How to Move to Hawaii for Remote Work

By MakeMyMove Staff • May 11, 2022

When you become a remote worker, the dream is that you can live anywhere, including on a tropical island where you can work from the beach. It may seem too good to be true – and after all, sand and water don’t mix well with computers – but the part about living and working on a tropical island could be a reality, if you want it to be.

That’s because it’s possible to move to Hawaii while your work headquarters are located anywhere else. Remote work incentive programs can help make this dream a reality by easing the burden of moving from wherever you currently live. The next consideration is: should I move to Hawaii? We’ll help you figure it out with this article. And if you decide to make the move, we'll guide you through the steps of how to move to Hawaii.

Why Move to Hawaii? Pros of Living Here

The state of Hawaii has a lot to offer anyone, including remote workers.

  • Outdoor Advantages: You gain the incredible natural beauty of this tropical area, including the Pacific Ocean, palm trees, and an enjoyable climate, which translates to year-round outdoor activities.

  • A Healthy Place: This is also considered a healthy state to live in, according to Real Hawaii, which contributes to a person's quality of life. We mean, who wouldn’t feel healthier surrounded by the natural beauty of this state?!

  • Quality of Life: Speaking of quality of life, this state often scores high. When measures of quality of life are considered, Hawaii scored better than the nation in a 2020 report. It particularly scored well in terms of education, environment and health, and all of these factors got even better from 2009 to 2019.

Are you still wondering why move to Hawaii?

Can I Move to Hawaii? Factors to Consider Before Taking the Leap

As you could imagine, moving to Hawaii brings a long list to the pro column. Nonetheless, if you’re going to relocate, it’s important to be aware of the cons as well. That way, you can make the best decision for yourself, your career and your family if you have one.

Here are some main downsides:

  • Cost of Living: Many areas throughout the nation provide a low cost of living that can really benefit a remote worker, especially because your income is not dependent on where you live. Hawaii is different because the cost of living is high. An indicator is median home value, which is $667,005 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. This state is also notorious for its high cost of goods, including groceries, which is confirmed by Real Hawaii. Keep in mind that items first need to be shipped from the contiguous U.S. before reaching your local stores.

  • Quality of Life Detractors: It’s worth noting that in quality of life measures, Hawaii scored worse than the nation in housing and transportation.

  • Economic Effects of the Pandemic: Hawaii is facing difficult after-effects of the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal noted that it had disastrous effects on Hawaii’s economy. Some stats given are a 97.6 percent decline in tourism visits, accounting for a 53 percent decline in jobs in leisure and hospitality, which is a major employment industry in the state. The silver lining for remote workers is that your work can be independent of the economy of this state while you enjoy the perks of living here. Also, you can imagine that tourism will pick up again in this desirable spot to visit.

When you consider the cost of living, consider pluses that help balance high costs, such as a lower than average property tax rate of 0.35 percent. You also gain the quality of life factors noted above.

Steps to Move to Hawaii

Once you decide to make the move to these islands, it’s time to figure out how to move to Hawaii. That’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds. After all, Hawaii is not physically connected to the mainland, so you can’t simply drive a moving van to it as you would to other destinations. There may be other moving factors involved you hadn’t considered as well. Here are some tips for moving to this state:

  • Consider Short-Term Accommodations Before Choosing Long-Term Housing: This is good advice for moving anywhere, including Hawaii. It’s best to check out areas in person before you set down roots. This gives you a chance to make sure you like an area and a home, and to avoid housing scams. Plus, many landlords or realtors want to meet you in person to make sure a deal is the real thing as well. This means waiting until after you move to choose your long-term housing, whether you’ll rent or buy. Ideas for short-term accommodations include staying with someone you know, setting up an Airbnb or hotel room, or renting a place temporarily.

  • Determine Transportation: Your transportation needs may vary in terms of temporary needs and long-term ones. Hawaii has a bus system that operates on different islands. There are car rental agencies for short-term or long-term rentals. When you're ready to settle, you can have your car shipped from the mainland or purchase a new or used car from one of the dealerships in Hawaii.

  • Move Your Things: Like we said before, you can’t simply rent a moving truck and drive to Hawaii. Instead, you’ll need to work with a company, such as Royal Hawaiian Movers, that has the expertise in moving things from the mainland to Hawaii or from island to island. A specialized company like this can ship cars, move your belongings – from a room to an entire home – and provide temporary storage if you need it while you sort out your situation. They can also assist you with customs and regulations related to your move, in addition to cultural considerations. Royal Hawaiian Movers customizes each move to fit your situation. For instance, they may need a combination of ship and truck to move your items.

  • Figure Out Phone and Internet: As a remote worker, quality internet is imperative to your source of income, as is having good phone service. Not to worry. Hawaii is still part of the U.S. and has great internet service. Royal Hawaiian Movers notes that the internet infrastructure of Hawaii has been ranked top in the country. There are high gig speeds with very few outages. As for cell phone service, with the exception of certain dead zones, the islands have as good coverage as the rest of the country.

Determine If You Qualify for Moving Assistance

There is one thing that could make the move to Hawaii much easier. The area offers a relocation reimbursement with a value of $2,500 for remote workers to go to Honolulu. Through the deal, you get access to co-working space and travel discounts, among other perks. What do you think? Does Hawaii sound like it could be the next place for you?

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.