For many, moving to Hawaii seems like the ultimate dream – beautiful beaches, lush greenery and the aloha spirit. But living in paradise can come with a price. From the moving process to banking in Hawaii, there are a few important transitions to keep in mind when making the big move. Here are a few tips to help you understand what you need to know before moving to Hawaii.


Though living in Hawaii comes with many perks, it also comes with a higher cost of living. This is due to a few reasons:

·     Lack of Affordable Housing: Real estate on an island can be very precious, and with this in mind, Hawaii has a limited supply of affordable housing. While the state is currently working on addressing this issue, finding a place to rent or buy at an affordable cost can be challenging.

·     Vacation Destination: Hawaii is a popular destination for vacationers from the Mainland. While local residents are happy to see their economy benefiting, costs such as hotel rooms, activities and attractions are sometimes higher to capitalize on business from tourists.

·     Imported Goods: As the most remote island chain in the world, many essentials need to be shipped to Hawaii from across the ocean. Simple things such as toilet paper, milk and eggs cost more in the islands than they do on the mainland.

In addition to your future cost of living, you’ll need to consider how much it will cost to ship your belongings, too.

Most people plan to sell much of their large furniture and excess belongings before their move. This can help reduce the cost a little, but there will be things you want to take. Your keepsakes and other required items are probably going to ship via ocean freight.

Depending on how much you bring over, you could be spending thousands of dollars [CB2] on shipping your belongings. Start saving for the move well before you decide to head to the islands.


Hawaii has a lot of varying climates and communities across the state. You’ll need to consider a number of factors to decide where in Hawaii you want to settle.

With multiple climates throughout the islands, your choices could range from living along the beach to living in the valley of a mountain. In addition to climate, population density should be an important factor in your choice. The North Shore of Oahu features farmland and rural towns. Downtown Honolulu and popular vacation areas like Waikiki are going to have a lot more people in a smaller area.

If possible, come visit the island or islands you are interested in moving to before you make the move so that you can discover the areas and decide which part you like best. Consider talking to locals to get an understanding of the neighborhoods, schools, and the cost of living in certain areas. Most local residents are happy to chat about their home and you’ll notice many will speak with a lot of pride.

Can’t make a trip to Hawaii? Check out the Honolulu Magazine Newcomers Guide, which features a wealth of resources on moving to Hawaii, including a section called “Where to Live.”


Don’t expect to find a branch of your big national bank in Hawaii. Local companies are the backbone of banking in Hawaii and you’ll find at least one branch from a local bank in every town you visit.

Local Hawaii banks do their best to provide tailored products and services that meet their customers’ needs in Hawaii. Many of the banks, such as American Savings Bank, are also committed to giving back to the community with a local touch.

For example, American Savings Bank recently opened a brand-new corporate headquarters in Honolulu. The ASB Campus has helped to revitalize the surrounding areas while also creating more opportunities for the bank’s teammates to innovate and collaborate.

Hawaii is truly a special place – one that is celebrated around the world for its beauty, its hospitality and its people. Following these three tips can help to prepare you for a smooth transition to living in Hawaii.