southeast Asian, East Asian, North American cultures all combined with the native Hawaiian heritage.

The biggest attraction in the Hawaii islands is the Waikiki beach in a suburb of Honolulu. It is popular for its big resorts, great restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. At one end of the beach is the Diamond Head State Monument, a historic vantage point for the island’s coastal defense.

Akaka falls, Big Island Hawaii

The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its surfing and snorkeling, the expanse of the Oahu coastline also has fifty-one beaches that stretch 11 miles along the coastline. There are also other significant places in Hawaii like Pearl Harbor, Haleakala National Park, Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Oklahoma, USS Utah, Battleship USS Missouri, and more.


Metro Areas and City Life in Hawaii

There are 151 cities in Hawaii so which one of them should you move to? Here are the top 3 metropolitan areas in Hawaii in terms of population:

Urban Honolulu

This is the most populated city with 348,985 people according to US Census. The racial/ethnic groups in the city are Asian (52.3%), White (15.4%), and mixed race (15%). The median household income in Urban Honolulu was $71,465 in 2019 and the median age of residents in the city is 41.5 years. Some of the best neighborhoods in Honolulu are Waialae-Kahala, Kaimuki, Manoa, Liliha-Kapalama, Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou-Kalani Iki, Kaneohe, Kailua, Ala Moanoa-Kakaako, Mokapu, and Makiki, and Waikiki. The Honolulu international airport is not far from Waikiki. Most people who move to Hawaii from  mainland tend to move to Honolulu.

East Honolulu

This follows urban Honolulu far behind with 47540 people. The racial/ethnic groups in the city are Asian (47.8%), White (25.4%), and mixed race (18.5%). The median household income for East Honolulu was $133,165 in 2019 and the median age of residents is 48.4 years. Some of the neighborhoods in East Honolulu are Aina Haina, Hawaii Kai, Niu Valley. 

Pearl City

Pearl City is a medium-sized coastal town and the 3rd most populated city with 45,065 people. The median household income of Pearl City in 2019 was $100,057. The racial/ethnic groups in the city are Asian (51.3%), mixed race (20.7%), and White (11.7%). The median household income for East Honolulu was $133,165 in 2019 and the median age of residents is 48.4 years.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl City has nine constituent neighborhoods and a mixed workforce of both white-collar and blue-collar jobs. Workers in the city are predominantly in sales, office workers, professionals, and service providers. The neighborhoods in Pearl City are Pacific Palisades, Waiau, Waimano, Komo Mai, Hoohiki, Waipio, and Town Center.


Economy, Job Opportunities and Taxes in Hawaii

Like other parts of the US, Hawaii is a service-based economy with 90% of its gross product coming from the service industries. The leading services include law, accounting, engineering, private healthcare, hotels, restaurants, and rental car agencies. The tourism sector accounts for 21% of the state’s economy, with other tourism related sectors such as service, transportation, and retail trade. 

Tourism on the main islands

Other thriving economic activities are food processing such as refined sugar and canned pineapple, flours, tropical fruit juices, macadamia nuts, jams and jellies, and alcoholic beverages. There is also livestock raising and commercial fishing. There are also several companies in Hawaii that are engaged in manufacturing including those producing petroleum products and chemical compounds, concrete-pipe, aluminium-extrusion and garment.

Other prominent job sectors in Hawaii are civil related jobs and military jobs supporting the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine bases on Oahu Island.

Cost of Living in Hawaii

The cost of living is high in Hawaii. Honolulu is said to be one of the top 7 most expensive cities)in the United States. Therefore, after you move to Hawaii to live comfortably, you will need to earn over $122,000 in salary.

The average salary in Honolulu, Hawaii’s capital city is $66,000. However, the income tax rate in the city could be up to 11 percent which is one of the highest in the US.


The average cost of renting a studio in Oahu is between $1000 to $1,600 or more; one-bedroom, $1,500 – $2,000, two-bedroom starts at $1,800 per month, and the luxurious new one-bedroom condo will cost a minimum of $3,000. Utilities can cost up to $150 per person.

However, in some of the other Hawaiian Islands, you can get the same apartments for half of the price. Those other islands can also offer an appealing small town feel.

