Best eSIM for international travel of 2024

eSIMs that are easy to install and provide excellent network coverage

Best eSIM overall

  • Best for customizable plans
  • Best for easy installation
  • Best value for money
  • Best for security
  • Best for beginners
  • Best for frequent travellers
  • Best for network coverage
  • Best for unlimited data
  • Best for global plans
  • Best for Europe
  • Best for data-only plans
  • eSIMs for international travel FAQs

The best eSIMS for international travel make it simple and easy to stay connected with your phone wherever you are, without breaking the bank.

A person using dictation with a smartphone.

1. Best overall 2. Best for customizable plans 3. Best for easy installation 4. Best for value for money 5. Best for security   6. Best for beginners 7. Best for frequent travellers

8. Best for network coverage 

9. Best for unlimited data 10. Best for global plans 11. Best for Europe   12. Best for data-only plans 13. FAQs

eSIMs have gained a lot of traction in recent years, especially in international travel. Admit it, you do not like getting into huge queues to buy an eSIM just after you’ve landed at your dream location. You can now skip the queue with the best eSIM for international travel, with plans ranging from 3 days to as long as a year.

These eSIMs are easy to install and provide excellent network coverage. However, with so many providers offering eSIMs, which one should you purchase? I have done the hard yards to find and review the best eSIM you can get for international travel, regardless of whether you want to travel to Europe, the USA, Asia, Africa, or Australia. So, make sure you read till the end to know everything you could ever need before purchasing your next eSIM.

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Website screenshot for Airhub

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

Airhub is a huge online store from which you can buy eSIMs in over 190+ countries worldwide. It has a massive variety of eSIM plans that include data, local call minutes, SMS, and international call minutes. 

While most eSIM providers usually have around 3-5 plans per country, Airhub provides up to 15 plans to choose from for a single country which gives you the flexibility to select the plan that resonates best with your needs. Also, Airhub has truly managed to make some of the best partnerships with local companies to offer the cost-effective deals that it does. 

If you're going to hang in a country for multiple months, you can simply go for the monthly subscriptions. Some of these plans also include unlimited voice minutes and SMS - you truly get the best deal here. 

The majority of plans that you will find on the website are prepaid, with a few postpaid plans and a postpaid monthly subscription in a few countries, the most important one being the United States. However, it doesn't have strong coverage in Latin America. For example, I found them offering only a single plan in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. Moreover, there are no plans for countries like Cuba, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Ecuador. 

The regional plans offer an attractive price proposition as well, with options available in APAC, Africa, North America, the Middle East, and Europe. We highly recommend the Europe plan if you're about to go on a Europe tour. Airhub covers up to 49 countries in the plans, with the plans starting at just $11 for a month with a 3GB data limit. We could also spot a few 1-year plans in Europe ranging from 10GB to 100GB for the year.  

When you open the Airhub app, there's not a lot going on like most other eSIM apps — the interface is clean and intuitive. After logging in, you will find a page that lets you select the country, with three tabs differentiating local eSIMs, regional eSIMs, and Monthly plans (note that the global package is included in the regional eSIM category). 

Concluding, Airhub stands out with its great plans, minimalist apps, and websites and ticks all the boxes of travelers and remote workers looking for an affordable and effective eSIM. 

Read our full Airhub review.

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Best eSIM for customizable plans

Website screenshot for Airalo

Airalo is easily one of the best eSIM providers for travelers looking for an affordable and reliable SIM card, which is in more than 200 countries. The stand-out thing about Airalo is its great collaborations with local telco companies all over the world which makes it the cost leader that it is today. 

Keep in mind that this also means the cost of Airalo depends on the place you're traveling to, and the cost of data there — validity and data limit being the other two factors that affect its price.

It also offers 7 regional plans, including Latin America and Caribbean Islands — regions that aren’t well catered by other eSIM providers.

It also has a specific global plan that provides access to around 84 countries worldwide — perfect for international travelers. You can choose between 1GB to 20GB of data spread across 7 days to 180 days validity. 

To buy the eSIM, you simply have to go to the app, create an account, choose the place you are traveling to, and the package of your choice, and then install the eSIM. After that, you’ll need to follow a simple eSIM activation procedure, and that’s it. The payment can be made through a credit card or Apple Pay. 

One major thing to look out for when getting an Airalo eSIM is that most of them don't offer voice minutes — there's only a data plan. So if you're someone who makes a lot of voice calls throughout the day, you might want to look out for an alternative here. That said, you can always communicate via Internet calls when needed. 

Airalo has a loyalty feature where you get credit every time you purchase data from the service provider. Initially, you get a 5% Airalo credit for every purchase, which keeps increasing as you collect more and more credit. So, initially, if you spend $20 on a package, you get a $1 credit that you can use for future purchases. 

Read our full Airalo review.

Best eSIM for easy installation

Website screenshot for AloSIM

AloSIM is a Canada-based tech company that offers great prepaid data SIMs at affordable prices. One innovative feature of the app is its Data Calculator which helps you find the estimated data that you will require depending on the things you use your internet for on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Once you have decided on the amount of data you need, you can head over to the eSIM area and select a plan to your liking.

The reason why this is so great is because it bears testimony to the brand's transparency and genuineness. Being able to calculate your daily requirements won't let you overspend on something you don't need. 

Another thing I love about AloSIM is that you get to see which partnering networks you're gonna be connected with before you purchase any package so that you can assure that you are connected to a reliable network. You can also check the speed availability in the region (3G, 4G, 5G, or LTE). This is something most eSIM providers do not offer.

Installing the eSIM is also easy with AloSIM. There are three ways in which you can do that:

1. Automatic installation — if you want to start using your plan straight away, you should go with this option. 

2. Scanning QR code — this option is available in almost all eSIM providers — you just have to scan the QR code to activate your network. 

3. Manual installation — You will have to go through a step-by-step instruction manual to adjust your settings and activate your eSIM. 

The prices at AloSIM are among the most reasonable I’ve seen. You can get the 5 GB for 30 days plan for as low as $16 in the US. That's a lot of difference compared to the plan your home SIM can provide you. Plus, data sharing is supported, so you can use your personal hotspot to connect to other devices or let a friend free ride with you. AloSIM also offers as many as 11 regional plans — one of the highest on our list. 

However, I couldn’t spot a regional plan for Africa or an extensive Asian plan. The Asian regional plan covers just five countries in Southeast Asia. Thus, it isn’t a great option if you’re traveling East.

Just like every data-only eSIM, you will not get a phone number with AloSIM. Also, there's no unlimited plan for you to rely on if you're a data junkie. Overall, AloSIM stands out with its transparency, auto-installation feature, and affordable price. 

Read our full AloSIM review.

Best eSIM for value for money

Website screenshot for Nomad

Nomad eSIM is a great option if you’re on short trips and need a travel eSIM that doesn't cost you a fortune. It is well-known for its short-duration plans of 7 and 15 days. Its offerings are divided into regional plans and individual country plans. 

You can also purchase an unlimited data plan in selected individual countries, such as the UK, something that isn’t available with regional plans. With Nomad, you can purchase one GB of data for as low as $1.30 (in Asia and the Americas).

It has an incredible value proposition in North America, Asia, and Europe. However, when it comes to Latin America, you can definitely find cheaper options. For example, 1GB of data with a 7-day validity costs $9 on Nomad. However, the same plan is available at $6.5 on Airalo, with both of them covering the same three counties —Canada, USA, and Mexico,

What we love about this provider is that it doesn't charge you any one-time connection fee or even a fee for the SIM card itself. There's no hidden cost, and you don't have to worry about enormous roaming costs as well. Just pay for the upfront amount of the package, and you’re good to go.

There are eight regional plans - APAC, Nordic, Europe, SEA - Oceania, Global, North America, Africa, and Middle East. Regional plans allow you to buy the plan once and use it in a specific group of countries - no need to buy a new eSIM for every country you travel to. For example, if you’re visiting France, Germany, and Italy, simply get the European regional plan. You’ll not need to buy a separate eSIM in each country.

The global plan is decent, with an option to purchase a global e-Sim for either 110 countries or 140 countries. The 110-country plan starts at $25/GB (validity of 7 days), while the 140-country plan starts at $19/GB for the same validity period.

Recently, Nomad added an SMS plan available in selected countries like Canada, the United States, and the UK. I found the plan to be pretty reasonable, too, starting at 100 texts for $4. 

What's more, Nomad has one of the most user-friendly apps. You can easily find all the plans, and the interface is very clean. You can also track your data usage on the go and add more data if you seem to be outrunning your current limit. 

If you're not an expert at understanding chunky instructions, you'll love its setup process that takes you through the app step by step and even includes pictures to clearly illustrate what you need to do. 

If there's still something you need help understanding, there's built-in 24/7 message support, and the response time is quick and reliable. It doesn't have a live chat feature like most of the peers.

In conclusion, Nomad is a solid option for frequent travelers with its short-term packages at affordable prices and easy-to-set-up interface. With the commendable user-friendliness of this provider’s app and reliable customer support, it’s one of the best travel eSIMs. 

Read our full Nomad review.

Best eSIM for security

Website screenshot for Instabridge

5. Instabridge

Instabridge has been around for a while, and its eSIM services are truly one to consider if you are looking for a safe and seamless internet connection. This is especially recommended if you're going to stay in one place for a long time — you can find plans that last up to a year.

