Moving From California to Hawaii: Movers and Cost 

Endlessly sunny, close to the Pacific ocean, and filled with diverse cultures, California and Hawaii have a lot in common. Nonetheless, some still choose the Aloha State over the Golden State.

So why are people trading mainland life for island life??

California’s skyrocketing housing costs have been leading an ongoing exodus since at least 2015. Combined with its high business tax rate and increase in natural disasters, many people have found themselves wondering if there are greener pastures. If you’re thinking of heading over to the Hawaiian islands, below is a general look at your moving costs and what you should expect before making the plunge.

Before we look at moving from California to Hawaii, check out these helpful articles:

  • Best California to Hawaii movers: The long-distance moving industry is full of scammy movers, and when all of your belongings are at stake, don’t take chances. These are the top movers for California to Hawaii.
  • How much will your move cost?: This cost calculator will provide an immediate free quote of what your move should cost. Just plug in your moving dates, the size of your move, where you’re moving to/from, and let the calculator do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers: Need a more budget-friendly option? With these companies, you load, and they drive! These are the best moving container companies.
  • Best car shippers: Moving your car? Use a company that prioritizes professionalism, cares for your vehicle and is experienced.

How Much Does it Cost to Move from California to Hawaii?

Home Size Moving Company Moving Container Freight Company
Studio/1 Bedroom $455-$1,351 $199-$410 $1,400- $2,400
2-3 Bedrooms $799-$2,321 $411-$550 $800-$2,500
4+ Bedrooms $1,311-$3,280 $850-$1,100 $1,000-$4,000

*Keep in mind the pricing above does not include additional details like lodging, gas, tolls, and other moving-related expenses.

If you need a little more assistance narrowing down your expenses, check out our guide on shipping a car to Hawaii.

What are the best California to Hawaii movers?

Company Price Vendor Type Quoting options Storage Minimum Move Size
Proud American Van Lines $$ Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
Safeway Moving $$ Carrier/Broker Phone/virtual estimate Yes, free 30 days 1 bedroom
JK Moving Services $$$$ Carrier Phone/virtual estimate Yes 2 bedroom

Why Do Moving Costs Vary So Much?

Moving costs reflect the local economy, broader global moving trends, and your own unique needs. You can still whittle down your average costs to an accurate metric.

Summer Is the Peak Moving Season

A good rule-of-thumb to remember when moving is that summer is the ideal time across the board. Whether you’re moving from the East or West coast, summer’s ideal weather and long evenings make it perfect for lengthy moves. It’s a highly competitive window, however, so you might have a hard time finding an available moving company between June and August.

Before you commit to a moving company, check out our Moving Cost Calculator so you can tally up your expenses early.

Inbound v.s. Outbound Moves And What They Mean

The state you’re moving to will have different costs than the state you’re moving from. This is an important financial detail influenced by demand and something you’ll have to keep in mind when planning.

Inbound means people moving to a state, while outbound means those leaving the state. A higher volume of inbound movers will lower the price for outbound movers due to reduced demand. Increased demand and less flexibility for movers means higher prices, so choose your moving time wisely.

Be Mindful of Local Events And Holidays

You can continue to keep costs low by checking for local events and holidays in Hawaii. Due to heightened activity, moving companies respond to demand by hiking up their prices.

While American holidays like the Fourth Of July are recognized in all states, Hawaii has unique official holidays of their own. Prince Kūhiō Day is every year on March 26th, observed by both schools and state workers. If you plan on moving in the spring, be aware of your day of arrival so you’re not taken by surprise at the surge of activity.

Why Are People Moving From California to Hawaii?

It’s no riddle why so many people have been leaving the Golden State these past few years.

California, for all its glamour, isn’t an easy state to live in.

Its huge cost of living and high tax rate make it very undesirable when you’re on a tight budget. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento are some of the most expensive cities to live in today. Even smaller cities aren’t providing much relief.

High Cost of Living

Middle and lower-income families are actively seeking out more affordable states, according to this 2020 census. The real estate, as well as renting, has skyrocketed to an unsustainable high.

High Tax Rate

California, unfortunately, has one of the highest income tax rates in the country at 13.3%. Hawaii, to contrast, is 11%.

Natural Disasters

The Golden State has been a breeding ground for earthquakes, wildfires, and record heat waves for years. The year 2020 alone saw over 50,000 wildfires burning through the region.

Increased Location Independence

The rise in remote work has inspired Californians to explore their living options. Hawaii has even created incentives to encourage more remote workers to visit, such as the Movers And Shakas group.

Why Are People Moving to Hawaii?

To contrast, Hawaii boasts just as much beauty and diversity as California without quite so much financial stress. Nonetheless, you’ll still have to sift between big cities or smaller towns to find a place that matches your budget.

Gorgeous Beaches And Rich Flora

Hawaii is a legendarily beautiful location, characterized by rich green mountains and crystal blue waters. People who love to swim, snorkel, and hike will have an endless cascade of activities.

Low Crime Rate

Another appealing aspect of Hawaii, whether you choose a big city or a sleepy town, is its safety. Hawaii currently has one of the lowest crime rates in the United States, including factors like property damage and gun crime.

Fantastic Entertainment

Do you love going out on the town? While COVID has significantly reduced freedom in this area, Hawaii has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shows to enjoy once things open up again.

What Are Some of the Best Places To Move to in the Destination?

No one place is perfect for everybody. When moving to Hawaii, you need to take into account your monthly income, personal tastes, and specific details like raising children or going to school. Consider whether you want to send your kids to private school or public school because this can also impact the place you live.

If you’re looking for more amenities, nightlife, and city vibes, you may have a better time on the big island. If you want to move to Hawaii to explore outdoor activities like snorkeling, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for on many of the islands.

Consider these cities and towns when heading to Hawaii for a new start:

Most Affordable

  • Kihei
  • Kaneohe
  • Kailua

Closest To The Beach

  • Lahaina
  • Hilo
  • Lanai City
  • Oahu
  • Maui

Best Job Opportunities

  • Honolulu
  • Waikiki
  • Kauai
  • Molokai

All moves come with their own unique challenges. You can prepare for these in advance by researching moving companies. If you need to start whittling down costs, check out our easy-to-use Moving Cost Calculator.

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