When moving to Hawaii, there are a LOT of things to consider, and a lot of things to think of.
Honestly, I regularly got overwhelmed with it all, especially doing it all alone.
In this post, I share 7 things you might not think of when moving to Hawaii (or anywhere else)
1. Find a Temporary Place To Live when you get here (1 month vacation rental)
To be totally transparent, when I wanted to move to Kauai I had an idea in my head about where I wanted to live.
Then one day, I saw an ad for an AWEsome looking home in Kalaheo Kauai. Never been there and had this notion, I didn’t want to live West or South on the island.
After seeing this home, I started researching a bit and ended up really liking the idea of South side of the island.
The house I liked so much didn’t come through (seemed very scammy when he wanted about $4k without any kind of written agreement), however, I ended up seriously considering the area as a place to live. So much so, my one month vacation rental is in Kalaheo.
When moving to Hawaii, it might be a good option to rent a vacation home for a short period of time allowing you get your feet on the ground, have a furnished home, get familiar with the island, welcome your pets if they are coming to, and take some pressure off in the months before your move.
I wanted so much to have a permanent rental upon arriving but didn’t know anyone on the island to look at homes for me, didn’t have the time or the money to jet off to Hawaii in advance of my move, so I went with the next best thing.
Got a 1 month vacation rental through VRBO.
VRBO gave me the peace of mind knowing I wasn’t being scammed, a place to live that was fully furnished, and some protection should it be a scam, not be anything like advertised, and even insurance to protect me if my pets or child should do damage. ($140 for insurance)
This stepping stone of sorts lead me to Koloa, a beautiful area with a sleepy small town feel that just might be our new home.
I had been through Koloa before and loved it, but this time, really feel drawn there.
Still, if you can, visit the location often and have a good idea of where you want to live.
Take into consideration:
A. Church (if you attend or plan to)
b. Schools (if you have school aged children)
c. Activities – what things will you be happiest doing – get close to those
d. Commute – if you have to work, think about the drive back and forth each day (traffic is an issue here)
e. Lifestyle – I had to decide if I wanted beach town atmosphere or cookie cutter housing development. At the time of this writing, I’m seriously considering a cute, older classic plantation style home in Koloa.
Not brand new, not lush and tropical (yet) but in a beautiful quaint location.
2. Get a Costco Card
Yep…I said it. One of the best places to shop and even get gas on the island (Kauai) so far, is Costco. If you don’t have one and you plan to move to Kauai, be sure to get one. Trust me, it will be worth EVERY penny to you.
Do some research on your visit and determine the best place to be a member. On my first several visits, I got a Safeway card and enjoyed some benefits of that, but ironically, in the last 2 weeks I’ve been here, haven’t stepped food in Safeway, been to Costco twice.
Gas prices on the island when we arrived have been around $3.58 and with a Costco card, I buy for $3.23 a gallon which adds up over time.
3. Get a PO Box if possible in the area you want to live or nearby
This might seem odd, but as I got ready to make my move to Hawaii and began changing address information, it seemed odd to give out the address to the one month rental I’m staying in. I wish I had taken the time to get a PO Box online so that I had somewhere for people to send mail once I was here.
The PO Box I secured in Kalaheo cost me about $47 for 6 months and they even provided a street address for those vendors that require a physical address when I’m shopping online. (Amazon)
Now, instead of giving out an address to the landlord I’m renting from for a month, I can give my PO Box and when I get my permanent address, I can simply do an address change (and even get a refund on unused time I believe)
4. Start adjusting some areas of your lifestyle (Dog food)
This one you might not have considered, I didn’t. In Las Vegas, my dog has been on some really good organic dog food and I didn’t think to wean her or switch her to something else until I was in Kauai looking for a place that sells high quality dog food.
and marveling at the cost!
Just about everything in Kauai is much more expensive than the mainland (it has to be shipped in) and if you don’t switch, you either have your dog eat better than you do, or you will enjoy the inconveniences of switching your pets diet suddenly. ;)
5. Get an Amazon Prime account
Much of what you might buy is offered on Amazon. In many cases it is cheaper to shop Amazon and simply find the item you want offered as “prime” where shipping is FREE.
Trust me on this one, first time you see the shipping cost a company charges to get something to Hawaii, you’ll be REALLY glad you did this!
It cost me $99 a year, and I have probably saved $100’s+ already
Honestly, besides a few things at Wal-mart, Kmart or Home Depot, I’m setting up my new house off Amazon.
There might be an occasion where what you want isn’t offered by a vendor for Prime (free shipping) so just keep shopping until you find that item.
You can weigh the difference between shipping from vendor not offering prime and difference in price (usually just a few bucks) from one that is.
6. Give away your printer and plan to buy a new one
This might not make sense (especially if you have a very expensive printer) but this has been the ONE item I wish I had most.
If you are planning to rent a property out here, you’ll need a way to print, and scan back an application.
Plus side of not having a printer: Making friends at UPS store and the local library.
I sent mine with my shipped items and now wish I had just sold it or donated it and invested in something brand new here.
Bought one right before leaving and having it sent to my PO Box I got in # 3 above.
#7. Make sure you have some proof of who you are
If you are planning on renting, registering your vehicle, and getting local ID, best be able to prove who you are.
I was never in the habit of carrying around my social security card (identify theft avoiding precaution) and soon discovered I needed to have that when filling out a rental app (1 time) and in order to get my Hawaii drivers license.
Good news is, I can drive around Hawaii on my Nevada license as long as it is valid but in order to get Local (Kama’aina (ka-ma-eye-nah)) deals and savings on things, you need a Hawaii license/ID.
Now, at the DMV, there are some other accepted forms of proving who you are if you don’t have your social security card unless like me, you didn’t pack those in your carry on either.
~ 1099 Tax form
~ Pay Stub with SS# (does anyone still do that?)
~ Medicare Card
So there you have it…
7 Things You Might Not Think Of Doing Before Moving to Hawaii
Were any of these 7 items a surprise to you?
Have you moved and been glad you used one of these?
Do you have some other helpful tips our readers can use when moving to Hawaii or anywhere else?
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on this post.
Stay tuned for my next adventures in moving to Hawaii.