10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Hawaii

I have gotten a serious influx of e-mails and messages recently about people moving to Hawaii — you won’t regret it! — and I figured that while I’m sending them each personalized e-mails back, I should share some of my favorite tips, things I wish I would have known and helpful hints to make your life easier. So without further ado…10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Hawaii!
 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Hawaii
1. Always do the price adjustment for items at Target. The online price is usually around $20 cheaper (or more!), so for larger home items this is the way to go! I also highly recommend an Amazon Prime subscription and the Target red card (hello, free shipping!).
2. Save money by opting out of cable. Every show you “normally” watch will be spoiled by the time you actually get to see it, because everyone on the mainland will tweet, text and post about it before you are even home from work. We stream our favorites online and leave the entertainment to Netflix, Amazon FireTV and Redbox.
3. Shop in bulk at Costco for things you will always need like paper products, personal hygiene and meat (if you eat it!). We also buy a lot of our produce and veggies here! More tips on shopping at Costco here and here.
4. Understand that life moves at a slower pace here — make adjustments accordingly. Traffic and shipping times ate at me when I initially moved here — WHY ARE PEOPLE SO SLOW?! I’ve grown to love and accept aloha time.
5.  808 is the area code for the entire state, so it encompasses every island. This really isn’t something you NEED to know, but when you see stores repping 808 in their logo, you’ll appreciate the Hawaiian pride they are showing 🙂
6. Hawaii doesn’t participate in Daylight Savings Time, so you’ll never need to adjust your watch and clocks! You’ll be either 5 or 6 hours behind the east coast depending on the time of year.
7. It’s the SHAKA, not the..ahem…shocker.
8. Rust is real. I’m a huge fan of metal frames, so when we moved here, I happily went about putting them all over our walls and shelves. Then one year later, I couldn’t figure out why the “tarnish” wasn’t going away. It wasn’t tarnish — it was rust. And it will invade every metal object exposed to the open ocean air up and including your television if you’re lucky enough to live close enough to the water. Ack!
9. Your GPS from the mainland might not recognize all the roads here. Don’t let it stress you out — some of the best adventures I’ve gone on were because we got lost! I also highly recommend the Waze app for navigating in and out of the notoriously treacherous traffic!
10. And finally, embrace the culture here. Hawaii has some of the most interesting historic stories and cultural background I’ve ever encountered. Not to mention all the delicious local food and friendly people! Take some time to go “off the beaten path” and if you need any recommendations here is how to cut the cliché and live like a local on Oahu.
Before you leave the mainland, I recommend stocking up on craft supplies (only one small craft store here), picking up anything you might need from IKEA, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel or Kohl’s (we don’t have those places either) and getting your fill of Panera, Chik-Fil-a or Chipotle.
*This post originally went live in 2015 – whoa! But I have updated it a bit and added some new things 🙂
February 3, 2017
February 7, 2017


  • Jen

    These are great tips, maybe one day we will get orders to there again (I'm still glad we turned them down the first time lol). 🙂

  • I thought Alaska was a huge adjustment, Hawaii sounds like a big one too. And all my frames would have to be tossed. LOL 😉

  • Would love to live in Hawaii, but B doesn't want orders for there 🙁 Oh well

  • Jen

    Wtf! Why haven't you told me about the Target thing????

  • Love this!

  • I love the 808 thing, so cool! And my in-laws have a house down the shore and even there, everything metal rusts. It's such a pain!

  • Does Hawaii really not participate in daylight savings? Now I feel a bit dumb for not knowing this haha (although I've never been to Hawaii so I guess it's understandable that I don't know this?).

  • You live in Hawaii?! Holy cow so flipping jealous! A trip to Hawaii is on my bucket list. If I can convince my husband to take me I will let you know 😉