It is the #1 app on iPhone for global internet access, and with access to more than 190 countries and over 200 million app downloads, you can guess that it's a hot pick among travelers.  However, you do not get any call minutes or SMS facility with Instabridge’s eSIM. Thus, you’ve to rely on Internet-based voice calls and texts — certainly not a deal-breaker.

If you are tight on budget but want to purchase a plan, you can score mobile data packages by watching ads on the app. The collection won't be too grand, of course, but it'll get you a decent data pack if you spend your free time on the app. 

The app in itself is pretty modern and intuitive. You can simply select the country you’re traveling to and choose the amount of data you need. Next, select the duration — one-time, monthly, or yearly. You’re done — simply make the payment and enjoy your internet.

Note that the website on the desktop version doesn't show all the local plans, so it's important to check the plans on the app if you don't find a suitable plan for you. You can pick between subscriptions and one-off plans depending on your needs. The website typically doesn’t show data plans for more than 30 days.

Customer support isn't always the fastest — it can take a few hours to get a reply if you're stuck in the middle of something. But you can look out for the FAQs and manuals to help you out, and the app is easy to use, too. So there are chances that you might not even need customer support.  

You can purchase multiple plans with the same eSIM, so there's no need to collect a hefty number of eSIMs if you're traveling to multiple places. For example, if you're going to visit the USA, Germany, and France over the holidays, you can just purchase a plan for each of these places and track the data usage of each of these packages through the app. 

Instabridge has a strong commitment to bringing the internet to everyone. For the same, it has decided to give away 1GB of data to someone in a developing nation for every 1 GB of data you purchase.

Concluding, Instabridge is a solid provider of data-only plans, a must-have for users who value security over anything.

Read our full Instabridge review.

Best eSIM for beginners

Saily landing page

Saily is a newcomer in the eSIM market that’s quickly gaining popularity among budget-conscious travelers looking for a straightforward and reliable service. Launched in 2024 by Nord Security, the company behind the well-known NordVPN, Saily offers competitive pricing and a user-friendly app that makes it an attractive choice for those new to eSIMs.

One of Saily's standout features is its affordable data plans, with prices starting at just $1.65 for 20GB of data. This makes it an excellent option for travelers who want to stay connected without breaking the bank. Saily's plans are country-specific, meaning you'll need to purchase a separate plan for each destination you visit. While this may be less convenient for those traveling to multiple countries, it allows for more customized pricing based on local network costs.

Saily's coverage spans over 150 countries, including popular destinations like the United States, Thailand, Japan, Malaysia, and India. The company partners with local providers to ensure reliable connections and fast data speeds in most regions. However, I found that Saily's coverage is slightly more limited compared to some of its competitors, such as Airalo.

But where Saily really shines is its commitment to simplicity. The app's minimalistic design and intuitive interface make it easy for even first-time eSIM users to navigate. The installation process is straightforward, with clear on-screen instructions guiding users through purchasing plans and activating their eSIMs. 

While Saily may not offer as many features as some of its more established competitors, it excels at providing a streamlined and hassle-free experience. The app's clean layout makes it easy to track your data usage and top up your plan when needed. And if you do run into any issues, Saily offers 24/7 customer support via live chat within the app, ensuring you can get help whenever you need it.

In summary, Saily is an excellent choice for travelers who prioritize affordability and simplicity. With its competitive pricing, user-friendly app, and reliable coverage, it's a strong contender in the growing eSIM market. While it may not have the most extensive feature set or country coverage, Saily's focus on delivering a seamless user experience makes it a compelling option for budget-conscious globetrotters.

Read our full Saily review.

Best eSIM for frequent travellers

Jetpac landing page

Jetpac is a Singapore-based eSIM provider founded in 2022. With its expansive coverage spanning over 100 countries, Jetpac offers reliable internet access through both regional and global plans, catering to a variety of travel needs. Whether you're on a short 4-day trip or an extended 30-day journey, Jetpac ensures you're always connected. Their flexible data plans range from 1GB to 40GB or more, ensuring you have the data you need for every situation. 

Jetpac has partnered with local networks around the world to guarantee high-speed internet, with most connections offering 4G/LTE and even 5G speeds where available. This means you can enjoy smooth browsing, streaming, and communication no matter where you are. 

One of Jetpac’s standout features is its SmartDelay service. By registering your flight with Jetpac, you can gain complimentary access to airport lounges if your flight is delayed or canceled. This service can accommodate up to five travelers, making it a valuable perk for families or groups. Imagine the convenience of relaxing in a comfortable lounge, complete with refreshments and Wi-Fi, rather than waiting at the gate during unexpected delays.

Another notable feature is the ability to share your hotspot and connect with your laptop, tablet, or other devices to your Jetpac eSIM, ensuring that all your gadgets stay online wherever you go. This feature is particularly beneficial for business travelers who need to stay productive or for families wanting to keep everyone connected on a single plan.

Setting up Jetpac’s eSIM is straightforward and user-friendly. By downloading the Jetpac app, you are guided through the simple installation process. Additionally, Jetpac’s website offers detailed resources and guides to assist with any questions you might have. The company’s dedication to customer support is evident, with a team available around the clock to assist via email or live chat.

However, it's important to note that your device must be eSIM compatible to use Jetpac’s services. While the eSIM can be downloaded and installed before you depart, the data plan will only activate once you arrive in a supported country. 

Read our full Jetpac review.

Best eSIM for network coverage

Website screenshot for BNESIM

BNESIM offers mobile data contracts in over 170 countries —greater than most providers in our list, like Nomad. You can rest assured that no matter which country you are traveling to, you will definitely find a plan or more with BNESIM. 

Where this provider wins against the competition is its “pay-as-you-go” plans. These are plans with no expiration date. For example, if you purchase the 1GB USA data plan for $6.73, you can use the plan as long as you do not exhaust the entire data without any time restriction. This is particularly helpful for users who use minimal data and end up wasting their data by the end of the plan. 

What I like about BNESIM is its diverse regional plans. It currently offers Regional plans in Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa. Apart from this, there are two unlimited data regional plans - something other providers don’t offer. 

1. BNESIM Infinity Europe

2. BNESIM Infinity Asia

For example, the Infinity Aisa plan covers 28 countries with options to purchase one-time, daily, and monthly plans. I found the “Daily Plan’ really useful in the modern data usage context. It offers a certain data limit for each day of the plan. For example, the 1GB daily data Asia plan costs just $8.85 — a steal, in my opinion.

I also found an extensive “Support” section on its website with guides on installing eSIMs on various devices, such as iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. Each of these guides includes pictures that make your job easier. Just like Airalo, BNESIM also partners with local networks to provide reliable bandwidth, which makes the network stronger in some areas.

However, if you’re looking for a longer-duration plan, BNESIM doesn’t get the job done. With a maximum validity of 30 days, their plans primarily focus on short-duration plans. Another weird thing about BNESIM is its “auto-renewal” feature — your plan will be auto-renewed at the end of the term. You’ll have to cancel the plan manually on its website or app.

All in all, BNESIM is an ideal choice for travelers looking for a flexible and cost-effective global roaming solution for frequent travel. 

Best eSIM for unlimited data

Website screenshot for Holafly

Holafly eSIM cards are among the few options offering unlimited data plans — you can send as many videos and photos with your family without worrying about the data limit. In the few countries that don't give unlimited data, it offers higher data limits than most other providers. 

In terms of duration, too, there's great flexibility. You can get plans that last 5, 10, 15, 20, 60, and 90 days. In short, there will always be a plan close to the number of days you're traveling for in about 160 countries that Holafly caters to.

On the price front, Holafly is a little high-end, but it's worth the unlimited data and stress-free traveling it offers. For example, its 5-day unlimited data plan for the USA costs $19. It also offers regional plans. However, I found it tough to locate these plans on its website, as there’s no dedicated “Regional Plans” section as in some other websites like Nomad and Airhub.

Brands like Airalo are significantly cheaper than Holafly, but you will have to get top-up plans if you exhaust your data mid-journey, which can be troublesome if you travel alone and don't have anyone to provide you hotspot in the meanwhile. 

Installing the eSIM is also a breeze with Holafly. Simply scan the QR code you receive after purchasing a plan and follow the prompts. You will be guided through each step of the process, and the payment can be made through various portals like a credit card, debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. You can also use a code for manual installation if you don't want to scan the QR code. 

Holafly‘s customer support is one of the best in the market. You can expect a reply from them within less than a minute of entering your query. With language support in English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, you can easily access the 24/7 support via WhatsApp or chat. On top of that, there's a frequently asked questions section that will solve most of your queries regarding the installation of the eSIM. 

However, if you plan to buy a single Holafly eSIM for your family, thinking that the unlimited data plan will do the trick, beware. Holafly eSIM doesn't allow data sharing with other devices as of now. 

While Holafly has great data plans, it doesn't include calls with all plans or SMS service. Currently, you can make calls for up to 60 minutes and receive calls for up to 60 minutes in Europe, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany. However, I didn’t find this off-putting due to the sheer non-functionality of SMS and calls these days. You can always make calls or send texts through Holafly’s unlimited Internet ( WhatsApp , Skype, or other apps).   Use code TECHRADAR to get 5% off.  

Read our full Holafly review.

Best eSIM for global plans

Website screenshot for GlobaleSIM

10. GlobaleSIM

GlobaleSIM provides global and local data plans for travelers and tourists in more than 150 countries, and you get extendable coverage with over 400 network carriers. It was among the first providers of eSIM when it first launched in 2016.

