For some people, there comes a time when it feels right to pack up everything and leave Hawaii for the mainland. (By the way, California, Washington, Texas, Nevada, and Florida are the top five most popular post-Hawaii mainland destinations, if you’re curious!)

Moving to the mainland is a big operation, one that requires you and your possessions to travel a few thousand miles before reaching your destination. Understandably, these kinds of moves come with a number of questions.

After helping tens of thousands of individuals and families make mainland moves, we’ve discovered that there are a few common questions that pop up over and over again.

Below, you’ll find the answers to the most common questions we get around moving to the mainland from Hawaii. We hope these answers give you all the information you need to plan the right mainland move for you (and anyone else you’re moving with)!

Questions About Making the Move to the Mainland

#1: How much will it cost to move my possessions from Hawaii to the mainland?

Everyone’s move is a little different, so it’s hard to give a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. (That’s why we recommend doing an in-person survey with one of our experts!)

That said, there are a few major factors that go into calculating the cost of your move:

  1. Your final destination – If your new home is close to a port like Long Beach, your move will be less expensive than one to a destination that’s far from a port, such as Denver, Colorado.
  2. How much you want to move – Your move will ultimately be priced by weight, so the more you want to take with you, the more expensive it will be.
  3. What you want to move – If any of your items require special handling, such as a piano or a fragile piece of art, that will also factor into the cost of your move.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, check out our article on the 3 Factors That Determine the Cost of Shipping a Container to and from Hawaii.

You can also request a complimentary quote from one of our experts. We’ll take into account all of the individual factors that go into your move, and we’ll give you a quote you can rely on, one that won’t change suddenly on Moving Day.

#2: What about online moving calculators?

As you do your research, you’ll probably see websites that allow you to enter a few variables and generate an estimate for your move. While these online moving calculators can be useful for gathering a ballpark idea of your moving costs, these estimates are not guarantees. In fact, because these forms don’t always capture the full picture, the quotes they generate can shift dramatically on Moving Day.

If you want to get an accurate, reliable quote that you can count on, we recommend getting an in-person survey. Most reputable moving companies will offer you this option at no charge to you, so why not take advantage of the option?

#3: Should I ship my belongings to the mainland or sell everything in Hawaii and start over?

This is a great question. We always recommend that our customers downsize before they move. Not only does it save you money on mainland moves, but it also ensures that you’re only paying to move the items you really love.

Some customers take this advice and call it a day. Others take a more radical approach and sell the majority of their items in Hawaii, then use those proceeds to start over on the mainland.

As you make your decision, keep in mind that we have affordable options for smaller moves to the mainland. Instead of sending an entire 20′ or 40′ container worth of items, you can pack your belongings in a sturdy wooden crate called a lift van. Doing what’s called a “less than container load” move can be an affordable way to take a few meaningful pieces with you while staying within your budget.

#4: Should I take my car with me to the mainland?

We get this question a lot going both ways—to and from Hawaii. Shipping your car to the mainland is an investment in the future life of your car. If you think you’ll keep your car, truck, or SUV for a number of years to come, it makes sense to ship it to the mainland.

However, if you think your car is probably near the end of its life, it probably makes sense to sell your car in Hawaii and get a new one on the mainland.

#5: What about moving insurance?

If you decide to use a moving company to help you with your mainland move, you’ll want to consider protecting your move. Every reputable moving company is required to offer you two types of coverage:

  1. Full-value protection – Covers your damaged or lost items for the cost of full replacement or repair.
  2. Released value protection – Covers you at $0.60 per pound per article for anything that gets damaged or lost.

Want to see exactly how that would play out if your moving company damaged a piece of your furniture? Check out our article on everything you need to know about full-value protection.

#6: How do I find a reputable moving company for my mainland move?

When you’re making a long-distance move from the mainland to Hawaii, you’ll have to hand over any possessions you want to ship for a number of weeks, so you want to make sure you choose a reputable company that will take good care of them.

To help you find a company you can trust, we put together this list of six steps for choosing a reputable moving company. Our recommendations will walk you through the process of locating a company that will handle your possessions with the highest levels of care and professionalism.

#7: If I hire a company in Hawaii to handle my move, who will deliver it on the other end?

As you probably realized, the crew that shows up to help you at your home in Hawaii isn’t going to hitch a ride on the ship with your possessions and travel with them all the way to your destination. Generally, moving companies will partner with another company on the mainland to complete the final delivery of your possessions.

When it comes to our Royal Hawaiian moves, we partner with our DeWitt sister company, DeWitt Move Worldwide, to handle final delivery on the mainland. Together, we’ve completed tens of thousands of moves, so we know how to deliver a seamless move from start to finish.

As you evaluate your options for your mainland move, make sure to ask this question of any prospective movers. The answer will help you pick the company that’s right for your move.

#8: Do you ever move people back to Hawaii?

Absolutely! Believe it or not, we’ve handled repeat moves for a number of our customers—in both directions. Some people love mainland living, and others miss that special something they can only find in Hawaii. If you decide that mainland life isn’t for you, you know that Hawaii will always welcome you back with aloha. (And we’d be happy to help you make the move back!)

What If My Question Isn’t Answered Here?

Although we’ve covered some of the most common questions we get during our mainland moves, you might still have a few lingering queries about your move.




If that’s the case, feel free to reach out to one of our experts. They’d be happy to get you the answers you need—and schedule a complimentary, in-person quote that you can rely on for your mainland move.

Tell us about your move!

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.