The Essential Guide to Shipping your Belongings to Hawaii

Managing Real Estate Broker with Kimi Correa, Broker-in-Charge at LUVA RB - 22542

Before Moving To Hawaii - Read This Article.



So, you’re finally ready to make the move to the sunny islands of Hawaii. You may be wondering about the best way to ensure all your belongings arrive safe and sound, and at a reasonable cost. For many people, the best option is a shipping container. But in some cases, you may be better off using the postal service. This article will provide you with the essential tips you need to ensure a quick and easy transition into your new lifestyle.



The Must Haves


There are a few items that are considered essential. Of course, you will require your passport and other important documents, but other things to consider include:



  • Pets – they are a part of the family, so it’s understandable if you want to bring your pet with you. Keep in mind that it is about a 4-month process, so start planning early. Your pet will need to have multiple rabies shots and must be equipped with a microchip. Check the Hawaii government website for more information. I cannot stress this enough, it's very likely your pet will be in quarantine for up to 6 months here! This is devastating to the pets because it's very hard on them (and their owners) but a lot of times these quarantines can be avoided by taking the necessary steps months BEFORE you move.


  • Car – If you can’t live without your pride and joy, you can have it shipped over at a cost of about $1000-$1500. There is also the option to sell your car privately and purchase a new vehicle once you arrive in Hawaii. A car will make life a lot more enjoyable, it is a great way to get out and about and explore Hawaii to the fullest. If you plan to ship your car, note that the transit time will be about 10 days to Oahu and 17 days to Kauai.


  • Heirlooms and Valuable Items – Some things are irreplaceable, so don’t forget about those family treasures. Whether it be a favourite lounge chair or small nick nacks, they can be transported either by sea or air with ease.


  • Warm/Wet Weather Clothing – It’s true that Hawaii is a tropical environment with great weather all year round, but winter is slightly cooler, in fact this month (Jan 2018) It has gotten into the mid 60’s at night in some places in Oahu. Every now and then you might like to wear your favourite jeans and lightweight jackets, so make sure to pack them as they aren’t always easy to find in the local shops.



 Hawaii Homes For Sale


Shipping Options


The shipping option that you choose will depend on the size and quantity of items you wish to take with you. If you will be bringing a car and a large amount of furniture, then the best option would be to pack them in a storage container/crate, which will be transported by ship. The most commonly used and recommended services are U-Pack and Matson, who offer a twice-weekly service from the US mainland to Hawaii. Using a shipping container allows you to maximize space, but keep in mind that depending upon the level of service you choose, it may take as little as 4 days or as much as 1 month for your delivery to arrive.


If you only want to transport the necessities or smaller items, then you can use the postal service. You may opt to use USPS (takes about 3-6 days) or a courier service such as FedEx or UPS, who provide a rapid and personalised service for a higher fee.



Average Cost


The total cost for shipping the contents of the average family house will generally be around $10,000 to $15,000 USD. If you are moving the contents of a studio apartment, the cost will be around $3500-$4500 if you use a ReloCube container.



Final Tips and Things to Keep in Mind


There are some things that cannot be taken to Hawaii. Hawaii has very strict border protection. Don’t try to bring any dangerous goods or prohibited items (including animals and plants), as these could have a catastrophic effect on Hawaii’s biodiversity.


If you’re looking to save some money, it would be best to sell off everything you don’t need and start from scratch once you get settled in Hawaii. You would be surprised about how much you won’t use, as you will be spending more time in the sun and much less time indoors. This could be the perfect time to start simplifying your life and learn to live with less.


You might like to consider moving to Hawaii during the Spring (Jan-May), as this is a much quieter period than the summer, and it’s also a bit cooler. It will be easier to arrange transport, and flights will be cheaper.


Consider sharing the cost of a shipping container with someone else. You can reach out to others using social media or online message boards, and this is a great way to save some money if you don’t need an entire container.


Follow these hot tips and you’ll be settling in to island life in no time. As always, please contact me if you're looking for Hawaii Homes For Sale, I specialize in homes for sale in Kailua, but I can service the entire state of Hawaii for you as well. Mahalo and Aloha.  - Kimi



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With Aloha,

Kimi Correa  RA | SRS | ABR | MRP


(808) 222.3047 cell

(808) 356-1599 fax


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Eddie Dussault
CTT - Panama City, FL

That was really informative. Thanks for sharing.

Nov 10, 2018 01:18 AM
Akash Rathor

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