Haleakala national park

Ocean surface transportation is the major form of transportation of goods to and from Hawaii. Most of the Cargo ships ply between the Hawaii and California ports routes. Tug-pulled barges and small freighters are used to transport goods from the port in Honolulu to other Hawaiian Islands.

Most people coming in and out of Hawaii travel by air, and same as people moving from one island in Hawaii to the other, this is usually a short flight. The major airport is Honolulu International Airport. Other airports on the Islands are:

  • Hilo International Airport, Hilo
  • Kona International Airport Keahole in Kailua-Kona
  • Kahului Airport, Maui

Some of the airlines that have their hub at the Honolulu international airports are Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Air Cargo, Asia Pacific Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, and TransAir.

Health Insurance in Hawaii

Companies in Hawaii are required to provide health insurance for all employers who work at least 20 hours per week. This means up to 95% of the state’s population has health insurance. This program has created good health outcomes for the state as well as modest overall healthcare expenditure. 

However, for individual health insurance plan residents can expect to pay around $224.3. The actual price will depend on the state of health of the individual. 


Find The Best Mover To Get From California To Hawaii

North shore

As with any interstate move, start by looking for companies registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA is part of the Department of Transportation and has jurisdiction over interstate moves, as well as freight haulers, buses, and other transports. Your mover will have a number issued by the DOT, and you can search the FMCSA database for information about the moving company, including safety history and consumer complaints.

Every interstate mover will provide you with a copy of (or link to) a brochure FMCSA created, called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” This comprehensive resource outlines the rules governing interstate moves and explaining important information like estimates, liability, and arbitration and will help you when moving from CA to HI. FMCSA has another pamphlet titled “Ready to Move,” which contains a handy checklist of tasks to complete before you move and resources if you need help. 

Choose The Best Movers To Hawaii From California

Before you decide, talk to several movers, and get written estimates. Movers must complete a physical walkthrough of your home and create an inventory, which they may also refer to as a cube sheet or table of measurements. This list is the basis for the weight estimate that is, in turn, the primary component in the cost forecast for moving services to Hawaii.

Make sure the inventory is complete—there is no advantage to you in leaving anything off the list, and it may cause problems later. Don’t waive your right to a visual inspection of the household goods shipment—a phone description of what you are shipping is not adequate, and a reputable mover will be happy to do the walkthrough. 

Compare at least three written estimates, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples. If the moving companies present you with noticeably different weight assessments, ask why. A low-ball estimate can be a sign that a moving company is not being honest with you. If you have a non-binding estimate, your price will go up if the shipment’s weight is higher than what the company forecasts. 

A binding estimate protects you from an increase in the line haul charges, so there is less risk to the consumer with this type of contract. For that reason, moving operators can charge a fee for preparing a binding estimate. The third option is a binding estimate not to exceed, which means the price can go down, if the weight is lower than anticipated, but can’t go up if it is more. The cap is void if you include extra items, not on the inventory, in your shipment. 

What Is Included In The Cost Estimates When Moving From California To Hawaii?

When you receive the estimate, the moving company will supply a copy of their tariff, which is a list of all the fees it charges for services. Examples of fees include per-hour charges for packing, unpacking, crating, assembly, and disassembly of furniture. When hiring moving companies to Hawaii from California, they may also add extra costs for carrying items up and downstairs, or long carries, or waiting time, and additional stops (say, at a storage facility.) These charges are generally known and agreed to in advance, so make sure you examine the estimate and understand what you agree to.

There are some potential expenses that you may not be able to anticipate. These are referred to as impracticable operations. While these are delineated on the tariff, they may not be foreseeable, because they are evident when the mover arrives at the destination for delivery. An impracticable operation can be when the standard moving truck doesn’t fit in the street adjacent to the residence or isn’t allowed to park there, due to local regulations. In that case, additional moving labor is charged because the contents must be loaded onto a smaller vehicle and shuttled to the residence. 

Elevator deliveries also result in these charges being imposed. The consumer is protected against operators holding their shipment hostage for payment of high fees, however. The mover may only demand payment of an amount equal to 15 % of the moving bill for impracticable operations as a condition of delivery. Costs over that percentage must be invoiced later.

