Who doesn’t want to go to Hawaii for free? Well, the old adage that nothing in the world is truly free is, in this case, true. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, over-tourism was a concern in Hawaii and now, barely anyone’s visiting. Now, the state of Hawaii is offering to buy airfare for qualified individuals as long as they stay for 30 days or longer. But there’s more to it than that.
According to the Movers & Shakas press release, “a new remote work program aimed at individuals – former Hawai‘i residents and those from out-of-state who want to work remotely from the islands. The program incorporates a unique “give and get” approach, seeking those who are passionate about the values of Hawai‘i and who have the skills and willingness to contribute to the local community.”
The program will first launch on the island of Oahu (where Honolulu and Waikiki are located), “with the first 50 qualified applicants receiving a free round-trip to the island. Future applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis and will eventually expand to neighboring islands at a later date. Program participants will receive access to promotions, special program benefits and opportunities to interact with the local community. Participants will also be asked to contribute their skill sets and knowledge to the community and businesses during their time in Hawai‘i.”
The program was launched through a partnership with the Hawaii state government, business leaders, alumni associations at schools and colleges, and founding organizations including the Central Pacific Bank Foundation, Hawaii Executive Collaborative, Island Holdings, Inkinen, and FCH Enterprises (parent company of Zippy’s restaurants).
As part of the deal, they are asking program participants to contribute their time and skills to local nonprofit partners, which include: Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, Girl Scouts of Hawaiʻi, Hawaii Literacy and KUPU.
On the Movers and Shakas website, they have all kinds of helpful information for people who are thinking of moving to Hawaii. They describe each neighborhood and suggest you get a car (long term rentals cost around $1,000 month). They also suggest that if you plan to stay for more than 3 months, then shipping your car might be a better option. Shipping rates from California to Oahu are about $1,500 each way.
They also offer links to rentals and some of their hotel supporting members offering long term rates are: Alohilani Resort, Outrigger Hotels and Prince Hotels. You can check out more FAQs here.
You can apply for the program here and you must do it by December 15.