Hawaii is one of the most beautiful states in the country, and one of the most scenically amazing places in the world.
That natural beauty and the relaxed lifestyle are some of the many reasons a person might explore moving to Hawaii, but there is a lot to know before you make that decision. From understanding the cost-of-living to getting your Hawaii driver’s license, you should plan carefully before making a move to America’s Pacific paradise.
The Cost of Living
Moving to paradise doesn’t come cheap. The cost of living in Hawaii is incredibly high, and it can come with quite a bit of sticker shock for newcomers
Some research puts the cost of living in Hawaii as the highest in the country.
The median home value is more than $670,000 throughout Hawaii, and 82% of homes cost $357,000 or more. For someone who’s lived in Hawaii for some time and bought a home there and built equity in it, that can be a great thing.
If you’re looking to move, maybe not such a great thing.
There are certain parts of Hawaii where you’re going to pay even more. For example, on average homes in Kailua have a median value of more than a million dollars.
If you think you can escape some of these high costs by renting, that’s probably not the case. Rent is incredibly high, as well. If you were to move to Honolulu you could expect an average rent price of more than $2,250.
These aren’t the only costs to consider.
Residents of Hawaii have the highest monthly energy bills in the country.
Keep in mind that if you get your Hawaii driver’s license, then you can sometimes use that for discounts. These are known as kama’aina discounts, which basically means a discount for locals.
Traffic Is Intense
While you think about Hawaii as being a serene, nature-filled place (and for the most part it is), there are modern pitfalls and in particular, the traffic.
If you’re in an urban area like Honolulu, you’re going to especially feel the effects of the traffic.
Even in rural areas, traffic can be an issue because there are so many two-lane roads.
If you were going to compare the intensity of the traffic in Hawaii to somewhere on the mainland, the only comparable city would be Los Angeles. As a result, the closer you can live to your work, the better.
You May Not Be Able to Bring Your Pet Along
If you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii and you have a pet, it can be tricky to get it to the islands. Hawaii is very rigid and regulated when it comes to protecting its ecosystem from outside threats. This can sometimes include not only plants but also non-native animals.
To bring your pet to Hawaii, you will have to go through a screening and quarantine process that can be expensive and lengthy so get started early.
Even if you can get your pet into Hawaii, a lot of places aren’t willing to rent to people with pets. It’s not necessarily the most pet-friendly place.
The Pace Is Slower
While you might be battling some pretty serious traffic, in general, the lifestyle and pace of life in Hawaii is much slower than the mainland.
People in Hawaii tend to operate at a more relaxed pace, which can take some getting used to if you’re not from there.
Within businesses, things often move along more slowly than you might be used to.
Since Hawaii is an island, getting things there takes longer as well. For example, if you’re used to Amazon Prime shipping, you can forget it in Hawaii. There’s no such thing and not only will it take longer for items to get to you in Hawaii, but they’re probably going to end up being quite a bit more expensive.
It’s Culturally Diverse
In Hawaii, and in particular the urban area of Honolulu, there is a lot of cultural diversity. There are Native Hawaiians, but there are also large populations of Chinese, Korean Japanese, and Filipino people, among others.
As a result there is a real cultural blend in terms of food, music, and art to enjoy in Hawaii.
While there are downsides, once people do make the move to Hawaii, they often feel the balanced lifestyle and beauty it offers tends to outweigh those things. It really is a beautiful place like no other on earth.