There are four broad plans that GlobaleSIM offers:

1. Most Popular Plan - available in 63 countries

2. Most Popular+ Plan - available in 93 countries

3. Special Plan - available in 115 countries

4. Special + Plan - available in 143 countries

For example, its “Most Popular Plan” starts at $3.00 for 500MB of data for 5 days. You also get the option of adding call minutes to your plan and selecting either a US, a UK, or a Canadian number. As there are several countries being covered under a single plan, you obviously cannot expect to get a local number to the place you're visiting, and since there's no roaming charge, a US, UK, or Canadian number isn't that bad, too, after all.

Many eSIM providers ask you to create an account before purchasing, but this one doesn't. You just have to fill out the required information, like your name, surname, and email address, and you're done. You can complete your payment via either PayPal or a credit card.  

However, I couldn’t find many single-country plans on GlobaleSIM. Even for a popular destination like the US, you’ll have to get a bundled plan that includes both the US and Canada. Moreover, despite being in the market for so long, it's a little disappointing that the provider doesn't have an application of its own, so you'll have to purchase the eSIM directly from the website. 

Unlike most other providers in the market, GlobaleSIM doesn't have chat support, the only way that you can connect to them is through emails, and the response time isn't as fast as chat support either. 

At first, you won't even find customer service or a way to get in touch with them on the front page of the website or while skimming through plans. You will have to go all the way down the page to find it. Simply put, the customer support is disappointing. 

All in all, GlobaleSIM is a great eSIM to consider if you're looking for a global plan that's easy to set up and purchase.  

Best eSIM for Europe

Website screenshot for Holiday eSIM

11. Holiday eSIM

Holiday eSIM is the best-prepaid service provider if you're traveling to Europe, with robust connections in every European country for high-speed data.  

What I like the most about this provider is that, unlike others, you get a French number with the eSIM. Its most popular plan includes unlimited calls and texts in Europe, 120 minutes of worldwide calling, and 1,000 texts. That's more than enough proposition for whatever your needs are. But of course, if all you are looking for is a data eSIM, you can also purchase the data-only packages it offers. 

The Orange holiday app is user-friendly and doesn't require any registration prior to installing the eSIM. All you have to do is install the eSIM, and the provider will automatically connect to the strongest local European mobile network provider in that area.  

Costing around $44.10 for 10GB of data with a validity of 14 days, you might argue that this isn't a cheap option. However, if you're looking to have amazing internet no matter which European street you are wandering on, this is worth the penny it costs.

Besides the European plan, there's also a competent data-only global plan with 6GB of data with a 15-day validity. What’s more — you can share your data as a hotspot, so if you want to work on your laptop while away, it won't be a problem. 

However, it doesn’t offer a lot of plan options. Thus, you do not have much flexibility, either in terms of the validity period or data limits. Moreover, I did not like the website interface as much as some other providers on our list. Finding your destination country is difficult — you’ll have to choose from a long list of options. Even when you do, you’ll find “Regional” and “Global” plans in every country. This essentially means that Holiday eSIM does not offer as many individual country plans. 

In conclusion, if you value your network connection more than your product's budget-friendliness, you should consider this for your European trip. While we're not trying to take away that this provider's plans will cost you more than the local plan you can buy from a local provider, there are also a few cheaper options that might work for you if your internet usage isn't a lot. 

Best eSIM for data-only plans

Website screenshot for Flexiroam

12. Flexiroam

eSIMs are an important part of Flexiroam's wide line of products, and it's one of the best data-only eSIM lines out there. You get access to more than 500 mobile networks worldwide through its partnership with Jersey Telecom, with multiple networks in a single place, meaning you are never limited to just one network with this one. 

When traveling, the eSIM automatically connects itself to the strongest network connection in that area for reliable and strong coverage no matter where you go.  If you still don't feel content with the connected network, you can manually switch to the provider of your choice and use it if you find that more comfortable. 

Most providers like Airalo and BNESIM work with one single provider in one area, and it’s possible that the local provider might not be the best for the area you're visiting. This is never the issue with Flexiroam.

There are more than 700 eSIM plans to choose from. However, these plans aren’t as neatly categorized as some other providers. You’ll have to select from a long drop-down list when looking for individual country plans.

Its regional plans are a mixed bag of chocolates. While there are two unique regional plans - Greater Europe and Greater China, I couldn’t find a regional plan for Asia that is offered by almost every other competitor. If you’re on an Asian trip, you’ll want to look at some other eSIMs on our list.

Having said that, Flexiroam is among the few providers that include plans for less than 7 days, and unlike Holafly, it allows data sharing through both tethering and Hotspot. So if you're traveling in a group, you can just buy a single pack and share it with your entire group.

Being a data-only eSIM, you don't get a phone number to call in case there's a network coverage issue and your internet stops working. This can usually be a problem if you're traveling to remote places.

In conclusion, Flexiroam is definitely worth your bucks if you are looking for a data-only eSIM for its affordability and wider network coverage.  

Read our full Flexiroam review.

Best eSIMs for international travel FAQs

What is an esim  .

eSIMs are digital SIM cards already embedded in your mobile device. They are small rewritable chips fixed inside your phone, which connect with an antenna to eliminate the need for a physical SIM. 

Since an eSIM is rewritable, you can change your operator with just a simple setting change. The antenna connects to whichever network you select, so there’s no need to purchase a new SIM. 

eSIMs have been around for quite some time. But when Apple decided to remove the good old SIM card slot and shift the iPhone to being completely eSIM-featured, this feature got its moment in the spotlight. The main reason eSIMs are preferred is because of their ease of use.

Some other reasons why eSIMs have gained popularity include environmental sustainability, reduced battery consumption, and the ability to switch networks on the fly in remote areas.

While there’s no major difference between using an eSIM card and a physical SIM card, eSIMs could be a slight turnoff when you want to switch phones. That said, the benefits of eSIM certainly outweigh physical SIM cards in most scenarios.

Why should I get an eSIM for international travel?  

Now that we know what an eSIM is, let’s dive into why it’s so beneficial for international travel. The best thing about them is that you can store as many as eight (sometimes even more) on your phone and activate them when needed without additional roaming charges. 

Of course, if your current network operator provides free roaming service, there's no need to consider a travel-specific or local SIM. But if that's not the case, it can be quite a task to find the right operator and negotiate with language barriers.

eSIMs are also generally more secure than physical SIMs since there’s no way to remove them, so they can’t get lost. And if your phone gets lost or stolen, tracking it is much easier since eSIMs cannot be removed from the device. 

Note that international roaming works the same way on physical SIMs and eSIMS. The only difference that sets the two apart is that while you can add only two physical SIMs at a time, you can conveniently purchase an eSIM from a local carrier and switch your eSIM operators as you visit multiple locations. 

Is my phone compatible with eSIM?  

Most phones manufactured after 2018 are compatible with eSIMs, except for a few exceptions depending on the location and carrier. IPhone XS, XS Max, and XR are among the first eSIM-compatible iPhones that came out in 2018. 

Follow these steps to see if your iOS is eSIM compatible and carrier unlocked:

  • Go to Settings > General > About
  • Scroll down to find the Carrier Lock section
  • If your device is unlocked, it will show "No SIM restrictions" If that's not the case, you need to unlock your device first. 
  • If you have an iOS 15 or later, Scroll down to "Available SIM" and if you have earlier iOS versions, find "Digital SIM"
  • If your phone supports eSIMs, it will show a 15-digit IMEI number 

The following are the latest models that support eSIM: 

  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13 Mini
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 3 (2022)
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max

You can also use eSIMs on the following iPads: 

  • iPad Pro 11″ (model A2068 onwards)
  • iPad Air (model A2123 onwards)
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ (model A2069 onwards)
  • iPad (model A2198 onwards)
  • IPad 10th generación (2022)
  • iPad Mini (model A2124 onwards)

For Android numbers, it is best to check with the manufacturer if your device is compatible with eSIM. This, too, depends on the model, place of manufacturing, and the carrier used for the Android device.  

Another way to check is by going to the settings > Network & Internet and tapping on the "eSIM cards". If you find a "Download a SIM instead?" option, your device is eSIM-compatible 

You can also check if your phone has an EID (Embedded Identity Document Number), which is the serial number that matches with the eSIM embedded in your device. 

  • Dial *#06# and press call
  • If your device is eSIM-compatible, you'll be able to view your EID number

Some popular Android phones that support eSIMs include: 

  • Samsung Galaxy S21 models
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 models
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold Series
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Series
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 models
  • Google Pixel 7
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel Fold
  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Huawei P40 Series
  • Oppo Reno 5A
  • Oppo Find X5
  • Sony Xperia 1 V
  • Xiaomi 13 Series
  • Sony Xperia 10 III Lite
  • Motorola Edge+
  • Motorola Razr 2019

Note that this isn’t an exhaustive list — it’s only an indicative list of popular smartphones that support eSIMs. In case you do not find your phone year, check with your manufacturer. 

How to choose the best eSIM for international travel 

While all the providers have something or the other to offer,  it's important to know the factors that make an eSIM the best among them. 

1. Which place are you traveling to?

It's important to check the network coverage of an eSIM in the place you're visiting. eSIM providers often offer amazing coverage in particular countries but mediocre performance in others. This is because eSIMs collaborate or partner with local service providers in different countries to enhance network coverage. So make sure that you check the service of the local provider that's accessible to you and select the eSIM provider that has coverage to the place you're traveling to. 

