A lot of people dream of one day moving to Hawaii. What stops so many of them? Money.  

 If you’ve ever looked at flight costs or budgeted for a Hawaii move, it might feel like you need a lot of cash to make it happen. We’re not going to lie to you: The Aloha State can be an expensive place to live.  However, a move to Hawaii shouldn’t break the bank. If you’re willing to get creative, there are a few ways to move to Hawaii with very little money.  

Intrigued? Keep reading, and we’ll share our best tips with you. 

Flight attendants boarding via stairs

#1: Get Your Job to Move You to Hawaii 

If you’re willing to play the long game and be a little patient, there are a number of jobs that can take you to Hawaii. Some involve training, and others may require you to work for a certain period of time for an employer. Either way, these ideas will get you started thinking about how your skills—and your job—can help you get to Hawaii. 

farm in Hanalei Valley Kauai, Hawaii

#2: Become a WWOOFer

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) connects organic farmers with people who are passionate about organic farming and sustainable living. If the idea of living on a farm and working in exchange for housing and food sounds like the kind of lifestyle you’d love, WWOOF might be perfect for you. Plus, right now, the WWOOF USA database has more than 160 hosts listed in Hawaii, with options on all four major islands: Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai, and Maui.

You will need to pay your way out to the organic farm of your choice. However, once you get there, you’ll find a lot of your needs taken care of, including shelter and many of your meals. Your job responsibilities and your perks will vary by location, so choose your hosts carefully.

Note that a WWOOF membership is $40/year. However, this membership fee instantly connects you with hosts all over the Hawaiian islands—and includes access to online forums so you can get all your questions answered by fellow WWOOFers.

Now, if you need some help with that airfare . . .

three credit cards laying on table

#3: Let an Airline Credit Card Get You to Hawaii 

If you’ve never signed up for one of those airline credit card offers, now might be the time! With careful planning, you might be able to turn those bonus enrollment points into a round-trip ticket to Hawaii. Plus, if you cancel before the year is out, you won’t even have to pay the yearly fee. (Just make sure you consider your credit score before ditching your card!) 

Credit card offers change all the time, but here are some of the best deals we found right now: 

Get up to 80,000 bonus miles when you sign up for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard. Flights are as low as 20,000 miles between Hawaii and the West Coast, so that could be enough for two round trips to Hawaii. 

Get up to 60,000 bonus points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. If you transfer those points to British Airways or United, you could be looking at a free round-trip ticket to Hawaii from the mainland. 

Get up to 40,000 bonus miles when you sign up for the Alaska Airlines credit card. We found flights from Seattle to Honolulu for 15,000–25,000 miles, so you can squeak out a round-trip flight for free with some careful planning. 

Making Hawaii Your Reality—on the Cheap

If you decide to use one of our tips to make the plunge—or you use some creative budgeting to make it work!—we can’t wait to welcome you to Hawaii. If you’re moving here without a ton of cash, we’ve got three quick tips to keep you afloat while you’re in the Aloha State.

  1. Become a master of the happy hour and the kamaaina discount. There aren’t a ton of bargains to be found in Hawaii restaurants, but every now and then, you’ll stumble on a particularly excellent happy hour deal. Half-priced apps? $2 beers? Keep those places close, and leverage them often. Also, keep your eyes out for the kamaaina discount, which is for Hawaii residents. Once you get your Hawaii driver’s license, you’ll be eligible for these local discounts, which include things like 10% off your food bill at certain restaurants and more.

  2. Try to use public transportation, if possible. While all four islands all have their own public bus system, TheBus on Oahu is probably the most extensive. As you figure out where you’re going to live, keep bus routes in mind. If you’re able to make the bus work for your commute, it will save you a ton of cash, both in terms of buying a car and paying for gas, insurance, etc.

  3. Be ready to take on a second job. A lot of people do it here if the first one isn’t paying the bills. For example, some people wait tables at night and teach yoga in the morning. While we’re not suggesting you work yourself to the bone in paradise, having a second gig can mean you’ve got enough cash to truly enjoy your time in Hawaii.

And, last, if you decide you want to move your possessions with you to Hawaii, get a free quote from us. We’ve got the best rates on DIY moves to Hawaii. Plus, with three decades of experience under our belts, we’ll make sure your move is done right.

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