Cost of Living in Hawaii: Hawaii Tips for Travel Nurses

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By Kristen and Sam Smith

October 12, 2021



Cost Of Living In Hawaii

Are you looking to know the cost of living in Hawaii? Well, we have the answer for you! We moved to Hawaii for a travel nurse contract and are showing you our housing, groceries, and transportation budget.

Cost of Living in Hawaii:


The cost of our housing in Waikiki is $3000 a month. The condo has a bedroom with a queen-size bed, a decent size TV, and a little sitting area. Off the bedroom is a balcony. The condo has a decent size kitchen with a full refrigerator, stove, and oven. On the other side of the kitchen is a second bed that is a trundle bed. The bathroom is a decent size that includes a nice-sized shower, vanity and offers extra storage. The condo is a 5-minute walk to the beach and is conveniently located near the bus stations and stores. The condo is a good size living space for the price.

The cost of our housing in Kaneohe is $1900 a month. The housing in Kaneohe is part of someone else’s home, and it’s like a sub home that they built. It’s like a little storage area they have converted to a living area, but it’s very convenient. What you have to learn about Hawaii is you get more things in a small amount of space. While this housing doesn’t have an actual oven, it has a hot plate, microwave oven, big size refrigerator, and a sink—everything to make your meal and save yourself a lot of money. The kitchen is also the dining sitting area and workstation. We have a table in this area. The bedroom is a decent size, and the bed is also a good size. The bedroom offers a lot of storage for your clothes, including drawers. The bathroom is massive for the size of the space, and the shower is a great size as well. Being on this side of the island, you get a great mountain view. This housing also offers a little picnic area/patio as well.

Cost of Groceries

For price information, we visited Food Land, a grocery store here in Hawaii.

  • Fruits and Veggies: the price is around what we are used to paying, some are even cheaper
  • Bread and Grains: prices seem significantly more. We were caught off gaurd by the rice specifically
  • Meat: at Food Land prices are similar to what we are used to. We have seen other stores where the prices are significantly higher.
  • Coffee: the price of coffee is significantly higher
  • Canned goods: the price of canned goods is a bit higher in price
  • Toiletries: Shampoo, body wash and toothpaste the prices are very high. The cost of a pack of diapers is $5 more than in Texas.
  • Oatmeal and Cereal are around $1.00 more
  • Frozen Foods are more expensive as well.
  • The cost of less than a pound of Salmon at the time of filming was $21
  • Chips and Snacks are still priced great, which we love
  • Eggs: even with chickens everywhere the price of eggs is extremely high
  • The cost of milk is even higher.

Eating Out

The cost of eating out isn’t too expensive.


We use 2 methods of transportation; walking or the bus. The bus is about $2.50 one-way, or you can purchase the Holo card, which is $70 a month per person. Car rental is very expensive and averages about $300 a day.

So, keep in mind there are some adjustments you have to make if you’re coming from the mainland you have to adjust to island life, and there are certain things you give up, we’ve given up milk, and we walk a lot more, but it’s worth living in Hawaii.

We hope you found this article on the cost of living in Hawaii helpful. Have you taken an assignment in Hawaii? Do you have any tips to share regarding the cost of living in Hawaii? Comment them below.

If you are a new traveler or looking into becoming a Travel Nurse:

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