While there are a lot of logistics to consider when moving in Hawaii (Hawaiʻi), there are several top moving services to make your relocation less stressful. If you are looking for help with your Hawaii move, we recommend hiring experienced movers like International Van Lines, which ensure price transparency and dedicated account managers during the process. However, depending on your needs and budget, other moving companies may be a good match for you. Here are some companies we recommend and factors to consider when hiring movers in the Big Island.
Best Moving Companies in Hawaii
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What type of moving company is right for you?
Professional movers load your stuff, ship it to your new home, and unload it all for you. It’s the easiest—but most expensive—option. Learn more.
You load up all your belongings, but the movers transport your container to your new home. It’s the middle road for effort and cost. Learn more.
Worried about costs? Rent a truck, load it yourself, drive it to your new home, and unload all your things. You do it all—and save a lot. Learn more.
What to know about living in Hawaii
There are 1.442 million people living in Hawaii.1 Additionally, Hawaii is the most ethnically diverse state in the US, with a diversity index of 76%.2 Asians make up the largest demographic (close to 37% of the population), followed by White (25%), two or more races (25%), Latino or Hispanic 11%, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (10.5%). The number of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders has increased since the last time the US Census was taken (2010), from 540,000 to 619,855 people in 2020.3
Other interesting stats about Hawaii’s population:1
- 18% of residents were born in another country
- 26% of Hawaii households speak another language aside from English
- The poverty rate is 11.2%, falling just under the national poverty rate of 11.6%
About 61% of Hawaii’s population participates in the labor force, and the state has an unemployment rate of 4.2%.4 The average annual pay in Hawaii is $51,425 per year or roughly $24.72 an hour.5 The sectors with the most employment include real estate, rentals and leasing, health care and social assistance, and retail trade. It’s no secret that the Aloha State’s highest revenue industry is tourism, generating $218.7 billion in 2022.6 While it fuels the economy, many Hawaiians have long been calling for change to the tourism industry and ask visitors to “travel mindfully.”
Cost of living
The cost of living in Hawaii is among the highest in the US. Honolulu, with an average rent of $5,208 per month, made our list of metros with the highest cost of living, coming in third place after New York City and San Francisco.7 Hawaii has the highest utilities costs of any state, averaging around $611 a month when combining electricity, water, natural gas, phone, internet, and streaming.8 The median list price for a home in Hawaii is a whopping $829,000.9
Hawaii has voted Democrat in all presidential elections since 1984.10 The state's senators are Democrats Brian Schatz and Mazie Hiron, and Josh Green is governor. Hawaii House representatives are Ed Case (D) and Jill Tokuda (D). Some issues Hawaiians seek to address include excess tourism, rising housing costs, climate change, and access to affordable health care.
American Van Lines is our pick for the highest-quality interstate moving company. It’s expensive, but the company has decades of experience moving high-value items like pianos and artwork.
Best Hawaii movers FAQ
Moving costs in Hawaii vary depending on the time of year, shipment size, and type of move. The average cost for a full-service long-distance move is $9,140 and $4,310 for a moving container.11 Moving to or from the mainland is expensive no matter how you look at it. If you’re moving locally, you could move with PODS, which has an average cost of $3,810.12 PODS also offers helpful tips on what to consider for a Hawaiian move with a moving container.
If you’re moving locally in Hawaii, renting a moving truck is the cheapest way to move, but using a moving container may save you just as much.
The salary needed to live in Hawaii varies depending on your financial and living situation. However, a single adult with no children would need to make $22.69 per hour or $47,195 annually (before taxes) to meet basic living expenses, while two parents (one working) with three children would need to make $55.04 per hour or $114,476 annually.13
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places in the US. You can’t beat the sunshine, the plethora of things to do, and cultural diversity. Some cons of living in Hawaii include the cost of living and the ecological concerns around the state's natural beauty.
We conducted intensive research to identify the best moving companies for long-distance moves and local moves, in addition to container moves, truck rentals, and hourly moving labor:
- Compare pricing transparency. We gather quotes, check for binding estimates, and read customer reviews about pricing to ensure each moving company’s prices are trustworthy.
- Review accreditation. We check every company’s records in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s database to confirm companies are properly authorized to transport household goods.
- Mystery shopping. We review every company’s website, pose as customers in calls to companies, and read customer reviews to analyze every company’s moving services, transit protection, and customer service. We also interview actual customers to learn how their moves went from start to finish.
- Site visits. We invite moving companies to our headquarters in Salt Lake City, UT, to share data and expertise. We verify the information they provide by comparing it to data gathered through independent research and interviews with other movers.
- Regular review. We routinely repeat this process to update our recommendations to reflect current data and trends. We also revise each review annually and make updates throughout the year.
Best moving companies by state
- The United States Census Bureau, “QuickFacts: Hawaii,” July 2022. Accessed Jan 17, 2022.
- The United States Census Bureau, “Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States: 2010 Census and 2020 Census,” August 21, 2021. Accessed Jan 17, 2022.
- The United States Census Bureau, “U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Stats in Honor of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month,” May 3, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Hawaii Economy at a Glance,” January 13, 2023. Accessed January 12, 2023.
- ZipRecruiter, “Hourly Rate in Hawaii,” January 2023. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- IBIS World, “Hawaii Industry Trends,” in 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- Asha Kennedy, Move.org, US Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living in 2022,” August 23, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- Sarah Cimarusti, Move.org, “Utility Bills 101: Utilities Tips, Average Costs, Fees, and More,” December 29, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- Redfin, “Hawaii Real Estate,” December 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- 270toWin, “Hawaii Elections,” Accessed January 17, 2023.
- Colin Holmes, Move.org, “How Much Does it Cost to Move?” Published December 22, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- Kurt Manwaring, Move.org, “PODS Moving Review 2023: Pricing & Services,” Published December 29, 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.
- MIT Living Wage Calculator, “Living Wage Calculation for Honolulu County, Hawaii,” Updated May 2022. Accessed January 17, 2023.