Cost Of Living In Guam

Guam US flag

If you have your heart set on living in Guam, you came to the right place. Guam is a territory of the United States, situated in Micronesia along with thousands of other islands. In this western region of the Pacific Ocean, Guam is the largest island and the one that has the most to offer. The capital of Guam is Hagatna but the most populated village is Dededo.

The official language in Guam is English but there are still indigenous Guamanians that speak Chamorro, an Austronesian language. You will be surprised to find out that the population of Guam is just a little under 170.000 people but, the island has everything you might need to make a comfortable living here. Now that you know the basics of this beautiful island, let’s dive into the cost of living in Guam!

The monthly cost of living in Guam 

If you are planning on moving to Guam, we will have to warn you that the cost of living is slightly higher than in the United States. On average, you can expect to spend about $1.333 per person or $4.540 per family of four in a month on this beautiful island. The following table will give you a more specific idea about your potential monthly budget. Keep in mind that you might not need everything or, on the contrary, you might need to invest more in certain things than others. So, your budget will most likely differ from the average one.

RENT
1 bedroom apartment central$1.345
1 bedroom apartment suburbs$1.020
3 bedroom apartment central$2.404
3 bedroom apartment suburbs$2.088

UTILITIES
Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage
(914 sq. ft. apt)
$390

Prepaid mobile tariff/minute
(Without special plans or discounts)
$0.26
Internet
(60 Mbps or higher)
$104

TRANSPORTATION
One way ticket$2.00
Monthly pass$70.00
Taxi start$25.00
Taxi 1 km (0.62 miles)$2.17
Gasoline 1 liter (0.26 gallons)$1.16

CHILDCARE
Full day kindergarten
(Private)
$397
Primary school
(International, per/year)
$9.933

Why is Guam more expensive than the United States?

You will notice that many of the living costs are higher in Guam than they are in other parts of the United States, and there is a good explanation for that. Almost everything in terms of food and many of the important products people need in various industries are imported since Guam is a small island with low production rates. 

It will be apparent as soon as you get to Guam that gas, utilities, and food are pricier than in the United States. The electricity price, in particular, seems to rise from one year to another and the difference tends to be significant compared to other regions of the United States. 

In America, you can expect to spend on average $166 for your basic utilities including, electricity, heating, cooling, garbage, and water. For the same facilities, you will pay $390 in Guam for one month. 

Grocery food items will also cost you more in Guam, with a few exceptions. Beef for instance tends to be cheaper in Guam as well as potatoes, onions, and beer. All the rest are above the United States prices. 

In terms of transportation, the most significant difference is the cost for taxi start which is $25 in Guam, as opposed to $3.25 in the United States. The only thing that comes cheaper in Guam in terms of transportation is the one-way ticket which is $2.00, compared to $2.23 in the USA. 

But not all the costs will be higher in Guam compared to the United States. For instance, childcare can be close to $1.000 per month in the USA compared to only $397 in Guam. At the same time, an international primary school for one child can cost $15.417 compared to $9.933 in Guam.

When it comes to lower costs, you will also notice that eating out seems to be cheaper in Guam than it is in America. On average, a meal at a restaurant on this island will be 3.89% cheaper than the same meal at a restaurant in the United States.

Guam Fried meat and rice

Buying an apartment is also significantly cheaper in Guam with a price that is almost 65% lower than in the United States. This difference applies to both the apartments you can buy in the downtown area as well as those in the suburbs. 

Things to consider when you move to Guam 

There are advantages and disadvantages when you are relocating to Guam, especially if you come from the United States. And it is important to be aware of these differences to adapt better to your new life. We will name the most important things to consider if you are going to make such a change in your life. 

1. Getting from Guam to the United States

One of the first things you will have to consider is the distance. Guam might seem closer to the United States than it is. And you can take this distance into account regardless of where you come from when you choose to move here. Once you relocate to this island, you will have to spend about $1.400 to get back to the United States to see your family and friends. And the time you will spend is roughly an entire day. 

Plus, Guam is an island which means that it is geographically isolated from other lands and life tends to be slightly different. These differences are enough to make you homesick more often than you would expect. 

