Have a PCS to Hawaii on the horizon? Here is what you will want to know about finding a house, school, grocery shopping and more.
PCSing to Hawaii is no small feat. There’s a reason a PCS to Hawaii is considered OCONUS – there are a lot of details that go into making sure you, your family and all your stuff makes it across the Pacific Ocean in one piece. But traveling to Hawaii is just part of the equation. Here’s everything you might want to know about PCSing to Hawaii.
PCSing To Hawaii
First and foremost, scheduling your outbound shipment of household goods to Hawaii can seem really daunting. How much time does it take to ship household goods from the mainland to Hawaii? This is dependent upon where on the mainland you’re moving from, what time of year it is, the company you’ve been assigned and how much you are bringing with you.
A safe range might be anywhere from 30 days to a few months. We’ve always erred on the side of caution and shipped early.
Moving To Hawaii With A Pet
If you’re PCSing to Hawaii with pets, make sure you read about how to move to the islands with a dog or cat. It takes a good bit of planning! Hawaii has strict laws regarding the importation of animals. Some animals that may be allowed as pets in other states or countries may be restricted or prohibited in Hawaii. Importing an illegal animal carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and fines up to $500,000.
Make sure to triple check the state’s checklist before you leave, so your pets can avoid quarantine.
Military Move To Hawaii
The hardest part of moving to an island is figuring out where you’re going to live. One thing to keep in mind is that traffic on Oahu can be insane, so while figuring out your new house, the mileage may appear small for commuting, but the time it takes could be double or triple what it seems.
Base housing is available at Schofield Barracks, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation (no gate), Ford Island, Tripler Army Medical Center and Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. Eligibility is determined by rank and availability.
We have lived in Ko Olina (west side of the island), on Schofield Barracks, in central Oahu, and on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. All have had their pros and cons! If you decide to buy a home, using the VA Loan in Hawaii has some merits.
If you arrive and have not yet found a house, you may be authorized on-base lodging for the time being. If none is available, you’ll be authorized for TLA for up to 60 days.
PCS To Hawaii
Once you, your family and your household goods arrive in Hawaii there are a few things you are going to want to get done pretty quickly.
3. Register your new location with Tricare. All medical appointments are done through Tripler Army Medical Center.
Having lived in Hawaii for ten years, the cost of living in Hawaii will be a wake up call coming from the mainland. A couple of important questions you will need to ask yourself when trying to determine how much it will cost you to live in the Hawaiian Islands: Do you have pets? Are you living off one income or more? Do you have children?
Why are these important? For starters, finding a house with big dogs in Hawaii is really difficult. There are often breed and size restrictions and most always require an additional pet deposit. Of course, the more things cost, the more important it will be to know how much you are able to spend. And then, if you have kids, you will need a bigger home, figure out schooling — you see where all of this is going.
My best advice for adapting to island life is to keep an open mind. There will be many, many things that are different (food, languages, pace of life, etc.), but different doesn’t always mean bad. Whether you love it or hate it, military life means one thing wherever you go: it’s temporary.
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