Awe-inspiring scenery. Outdoor adventures. Laid-back lifestyles. Hawaii and California share a number of similarities, so if you’re moving between these two destinations, you can rest easy knowing at least a few things will feel familiar. 

However, when it comes to moving between the Golden State and the Aloha State, there’s a lot more involved than your typical state-to-state move. After three decades of moving families and individuals to and from Hawaii, we’ve got the know-how to make it easy for you.  

Below, we’ll show you everything you need to know for your Hawaii-California move. We’ll walk you through the process, offer you some tips from our pros, and show you what to expect to help you make a smooth move to your new home. 

First, let’s discuss what’s involved in a Hawaii-California move. 

Your Move Might Be a Little Different Than You Expect 

When you’re making a local move, you might get your items back the same day. However, for moves between California and Hawaii, you’ll say goodbye to your items for a few weeks. Consider this just another reason to pack carefully so you have everything you need until your container arrives. 

Along these same lines, make sure you keep your important paperwork with you. That includes things like birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, Social Security cards, etc. First, these are too valuable to get packed into your container. They’ll be safest with you. Second, you may need some of these items as you get settled, so it’s best to have them on hand. 

Your Life Might Change a Little, Too 

Even though we highlighted some similarities between Hawaii and California at the start of this article, these two states offer some significant lifestyle differences. To make sure you and your family are prepared for the transition, take a look at some of the key contrasts. 

Research the Right Movers to Help You 

As we mentioned above, California-Hawaii moves can be pretty involved, so you want to pick the right professionals to help you make it happen. Unfortunately, every now and then, we do see a few moving scams pop up when it comes to Hawaii moves—both eastbound and westbound.  

But beyond simply finding an honest company, you also want to find one that’s willing to go the extra mile to understand your needs and deliver the kind of service you’re looking for.  

We’ve got two articles to help you find the right movers for your California-Hawaii move: 

Tip: Look for a company with significant on-the-ground experience in Hawaii. These islands really are unique, and they come with unique challenges. We’re talking small roads, twisty driveways, low-hanging wires—plenty of obstacles that could cause a snag in your pick-up or delivery. An experienced mover will be able to easily anticipate these obstacles for you, creating a simple and safe move. 

Start with a Survey

Once you’ve started your search for a moving company, we suggest you get a quote from at least three, independent movers before making a final decision.

Tip: If one mover comes in way below the cost of the other two, be wary. Make sure you research that mover thoroughly before accepting their quote.  

On a move this involved, most companies will want to come out and do a survey or book a virtual walk-through. It might seem like a pain, and you might be tempted to use an online moving calculator to budget.  

However, in our opinion, an actual survey is a must when moving between California and Hawaii. Take it from us: There’s no better way to get an accurate quote for your move. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk through all your options with an expert who can tell you whether a 20′ container, a 40′ container, or some other solution is right for you.  

read more

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Container to Hawaii? 

Understand what goes into your moving quote—and get a few ballparks for what it might cost to move a container between California and Hawaii. 

read more

Consider Leaving the Packing to the Pros

During your Hawaii-California move, your container will travel quite a long distance over 2,000+ miles of open ocean. As a result, you may want to think about what’s called a “full-service move.” In other words, let the pros pack for you.

When you choose a full-service move, your movers will show up with absolutely everything they need to pack your home—boxes, packing materials, tape, etc. They’ll safely pack all of your belongings and secure them in your container. Then, at your new home, they’ll unpack everything they packed. They’ll even take the boxes and packing material with them.

If you’re short on time, a full-service move is a great option. If it sounds like something you’re interested in, ask your movers to quote this option during your survey.

Tip: During a major relocation, there’s always the possibility that you’ll need to store your items for a few weeks. (Example: Your house isn’t ready by the date you’d hoped.) Ask your moving company if they have storage options available in case you need them.  

Don’t Forget Your Car! 

Finally, cruising those California and Hawaii roads is one of the best ways to explore your new home, so you’ll want to make sure you have a car at your disposal once you make the move. 

Not sure whether to buy a car at your destination or ship the one you have? We’ll help you decide—and give you all the details to make shipping a snap.  


Check out our article, Here’s What You Need to Know When Shipping Your Car Between California and Hawaii. 

Living Life on the Sunny Side of the Street  

No matter whether you’re headed for Hawaii or choosing California, you’ll find plenty of sun in both destinations. Plus, you’ll also find gorgeous backdrops, enviable lifestyles, and plenty of options for outdoor adventures. In other words, there’s no wrong move here, just plenty of incredible opportunities to enjoy. 


Ready to make your move between California and Hawaii? We’d love to put our three decades of experience in Hawaii moves to work for you. Just get in touch with one of our experts to get started with a free quote. 

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