Depending on the number of places you are going to visit, you can select local, regional, and global eSIMs. Here's how they differ:

  • Local eSIM — you should go for this eSIM if you're traveling to just one country. For example, if you're traveling to Paris, you can get a local France eSIM.
  • Regional eSIM — This is a perfect option if you're going to travel to a couple of countries within the same region. Let’s say you're planning a Europe trip; in that case, instead of buying a local SIM for each country, it’s a lot more convenient to get a regional eSIM that will work on all the countries in Europe you're visiting.
  • Global eSIM — global eSIM allows you to connect several countries all over the world, which is perfect if you're going to travel worldwide or counties that are in different regions.

How much data will you need?

If your data requirements are ambitious, you should preferably look for a cheap eSIM or one that provides unlimited data. On the other hand, if your data needs aren't too demanding, but you need internet in remote places, you might have to shell out a bit more for quality internet. To get an idea of how much data different apps use up, have a look at this: 

  • Google Maps: 5MB per hour
  • Social Media: 50MB per hour
  • Internet Browsing: 50MB per hour
  • Online Gaming: 70+MB per hour
  • Streaming Music: 100MB per hour
  • SD Video: 1GB per hour
  • HD Video: 4GB per hour
  • 4K Video: 7GB per hour

3. How long will you be abroad?

All eSIM providers have different validity options — you can choose between 7, 10, 15, 30, 60, 90-day plans, and so on. Find a plan with a validity period that outlines how long you're going to be using the eSIM. 

Some eSIM providers provide plans shorter than 7 days; look out for them if you're going to be away for the weekend. On the other hand, if your data usage is moderate, but you are traveling for longer periods, an unlimited plan might be the best for you. 

How does an eSIM work?

An eSIM card or embedded SIM card is a chip in your phone that lets you connect to a network by simply downloading an eSIM profile and activating it without having to swap the SIM card physically. 

eSIMs function similarly to physical cards — the only difference is that the card, instead of being inserted into the devices, can now be downloaded through an Android or iOS app and activated by scanning a QR code. 

It is very easy to install an eSIM into the devices that are compatible with it. You can use multiple operators simultaneously and add several data plans according to your needs, as there's no physical space required to limit the number. 

You just have to change the profile to switch between one eSIM to another. This way, you can find the network in another eSIM if one SIM doesn't have a network. You can even have one SIM each for business and personal purposes.  

Since eSIMs can be updated electronically, providers in the US and UK are using eSIMs for the Internet of Things, adding a mobile network to almost anything that could use one, like cars and traffic lights.

While all the latest Apple devices are eSIM-compatible, most Android devices are also catching up. For example, the new Motorola Razr doesn't have a physical SIM card slot and only supports eSIM. Google Pixel phones and other Android devices, including laptops and tablets, have started providing eSIMs too. 

If you have already set up eSIM Carrier Activation, follow these steps to activate your SIM:

  • On turning on your phone, you will find a notification appearing that says "Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed", tap on it.
  • If it doesn't pop up right away, In the Settings app, tap Carrier Cellular Plan Ready to Be Installed.
  • You will find a "Continue" at the bottom of the screen. After that, the plan must have been activated.
  • Make a call on your iPhone to check its cellular connectivity.
  • If you're unable to make the call, contact your carrier. If the plan you activated replaces the plan on your physical SIM, your eSIM has been activated. Now remove your physical SIM. Then restart your iPhone.
  • After this, your eSIM will actively run on your phone, and you can use it along with your physical SIM cards too. This will especially be appreciated by those who don't like to give away their phone numbers when traveling abroad.

Can I use more than one eSIM provider when traveling abroad? 

Yes, you can use more than one eSIM, depending on whether you use Android or iOS. When traveling, you’d want to use at least two SIMs simultaneously so that you don't lose touch with the older SIM contact when using the new local SIM. 

iPhones can store up to 5-10 eSIMs on the device, depending on the exact model. For example, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 Mini allow you to use two eSIMs simultaneously. On the flip side, you can use only one eSIM with iPhone 12 models, iPhone 11 models, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Similarly, Androids can also store 5-7 eSIMs on the device. However, you can only activate and use one eSIM at a time. 

This makes your work a lot easier. Suppose you’re traveling to Asia and Europe within a short span of time; you can purchase two eSIMs on your device. Simply activate the eSIM once you transition from one destination to another. This is more convenient compared to traditional SIMs, where you would have had to physically purchase a SIM at every destination you visit.

Traditional phones generally feature a maximum of 2 SIM cards in devices with dual SIM slots. In devices like iPhones that usually don't have a dual SIM feature, you will have to get a student device if you wish to use more than one SIM at once. 

How to set up and activate an eSIM on iOS

Devices like the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, or later support eSIM. And recently, it completely ditched the physical SIM card slot in all the US models of iPhone 14. While other countries still have the SIM card slot, Apple has made it clear that it will soon completely get rid of the physical SIM card.  

Note that Apple’s eSIM feature is not yet available in mainland China and a few parts of Hong Kong and Macao. But if you have an Android device, eSIMs are still an option on your visit to China.

Setting up and activating an eSIM is super easy if you follow the instructions below:

  • On your iOS device, follow Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan. If this doesn't work, try Settings > Mobile Data > Add eSIM.
  • Click on the “Transfer from Nearby iPhone” option. At this point, remember that both iPhones have to be on iOS 16 for this to work.
  • You will find instructions on the old model to help you through the process. Either tap the transfer button or enter the verification code on the older phone, which will be sent to the new iPhone.
  • Once you transfer the eSIM to the newer iPhone, it is deactivated from your old device, and your carrier will send you a notification to complete the setup on your new iPhone.

QR code support:

  • If your carrier has issued you a QR code, you can simply select “Use QR Code” while setting up the new iPhone.
  • You can find the “Use QR Code” option under Settings > Mobile Data > Add eSIM. 

How to set up and activate an eSIM on Android?

Most new smartphone models like the Samsung Galaxy series and Google Pixel have eSIM capabilities. 

Once you’ve confirmed that your specific Android device supports eSIMs, you can obtain the activation kit from your provider and install it by following the steps below:

  • Go to Settings > Connections > SIM Card Manager on your Android phone. Tap “Add Mobile Plan”.
  • If you have a QR code, select “Scan Operator QR code” and scan the code with your phone's camera. If entering manually, select “Enter Activation Code” and carefully type in the code from your carrier.
  • Your phone will take a minute or two to download the eSIM profile and register it on the network. Once complete, tap “OK”.
  • To manage your eSIM, go back to SIM Card Manager in your Android device’s settings. From there you can view your eSIM info, select your active SIM, and continue adding additional eSIMs.

Many of the eSIM providers on this list also provide device-specific guides to help you get started quickly. If you feel lost, just check their knowledge bases for more details!

Are eSIM better than physical SIM cards?  

eSIMs offer several advantages over traditional SIM cards. They provide greater flexibility, convenience, and security for users — all while saving device space and reducing battery consumption.

While the technology is still relatively new and not universally supported yet, eSIMs will likely become the standard in the coming years as more devices and carriers adopt it. 

Here’s an overview of some key advantages of using an eSIM:

Seamless Activation

One of the biggest advantages of eSIMs is the ease of activation and switching between carriers. With an eSIM, you can activate service or change providers with just a few taps on your device, without having to go to a store to get a physical SIM. 

This makes it much more convenient, especially when traveling internationally.

Increased Security

eSIMs offer enhanced security compared to physical SIMs. They cannot be physically removed or stolen from a device, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or SIM cloning. Some eSIMs even have self-destructing features that erase data after failed authentication attempts

Designs Options

Since eSIMs are embedded directly into devices and don't require a separate slot, they free up valuable space inside smartphones. This allows manufacturers to make devices slimmer, include larger batteries, or add other features. The lack of a removable SIM tray also improves water and dust resistance.

Multiple Profiles

A single eSIM can store multiple carrier profiles, allowing you to switch between them as needed. This is especially useful if you want to use separate lines for work and personal use on a single phone, or if you frequently travel and need to use local service in different countries. 

With an eSIM, you can do this without juggling multiple physical SIM cards.

Reliable Connectivity

eSIMs can provide more reliable connectivity than physical SIM cards. SIM cards can come loose, get damaged, or degrade over time, potentially leading to signal issues. The embedded nature of eSIMs makes them less prone to these physical connectivity problems.

Environmental Sustainability

Switching to eSIMs offers significant environmental benefits compared to using physical SIM cards. eSIMs eliminate the need for plastic SIM card production, packaging, and transportation, reducing the telecom industry's carbon footprint.

By enabling remote provisioning and digital distribution of SIM profiles, eSIMs also cut down on the need for users to travel to stores for activation or changes, further decreasing emissions.

Are there any risks to using eSIMs? 

eSIMs are no more dangerous than physical SIM cards. They both employ the same encryption methods and security protocols to protect user data. The only possible security disadvantage of eSIMs is that they are a relatively new technology and some users may find the setup process more complex.

But, in many cases, eSIMs may actually be safer. Unlike physical SIMs, eSIMs cannot be physically removed or tampered with, reducing the risk of SIM cloning or unauthorized SIM swapping. Because they are a more recent technology, eSIMs also have additional security features like remote provisioning and encrypted communications, which make them safer to use.

All that said, eSIMs are not infallible. Just like physical SIM cards, they can be hacked into by an attacker with enough skills and determination. As an eSIM user, you can protect yourself by using strong unique passwords, keeping your eSIM software updated, and only downloading profiles from trusted sources.

Final verdict 

eSIMs have, undoubtedly, made traveling much easier. With affordable plans, excellent connections, and various validity options to choose from, eSIMs are the future of telecommunication. 

