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When people move to Hawaii from other parts of the USA, they often seek seclusion and privacy. Not to mention, they tend to prefer warm tropical weather. But regardless of why you’re leaving the mainland, you have to deal with the whole moving process.

Planning a move and dealing with professional movers and car shipping companies isn’t always easy. However, the process won’t be nearly as bad as you think with these tips.

How to Move From Mainland USA to Hawaii Easily

Decide What to Do With Your Car

Summer roadtrip friends car RF

One thing that people moving to Hawaii have to decide is what to do with their vehicles. Some choose sell their rides, buying new cars after reaching their destination. Though you may wish to keep your current vehicle. 

When you choose the latter, that’s where car shipping companies come in. But you shouldn’t rely on just any old auto transporter to take your vehicle to The Aloha State. Instead, take the time to research the business you choose to ensure it is legit.

What method of moving do you prefer? Before letting a business move your car, you should first determine how you want it moved.

Some moving companies will transport your car via plane. However, this selection is the cream of the crop for vehicle shipments, which its price reflects. As such, unless you’re driving around town in a luxury, sports, or classic car, air freight might not be a feasible solution.

More often than not, people have their vehicles moved across the ocean on boats inside shipping containers. A quick Google search should be sufficient to begin researching companies today.

Pro tip: If a family member or friend recently relocated too, contact them for a first hand account of their experiences with the moving company. It might also be helpful to read customer reviews of auto shipping companies. There are various websites that feature reviews of businesses. You can also visit the Better Business Bureau to check if there are any scam reports or complaints against the auto shipping companies on your list.

There is also some paperwork involved in shipping a car to Hawaii. In most cases, you’ll need to provide a copy of a government-issued photo ID as well as your car’s registration documents and title.

What About All That Furniture?

Removing home couch move RF

If you aren’t having an estate sale and buying everything new when you get to the island destination, you’ll also need a company that transports furniture to Hawaii.

There are different ways of doing this. For instance, you could rent a shipping container and have it placed at your residence for loading. Then, the unit is loaded onto a ship, transported to the island, and unloaded at your new address for you to unpack.

Of course, there is also the option of hiring a moving company to do it all: pack, load, unload, and more. If you plan to use the car shipper for the task, make sure it offers the service.

With so much going on, you don’t need finding a mover added to your plate at the last minute.

Don’t Forget About Other Belongings

Moving boxes RF

What about your other possessions, like TVs, clothes, and gaming systems? What about your home decor?

If you’re having them hauled from mainland USA to Hawaii, you’ll want an experienced moving company in your corner. Professional movers should be able to keep your items safe and whole.

But the establishment needs to be insured, all the same. Then, if any mishaps occur, your car, electronics, and more will be repaired or replaced.

You can also take pictures of valuable possessions before and after the move to document any damage that occurred during transit. Your insurance company may also ask for evidence of damage to your belongings when you file a claim.   

Label This, That, and Everything Between

Removalist move RF

Imagine for a second that you are at your beautiful new home in Oahu. You’ve been there a month, but you’re still unpacking boxes. Things went slow because the containers didn’t have labels. You never know what you’re going to get each time you open a box.

So, do yourself a favor. Take an extra few seconds to label containers while packing.

If writing down a label is too much work, you can also color-code your boxes instead. Properly labeling your boxes will speed up the unloading process later since you’ll know what box goes where.

Remove Personal Effects From the Car

Unfortunately, the shipping industry has not been able to escape inflation. As long as you do your homework and find a reputable company, you should get charged a fair rate.

You might be tempted to load the vehicle down because times are tough, but that isn’t in your best interest.

Car shipping companies typically charge for shipments by how much they weigh based on manufacturer specifics. That means the heavier the load, the more you’ll pay.

So, remove all your personal effects before shipping a vehicle. If for nothing else, do it because a lighter load can save you some money.

Do You Have a Pet?

Dog box move RF

Nobody wants to leave their pets behind when moving. Pet dogs and cats are usually regarded as extended family members, and people now have emotional support animals of all kinds.

Regardless of the type of pet you own, you might want to think twice about bringing it to Hawaii. Did you know that the Hawaiian government carefully monitors plant or animal species that come into and leave the state?

There are regulations in place to protect the precious ecosystems of the islands. Hawaii is also the only state that is rabies-free. If you’re set on bringing your beloved pet with you, make sure you keep meticulous records of its shots, vet visits, vaccination history.

With that being the case, if time and money are concerns, you may want to find your pet another home. That is because moving to Hawaii with an animal comes with a potentially lengthy and costly quarantine.

Almost no move goes off without a hitch. However, when the destination is Hawaii, the moving situation can get a little more complicated. It’ll take careful planning to get you and your stuff to the destination smoothly.

You’ll probably have to hire professional movers and an auto shipping company to transport everything you need to the island state. Don’t fret, though. Thanks to these tips, you’re ready to tackle the big move with ease.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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