Travel Lifestyle & Culture

Travel Nurse & Allied Health Pro Guide to Assignments in Hawaii

Lindsey Gram, RN
March 12, 2024
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Woohoo! You’ve landed a travel contract in Hawaii. This location is a top choice for many healthcare travelers, and for good reason. With incredible weather, extraordinary culture, and endless activities and adventure, it’s no surprise many travelers fall in love with the Hawaiian islands.

Work and life as a traveler in Hawaii are very different than in other locations, and there is a lot you need to know to make the most out of your time on the islands. We’ll ensure you have all the essential info on the basics, like licensure, housing, and getting there. Plus, we’ll share all the best things to see and do once you’re there. 

Table of Contents

Qualifications for Travel Assignments in Hawaii 

The Cost of Living In Hawaii

Things to Bring When You Move to Hawaii

Where to Stay in Hawaii as a Travel Healthcare Worker

Traveling Between The Islands

Things to Do in Hawaii

You won’t want to miss our travel nursing in Hawaii tips- get your sunglasses, flip-flops, and bathing suit, and let’s get ready to travel to Hawaii!

Qualifications For Travel Nursing In Hawaii

First, you will need a Hawaii nursing license. Hawaii is not a compact state, and you must obtain licensure through the Hawaii Board of Nursing. After submitting all required documentation, the board takes an average of 45-60 business days to issue a license.   

We recommend obtaining licensure as soon as possible if you want to travel to Hawaii. Hawaiian travel jobs are competitive and go fast, and many facilities choose to hire travelers with current licenses over travelers who don’t.

Qualifications For Travel Allied Healthcare in Hawaii

When traveling to Hawaii, keep the “Aloha Spirit” at the front of your mind! The Aloha Spirit means to extend mutual regard, respect and caring to others with no obligation of return. Be sure to respect local Hawaiian residents, land, traditions, and culture.  

The Cost of Living In Hawaii

The cost of living in Hawaii is higher than most places in the contiguous United States. Housing, food, and other necessities cost more here. How does a staff or travel nurse’s salary in Hawaii compare? Check out our Nurse Salary Guide for Hawaii to find out more details. The five Hawaiian islands that use travel nurses and allied health professionals are:

Island of Hawaii or “The Big Island” 

The island of Hawaii is the most affordable Hawaiian island to live on. Here, you will find hospitals in the cities of Kona and Hilo, a wide range of landscapes from rainforest, to beaches, to volcanoes and mountains, and a more laid-back lifestyle. 


Maui is a popular vacation destination with some of the world's best beaches and surfing. The island of Maui has one of the highest costs of living in Hawaii, and you will find hospitals in the cities of Kula and Wailuku.  


Oahu is home to Honolulu, the largest city on the Hawaiian islands. Along with beautiful beaches, you will find big city amenities, hustle and bustle, and nightlife here. There are eight hospitals in Honolulu and six hospitals outside of Honolulu. Oahu is typically the most expensive Hawaiian island to live on. 


Kauai boasts unique rainforests, mountains, and beaches and is an outdoorsperson’s paradise. There are three hospitals in Kauai, in the cities of Waimea, Kapaa, and Lihue. The cost of living on Kaui is relatively high compared to other islands. 


Lanai is a smaller island with beaches, clifts, and plenty of adventure. This island has a higher cost of living and a relaxing pace of life compared to the other islands. The only hospital is in Lanai City. 


Molokai is one of the most secluded Hawaiian islands, with a much slower pace of life compared to Maui and Oahu. The only hospital on the island is located in the city of Kaunkakai. Molokai is more affordable than many other Hawaiian islands.

Things to Bring When You Move to Hawaii

“What do I bring with me while on contract in Hawaii?” is one of the most common questions our nurse advocates are asked at Trusted! We recommend embracing the easy-going island lifestyle and fitting everything you need into a few checked bags, but you do have the ability to ship items to yourself if needed. 

To fully enjoy your time here, remember the following travel nursing in Hawaii tips. Don’t forget these items:

Clothing & Basic Necessities

  • Be sure to bring the right attire! Pack plenty of shorts, dresses, and lightweight clothing in addition to your scrubs. Don’t forget your swimsuit and sunglasses, and pack a sweatshirt or two. Flip-flops and tennis shoes are necessities, and a lightweight jacket or rain jacket is a must!
  • Some items are difficult to find in Hawaii, and shipping is expensive. You will be able to buy most of what you need in larger cities on the islands, but if you have specific items you cannot live without, you may want to bring them with you:
  • Glasses, contact lenses, and other personal care items 
  • Specific makeup, hair, and skincare items
  • Your camera, computer, and headphones

Can I Bring My Vehicle to Hawaii?

Should I bring my car? This one depends. Getting your vehicle shipped to Hawaii can be costly, and it is relatively easy to rent a car once you are there. If you know you will be staying for six months or more, shipping your car may be something to consider, but is not an absolute must.

Can I Bring My Pet to Hawaii?

