Living In Hawaii

Welcome to How To Live In Hawaii, a guide to moving to Hawaii and living in Hawaii as a new resident.

Here you’ll find how-to’s, tips, reviews of products and services, and other resources that will ease your transition and make your new life and home in Hawaii as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Hawaiian slang

Hawaiian slang has evolved from the old plantation days, when immigrants came from different countries to work in Hawaii’s sugar cane fields. The official languages of the state of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian. But there’s also a third unofficial language, which is spoken by many locals in everyday conversation: Hawaii Pidgin English.

Shipping car to Hawaii

If you’re planning a move to Hawaii, you might wonder if it’s worth shipping your current car, motorcycle, or boat overseas, or if you should get rid of it and replace it once you’re living in Hawaii. The answer depends on several factors: Where would you be shipping your vehicle from?

35 Hawaiian Words Every New Resident Should Know

Thanks to Hawaii’s long history of immigration and ethnic diversity, its residents speak a unique form of English. You’ll hear words borrowed from Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and other languages. But the most prevalent non-English words you’ll hear are from the Hawaiian language, which is one of state’s two official languages (English is the other).

Companies In Hawaii

Let’s talk about job hunting. Because unless you’re indepedently wealthy (in which I case I’m totally envious) or have a nice nest egg saved up for your retirement in Hawaii, you’re gonna have to figure out a way to earn an income here. And for most of us, that means finding a job.

Grocery Prices In Hawaii

A common question I see posted on forum threads about moving to Hawaii is: “How much do groceries cost?” This question seems to spring from the common knowledge that Hawaii has higher grocery prices, because most goods are manufactured or grown outside of the islands and need to shipped over.

Foreign Nationals: How You Can Live In Hawaii, Too

(Note: If this article looks familiar, it’s because it was originally published in my newsletter. I have since changed the format of my newsletter and have moved all articles previously published under the old format to my blog, where they can be more easily found.) Surprise, surprise: Americans citizens aren’t the only ones who want to move to Hawaii.

Most Affordable Neighborhoods In Hawaii, Pt. 1: Oahu

Everyone knows that housing in Hawaii is expensive. In fact, when compared to other U.S. states, Hawaii’s average rent is the highest. But rents vary greatly throughout the state, depending on the island, city/town, and neighborhood. So which areas of Hawaii have the least expensive rents? And perhaps more importantly, why are they less expensive than other areas?

Private Schools In Hawaii: Grades PreK-12

NOTE: If you’re interested in finding a private school for a child age 15 months-6 years, I recommend also reading my post Preschools In Hawaii. In 2009, average test scores in reading, math, and science for 4th- and 8th-grade students enrolled in Hawaii’s public schools were all below the national average.

Shipping Household Items To Hawaii

The moving process is never easy, but moving all your stuff to Hawaii is particularly challenging in that it requires not only land transport, but also ocean or air transport to get across that big, beautiful Pacific. Approaches to the Moving Process There are several approaches that you can take when moving your household items to Hawaii: Sell, donate, or store most of your household items.

Getting a Hawaii Drivers License Or State ID

If you have an unexpired drivers license from another U.S. state, Canada, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands: You may continue to use that license to drive in Hawaii, as long as you are at least 18 years old.

Before You Move To Hawaii, Answer These Questions

If living in Hawaii is currently your dream rather than your reality, you’re certainly not alone. And if your dream is anything like mine was, it includes year-round sunshine, going to the beach after work, living in shorts and flip-flops, tropical flowers blooming everywhere, bronze-skinned surfers, a stress-free life…

Senior Citizen Benefits & Programs In Hawaii

Hawaii is a good place to grow old: The weather is mild year-round, the air is clean, the beautiful natural surroundings encourage outdoor activities, the pace of life is less-hectic, and the influence of Hawaiian and Asian cultures has produced a special respect for kupuna. But that’s not all: There are also many state programs and benefits for seniors and retirees in Hawaii.

Which Hawaiian Island Should You Move To?

(Note: If this article looks familiar, it’s because it was originally published in my newsletter. I have since changed the format of my newsletter and have moved all articles previously published under the old format to my blog, where they can be more easily found.) Deciding on which of the six major islands in Hawaii to call home is a nice problem to have.

Men: Dress For Success In Hawaii

A few days ago, I wrote about the vaguely defined “business casual” dress code for women in Hawaii. After doing some research on behalf of my male readers, I’m happy to report that business-attire guidelines for men in Hawaii are more spelled-out and straightforward.

30 Reasons Why You Might Not Like Living In Hawaii

Today I’m going to be Negative Nelly and give you some food for thought on why you might not enjoy living in Hawaii. Read each statement below and ask yourself, “Is this true for me?” If it is, that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll dislike living in Hawaii. But it does point out something that you need to consider carefully in deciding whether or not to move to Hawaii.