Your best choice when you miss your family and friends is to use social media so you can stay in touch. It will also help you to attend different local events and try to make new friends so you can feel more at home in Guam. People are very welcoming and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding your place on this beautiful island. 

2. Get involved in the community

Being an active member of the Guam community is going to help you and ease your transition to this new home significantly. Locals prefer to trust their friends, family members, or other people they know with certain services rather than hiring a stranger.

So, it is important to create connections when you live in Guam and start building your social network at a local level. The more people you know, the more access you will have to certain services and, you can also find reliable work if you are interested in that aspect. If you are planning to do business here, you want to ask your clients to refer you to their friends as this is the best type of marketing on this island. 

3. Life moves at a slower pace 

Another aspect you need to take into account is the pace at which life seems to go in Guam. Things on this island simply happen slower than in other places and, this could be a big difference if you come from a big, urban area.

Guan Beach

Traffic, in particular, is slower and, you will spend more time staying in line than you might be used to, which can be quite frustrating at the beginning. However, you can overcome these minor inconveniences by planning and keep your patience. Remaining calm and friendly, even when delays happen, will bring you a lot more positive results and potentially more valuable friends as well. 

Interesting things to do in Guam

One thing is for sure: you will have what to do to keep life interesting in Guam. There is something for everyone here and you might fall in love with this island sooner than you think! 

1. Spend plenty of free time at the beach 

Guam is well known for its secluded beaches and you have where to choose from as there are plenty of them. The most popular beach in Tumon Bay and you will find plenty of tourists here, but other exotic beaches will give you more privacy. 

2. Explore nature in all its beauty at the Ritidian Point

Ritidian Point is home to plenty of wildlife you can admire in Guam. You will find this point at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge, about half an hour from Tumon. This thick jungle can welcome you with interesting species of butterflies, toads, lizards, bats, and incredible plant species. There are trails you can follow if you are looking to venture into this natural oasis and you will not regret it. 

3. Check out the Chamorro Village Market

Since you are in the middle of an ancient culture like Chamorro, the best way to experience it is by going to the Chamorro Village Market. Wednesday evenings are the most animated in this market. You will see interesting, traditional events, dance events, and kid-friendly activities. Plus, tasting the traditional cuisine is simply a must while you are in Guam. This market is open between Thursday–Tuesday 10 am to 10.30 pm, Wednesday from 10 am to midnight and, you can find it only 20 minutes away from Tumon, in the west region. 

4. Visit the Fisheye marine park

If you are captivated by the underwater world, the Fisheye marine park is the best place to satisfy your curiosity. This park is underwater and you will witness the ocean life through 24 windows. You can even join a short cruise to see some dolphins swimming in the sea and take some unique pictures. Children are completely fascinated by this underwater park and considering its beauty, there is no wonder. The park is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and you can find it at the address 818 N Marine Corps Drive Piti, 5524, 96915, Guam. 

5. Climb on the tallest mountain in the world

You don’t have to be a hiker to reach the top of the Lamlam mountain. This is the tallest mountain in the world but don’t confuse it with Everest which is the highest. This mountain is 1,332 feet above sea level and extremely easy to hike. If you plan to try out this adventure, don’t forget your sunscreen and water as it can get hot while you are on the trail. 

Best time to visit Guam 

Visiting Guam is a great choice all year round. The climate stays fairly constant throughout the year and the temperatures range between 70 degrees F and 90 degrees F. There is a wet and dry season that you will want to be aware of when you plan your trip to Guam and even when you are considering relocating here.

Guam Dededo Sunset

The dry season is from January to May and this is also the best time to visit if you want to avoid random rains. The humid season starts in July and ends in December but even during this season, the weather will not compromise your outdoor activities too much. 

Conclusion

Guam can be a great place to live if you are looking to start new in a more relaxing atmosphere. And there are very few places on Earth as relaxing as an island. But make sure you take into account all the aspects involved in this relocating process as they will all have an impact on your comfort and the way you build your new life. Guam has a lot to offer to people of all ages, and it can be a beautiful country to make a family or retire after many years of work!

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