Originally Posted by wab
IIRC, there aren't many signs in HI that say "no shirt, no shoes, no service". So, clothing costs should be about 1/3 mainland costs. And pineapples are pretty cheap.
Dude, what are these "shoes" of which you speak?
Originally Posted by J-Lu
DH just got his orders and we will be moving to Hawaii (Kaneohe Bay) in June. I know that we'll have to adjust the budget for things such as food and clothing. Can any of you who live there give me a rough idea of how much % increase there will be for food and clothing (we are currently in San Diego) Also, I'll take any recommendations on good restaurants and "must see/do" activities. It's almost certain that we will be living on Base, so we won't be dealing with astronomical real estate or rents. Thanks!!
E komo mai, J-Lu!
Heh-- "Orders to Hawaii"-- that gets 'em to sign up for another tour every time. Then it's a last-minute phone call: "Whoops, change of plans, welcome to Keflavik! I mean Okinawa!" If you were really coming to Hawaii you would have heard from your sponsor by now, right? Eh, never mind, I'm not bitter anymore.
We made the move from SD back to Hawaii almost nine years ago. I don't think Hawaii counts as "overseas" for medical screening purposes, but you'll want to check with PSD & medical to see if you need extra exams. If an overseas screening is required then even babies get a visit to the dentist and it takes time to complete all the paperwork. You also may prefer to deal with kid's immunizations over there a month or so before you transfer so that you're not dealing with that stuff here until after things have settled down. For example if you're planning to use childcare then you'll have to have the whole set of current vaccines. If your kid is prone to ear infections, make very sure before the flight that his ears are OK or that you have all the antibiotics you need. You may also want to refill all your own prescriptions for a couple months before you leave SD.
I don't know what resources are on your orders but they're similar to the website at http://www.hawaii.navy.mil/PCS/PCS_Index.htm
. There are also a ton of other websites like http://www.psdph.navy.mil/
, and http://www.101thingstodo.com/hawaii/oahu/index.php
. Your new command should also have their own website; PM me if you can't reach it and I can poke around.
Are you sure that you're in housing? The pendulum swings back & forth as neighborhoods are renovated, and you may or may not be offered housing when you get here. It depends on what's available and, I'm afraid, to some extent on your spouse's seniority. I say that because the enlisted/JO housing renovations are almost all finished, but much of the senior-officer housing is undergoing renovation now and it's in tight supply-- so the more junior (or flexible) you are the better. Contact the Housing Office right away to find out what the situation is. If you have orders then you can get your name on the list while you're in SD, and you may even be able to start the process by fax & website.
You're moving here during the busiest PCS time of the entire year and even if it's vacant I'd be very surprised to hear that your housing is ready for you to move in. Whether or not you have orders, contact the Hale Koa Hotel NOW (TONIGHT!!) to make a reservation or to find out where else to get a temporary lodging hotel. If you can't get into the Hale Koa then PM me for some other suggestions. The problem is that TLA is doled out in 10-day increments and it gets real old real quick shuffling back & forth between Waikiki & Pearl Harbor (without your own car) to do the paperwork. Kaneohe may also have a Navy Lodge or BOQ available, and there's a new Navy Lodge on Ford Island (in Pearl Harbor).
Ship your household goods ASAP. Geez, it's mid-April so you're already behind schedule. Depending on commercial shipping loads it may take them six weeks to get here and it could take another two-three weeks for the local moving companies to put you on their delivery schedule. JPPSO should have a website or phone number for you to check the status of your shipment. Once you get into housing the Housing Office should also be able to loan you an "Aloha Kit" of lawn furniture, futons, linens, & kitchen supplies until your stuff is delivered.
Ship a vehicle ASAP too! The good news is that Matson puts your vehicle in a container instead of exposing it to weather. It'll probably arrive with its radio & spare tire intact, too. Shipping is much better than it used to be. If you have a choice you would much rather ship a vehicle early and rent/borrow in SD than to ship a vehicle later and pay Hawaii prices to rent here. Of course you'll need your new Hawaii proof of insurance cards before you can get your base sticker, so you may wish to contact your insurer now to get those before you stop your mail delivery.
Think hard about shipping a second vehicle. You can do it free via OPPORTUNE LIFT, plenty of ships come through here from SD, but you can also pick up a cheap island bomb here for under $10K. Unless your vehicles are really important to you I wouldn't pay the $1000 or more to ship a second one.
I can't remember whether you'll see much of a difference in your food budget. If you insist on eating Mainland food then you'll pay for it. In the commissary a gallon of milk is about $3.50 here and a box of cereal swings between $2-$4. Bananas are 65 cents/pound. A cheap 56-oz carton of ice cream is under $3, hamburger is about $2.25/pound, a dozen eggs $1.30, a dozen hamburger buns cost $1.50, and a box of brownie mix is about $1. Fresh seafood is cheap. Local fruit-- papaya, pineapple, tangerines-- is extremely cheap. (Mangos are free.) Mainland fruit-- raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, grapes-- is obscenely expensive. Even oranges cost 83 cents/pound and tomatoes $1.10/pound, but I usually eat local fruit for about the same vitamin C content as a Mainland diet. Most of the year we grow our own bananas, mangos, tangerines, papaya, pineapple, & tomatoes and you'll probably have some room to do that at your housing area or at a community garden. PM me if you want more prices.
Clothing budget? That's pretty funny! At your kid's age they run around in a tank top & a diaper. (You should have a special diaper/swimsuit if you want your kid to be able to use the hotel swimming pool. Buy them over there before you get over here.) We raised our kid on Goodwill, the base thrift stores, Craigslist.org, & garage sales. Baby equipment is extremely cheap and so is clothing. Most housing areas have a quarterly community garage sale where the baby clothes are stacked up in piles. If your kid is walking then you might want a new pair of sneakers before you move here but otherwise I wouldn't buy clothing. Same for grownups-- your island wear is going to be a couple dozen variations of t-shirts, shorts, & slippers. When you arrive you may want to buy a couple aloha-patterned shirts/dresses at the Exchange or Goodwill but you won't be wearing jackets, ties, slacks, heels, hose, or socks. Unless you want to.
PM me if you're planning on bringing a dog or a cat to Hawaii. There are vaccinations & anti-rabies microchips that need to be done in SD ASAP and the airlines occasionally refuse to transport pets when the weather is warm. If your pet is more exotic than a bunny then you may not be allowed to bring it, but I'm not sure of the latest rules.
When you decide how many diapers you'll need on the five-hour flight, double it and add 10 more. I don't want to tell you how we learned that.
Speaking of diapers, you mentioned that you're planning a family expansion? Tripler Army Medical Center is pretty good but Kapiolani Women's & Children and Saint Francis are even better. If you have the time before you get here, you may want to see if you can TRICARE out of the Army way. But hopefully you'll be all moved in & settled before you have to start packing for that trip!
The local newspaper: http://www.starbulletin.com/
The surf forecast: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/SRF.php
A bunch of other answers to popular questions: http://www.hcc.hawaii.edu/hspls/onlhaw.html
I sure hope your sponsor is handling the load of meeting you at the airport, getting you to your hotel, and helping with housing. But PM or e-mail me if you want more info.