In my last post I discussed the reasons behind our move from Hawaii to the Mainland. In this post I want to help any of you that are considering doing it.
Moving to another state is quite difficult in itself. Imagine moving across the pacific ocean! I had many questions about moving and I wanted to share my experiences in hopes that you don't make the same mistakes as we did!
Getting a Job: Many people will not move unless they know that they will have a steady source of income when they get there. This is not only a smart idea, it is a must!! I know there are some people out there who are able to find a job extremely quickly but trust me, everything will work out so much better with a job lined up.
If you have a family, I highly suggest securing a position before planning your move. Once you have received a job offer make sure that what you are being paid will be enough for all your bills. Research local prices. Everything from groceries to how much it will cost you to have internet and rent if you plan on renting. Much of this info can be obtained through Google search. A really great website is www.city-data.com . You can find a wealth of information there from local people and people who have made the move. Just be careful if you find posts that are old as the prices will not be up to date. If you need to, call for prices and checkout online grocery store ads to plan your budget.
Many people ask how you go about getting a job out of state but I will save this topic for another blog post because this one is a bit lengthy as it is.
How do I move my Stuff: Sell as much as you can! Everyone I have spoken to that has made the move across the pacific ocean always say that they regret hauling everything. Not only is it extremely expensive, you probably don't need it all and can find it much cheaper on the mainland. It can cost thousands to move all your things depending on where exactly you are moving to.
We held garage sales, sold things on Craigslist, sold things at the swap meet and gave away a bunch of things to family and friends. Some of our stuff is still back there but for the most part we were able to purge a lot of it by selling it. The money that you earn from selling your stuff will be very useful when you move, as you will need to furnish your new place.
How to ship your things from Hawaii to the mainland: We shipped our things through parcel post mail and brought as much luggage as we could on our flight. It is much cheaper to add on pieces of luggage to your flight rather than mailing it, so take advantage of how much luggage you are allowed. If you do choose to mail some things, do so with parcel post with USPS for everyday household things that you don't need immediately. While it will take longer to get there, you get a cheaper price. I don't suggest shipping your electronics this way because it will be sitting on a boat for a while. For our computer I shipped my tower by using a packing/mailing company. They pack it for you so that it will not get damaged and mail it for you as well. I am so glad I did this and did not do it myself because it gave me a huge piece of mind. My computer is my lifeline for my business so I didn't mind spending the money to get it shipped. I spent about a 100 dollars for this service and my computer tower arrived in 3 days safely! Make sure to shop around because I called a few places and the prices were drastically different depending where you go. (I also made sure to backup my entire hard drive on an external drive and cloud service)
You could also hire a company to pack your household items but I decided to do it myself. Make sure you buy a heavy duty box for shipping. I made the mistake of not and while my items did arrive in tack, the boxes looked like they were dropped off a building. Make sure to pack that baby up and tape, tape, tape! It took about a month and a half for my parcel post boxes to arrive. I paid about $40 to $45 a box and the ranged from 16 to 20 pounds.
Shipping your Car: This process gave me the most stress but it doesn't have to be the same for you. If you do choose to ship your car you have a few options. Horizon Lines, Pasha and Matson are the main names you get when looking to ship a car from Hawaii to the mainland. We chose Matson and it cost us about $1100 to ship our Kia Soul. There are services that will bring your car to your door but we opted to pick it up ourselves at the Long Beach port and drive it to the state we would be living in.
To ship your car it must be an great condition. I paid to have it detailed because they don't allow any dirt and debris under the hood as well. They are pretty strict so make sure it is spotless! You're allowed to leave your car seat in there as well which we opted to because it's another thing that I didn't need to ship separately. Be aware that you're not allowed to pack your car up with personal belongings and ship it. It must be completely empty. If it's not stock then you need to remove it. Even after market stereos are not allowed. Luckily I never made any modifications to my car.
You can sign up and pay for everything online. Expect to spend about 2 hours at their facility when dropping your car off. It is not a fast process. But who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and it will be a fast day. It's about as painful as going to the DMV so bring something to keep you occupied. I have to say that all the workers at the Honolulu port were extremely nice to me and helped me when I looked completely lost. There are two buildings and the first one is off to the side. After you get your paperwork checked out you will be instructed where to move your car. You then wait to have your name called in the next building. When your name is called they will look over and inspect your car with you present. If there is anything that needs to be addressed they will let you know then and there. If you are good to go they will give you the OK and you will be able to sign off. Make sure you have less than 1/4 tank of gas as well as this is another rule!
After your car has been accepted they will load it to the boat and ship it to your destination. You receive the name of your boat and an estimated arrival date. You're able to track everything with a phone app or online on their website. Now here is where everything went wrong for us...
Before shipping, I had read that you need to keep track of your car because the call they give when your car arrives is just a courtesy call. Not everyone receives one and it's your responsibility to make sure you call and find out the details. I was promised that my car would arrive no later than 14 days. I did not need it there quickly but the guy who did my paperwork assured me that there is no way it will arrive later than 14 days.
I tracked it for the next week and it still had the same date of arrival. I went ahead and purchased my plane tickets so that I would be at the port within a set amount of days so that I would not be charged a fee for it being parked at their port. A few days later I received a call from Matson stating that they were not able to ship my vehicle in the boat they had originally told me they would be shipping it in because there was no room. They also said that it would be arriving a few days later than the original date. They gave me a new boat name as well. Nothing in my tracking was updated at this time. I was confused and pretty upset as I had already made all my plans. I called them back and they told me the other person who called me was mistaken. My car should arrive on the same date but just on a different boat.
I arrive in California the day my car was supposed to be at the port and planned to pick it up the next day to give them time to unload my car just as the women had told me to do. My tracking stated that my car was available so I called just to make sure. They tell me that my car is actually not available and that I would have to wait over the weekend and come back on Monday because they needed more time to unload my car. I had already made plans to check in to my new apartment in another state that weekend.
It was not a happy time! We drove our rental car from Long Beach to our apartment. We signed our paperwork and stayed in our new apartment for the weekend because it was cheaper than staying at a hotel in Long Beach. We then drove back to Long Beach, picked up our car and drove back again to our new apartment. It was one of the worst and longest weeks ever. I would never ever use Matson again. While the people who work at the Honolulu facility were amazing, something is wrong with the process and logistics used in shipping their cars. I was given different answers by so many people. While waiting at the Long Beach port I overheard someone else experiencing the same thing happening to them that I had just experienced. So, goodluck with the car shipping! If I could do it all over again I would have chosen another company or just sold my car and bought one here instead to save the stress! My car did arrive with no scratches so I will give them that. Again, everyones experiences are different, I'm just sharing mine.