Similarly, suppose you have a non-binding estimate. In that case,  the mover cannot require you to pay more than 110% of the estimated amount for line-haul charges (and services included in the estimate) as a condition of delivery. Amounts greater than 110% can still be imposed but must be billed after delivery. So don’t be misled by a shady operator with a low estimate who claims that the maximum price is no more than 110% of their assessment. That is the ceiling for payment on delivery, not the total amount they can charge you for their service.

What If Something Goes Wrong When Moving To Hawaii From California?

Moving isn’t always smooth, which is why the FMCSA recommends that you ask potential moving companies about their dispute resolution procedures before you engage one. All interstate movers (registered with the FMCSA) must agree to participate in an arbitration program. The mover will provide you with a description of its plan before you contract with them for service. Most conflicts can be resolved amicably.

Another way to ensure that your experience is satisfactory is to protect yourself by choosing adequate coverage for your shipment. The moving company will offer you two options for valuation ( note: valuation is similar to insurance). The coverage offered at no additional cost is referred to as “released value” or waived coverage. 

This approach values your shipment at $0.60 per pound, by item. That “by item” part is worth paying attention to because the value is not shared among the 8,000 pounds but is specific to each piece. For example, your 20-pound flat-screen television, with an actual cost of $600, will be valued by the mover at $12.00. 

Even your 3-pound bespoke suit, if lost or damaged, will be reimbursed at $1.80 instead of $300. Think carefully about the second choice, which is Full Value coverage, available to you for a price determined by your mover, based on your shipment’s weight and value.  With Full Value Replacement coverage, the mover will replace, repair or reimburse you for the loss or damage of your possessions, up to the declared value. 

Keep in mind that if you have valuable individual items (worth over $100 per pound) those things must be listed on the inventory and have their value declared and accepted by the moving company. In many cases, when hiring moving companies to Hawaii from Mainland, they will only assume liability for damage to items they pack.

Moves From California To Hawaii : Our Top Routes

We operate from many different cities in California. And, these are some of the common routes people use when moving to Hawaii from California.

California To Honolulu

Los Angeles to Honolulu
Anaheim to Honolulu
Fresno to Honolulu
Stockton to Honolulu
Irvine to Honolulu
Bakersfield to Honolulu
Fremont to Honolulu
Oakland to Honolulu
Richmond to Honolulu
Sunnyvale to Honolulu
Modesto to Honolulu
Oxnard to Honolulu
Sacramento to Honolulu
Santa Clara to Honolulu
Huntington Beach to Honolulu
Santa Ana to Honolulu
San Francisco to Honolulu
San Jose to Honolulu
San Diego to Honolulu
Thousand Oaks to Honolulu
Chula Vista to Honolulu
San Marcos to Honolulu
Santa Clarita to Honolulu
Long Beach to Honolulu

California To East Honolulu

Los Angeles to Honolulu
Anaheim to Honolulu
Fresno to Honolulu
Stockton to Honolulu
Irvine to Honolulu
Bakersfield to Honolulu
Fremont to Honolulu
Oakland to Honolulu
Richmond to Honolulu
Sunnyvale to Honolulu
Modesto to Honolulu
Oxnard to Honolulu
Sacramento to Honolulu
Santa Clara to Honolulu
Huntington Beach to Honolulu
Santa Ana to Honolulu
San Francisco to Honolulu
San Jose to Honolulu
San Diego to Honolulu
Thousand Oaks to Honolulu
Chula Vista to Honolulu
San Marcos to Honolulu
Santa Clarita to Honolulu
Long Beach to Honolulu

California To Pearl City

Los Angeles to Pearl City
Anaheim to Pearl City
Fresno to Pearl City
Stockton to Pearl City
Irvine to Pearl City
Bakersfield to Pearl City
Fremont to Pearl City
Oakland to Pearl City
Richmond to Pearl City
Sunnyvale to Pearl City
Modesto to Pearl City
Oxnard to Pearl City
Sacramento to Pearl City
Santa Clara to Pearl City
Huntington Beach to Pearl City
Santa Ana to Pearl City
San Francisco to Pearl City
San Jose to Pearl City
San Diego to Pearl City
Thousand Oaks to Pearl City
Chula Vista to Pearl City
San Marcos to Pearl City
Santa Clarita to Pearl City
Long Beach to Pearl City