Can I bring my pet? This one also depends. Hawaii is rabies-free; documentation and health screenings are required if you wish to bring your dog. If you cannot get the necessary documentation, your pup may have to live in a quarantine facility while you wait.  

Where to Stay in Hawaii as a Travel Healthcare Worker

Many fully furnished rentals are available for travel nurses working on the islands! Because of this, we do not recommend bringing household, kitchen, or furniture items. It would be unnecessary and wildly expensive to bring these things here! 

  • Many facilities in Hawaii use travel nurses & allied health professionals. There are frequent postings on many websites for furnished and long-term rentals. 
  • Furnished Finder
  • Travel Nurse Housing
  • Airbnb and VRBO
  • Traveler’s Haven
  • If you are interested in sharing space and want to easily connect with other travelers, you can often find a fellow traveler willing to split the host of a house rental through a travel nurse message board or online community.

When looking for housing, keep in mind the commute you are willing to make to work each day. Traffic in larger Hawaiian cities can be heavy, and public transportation is fairly limited compared to other cities. 

Check out Trusted’s Travel Nurse and Allied Professional Housing Guide for more information, or connect with other travelers and get tips and tricks from nurses who have lived in Hawaii through the Trusted Circle

Traveling Between The Islands

Even though you will be living and working on one island, don’t miss the chance to see and experience the other Hawaiian islands while you are here! Hawaii has incredible diversity, with varying cultures, landscapes, and activities specific to each island! 

Three airlines offer island-hopping flights. Once you are in Hawaii, travel between islands is quick! Flights to other islands are relatively inexpensive and often only take 30 to 45 minutes.

Things to Do in Hawaii

Now, let's get down to our list of things to do when you are in Hawaii! The Hawaiian islands are filled with amazing experiences, beautiful scenery, and delicious food. Here are a few things you won’t want to miss:

Unique Experiences

  1. Island Snorkeling Tours

Colorful fish, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and manta rays also call Hawaii home! Each Hawaiian island has plenty of opportunities to view local sea life up close. One of our favorites is the Turtle Town Snorkeling Tour in Maui. 

  1. Learn About Hawaiian Culture

Hawaii has a rich cultural history. There are plenty of opportunities to learn more about each island's local history, customs, and traditions. The Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore of Oahu offers luau packages and more! 

  1. Visit the Kona Joe Coffee Farm 

Did you know that Hawaii is home to some of the best coffee in the world? Take a tour of the Kona Joe Coffee Farm, and afterward, enjoy amazing views of the Kona coast while sipping on a world-famous Kona Joe coffee smoothie. 

Places to Eat

  1. Mitch’s Fish Market & Sushi Bar

If you are looking for some of the best seafood and sushi Hawaii offers, look no further than Mitch’s Sushi in Honolulu. This sushi bar is family and locally owned, and reservations are recommended. 

  1. Kona Brewing Co. 

A Trusted Staff and seasoned travelers' favorite is the Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua-Kona, on the island of Hawaii. Enjoy a laid-back vibe, a fantastic selection of beer and seltzers, and one of the best poke bowls you will ever find! 

  1. Leonard’s Bakery

Malasadas are a delicious Hawaiin treat similar to a donut or pastry. They are served hot, lightly fried, and filled with various delicious flavors. You can find malasadas on any island, but don’t miss Leonard’s Bakery on Maui! 

Places to Visit

  1. Volcanoes National Park

Located on the island of Hawaii, Volcanoes National Park is a favorite destination for many. Enjoy hiking through the incredible natural scenery of this location, and If you are lucky, you may be able to see an active lava flow!

  1. Na Pali Coast State Park

Located on the island of Kauai, the Na Pali Coast State Park is a 15-mile stretch of exceptional natural beauty. You will find lush green mountains, rainforests, and beautiful beaches here. Driving to Polihale or Kee Beaches is a fantastic trip on its own, and hiking the Na Pali Coast is often a bucket-list item for the more adventurous types! 

  1. The Road to Hana

Located on Maui, the Road to Hana is a stunning drive through an amazing area of Hawaii. You will find endless waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, breathtaking mountains, and lush rainforests here. You can drive the road on your own or take a guided tour through a local company.  

Embark on Your Hawaiian Adventure 

Hawaii is an incredible location to visit, and being on a travel contract here is sure to be one of the most amazing experiences of your career! If Hawaii is at the top of your list, it is never too soon to: 

  • Get started on your Hawaii nursing license 
  • Learn about Hawaiian culture, 
  • Look at Hawaiian housing options,
  • Review our travel nursing in Hawaii tips, and
  • Think about the activities and experiences that you want to have while there.  

Remember, Hawaii takes a little more care, consideration, and planning than most other travel contracts. Trusted Health will be there to assist every step of the way. We have helped thousands of travelers find their perfect Hawaii contract and given them the support and guidance needed to turn their contract into the adventure of a lifetime!

Begin searching for your Hawaii travel nurse or Hawaii travel allied health contract today with Trusted Health!

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