What It’s Like to Live on an Hawaiian Island?

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Anyone who has ever seen photos or been to Hawaii is likely to be enamored with the paradise-like conditions. For many, the weather is perfect and the overall island life is more peaceful than a congested and noisy city. The scenery of palm trees, sunsets, mountains, oceans and beaches can be breathtaking. For those considering staying abroad in Hawaii, retiring there, or taking an extended vacation, we recommend to purchase few books about Hawaii (like for example “The Hawaii Home Book: Practical Tips for Tropical Living” by Karen Anderson) and make your due diligence.

Live on an Hawaiian Island

Hawaii Life

You should also consider those important questions before making your decision:

What is the cost of living like in Hawaii?

Let’s not say that you have to be rich to live in Hawaii, but don’t underestimate the costs of things here. People often regard Hawaii as one of the most expensive places to live for three reasons: the cost of housing, the cost of utilities and the cost of groceries. Renting an apartment or a house in Hawaii can run about $1,000 to $1,500 a month depending if it’s in Honolulu or on another island. It is much cheaper if you do not have a family, since you should be able to get a studio apartment. Buying a new home brings the price down overall. If you are looking to buy just a lot, you can get one for as cheap as $6,000. A home can be as low as $300,000 but can be well over $1,000,000 depending on the location.

The cost of electricity can run you a little less than $200 every month or more. This can be deferred by simply choosing to live in a cooler area so that you will not use as much electricity. You can also cut your bill nearly in half by obtaining a solar water heating unit. As for the cost of groceries, a gallon of milk can run you $7, while a store-brand loaf of bread is about $3. Coconut palm tree with Diamond head mountain background, HawaiiThe reason for this is that a lot of groceries come from the mainland. You can cut down your costs a bit by buying locally grown items.

What are a few downsides to living in Hawaii?

  • Bugs and other critters are everywhere. Most of them are not harmful, but it is considered normal for you to have a few cockroaches and geckos in your home every week.
  • There are some mainland retailers that are just not in Hawaii. These include Trader Joe’s, Bath and Body Works, Target, or Olive Garden. However, if you’re a big Starbucks fan, there are a few on the main island of Hawaii and they seem to be everywhere on southern Oahu.
  • Speaking of shopping, it isn’t easy to get things shipped to you. Often, people don’t ship to Hawaii and if they do it’s very costly.
  • Hawaiian Time is also called fashionably late or island time. Expect everyone else to be late unless it’s a job interview.
GoLivingIn Hawaii

GoLivingIn Hawaii

What will I love about Hawaii?

  • Aside from the scenery of living on an island, the carefree environment and lack of clutter may make you feel better overall. You might find that you were stressed out from city life and you didn’t even know it.
  • You can hang your clothes out to dry without having to worry about them shrinking or getting damaged from excessive heat.
  • Honolulu is number three on Forbes’ list of safest cities in America. According to Men’s Health, it is also the happiest city in America.
  • If you plan on being at the beach any time of the year, you do not have to change your attire. The beaches usually aren’t so cool that they require a jacket.
  • Wherever you go, there is also the look and scent of fresh flowers all year around.

Exploring new opportunities in Honolulu

If you are thinking about moving to Honolulu, Hawaii there are some things you should know first. Hawaii has some wonderful qualities and many people dream of making it their home. If you are prepared to make the transition, this can be a great choice. Let’s look at some questions and answers that you might have about relocating to Honolulu.

How far is Honolulu from the mainland of the USA?

San Francisco is the closest major mainland city to Honolulu. The distance is a little under 2,400 miles and the flight time is about 4 and a half hours. From Los Angeles, the average flight takes about 5 hours.

Does Hawaii have its own unique culture?

Although Hawaii is a U.S. state, it has its own unique culture. The native Polynesian culture goes back for centuries and has its own language and customs. Of course, Honolulu also has many expatriates and people from all heritages. However, you will notice that there are certain cultural differences that take getting used to.

Is it expensive to live in Honolulu?

Being a group of islands, Hawaii is an expensive place to live. Most items must be shipped there from other places using services like https://www.a1autotransport.com/container-shipping-to-hawaii/. Therefore, you can expect a higher cost of living in general. This applies to food, real estate, gas, entertainment and many other daily expenses.


United Mayflower container service is one of those affordable ways to move to Hawaii. If you haven’t heard of them before, it’s basically one of those “you pack, we drive” (or in your case, “ship”) moving companies. They provide a simple, affordable alternative to traditional moving and storage options. At 16’ long, 8’ wide, and 8’ high, our containers hold the contents of a typical 1,500-square foot home (basement, garage patio, and attic items may require additional containers), making them perfect for moving. At least this was exactly what we needed to help with our move! With two small children, packing and moving in one day or weekend was not an option for us. We were able to get the container for a month and slowly pack our belongings at our leisure and unpack after it was delivered to our new address in Honolulu. When moving to an off-shore location like Hawaii (where most things are expensive), it’s nice to have a way to save.

What’s the weather like in Honolulu?

The climate is one of the big reasons people want to move to Hawaii. Average temperatures reach between 80F – 90F throughout the year. There are frequent rain showers, but these are often short-lived. There is heavier rain in the winter months. Overall, Honolulu and the rest of Hawaii has a very comfortable climate for people who enjoy warm weather.

What is the economic situation in Honolulu?

Honolulu has a strong economy that is largely driven by tourism. Recent statistics show that Honolulu has the sixth strongest local economy in the U.S. At the same time, the recent recession has had some impact on Hawaii as well as everywhere else. Someone seeking a job, depending on qualifications and experience, may need to spend some time searching.

What are the best beaches?

Many people look forward to visiting the beach when they move to Hawaii. Honolulu has several great beaches. The most popular ones include Waikiki Beach, Sandy Beach and Halona Beach Cove. This is definitely a great place to live if you enjoy surfing, swimming, or other water-based activities.

What is the housing situation?

It’s best if you have a house or apartment secured before moving to Honolulu, as the housing market is tight. Honolulu is a city with quite a few different neighborhoods, such as downtown, Waikiki, and Chinatown. If you haven’t found your home or apartment yet, you could go for a vacation rental in Honolulu and decide from there which neighborhood is most suitable for you.

What is transportation like in Honolulu?

Traffic can be quite congested in Honolulu. In fact, it was named the most congested U.S. city in 2012. If you want to rely on public transportation, there is an extensive bus system. A limited rail system is currently being built.

Does Honolulu have interesting cultural activities and nightlife?

Honolulu has lots to do at all hours of the day and night. There are many restaurants, museums, festivals and places to shop. Both Chinese and Polynesian cultures provide many interesting cultural resources.

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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