Each Hawaiian island offers different opportunities. While the distance between your current house and future home may be relatively short compared to a move to the mainland, interisland moves present a unique set of challenges.

Whether you’re moving to the Big Island, Kauai or somewhere in between, follow these five tips to make the transition easier.

1. Downsize If Possible

Because moving between two islands almost always requires shipping your belongings by boat, it’s in your best interest to get rid of superfluous items beforehand. Many moving and shipping companies determine the cost of the move according to the weight of your items during transit.

As you pack up your possessions, throw away or donate any items that you don’t use regularly. You may also decide to get rid of furnishings that don’t have sentimental value or that you can easily replace once you reach your destination, especially heavy items such as couches.

2. Entrust Reputable Movers

While you always have the option to move yourself, it’s smart to work with an established moving company when moving from island to island. Ocean transport can be complex and expensive without the guidance of a professional.

Reputable movers often have partnerships or working relationships with shipping companies to ensure that you get the best possible price for the move. Some movers even offer package options that include the cost of shipping your items by barge.

3. Learn the Shipping Restrictions

If you decide to go without a professional mover and do everything yourself, there are certain steps you’ll need to take. Once you know which company your items will be shipped through, inquire about any specific restrictions. Many cargo companies give you specific instructions to protect your belongings during the move and make the unloading process easier.

For example, your shipping company may request that you label all your boxes a specific way or that you only use a certain type of container. Additionally, if your company places shipments on pallets, you may need to arrange for that service in advance.

4. Pack Your Belongings Carefully

While your possessions may not spend long periods of time on the water, sea travel can be rough. Even when you partner with an experienced shipping company, your items may shift on the barge or inside their individual boxes during transportation.

To prevent damage, pack your belongings carefully. Pad all of your boxes with shock absorbing materials, such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap or linens. Consult with your mover to determine the best method for packing valuable, fragile and heirloom items.

5. Plan Your Transportation in Advance

As you likely know from living in Hawaii, ferries are not readily available between most islands. Your belongings will travel by sea, but you will most likely travel by air. To ensure that you arrive in time to receive your belongings, plan your travel well in advance.

If possible, book your ticket several months in advance. With this extra planning time, you can get a better idea of your schedule on the day of your move. Additionally, plane tickets often cost less when purchased in advance, which can reduce the overall cost of your transition.

Think about what you’ll need when you arrive. Pack a carry-on item thoughtfully. Include items that you use on a daily basis, such as toiletries, and items that you may want immediate access to, such as bed linens or a comfortable outfit to unpack in.

Follow these guidelines to simplify your move from one Hawaiian island to another.

Start planning your interisland move today with the help of Island Movers, Inc. We offer moving solutions based on our intimate knowledge of the islands and the available local services.