How to Prepare for a Hawaii PCS

Guest Blogger: Andrea Hacker

PCSing to Hawaii

PCS season is here and some of you are moving to Hawaii! Getting there seems to worry most people however I PCS’d there and back to the mainland and have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you.

Once you have orders to Hawaii….

Call the housing office and get on the housing list! Rules often change at the housing office because Hawaii housing is privatized, so the sooner you call and see what the regulations are the better. This is especially important if you know you do not want to live off base. If you think you want to live off base, put your name on the list anyways just in case you change your mind.


Get ready to move with a PCS Purge. Separate what you are going to take, and what you will leave behind or sell. You don’t need a snow blower or snow board in Hawaii so don’t take them! Either sell them or keep them in storage, but remember that when you come back they will be 3-4 years old. It is better to sell and make some cash for the move, than keep everything in Non-Temporary-Storage. Another option – if you won’t go over your weight limit – is to take extras to Hawaii and sell them there! Someone PCSing back to the states may be interested in what you have.

Post a Free Ad To Sell Your Stuff

Avoid Overage Shipping Fees!

Get all of your important paperwork in one place. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • I.D. cards and copies
  • Passports (if you plan on traveling out of country while in Hawaii)
  • Marriage licenses
  • Birth certificates
  • School records
  • Health records and immunization cards
  • Pet papers and vaccination records
  • Car titles and registrations
  • Command sponsorship papers
  • Professional license paperwork
  • Credit card statements (for paying on the go and for changing your address once you arrive)


Household goods and POVs

Schedule an appointment with the Transportation Office (TO) or Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO) ASAP to get an early ship date. The sooner your stuff ships out the the sooner it arrives. When moving to Hawaii or other spots OCONUS, you are authorized a main Household Goods (HHG) shipment, an Unaccompanied Baggage (UB or Express) shipment, and you are also given the option to store belongings stateside as Non-Temporary-Storage (NTS). The UB shipment, often referred to as the Express Shipment, is a smaller shipment of vital personal items that you will need immediately upon arriving to your new duty station.

Here is a small list of items that could go in your UB shipment:

  • Pots and pans
  • Plastic utensils
  • Tupperware
  • Towels
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Small television
  • Pen and paper
  • Kids bikes and some toys
The UB shipment is meant to get you by until ALL of your stuff comes in. Having some comforts of home with you sooner will make the transition easier.

Shipping a car or other POV

Make every effort to ship your car out as soon as you can. This might not be possible for some people because you might need your car up to the minute. Another option is to sell your car and buy something used in Hawaii that you can sell back when you leave. If you want a new car, leasing might be a great option since you can give the car back just before you leave and don’t have to deal with shipping it back. It is one of the only times where leasing a car really makes good financial sense. Check auto loan rates before you get to Hawaii and see if it is something you want to do.

Setting up temporary lodging and transportation early

Pearl Harbor and Hickam have a hotel they use right by the airport, which is nice. Schofield /HMR/Wheeler usually use the Schofield Inn most of the time. When you check in to your duty station you will be reimbursed for your lodging costs so long as it is a military approved place. The TO or JPPSO will have listings for approved places.


I suggest renting a car because cabs/taxis in Hawaii are expensive. I recommend AVIS or Budget  because they both give military discounts and often have better rates. We used them 3 or 4 times while we were there and they were very great each time.

What Now?

Buying a house? Contact one of our Local Experts in Hawaii!  Going to look for a job when you get to Hawaii? View our search listings and see what the market is like.

Gus Yniguez - NSWC Corona Homes for Sale - Corona Realtor - Corona, CA Classifieds               Adrienne Lally, Schofield Barracks Realtor, homes for sale, classifieds
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