The only question is — which eSIM should you purchase? If you do not require voice call minutes (which I believe most wouldn’t), Airalo is your best bet. It has a lot of plan options to choose from, with validities as long as 180 days. It offers affordable local plans in as many as 200 countries, besides 7 regional plans and a value-for-money global plan. And since it partners with local network providers, you can rest assured of seamless connectivity as well. 

If you do want to make voice calls and send text messages, Airhub should be your go-to option. It offers plans in more than 190 countries, with more than 15 plans to select from in most countries. Like Airalo, it is also a value-for-money proposition and wouldn’t cost you a fortune.

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Krishi covers buying guides and how-to's related to software, online tools, and tech products here at TechRadar. Over at Tom's Guide, he writes exclusively on VPN services. You can also find his work on Techopedia and The Tech Report. As a tech fanatic, Krishi also loves writing about the latest happenings in the world of cybersecurity, AI, and software.

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The best eSIMs for travellers to beat hefty roaming charges

By Charley Ward

Low angle portrait of young woman using smartphone against beautiful blue sky with cloudscapes

On the list of additional costs that can trip up travellers, the dreaded roaming data charge is up there as one of the most irritating. Of course, there are usually phone plan kiosks at the airport or the odd SIM card vending machine. However, by the point you’ve reached the arrivals lounge , you’re a captive audience and thus beholden to whatever rate is offered. You also might need some data before leaving the airport: I’m still scarred by the charge I incurred in the connecting terminal in Singapore when the Wi-Fi wasn’t working and I needed to let my partner know I’d arrived.

But there is a way to beat the charges before you’ve even left the country – and that’s by using an eSIM. Oftentimes, purchasing a dedicated travel SIM works out cheaper overall than using the additional data bundles offered with your regular UK phone plan, especially for frequent fliers and those headed further afield than Europe. And by using a digital SIM rather than a traditional physical one, there’s no need to wait for it to arrive or worry about losing your regular SIM card while it’s not in use.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a digital SIM card that allows you to switch between mobile networks directly through your phone’s settings. It means you can stay constantly connected abroad without the risk of being hit with any nasty roaming charges or being beholden to your networks’ often-pricey data plans.

Is my phone eSim compatible?

Most post-2018 smartphones are eSIM compatible, but you will need to make sure you’re not locked to a single network. If this is the case, provided you’ve reached the end of your original contract, you can ask your provider to unlock it for free by requesting a Network Unlock Code (NUC).

Do I need a different eSIM for each country I visit?

No. All eSIMs are suitable for use worldwide, so you’ll only need one eSIM for all of your travel needs. Further, plenty of the plans below are suitable for use in several countries: for example, if you buy an EasySim plan for a trip to France, the data will also be valid for use in a further 36 countries, making it better value for those going on to do more onward travel.

Below, we’ve outlined the best eSIM services to know in time for your next trip, along with the price for a week’s worth of data for a long haul flight to Indonesia as a price comparison guide.

Best eSIM overall

Pros: Yearly and monthly subscriptions, unlimited data and voice options available Cons: None that we can see Price for a 3GB eSIM for Indonesia: $6 (£4.75) Price for a 3GB eSIM for USA: $2.99 (£2.37)

This is our best eSIM option – Airhub is a great service for frequent travellers and digital nomads especially. The app is intuitive and easy to use, and there are plenty of different plans available for trips of all lengths. One perk this service offers over the others we like is the yearly and monthly subscriptions, which make financially savvy options for those on longer trips – for example if you’re stationed somewhere for work or taking advantage of that post-Covid ‘work from anywhere’ lifestyle. There are also plans that include voice minutes and SMS services, which is an additional boast that the other services here can’t match.

Pros: Diverse range of data plans, many plans work across multiple countries, no need for an app Cons: No family feature for managing multiple eSims per account Price for a 3GB eSIM for Indonesia: £8.50 Price for a 3GB eSIM for USA: £8.50

EasySim is part of the EasyJet family of brands, so they know a thing or two about roaming. True to form, it’s one of the most comprehensive services on offer, with a good range of plans at some of the best prices we’ve seen. Some may not like the lack of an app, but the website is easy to use and does the job perfectly well. As a bonus, this service covers a wide range of phones. Not all the options on this list are compatible with my Motorola – an admittedly niche handset – but the compatibility here adds an additional sweetener to this service for me.

Pros: Worldwide and regional plans available, diverse range of plans Cons: No family feature for managing multiple eSims per account Price for a 3GB eSIM for Indonesia: $11 (£8.71) Price for a 3GB eSIM for USA: $11 (£8.71)

All the prices on Airalo come up in US dollars, but don’t be fooled – these plans are accessible to anyone in the world. Airalo has some of the most diverse offerings out there – with regional and even worldwide SIMs available, so even the most voracious country-hoppers should be covered. For those planning treks across Asia or the like, you might want to take note.

Best eSIM for short trips

Pros: Low starting prices Cons: Fewer cross-country compatible plans than EasySim, calls, SMS and MMS services aren’t currently provided Price for a 3GB eSIM for Indonesia: No 3GB plan available; 1.5GB for £3.99 or 15GB for £20 Price for a 3GB eSIM for USA: No 3GB plan available; 1GB for £3.99 or 15GB for £20

As someone who travels regularly for work, and often only for a few days at a time, I’ve sometimes found myself paying over the odds for week-long data plans when I’m only away a few days. Case in point on a recent trip to the Maldives, where I was beholden to the airport’s singular 10gb data SIM offering despite only being in the country for three days. So, if you’re one for regular short hops, GoMo World’s smaller plans are ones to consider for maximum cost-saving benefits.

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Traveling to the Philippines? Here’s the Best eSim for Foreign Travelers

Guide to getting an esim in your travel to the philippines.

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eSIM in the Philippines: Travel Worry-Free in PH with this Connectivity Must-Have 

Table of Contents

It’s always exciting to travel for leisure– after all, it’s a much-deserved vacation from the stresses of work! Many people come to different countries like the Philippines, especially if they want to hop from one country to another, to experience different adventures across the globe. But before all the fun, it’s important to plan especially when exploring an unfamiliar destination. Travel essentials must be prepared to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Smart launches the Philippines' first Prepaid eSIM

One of the must-haves when traveling in the Philippines, is a local SIM. This allows you to stay connected 24/7, especially since some secluded beaches and off-the-radar adventures don’t have WiFi access yet. With a SIM, you can call, text, and connect to the internet wherever you go.

However, with the advent of modern technology, not all phones have multiple SIM slots, or worse– some handsets purchased abroad don’t even have a slot for physical SIMs anymore. But, don’t fret– you can still be connected with the help of a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM.

What’s a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM?

The Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM is a digital SIM card that allows you to activate a Smart plan without needing a physical SIM. It’s very convenient to use compared to other connectivity devices too. You don’t have to rent it out and or queue for a pocket WiFi rental at the airport, and you don’t need to buy a physical SIM that you can easily lose. With a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM, everything is done online– this way, you can complete your travel essentials even before your trip!

How to get a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM

You can easily order your Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM at the Smart Online Store in just five easy steps:

Step 1: Go to Smart Online Store and add your Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM to your cart.

Step 2: Enter your mobile number and email address.

Step 3: Input the OTP for verification.

Step 4: Pay online.

Step 5: View your eSIM QR code, scan, and connect!

Where to get a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM

If you’re already in the Philippines, you can still get your Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM in the following stores:

  • Smart stores nationwide
  • Smart airport booth
  • Lazada flagship store
  • Shopee flagship store

Why choose Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM over other eSIMs?

Why not– did you know that Smart is the country’s best network in the Philippines? This means that more people trust Smart compared to other telcos so you have the ideal choice when it comes to connection. With the Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM, you can get unli 5G access as you travel anywhere in the Philippines.

Getting a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM is also more practical because it gives you call and text services. You can easily call your family members for kamustahan, or send a text message to your relatives if they’re not as tech-savvy yet. With a Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM, you can do so because it comes with 5 GB of all-access data, 30 minutes of all-network calls, and 100 all-network texts valid for three days. Other eSIMs purchased abroad do not offer call and text services– just internet.

Smart Prepaid eSIM comes with up to 21GB data for only P99. Get yours at any Smart Store near you!

Smart Prepaid Philippine Tourist eSIM vs. other connectivity devices

You may be thinking, why just get a local SIM or a WiFi rather than an eSIM? The answer is simple: convenience.

If you choose to rent a pocket WiFi…

  • you need to rent it out at the airport or store and return it before your departure
  • some rental stores require a deposit fee
  • Pocket WiFis are bulky, and you need to charge it regularly
  • May not work in remote areas

If you choose a physical SIM…

  • It might not work on your device anymore
  • You can easily lose it
  • It can be hard to set it up on your phone manually

If you choose to use a roaming or Postpaid plan…

  • Roaming rates are more expensive than local data offers
  • Postpaid plans are not practical cost-wise if you’re visiting for too long

If you’re here for a short vacay break, it would be wiser to use an eSIM instead, because it’s easy to install, access, and use.

Smart eSIM digital delivery

Enjoy your trip to the Philippines by staying connected to your loved ones 24/7. Use a convenient eSIM for a hassle-free way to call, text, and chat with your loved ones in the Philippines. Safe travels!

Follow #TeamOutofTown  on  Facebook , Twitter ,  Instagram , and Pinterest  for more travel ideas.

