Thinking about making a move to the beautiful island of Guam? Every location has its own unique pros and cons—including Guam. There are some amazing upsides to living on Guam, and some downsides, too. The trick lies in knowing whether the perks outweigh the disadvantages. That’s a personal decision only you can make.

To help you make that decision, we put together a list of the pros and cons of moving to Guam. We’ll show you what we think are the best parts (and the “not-so-best” parts!) of living on Guam so you can make up your mind whether Guam is the right spot for you.

Pro: It’s a Pretty Simple Move for U.S. Citizens & Permanent Residents

you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you don’t need a visa to live or work on Guam. If you have the legal right to live and work in the 50 U.S. states, you also have the same rights on Guam. No special paperwork needed.

Additionally, Guam operates on the U.S. dollar, so you won’t have to worry about changing your money or juggling exchange rates once you move to Guam.

In short, even though Guam may feel very different from other parts of the U.S., you’ll have a lot fewer hoops to jump through as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident living abroad.

Con: If You Don’t Know Anyone on Guam, It Might Be Tough to Get a Job

If you’re a remote worker, a member of the U.S. military, or you’ve already got a job lined up, you won’t have to worry too much about this one.

However, if you’re planning on finding work once you arrive on Guam, be prepared for a bit of a challenge. Scoring a job on Guam can be less about your resume and experience and more about who you know.

That doesn’t mean it’s a complete waste of time to apply for jobs and send out your resume. However, it does mean that you should make the most of your connections on Guam. If you have friends or family on the island, let them know what kind of job you’re looking for. That can help you get your foot in the door much faster.

Finally, be patient because…

Con: Life Moves a Little Slower on Guam

If you’ve ever wondered whether “island time” is a real thing, we’re here to tell you that life really does move slower on Guam than it does in the continental U.S.

When you’re trying to get things done—such as picking up your mail, securing a job offer from an employer, shopping for groceries, or running errands—it can feel frustrating, especially if you’re not used to this pace of life.

Our advice? Embrace the leisurely pace on Guam! It can quickly turn into a positive. We’ll discuss that next…

Pro: Life Moves a Little Slower on Guam

While it might feel like a con sometimes, there’s also an upside to the unhurried atmosphere you’ll find on Guam. It can be a relief to let go of the need to race everywhere, all the time. The relaxed pace of life on Guam also allows you more time to be friendly and make connections with the people you share the island with.

At the end of the day, if you’re addicted to the hustle-bustle, maybe Guam isn’t the right place for you. However, if you want to experience what it’s like to live a more deliberate, unhurried lifestyle, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do just that on Guam.

Pro: The Island’s Natural Beauty Is Stunning

That gentler pace of life also leaves a lot more room to enjoy Guam’s stunning landscapes. Postcard-perfect beaches, leafy jungles, windswept mountain tops, stunning coastal overlooks, and vibrant coral reefs are all waiting for you on Guam—a huge perk of living here on the island.

If you love getting outdoors to explore, you’ll love living on Guam. Between snorkeling, hiking (we call it boonie stomping!), diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more, you’ll find plenty of ways to keep yourself busy. Plus, staying active can also be a great way to meet new friends when you explore with groups like Guam Boonie Stompers, Inc.

But the best part of Guam might be the fact that you’ll be living on a tropical island, where you’re able to enjoy these activities year-round.

Pro: You’ll Enjoy Beautiful Weather All Year-Round

When you move to Guam, you’ll have to toss out the concept of four, distinct seasons. Guam basically has two seasons:

The Sunny Season
Fanumnangan in Chamorro


The Rainy Season
Fanuchanan in Chamorro


If you’re worried you might miss the seasonal change, remember the upside: Temperatures stay balmy year-round, hovering between the mid-70s and the mid-to-high-80s. No more thick sweaters. No more shivering in a winter coat, and no more shoveling snow. The weather is one of the big reasons people move to Guam, and it’s easy to see why!

How Rainy Is the Rainy Season on Guam?

For the most part, you can expect passing rains that stop and start (unless there’s a significant weather system developing nearby, which might bring more rain). Life doesn’t stop on Guam for the rain. People continue to go about their business. After a heavy rain, though, hiking trails can be slippery and runoff can make water cloudy. Stay flexible, and you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy Guam, even during the rainy season.

Con: It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity

Speaking of that tropical weather, let’s talk humidity. The average humidity on Guam hovers around 66%, and that number can rise into the 80s at night. If you love the idea of living in a warm, balmy paradise year-round, this might not feel like much of a con to you. However, because humid air prevents sweat from evaporating quickly, high humidity can leave some people feeling clammy, hot, and simply uncomfortable.

If you see yourself in this description, you might want to think twice before relocating to Guam. Alternatively, if you still decide Guam is right for you, prioritize a living situation with a good air conditioning system—knowing that electricity prices will be a bit higher than you’ll see within the contiguous 48. For many, though, a climate-controlled environment is more than worth it.

