Relocation Resources

Important Tips for Moving to O'ahu

The concept of moving to O’ahu is pretty exciting in theory, but when it comes down to actually packing your boxes and preparing for the big trip across the ocean, it might begin to feel a little overwhelming. Here are some tips for ensuring that your relocation to the island goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible!


take few belongings

Prepare Before You Move

One big difference between moving to Hawaii and moving anywhere else in the US is that you cannot simply rent a U-Haul or load up your pickup truck. Everything you bring will need to be shipped overseas, and that can get expensive.

  • Narrow down your belongings to what you really need. Anything that you can replace in Honolulu probably doesn’t need to come. This includes furniture, clothing, dishes and kitchenware, appliances, and more. Remember, the more stuff you have, the more it will cost to ship.
  • If in doubt as to whether you’ll be able to find something on the island, consider putting it in storage on the mainland until you decide what to do with it.
  • Mail what you can. Mailing smaller boxes can be cheaper, and anything that you can’t mail must be shipped via a mover and a boat.
  • Find a reputable mover. Be very careful who you choose—if it seems like a great deal, it might just be too good to be true.


moving with pets

Moving with Pets

Moving to Hawaii with pets can present an additional challenge. Hawaii is rabies-free and requires detailed medical records and a period of quarantine. Unless you have excellent records of your pet’s shots and vaccination history, they might have to undergo an extended quarantine.


moving with a car

Taking Your Car

Moving a car to Hawaii presents another unique hurdle, as it, too, must be shipped. In fact, it can actually be cheaper to sell your car and simply buy a new car in Honolulu than to pay to have it shipped. If you do decide to ship, again be sure that you are hiring a reputable mover.


packing tips

Tips for Packing

If you will be shipping items, they will need to be packed very carefully, as shipping consists of packing boxes into a container, putting the container on a boat, and shipping them across the ocean. So it’s important to take special care with your packing!

  • Use sturdy, reinforced boxes. Keep in mind that free boxes won’t necessarily be reinforced. Don’t be stingy on the bubble wrap and packing material, either.
  • Specifically label and mark fragile boxes so they can be easily identified and handled with care.
  • Consider securing extra insurance for any high-value items, or mail them separately.
  • Pack any dishes, bowls, places, and other glass objects vertically, rather than flat and stacked.
  • Create an “Open Me First” box for items that are needed right away. And be sure to label your boxes so that you know which box belongs in which room.
  • Take all personal documentation (medical, school, and financial records, passports and ID’s, any other important information) with you for security and convenience.


understanding mortgages

Adapt to the Lifestyle

Living on O’ahu is pretty great, there’s no doubt—but it’s definitely different from living on the mainland. Life moves at its own pace here; Hawaii definitely has its own unique culture, style, and pace of living. For those accustomed to the hustle-and-bustle, the go-go-go, the instantaneous-now lifestyle of mainland living, it might seem like life moves in slow motion here, but for residents of the island, we know how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of everyday life in paradise.

Thinking of relocating to O'ahu? Then it's time to contact RE/MAX Honolulu. Not only are we your local guides to life on the island, we're also your Honolulu homebuying experts. We're here to help you find a perfect home in the perfect community and start living in paradise.

O'ahu Real Estate Resources


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