  • Smart launches the Philippines’ first Prepaid eSIM
  • Understanding the Pros and Cons of an eSIM
  • TNT launches Prepaid eSIM

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Written by Melo Villareal

Melo Villareal is the Online Publisher of Outoftownblog.com. He is an Accountant by profession who left the corporate world at the age of 23 to explore his beautiful country and the rest of the world. Today, Melo works as a part-time Social Media Manager for local and international clients. His full-time work focuses on discovering interesting culture, explore different cuisines and take memorable photos from local and international destinations he's visiting.

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Nomad ESIM Review: The Smart Choice For Frequent Travelers

Published: December 1, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Jacquenetta Brasher

  • Travel Essentials & Accessories
  • Travel Guide

nomad-esim-review-the-smart-choice-for-frequent-travelers

Introduction

Traveling the world is an exhilarating experience, but staying connected while jet-setting across the globe can be a major challenge. Traditional SIM cards often come with limitations and high roaming charges, making it frustrating for frequent travelers to stay connected. That’s where eSIM technology comes in, revolutionizing the way we use mobile data and providing seamless connectivity across borders.

eSIM, short for embedded SIM, is a virtual SIM card that is embedded directly into a device, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card. With eSIM, you can switch between different mobile networks without having to physically change a SIM card. This technology allows smartphones, tablets, wearables, and other IoT devices to connect to multiple networks worldwide, ensuring hassle-free communication wherever you go.

When it comes to eSIM solutions, one company stands out: Nomad eSIM. Designed specifically for frequent travelers, Nomad eSIM offers a smart and convenient way to stay connected while hopping from one destination to another. In this article, we will explore the benefits of eSIM for travelers, take a closer look at the features of Nomad eSIM, and delve into the ins and outs of using it for international travel.

So, if you are a globetrotter looking for a seamless and reliable connectivity solution, keep reading to discover why Nomad eSIM is the smart choice for frequent travelers.

What is eSIM?

eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a revolutionary technology that eliminates the need for physical SIM cards in mobile devices. With eSIM, the SIM card is embedded directly into the device’s hardware, allowing for seamless switching between mobile networks without the need to physically swap out SIM cards.

Unlike traditional SIM cards, which are physical chips that need to be inserted into a device’s SIM card slot, eSIM is built into the device itself during the manufacturing process. This means that you don’t need to worry about losing or misplacing your SIM card while traveling.

One of the key advantages of eSIM is its versatility. With a traditional SIM card, you are typically tied to a particular network or carrier. This can be a major inconvenience and expense when traveling internationally, as you may have to purchase local SIM cards or incur high roaming charges to stay connected.

However, with eSIM, you can easily switch between different mobile networks and carriers without physically changing the SIM card. This flexibility allows you to choose the best network for your needs in each location and avoid excessive fees. You can even store multiple eSIM profiles on a single device, enabling you to effortlessly switch between them as required.

Another advantage of eSIM is its compatibility with a wide range of devices. While eSIM was initially introduced for smartphones, it is now supported by various devices such as tablets, smartwatches, and even some laptops. This means that you can enjoy the benefits of eSIM regardless of the device you are using.

In addition to its convenience and versatility, eSIM offers enhanced security compared to traditional SIM cards. The embedded nature of eSIM means that it cannot be removed or tampered with. This reduces the risk of SIM card cloning or unauthorized access to your mobile data.

Overall, eSIM is a game-changer for travelers, providing a flexible, reliable, and secure way to stay connected while exploring the world. With eSIM technology, you can bid farewell to the hassle of switching SIM cards and say hello to seamless connectivity wherever your adventures take you.

Benefits of eSIM for Travelers

eSIM technology offers a myriad of benefits for travelers, making it a game-changer in the realm of connectivity. Here are some of the key advantages that make eSIM a smart choice for globetrotters:

  • Convenience: The embedded nature of eSIM eliminates the need for physical SIM card swapping. When you travel to a new destination, instead of finding a local SIM card or dealing with expensive roaming charges, you can easily connect to a local mobile network with just a few taps on your device.
  • Flexibility: With eSIM, you have the freedom to switch between different mobile networks and carriers at your convenience. You can choose the network that offers the best coverage and rates in each location, ensuring a seamless and cost-effective connectivity experience.
  • Cost Savings: Traditional SIM cards often come with high roaming charges, which can quickly add up and lead to unexpected expenses. With eSIM, you can avoid these exorbitant fees by connecting to local networks or opting for affordable data packages specific to the region you are in.
  • Multiple Profiles: eSIM allows you to store multiple profiles on a single device. This means you can have separate profiles for personal and business use, or even have dedicated profiles for different countries or regions. Switching between profiles is effortless, giving you the flexibility to manage multiple mobile plans with ease.
  • Reliability: Traveling to remote or exotic locations often means dealing with limited network coverage. eSIM offers the advantage of seamless network switching, ensuring that you stay connected even when transitioning between areas with varying network availability.
  • Security: eSIM provides enhanced security compared to physical SIM cards. As the eSIM is embedded within your device, there is no risk of losing or misplacing the SIM card. Additionally, the embedded nature of eSIM reduces the risk of SIM card cloning or unauthorized access to your mobile data.

With these benefits in mind, it’s clear to see how eSIM technology enhances the travel experience by providing convenience, flexibility, cost savings, and peace of mind. Next, let’s take a closer look at Nomad eSIM, a leading provider of eSIM solutions for travelers.

Overview of Nomad eSIM

Nomad eSIM is a cutting-edge eSIM solution designed specifically for frequent travelers. It offers a seamless and convenient way to stay connected while on the go, providing access to multiple networks worldwide without the need for physical SIM cards.

One of the standout features of Nomad eSIM is its ease of use. Setting up Nomad eSIM is a simple and straightforward process. All you need is a compatible device and an internet connection to get started. Nomad eSIM supports a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and even some laptops.

Once you have activated your Nomad eSIM, you gain access to a global network of mobile operators. This ensures that you’ll have reliable connectivity wherever you travel. Nomad eSIM also offers excellent coverage, including in remote areas, so you can stay connected no matter how off the beaten path your adventures take you.

In addition to its connectivity benefits, Nomad eSIM provides flexibility in terms of pricing and plans. It offers various data packages tailored to different regions, allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs. This ensures that you can stay connected without breaking the bank.

Moreover, Nomad eSIM offers the convenience of managing your eSIM profiles through an easy-to-use mobile app. You can easily switch between different profiles, activate or deactivate them as needed, and monitor your data usage in real-time. This level of control puts you in charge of your connectivity, giving you the freedom to adapt to changing travel requirements.

Nomad eSIM has garnered positive reviews from satisfied customers worldwide. Its reliable connectivity, ease of use, and excellent customer support have made it a trusted choice among travelers. Whether you’re a digital nomad, a frequent business traveler, or simply someone who loves exploring new destinations, Nomad eSIM is an essential companion that ensures you stay connected on your adventures.

In the next sections, we will delve into the process of setting up Nomad eSIM and explore how it enhances connectivity for international travel. Let’s dive in!

Setting up Nomad eSIM

Setting up Nomad eSIM is a straightforward process that can be done in a few simple steps. Here’s a guide on how to get started with Nomad eSIM:

  • Check device compatibility: Before getting started, ensure that your device is compatible with eSIM technology. Most modern smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and some laptops support eSIM. Check your device’s specifications or contact the manufacturer to confirm compatibility.
  • Download the Nomad eSIM app: To activate and manage your Nomad eSIM, download the Nomad eSIM app from the App Store or Google Play Store. The app is user-friendly and guides you through the setup process.
  • Activate your eSIM: Open the Nomad eSIM app and follow the instructions to activate your eSIM. You may need to provide some personal information and choose a data plan that suits your needs.
  • Scan the QR code: After activation, you will be prompted to scan a QR code provided by Nomad eSIM. This QR code contains the necessary information to configure your eSIM and connect to the Nomad network.
  • Confirm and test connectivity: Once the QR code is scanned, your eSIM will be configured, and you should see the Nomad network appear as an available network on your device. Confirm the settings and test your connectivity by making a call or accessing the internet.

Congratulations! Your Nomad eSIM is now set up and ready to use. You can start enjoying the benefits of seamless, global connectivity without the need for physical SIM cards.

The Nomad eSIM app also provides additional features to enhance your experience. You can easily switch between different eSIM profiles, activate or deactivate profiles as needed, and monitor your data usage in real-time. This level of control allows you to manage your connectivity effectively and adapt to the changing demands of your travels.

With Nomad eSIM, the days of hunting for local SIM cards or dealing with exorbitant roaming charges are over. Say goodbye to the inconvenience of swapping physical SIM cards and say hello to the freedom and convenience of eSIM technology.

In the next section, we will explore how Nomad eSIM enhances connectivity for international travel. Keep reading to learn more!

Using Nomad eSIM for International Travel

Nomad eSIM is an excellent companion for international travel, providing seamless connectivity across borders. Here’s how using Nomad eSIM enhances your travel experience:

Global Coverage: With Nomad eSIM, you can enjoy reliable connectivity in over 180 countries worldwide. This extensive coverage ensures that you stay connected, whether you’re exploring bustling cities, remote destinations, or off-the-beaten-path locations. You can confidently rely on Nomad eSIM to keep you connected wherever your adventures take you.

Local Network Connectivity: When traveling internationally, staying connected to a local mobile network is often the most cost-effective option. Nomad eSIM allows you to easily connect to local networks, avoiding exorbitant roaming charges. By opting for local network connectivity, you can stay connected with affordable data plans and make local calls without incurring hefty fees.