California To Hilo

Los Angeles to Hilo
Anaheim to Hilo
Fresno to Hilo
Stockton to Hilo
Irvine to Hilo
Bakersfield to Hilo
Fremont to Hilo
Oakland to Hilo
Richmond to Hilo
Sunnyvale to Hilo
Modesto to Hilo
Oxnard to Hilo
Sacramento to Hilo
Santa Clara to Hilo
Huntington Beach to Hilo
Santa Ana to Hilo
San Francisco to Hilo
San Jose to Hilo
San Diego to Hilo
Thousand Oaks to Hilo
Chula Vista to Hilo
San Marcos to Hilo
Santa Clarita to Hilo
Long Beach to Hilo

California To Waipahu

Los Angeles to Waipahu
Anaheim to Waipahu
Fresno to Waipahu
Stockton to Waipahu
Irvine to Waipahu
Bakersfield to Waipahu
Fremont to Waipahu
Oakland to Waipahu
Richmond to Waipahu
Sunnyvale to Waipahu
Modesto to Waipahu
Oxnard to Waipahu
Sacramento to Waipahu
Santa Clara to Waipahu
Huntington Beach to Waipahu
Santa Ana to Waipahu
San Francisco to Waipahu
San Jose to Waipahu
San Diego to Waipahu
Thousand Oaks to Waipahu
Chula Vista to Waipahu
San Marcos to Waipahu
Santa Clarita to Waipahu
Long Beach to Waipahu

California To Kailua CDP

Los Angeles to Kailua CDP
Anaheim to Kailua CDP
Fresno to Kailua CDP
Stockton to Kailua CDP
Irvine to Kailua CDP
Bakersfield to Kailua CDP
Fremont to Kailua CDP
Oakland to Kailua CDP
Richmond to Kailua CDP
Sunnyvale to Kailua CDP
Modesto to Kailua CDP
Oxnard to Kailua CDP
Sacramento to Kailua CDP
Santa Clara to Kailua CDP
Huntington Beach to Kailua CDP
Santa Ana to Kailua CDP
San Francisco to Kailua CDP
San Jose to Kailua CDP
San Diego to Kailua CDP
Thousand Oaks to Kailua CDP
Chula Vista to Kailua CDP
San Marcos to Kailua CDP
Santa Clarita to Kailua CDP
Long Beach to Kailua CDP

FAQs About Moving To Hawaii From California

According to LivingInHawaii, bringing kids from the mainland to Hawaii to study in either a public or private school is usually traumatic. This is because while Hawaii can be a great place for kids to grow up, it may not be the best in terms of schooling but homeschooling can be a great idea. 

The issue is about the other kids your kid will be mixing with. The social situation in Hawaii which is largely one of “ease and no stress” can have negative impacts on kids, especially at the elementary level.

There are about 130 private schools in Hawaii, and 20% of school children attend these private schools which has better standards and reputation than public schools, though more costly.

Some schools in Hawaii are more focused on preparing students for university education in top rated institutions whereas some more leaning towards creativity and art.

According to people that have experienced it first-hand, children that attend public schools in Hawaii can be exposed to violence, sexism, and sexual harassment.

At University level, Hawaii has both public and private universities, and degrees are offered up to Post-doc level. 

Yes you can. Any one can buy property in Hawaii as long as they are willing to pay a tax of 7.25% on the sale price. Property taxes are regulated by the Hawaii Real Property Tax Law. 

Although moving to Hawaii involves shipping across an ocean, it isn’t as complicated as an international move, since you are staying within the United States. However, Hawaii is particular about what comes in. All of Hawaii is free of rabies, and the state requires pets to complete a four-month quarantine. There are some ways to reduce that to 30 days, with planning, but be prepared to leave your pet in a quarantine station on Oahu for at least a month, if not longer. There are costs associated with this procedure, and more information is available on the Hawaii Animal Industry Division website.

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

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