Tips When Moving to Guam
If you’re considering ditching mainland life and heading to the CNMI, then welcome! But, before you pack up and head for the nearest airport, there are a few tips you’ll need to know about moving to Guam so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Are you wondering about the cost of living in Guam vs. USA? Where is Guam? Triple J Guam has the details.
Where is Guam and How Big is Guam?
So, where is Guam, exactly? Guam, a commonwealth of the U.S., is part of the Marianas Islands, a crescent-shaped archipelago in the North Pacific ocean. How big is Guam? It is approximately 225 square miles in area. It is about 30 miles long and between 1 to 8.5 miles wide. Guam is made up of the islands of Saipan, Rota, and Tinian and is located west of the Hawaiian Islands and south of Japan. It is about 5,000 miles west of San Francisco, 1,350 miles south of Yokohama, 1,500 miles east of Manila, and 3,000 miles west of Honolulu.
Is Guam Safe?
Another common question that’s asked is, “Is Guam safe?” Absolutely! Guam has always been known as a safe and welcoming destination. Expect a friendly culture whether you are just visiting or making a new start on the island. Very little crime takes place on Guam, but taking common sense precautions is always recommended.
You may also be wondering, “Is Guam safe in terms of storms and typhoons?” While inclement weather may happen, tuning in for storm bulletins, staying inside when the eye of the typhoon is passing, and seeking shelter in a secure structure away from windows can ensure optimal safety when storms hit the island.
Can Any U.S. Citizen Move to Guam?
Any U.S. citizen who does not have outstanding criminal warrants and is in possession of a valid passport can move to Guam, just as they could to any property of the United States. It is advised that if you are planning on making the move permanent, you update your identification and make sure you have a certified copy of your birth certificate or naturalization papers with you when you enter customs.
If you are not up to date on your vaccinations, you should check with your physician to ensure it is safe for you to move to the islands and get any shots recommended by the CDC to protect you from tropical ailments you might encounter on the islands.
Cost of Living in Guam
Have you been wondering about living in Guam? If so, you may have questions about the cost of living in Guam vs. USA. The cost of living on Guam is estimated to be about 50 percent higher than on the mainland, due to the greater difficulty in getting supplies onto the islands. If you are considering relocating to the islands, it is recommended that you have a job in place and consider sharing the cost of living with a roommate to make the experience more affordable. This can make the cost of living on Guam fit better into your budget.
Looking for an estimate of the cost of living on Guam? An example of monthly expenses, according to expatisan.com, would include $1,353 per month for a moderately priced furnished apartment, $303 per month for utilities, and additional fees if you chose to purchase a vehicle to drive as well, so you should plan your budget carefully.
Are you inquiring about the Rota Island cost of living? Once again, according to expatisan.com, the Rota Island cost of living would be approximately $1,700 per month for a furnished apartment in a prime location. You can still find a furnished apartment for about $777 a month elsewhere on Rota Island. An average price for utilities is $488 per month.
Does Moving to Guam Require a Visa?
Visa requirements for Guam are the same as they are for the mainland U.S. If you are a citizen of the United States and have a valid passport, then no, you do not need to have a visa to relocate to Guam. If you plan on moving from another area, then you will need to apply for a visa and check for restrictions before booking your ticket.
If you arrive via the Hawaiian Islands, you will be permitted to offload at the airport and proceed to your destination. If you are arriving from the mainland or from a foreign destination, however, you will have to proceed through customs first.
Military PCS to Guam
With two bases on Guam – Andersen Air Force Base and the U.S. Naval Base – there is a thriving military community on Guam (a community that can take advantage of our car specials at Triple J Auto). If you’ve been reassigned here and plan on bringing your family with you, you should consider finding lodging as soon as possible, since the most popular spaces fill up quickly. Family members will need:
- Passport or U.S. ID
- A copy of the PCS Orders
Note that if you plan to bring an animal with you, there is a mandatory quarantine period before the animal is permitted to join you at your residence.
We recommend reading your duty orders carefully and contacting your commanding officer for specifics regarding your posting and whether there will be housing offered or if you and your family will have to arrange your own accommodations while stationed on the island.
How to Register Your Vehicle on Guam
If you plan on moving to Guam and you own a vehicle, you may be wondering how to register your vehicle when you arrive. The visitor center on the island handles vehicle registration. Before you are able to drive, you will need to provide proof of insurance as well as a temporary registration (valid for up to 5 days). After you move to Guam, this will need to be done within 72 hours of your arrival. You must also get your registration to the Department of Revenue and Taxation as soon as possible.
When it comes to insurance, check to see if Guam is covered. If it is not but you provide a letter that states you have no insurance claims, this could function similar to a waiver. It is also recommended to add typhoon insurance to your coverage plan.
Driving on Guam
Now that you are living on Guam, how does driving differ on the island? Guam is an American territory, so drivers are required to use the right-hand side of the road. As in many areas, driving under the influence and texting while driving is illegal. Guam has quite a few military installments, so you need to be aware of the laws that govern driving in those areas. The speed limit for the island is 35 mph in most areas, but there will be signs posted where the speed limit varies.
Things To Do on Guam
We have now answered, “How big is Guam?” You may now be wondering about fun places where you can spend your free time. Life on Guam can be pretty amazing, and there are plenty of things to do on Guam, from lounging on one of the many beaches, to dining at one of the dozens of internationally-themed restaurants. It’s also easy to spend a few days in the capital village of Hagåtña. Ready to enjoy Guam life? Some of our top picks for things to do include:
- UnderWater World Guam
- Ypao Beach Park
- Two Lovers Point
- Piti Coastal Defense Guns
- Plaza de Espana
- Pagat Cave
- War in the Pacific National Historic Park
- Guam’s Encore! Comedy and Magic Show
- Magic Rocks Theater
- Tumon Beach
- Ritidian Point
- Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
- Themed City Tours
Buy a New, Used, or Rental Car on Guam
We carry a number of brands in our new vehicle and used vehicle inventories, including family-friendly Hondas and rental services. Get in touch today to see how we can help you make life on Guam even more of a joy!
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