Seamless Network Switching: One of the standout features of Nomad eSIM is its ability to seamlessly switch between mobile networks. As you travel from one country to another, Nomad eSIM automatically connects to the best available network, ensuring uninterrupted service. This seamless network switching guarantees a smooth and hassle-free experience, without the need for manual configuration.

Multi-Device Connectivity: Nomad eSIM is not limited to smartphones; it also supports other devices such as tablets, smartwatches, and even laptops. This means you can enjoy the benefits of Nomad eSIM across all your devices, keeping you connected and productive while on the go.

Travel Flexibility: Whether you’re a frequent traveler or embarking on a short vacation, Nomad eSIM offers a range of flexible data plans to suit your travel duration and data needs. You can choose from various packages, including daily, weekly, and monthly options, ensuring that you have the right amount of data to stay connected throughout your journey.

24/7 Customer Support: Nomad eSIM provides exceptional customer support to ensure that you have a seamless experience while using their service. If you encounter any issues or have questions, their knowledgeable support team is available 24/7 to assist you in resolving any concerns.

Using Nomad eSIM for international travel simplifies the process of staying connected, eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, and provides cost-effective options for accessing mobile networks worldwide. It’s a reliable and convenient solution that ensures you never miss a beat while exploring new destinations.

Next, let’s take a look at the coverage and connectivity options offered by Nomad eSIM. Continue reading to discover how Nomad eSIM ensures a robust and widespread network reach for travelers.

Coverage and Connectivity with Nomad eSIM

Nomad eSIM provides extensive coverage and robust connectivity options to keep you connected wherever you travel. Here’s what you need to know about the coverage and connectivity with Nomad eSIM:

Global Network Reach: Nomad eSIM offers a global network reach, with coverage in over 180 countries around the world. This means that no matter where you’re traveling, you can expect to have access to a reliable mobile network.

Multiple Mobile Network Partners: Nomad eSIM has partnered with multiple mobile network operators worldwide to ensure widespread coverage. This collaboration allows you to connect to a network that offers the best coverage and rates in each specific location.

Remote Area Coverage: Traveling to remote or off-the-grid destinations? Nomad eSIM has you covered. With their extensive network partnerships, they strive to provide seamless connectivity even in areas with limited network coverage. This ensures that you can stay connected no matter how remote your adventures take you.

High-Speed Data: Nomad eSIM offers high-speed data access, allowing you to browse the internet, use navigation apps, stream media, and stay connected on social media without any lags or interruptions. Whether you’re uploading travel photos or video chatting with loved ones back home, you can rely on Nomad eSIM to provide fast and reliable data connections.

Roaming-Free Travel: Thanks to the embedded nature of eSIM technology, there is no need to worry about roaming charges or the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards. Nomad eSIM allows you to connect to local mobile networks, avoiding expensive roaming fees and ensuring a cost-effective approach to staying connected during your travels.

Easy Network Switching: Nomad eSIM makes network switching a breeze. With a few taps on your device, you can switch between different mobile networks, ensuring that you always have a strong and reliable connection. This flexibility allows you to choose the best network for your current location, ensuring the highest quality connectivity.

Seamless Activation and Updates: Nomad eSIM provides a seamless and hassle-free experience when it comes to activation and updates. The Nomad eSIM app guides you through the activation process, and any necessary updates to your eSIM are easily managed through the app. This ensures that you have the latest network configurations and updates for optimal connectivity.

With Nomad eSIM, you can confidently explore the world, knowing that you’ll have the coverage and connectivity you need to stay connected. Say goodbye to the frustrations of unreliable networks and expensive roaming charges, and say hello to the convenience and reliability of Nomad eSIM.

In the next section, we will delve into the cost and pricing options offered by Nomad eSIM. Keep reading to discover how you can stay connected without breaking the bank.

Cost and Pricing Options

When it comes to cost and pricing, Nomad eSIM offers flexible options to suit the needs of different travelers. Here’s a breakdown of the cost and pricing options provided by Nomad eSIM:

Data Packages: Nomad eSIM offers a variety of data packages to cater to different travel durations and data requirements. Whether you need a plan for a day, a week, a month, or longer, Nomad eSIM has you covered. These packages provide you with a specific data allowance during the chosen duration, ensuring that you have the connectivity you need without any unnecessary expenses.

Pay-As-You-Go: For those who prefer more flexibility, Nomad eSIM also offers a pay-as-you-go option. With this option, you are charged based on your actual usage, allowing you to have complete control over your expenses. This is a great choice for travelers who have unpredictable data needs or require occasional connectivity during their trip.

Regional Plans: Nomad eSIM provides specific regional plans tailored to different parts of the world. This allows you to choose a plan that aligns with your travel destinations. Whether you’re exploring Europe, Asia, North America, or any other region, Nomad eSIM offers data plans designed to provide cost-effective connectivity in those specific areas.

Transparent Pricing: With Nomad eSIM, what you see is what you get. They have a transparent pricing structure with no hidden fees or surprises. Before activating a plan or using pay-as-you-go, you can easily view the pricing details so you know exactly what to expect in terms of costs.

No Roaming Charges: By providing the option to connect to local networks, Nomad eSIM helps you avoid exorbitant roaming charges. Instead of paying high fees for using your home network abroad, you can opt for affordable local data plans or pay-as-you-go options. This ensures that you stay connected without breaking the bank.

Cost Control: Nomad eSIM’s mobile app allows you to monitor your data usage in real-time. This feature helps you keep track of your data consumption and prevents any unexpected overage charges. With Nomad eSIM, you have full control over your costs, helping you stay within your desired budget.

It’s important to note that the exact cost and pricing options may vary depending on the region and specific data packages available at the time of your travel. It is recommended to visit the Nomad eSIM website or contact their customer support for the most up-to-date information on pricing.

Overall, Nomad eSIM offers flexible and cost-effective options to ensure that you can stay connected without incurring excessive expenses. Whether you need a short-term data package or pay-as-you-go connectivity, Nomad eSIM has a solution to suit your travel needs and budget.

Now that we’ve covered the cost and pricing options, let’s see what customers are saying about their experience with Nomad eSIM.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Customer reviews and feedback play a vital role in evaluating the quality and reliability of a product or service. Let’s take a look at what customers are saying about their experience with Nomad eSIM:

Positive reviews:

  • “Nomad eSIM has been a game-changer for my travels. I no longer have to deal with the hassle of finding and changing physical SIM cards. The connectivity is reliable, and the customer support is excellent.” – John D.
  • “I love the flexibility Nomad eSIM offers. Being able to switch between different eSIM profiles and choose local networks has saved me a lot of money on roaming charges. The setup was hassle-free, and the coverage has been great wherever I’ve traveled.” – Sarah M.
  • “Nomad eSIM is a must-have for any frequent traveler. The app is easy to use, and the network switching is seamless. I’ve used it in various countries, and the connectivity has always been reliable. Highly recommended!” – Mark T.

Constructive feedback:

  • “While the coverage is generally good, there were a few remote areas where I experienced some drop in connectivity. It would be great if Nomad eSIM could expand their coverage even further.” – Emily S.
  • “I wish there were more options for data packages, especially for longer-term travel. It would be helpful to have more flexibility in choosing larger data allowances for extended trips.” – David L.

It’s important to note that customer experiences may vary depending on factors such as location, device compatibility, and network availability. It’s always a good idea to research and consider customer feedback when making a decision about eSIM providers.

Overall, the majority of customers have had positive experiences with Nomad eSIM, praising its convenience, flexibility, and reliable connectivity. The ease of switching between networks, competitive pricing, and excellent customer support have made Nomad eSIM a popular choice among frequent travelers.

As with any service, it’s advisable to check Nomad eSIM’s website for the most up-to-date reviews and testimonials from customers. Reading about others’ experiences can give you valuable insights into the quality of service and help you make an informed decision about using Nomad eSIM for your connectivity needs.

Now, let’s wrap up this article with some concluding thoughts.

Nomad eSIM is a smart choice for frequent travelers seeking seamless connectivity and convenience. With its embedded SIM technology, Nomad eSIM eliminates the need for physical SIM cards, making it easier than ever to stay connected while on the go.

eSIM technology provides numerous benefits for travelers, including the ability to switch between mobile networks, flexibility in choosing data plans, and cost savings by avoiding roaming charges. Nomad eSIM takes these advantages to the next level by offering global coverage, extensive network partnerships, and reliable connectivity in even the most remote areas.

The setup process for Nomad eSIM is simple and user-friendly, with a mobile app that guides you through activation and allows for easy management of eSIM profiles. Whether you need connectivity for a short trip or an extended stay, Nomad eSIM provides flexible data packages and pay-as-you-go options to suit your needs.

Customer reviews and feedback highlight the positive experiences users have had with Nomad eSIM, praising the ease of use, reliable connectivity, and excellent customer support. While there may be minor areas for improvement, such as expanding coverage and offering more data package options, the overall consensus is that Nomad eSIM enhances the travel experience by ensuring seamless and cost-effective connectivity.

If you’re a frequent traveler, digital nomad, or adventure enthusiast, Nomad eSIM empowers you to stay connected wherever your travels take you. Say goodbye to the inconvenience of physical SIM cards and high roaming charges, and say hello to a world of seamless connectivity with Nomad eSIM.

So, why wait? Experience the freedom and convenience of Nomad eSIM on your next journey. Stay connected, explore new horizons, and make lasting memories without worrying about connectivity issues. With Nomad eSIM, the world is at your fingertips.