Bringing Pets To Hawaii, Step 1: Prohibited Animals

Hawaii is a rabies-free state and wants to remain that way. If you’re moving to Hawaii with pets, this means you’re going to have to take several steps to prepare them for entrance into the state. If you arrive in Hawaii without the necessary documentation proving your pets don’t have rabies, they will be quarantined for up to four months, at your expense.

Bringing Pets To Hawaii, Step 5: Flight Booking

Step 1: Prohibited Animals Step 2: Vaccinations Step 3: Microchip Step 4: Blood Test Step 5: Flight Booking Unless your pet is a guide dog or service dog, it will probably have to travel to Hawaii in the baggage compartment or cargo hold of an airplane. I have yet to find a commercial airline that allows pets to fly in the passenger cabin on flights to Hawaii.

Registering Cars In Hawaii

How you register a vehicle in Hawaii depends on whether you ship it from out of state, buy it new from a Hawaii dealership, or buy it used from someone in Hawaii. If you ship your vehicle to Hawaii… If you buy a new vehicle in Hawaii… If you buy a used vehicle in Hawaii… If you ship your vehicle to Hawaii…

Most Affordable Neighborhoods In Hawaii, Pt. 4: Kauai

In my last three posts, I identified which neighborhoods had the cheapest rental housing on Oahu, the Big Island, and Maui & Molokai. Today’s post completes my series on the most affordable ZIP codes in Hawaii, with a focus on the island of Kauai. Kaumakani (West Side of Kauai) ZIP Code: 96747 2-bedroom: $1207 4- bedroom: $1649 Why it’s less expensive: Few amenities, mainly sugar plantations.

Public Schools In Hawaii: Grades PreK-12

Hawaii is the only state in U.S. that has just one school district (Department of Education) that governs all public schools in the state. Hawaii’s Department of Education also sets policies such as high school graduation requirements and curriculum standards. For administrative purposes, the Department of Education is divided into 7 subdistricts: Hawaii District (Big Island) Kauai District (Kauai) Maui District (Maui, Molokai, Lanai) Honolulu District (Oahu) Central District (Oahu)

Bringing Pets To Hawaii, Step 4: Blood Test

Step 1: Prohibited Animals Step 2: Vaccinations Step 3: Microchip Step 4: OIE-FAVN Blood Test NOTE: If your dog or cat will be coming to Hawaii from Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Jersey, and Bailiwick of Guernsey), you can skip this step completely.

New Home Developments In Hawaii: Big Island, Maui & Kauai

If you’re looking for a new-construction condo, townhouse, or single family home on the Big Island, Maui, or Kauai, you’ll find them in all sorts of price ranges — from “affordable” to “the sky is the limit.” Looking for new home construction on Oahu? Read my previous article, New Home Developments In Hawaii: Oahu.

New Affordable Senior Housing On Oahu

Last week, I wrote about why Hawaii is a good place to be a senior citizen, citing subsidized housing for seniors as one of the reasons. If you’re a senior who’s interested in affordable housing on Oahu, there’s a brand-new apartment complex that you should know about.

Bringing Pets To Hawaii, Step 8: Health Certificate

Step 1: Prohibited Animals Step 2: Vaccinations Step 3: Microchip Step 4: Blood Test Step 5: Flight Booking Step 6: Kennel Step 7: Import Form Step 8: Health Certificate Pets From Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles If your dog or cat will be coming to Hawaii from Guam, Australia, New Zealand, or the British Isles, it will need a health certificate issued within 14 days of your.

Retirement Communities On Oahu

This article is the second in a series on retirement hot-spots in Hawaii. In my last article, I talked about retirement communities within the city of Honolulu. This article will focus on the rest of the island of Oahu, outside of Honolulu. After all, there’s a whole lot more to the island than just “town”!

Retirement Communities On The Big Island

This article is fourth in a series on retirement hot-spots in Hawaii. In my previous articles, I talked about retirement communities within the city of Honolulu, elsewhere on Oahu, and on Maui, Molokai, and Lana’i. This article will focus on the Big Island. If you’re looking for subsidized, low-income senior housing, read this section on affordable housing for seniors from my previous article, Senior Benefits & Programs In Hawaii.

Best Companies To Work For In Hawaii

Yesterday I listed the highest earning companies in Hawaii (based on annual gross sales), and how they might be good places to look for a job. Well, if you care more about the quality of a workplace than the quantity of money it earns, you’ll be happy to know that this month, Hawaii Business Magazine published its annual “Best Places To Work” issue.

New Home Developments In Hawaii: Oahu

Looking for a brand-new condo, townhouse, or single family home in Hawaii? Here’s a roundup of all the current new-home construction on the island of Oahu. (In my next post, I’ll cover new-home construction on the neighbor islands.) All properties listed in this article are fee-simple. I did not include time shares (also known as “fractional ownership”) or home sites (land only).