Moving to Hawaii – How to Plan your Trip

Moving to Hawaii from the mainland can be a nerve-wracking tiresome process. Especially when you are a young girl with crazy  dreams and absolutely no financial stability.  Believe me, I have also experienced the same frustrations and difficulties when planning my trip, TWICE! Surprisingly, I survived (yay!) and I’m here to tell you how to properly do it! So how do you get started?

Start Planning Early

IMPORTANT! Once you have taken the decision to move to Hawaii, give yourself enough time to create and organize a plan. Planning is key in making your move to the island successfully. This will dramatically reduce the stress you’ll feel when you arrive. Do not rush the move either, regardless of how excited you are about being in Hawaii, this is an important decision. I suggest start planning at least 5-7 months early. Personally I started planning my move 6 months ahead of time. I found that was time sufficient to researching all of my options about places to live, where to work, etc.

Save Money

Money is not everything; however, we have to admit Honolulu is an extremely expensive city to live in. Particularly, for a young adult student like myself. As of August 2017, Honolulu is among the top 10 most expensive cities for renters. Therefore, before you decide to move to Hawaii it is utterly important to keep in mind the type of lifestyle you are willing to have in order to live in paradise. If you compare the average cost of living between Honolulu and many other major U.S. cities, the cost of living is 90% higher than the National Average. A good way to prepare to live in a city like Honolulu is by spending less and saving more. As college students we can be tempted to spend money in unnecessary things. But try to resist the urge, leave your credit card at home if unavoidable! Another way to save money is to prepare your own food at home more frequently. It gives you a chance to practice your cooking skills too! Also, stop buying coffee and make it at home. At the end of the day, a couple bucks come a long way! Is living in heaven worth it? Of course it is!

Another simple way to start saving money is by working more hours or getting another job if you do not have one already. By increasing your income, you increase your savings potential as well. As a result, more money saved for emergencies and unexpected events. Make a commitment with yourself to save part of your income for the trip itself and for your personal expenses.

Make a Timeline

It is best to organize your planning ideas in order to properly move to Hawaii. Dedicate time exclusively to planning and keeping in track with deadlines.  Create tasks to complete each week related to your planning ideas such as job applications, research neighborhoods, insurance changes, and many other events. You should also consider creating another timeline for money savings. This second timeline can go alongside your planning. Estimate an amount necessary to survive at least 3 months just in case of emergencies. As a student with a low budget, expect to have a minimum of 2,000 or 3,000 in savings beforehand. If you start planning your adventure with 8 months to spare, how much money can you make? Make a timeline and adjust it to your needs. This will help you decide if you need a second job!

Find a Job

It is a good idea to start thinking about employment opportunities early in your planning. If you do not have a job before you have arrived, make sure you have done your resume or curriculum vitae (C.V) and that you have all relevant documentation. There are different methods to find a job in O’ahu. Research the job market extensively. Online resources, such as Craigslist, Monster and Indeed, can help you look for find employment opportunities. Keep in mind that jobs in Hawaii are mostly available in hospitality, tourism, health, construction, and IT. It is particularly difficult to secure a job in the island when it is 4-5 months early and you are not in the island for an interview. However, there are many ways to convince employers to give you a second look at your application. In cases such as mine, I am a graduating student that has lived in O’ahu before and has plans to relocate indefinitely. This suddenly becomes an advantage to different employers since they look for long term individuals that aren’t looking to leave the island within a couple months (like many people do).

Find a Place to Live

Learn to live with less and you’ll appreciate more.According to Zillow, the median home value in Hawaii is $597,700 and the median rent price is $2,300. Another important task before you leave is to really research the neighbourhood where you’ll be living. This includes where you can do your food shopping, where your closest doctor, dentist and hospital are, as well as parks. You could also investigate where you can participate in other activities you enjoy, like yoga or try to find a book club and get in touch before you arrive. This is important to help mentally prepare you for your move, as well as help you adjust as soon as possible.

Buy your ticket!

 Moving abroad can be a challenge, but if you put some thought and lots of planning into it you’ll make not only your packing, but your journey and adjustment into your new home much easier.