Con: You’ll Need to Stay Aware of Approaching Typhoons

Finally, the other weather-related item you’ll want to note is that tropical storms and typhoons can affect Guam any time of year. Technically, “typhoon season” runs from late June through December, when they’re most likely to impact the island. However, living on an island like Guam means staying vigilant about typhoons—just in case.

To help residents prepare for approaching typhoons, Guam has instituted a Typhoon  Condition of Readiness (TCOR) system. Reviewing it will give you a sense of what you might need to do if a storm approaches the island. Being aware and ready is the best way to stay as safe as possible in the face of a serious storm—a reality of life on Guam.

Pro: You May Keep More of Your Paycheck

Once you establish residency on Guam, you’ll start paying your taxes to the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.

If you’re moving from a state that charged personal income tax, we’ve got good news for you: There’s no separate “state” tax on Guam. Instead, you simply pay the same rate you’d pay for federal taxes to the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation—no additional local personal income taxes.

This could mean money in your paycheck, practically instantly.

Does Guam Have Sales Tax?

There’s also no sales tax on Guam charged directly to consumers. However, businesses pay a 5% privilege tax, which they can pass on to buyers by building that expense into the price of goods and services. Although a bill to institute a 2% sales tax—and reduce the privilege tax to 3%—was proposed, it was never made law. As a result, when you buy items on Guam, you won’t get charged a sales tax at the register.

Con: The Cost of Living Is High

If you decide to move to Guam, you’ll want to take any tax break you can get. As you might have guessed, the cost of living on Guam is higher than in many parts of the continental U.S. Just how high is it? Check out our article on the cost of living on Guam, and we’ll break it down for you.

At the end of the day, most everything has to be imported to Guam, so anything you buy will naturally be more expensive. Take a look at a few sample costs at Island Choice Grocery to start to get an idea:

(Source: Island Choice)

So how much money do you need to live on Guam? Our cost of living article will give you a head start on making a budget so you can figure out if the numbers will pan out for you.

Pro: You’ll Need Less “Stuff” Than You Think

For many, the increase in cost of living on Guam is outweighed by the fact that you just don’t need as much “stuff” on a tropical island. Fancy clothes, formal shoes, and high-end accessories just don’t get as much use on Guam. Additionally, expensive homes and cars aren’t as prominent as they are in some parts of the continental U.S.

Add to this the fact that a lot of online stores don’t ship to Guam, and you may simply find yourself buying less. (Although we can help you get items to Guam from retailers who don’t ship to Guam!)

In other words, your spending might change significantly once you move to Guam. As a result, you might not notice that cost of living increase as much as you think.

Con: Bringing Your Cat or Dog Involves Some Work

Pets are family, and it can be heartbreaking to think you might have to rehome a beloved cat or dog when you’re moving to a new location.

Guam is a rabies-free destination, so the island has strict regulations regarding importing pets to the island. In other words, unlike in the continental U.S., bringing your cat or dog isn’t as simple as loading them into your car and driving to your new home.

However, it is possible to bring cats or dogs to Guam. To make it happen, you’ll work with your veterinarian to gather the paperwork for an import permit from the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency. Your pet will also need to be vaccinated, microchipped, and tested for rabies.

Based on your pet’s circumstances, they’ll be placed in one of four programs:

  1. Full 120-day commercial quarantine
  2. Calculated quarantine
  3. Home quarantine on Guam
  4. Exempt from quarantine, for pets who have spent more than 120 days in a rabies-free destination, like Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, or the British Isles

But don’t worry too much: As long as you follow all of the CQA requirements, you’ll be all set to bring your favorite furry friend with you to Guam.

Con: Moving to Guam Isn’t as Simple as Packing a Car

As we mentioned above, moves to and from Guam are a little more complex than moving between states within the U.S. It’s not like you can just rent a truck, fill it up, and drive your stuff to Guam. Because it’s an isolated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, large shipments travel for weeks over the ocean to Guam.

If you’ve never planned a move like this before, it might feel complex—or even overwhelming. You might even be tempted to sell all your stuff before you move so you don’t even have to deal with it.

However, there is some good news…

Pro: It Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult

There are plenty of moving companies (like us!) who can make a move to Guam much easier for you. We handle all the logistics on behalf of our customers, so they can enjoy a low-stress move. We even have crews who will show up and pack all of your belongings for their trip to Guam. If you’re short on time, this option can save you a ton of time and stress.

If you decide to work with a moving company for your Guam move, we suggest you get three, independent quotes to give yourself a good lay of the land. Additionally, we also recommend working with someone who has a local crew on Guam. These providers understand exactly how the island works, and they’ll offer the smoothest delivery experience to your new home on Guam.

Making the Final Decision

Given the remoteness of the island of Guam, you’ll want to weigh your moving decision carefully. Are the cons we’ve listed above things you can live with? Do the pros outweigh them—and get you excited about your move? If so, maybe you’re closer to a final decision about where you’ll make your home next.

We’d love to help you make a safe, easy, and affordable move to Guam. Our Tamuning-based experts know the island inside and out—and they know how to make your move as stress-free as possible. Just reach out for a free quote to get started.

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