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Best eSIM for USA in 2023 (We Found Them All)

Looking for the best eSIM for the USA? Or maybe you have a trip to New York, Boston, LA, Las Vegas, Florida or Texas planned?

USA eSIMs for tourists are a great option for anyone looking to hit the ground running with data on your phone.

At A Glance: Our Top eSIMs For USA

  • best travel esim usa Airalo Jump To Review
  • Best eSim unlimited data Holafly eSims Jump To Review
  • Very Affordable Plans Nomad Jump To Review

I use them all the time when I travel to make sure I don’t have to use roaming on my home plan and save lots of money in the process. 

Below we will run through everything from why you should buy an eSIM online from the best providers. Which eSIM data plans are the cheapest and more.

Top Product Overview

Best esim for usa.

Airalo is world-renowned as one of the best international eSIMs  and offers excellent service in the USA too.

Airalo’s prepaid USA eSIM cards offer a minimum of 1 GB for 7 days which costs $4.50 and a maximum of 20 GB for 30 days which costs $42. These prices are great for shorter trips to the USA.

Here are some of the plans available:

  • 1 GB / 7 days for $4.50
  • 2 GB / 15 days for $8
  • 3 GB/ 30 days for $11
  • 5 GB / 30 days for $16
  • 10 GB / 30 days for $26
  • 20 GB / 30 days for $42

It is a shame they do not offer any unlimited data plans or longer-term options. But they allow people careful with their data to choose an affordable plan that works for them.

  • A good range of eSIM plans
  • Simple to buy, activate, and use
  • Great coverage and data speeds
  • Solid pricing per GB
  • No unlimited data plans
  • Short contracts up to 30 days only

Holafly eSims

Holafly has some of the best eSIM cards for US travel. They offer unlimited data, great coverage and 5G data . So you don’t have to worry about how much mobile data you are using.

There are quite a few different length eSim plans available from Holafly, all with unlimited data. Some example plans include

  • 5 days for $19
  • 7 days for $27
  • 10 days for $34
  • 15 days for $47
  • 30 days for $54
  • 30 days for $64
  • 60 days for $87
  • 90 days for $99

Note: Use EXPERTWORLDTRAVEL for 5% off your first order

Holafly has teamed up with

  • PTI Pacifica Inc.

so you get great connections no matter where you go. They simply switch cellphone companies depending on the signal and best connection.

Getting a Holafly eSIM plan is easy via their website and activation is very simple too. The only issue is that their customer support is can be slow and you can’t use the data for a hotspot.

  • Unlimited data plans
  • Excellent coverage in USA
  • Short and long-term plans available
  • Quite affordable
  • You can’t use a hotspot or data sharing
  • Customer support could be better

Maya Mobile

Maya is one of the most competitive eSIM service providers in the USA. They compete on price per GB and their unlimited data eSim is reasonably priced too.

Where they excel is their unlimited eSim as it comes with data sharing/hotspots allowed, which Holafly does not have.

On the price per GB prepaid eSIM plans, they are also competitive with Airalo.

Here are their eSIM packages for USA travel:

  • 1 GB for $5
  • 3 GB for $12
  • 5 GB for $16
  • 10 GB for $25
  • Unlimited for $79

Maya uses both AT&T and T-Mobile, so you know you are getting a great mobile network and connection speed when traveling in the USA. And, they have recently upgraded this plan to include 5G when available, which is great for those of you who want speed!

  • Competitive pricing
  • Hotspot/tethering allowed
  • Great networks (T-Mobile/AT&T)
  • Not the cheapest unlimited data

Nomad is another great option for an eSIM for USA travel. They have a range of prepaid eSIM options to match most people’s needs.

Nomad provides great coverage and connection speeds, and easy setup & activation. They also make things simple by providing  30-day prepaid eSIM plans in most cases, with only the smallest one being 3 days, and the largest with 60 days.

You have data plans such as:

  • 1GB / 7 days for $7
  • 3GB/30 Days for $11
  • 5GB/30 Days for $14
  • 10GB / 30 days for $24 (Currently on sale for $18)
  • 20GB / 30 days for $34
  • 100GB / 60 days for $240

There are also lots of plans in between if you need something different. And, these plans are good value per GB at around $2.4/GB in most cases. They are all with T-Mobile, but, they also have AT&T plans which are all more expensive, for the same size plan.

Unfortunately for heavy users, no unlimited data options are available.

  • Affordable and reliable
  • Good connection speed
  • Simple buying & activation process
  • A lot of different 30-day data options
  • AT&T or T-Mobile choice
  • No unlimited data options

Gigsky is another eSIM provider operating in the US and they are very reliable but a little bit overpriced in my eyes.

Their data plans range from 1 GB for 7 days for $10 all the way to 10 GB for 30 days for $74.99. Compared to the likes of Nomad, Airalo, or Holafly, they are very expensive.

RELATED POST: GIGSKY REVIEW

  • Easy to set up
  • Good coverage
  • A good range of plans
  • A bit expensive
  • Max 30-day plans available

T Mobile is one of the local carriers in the USA that provide eSIMs. This means their eSIMs will have better coverage and speeds compared to others since they are using their one network and will be prioritized.

T Mobile also offers just three eSIM plans. The unlimited plans are affordable, the smaller ones are pricey, but they are all easy to buy, and activate.

The minimum plan you can buy is 10 GB for 30 days for $40 with voice and SMS too or you can get unlimited data for 30 days for $60 with voice and SMS.

These are great plans if you are in the US for a while or want unlimited data.

  • Very affordable
  • Reliable coverage
  • Great connection speed
  • Easy to buy & activate through the app
  • A few great 30-day plans
  • Unlimited data available
  • Only 30-day plans available

AU by KDDI is a Japanese eSIM provider that is so expensive that it is hard to recommend them compared to the others in this list.

They charge you either $54/5GB for 30 days or $84/8GB for 30 days, which is pretty much the same as using your mobile phone plan from your home country, and worth getting a local sim to avoid.

Luckily, there are lots of different options out there for much more affordable eSIMs.

  • Easy and fast
  • Way too expensive
  • No unlimited options

Simtex is another good eSIM provider that functions well globally and in the USA. Their cell phone coverage is good and their connection speeds are solid.

You have the choice of a 3, 14, or 30-day plan across a varying amount of data. The most affordable plan is 1 GB for 3 days for $5 and it goes up to 10 GB for 30 days for $25, which is a great value.

Unfortunately, you can not buy unlimited data plans or longer-term contracts.

  • Reliable and fast
  • Good range of short contracts
  • Easy to buy and activate
  • Only shorter plans

Benefits of Getting An eSIM for the USA

The main benefit of getting an eSIM for the USA is convenience. You can buy your eSIM for the US before you leave, activate it when you land, and be online instantly.

There is no waiting in line to buy a local sim card , no switching out your physical sim card with a new one, no learning a new top-up method, no scouring data packages, and no losing your home sim card either.

Also, if you buy just a data plan for your eSIM you can continue to use your normal physical sim card for texts and calls, giving you a dual sim device.

Topping up with an eSIM is already incredibly quick and easy, just do it via an app and you can add it in seconds.

Devices Compatible with a USA eSIM

An eSim is an embedded SIM card inside of your phone, meaning it has to be built-in. This means that not all phones and tablets come with an eSim, as eSim technology-enabled devices are rather new.

Below you will find a list of all devices that work with an eSim.

iPhone & iPad

Apple iPad Pro 11-inch (4th Generation): with M2 chip, Liquid Retina Display, 128GB, Wi-Fi 6E, 12MP front/12MP and 10MP Back Cameras, Face ID, All-Day Battery Life – Space Gray

iPhone: 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 Mini, 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XS, XS Max, XR, SE (2020), SE (2022).

iPad Air: (3rd generation), (4th generation)

iPad Pro 11‑inch: 1st, 2nd, & 3rd generation)

iPad Pro 12.9‑inch: 3rd, 4th, & 5th generation)

iPad: 7th, 8th, & 9th generation

iPad Mini: 5th & 6th generation

Android Phones

SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Factory Unlocked Android Cell Phone US Version Smartphone Flex Mode Intuitive Camera Compact 128GB Storage US Warranty, Green'

Samsung Galaxy: S22 Ultra 5G, S22+ 5G, S22 5G, S21 Ultra 5G, S21 5G, S21+ 5G, S20, S20+, Z Flip, Z Flip3 5G, Z Fold3, Z Fold2, Fold, Note 20 Ultra, Note 20+, Note 20

Google Pixel: 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4a, 4 XL, 5, 6, 6 Pro, 6a, 7, 7 Pro

HAMMER: Explorer PRO, Blade 3, Blade 5G, myPhone NOW eSIM

Motorola: Razr 2019, Razr 5G

Huawei: P40, P40 Pro, Mate 40 Pro

OPPO: Find X3 Pro, Find X5 Pro, Find X5

Sony Xperia: 10 III Lite, 10 IV, 1 IV

Other Devices That Support eSim

ACER: Swift 3, Swift 7

ASUS: Mini Transformer T103HAF, NovaGo TP370QL, Vivobook Flip 14 TP401NA

Dell Latitude: 9510, 7410, 7310, 9410, 7210 2-in-1

HP: Elitebook G5, Probook G5, Zbook G5, Spectre Folio 13

Lenovo: Yoga C630, Miix 630, Yoga 520, Yoga 720 convertible laptops

Surface: Go 3, Pro X, Duo 2, Duo

Others: Nuu Mobile X5, Gemini PDA 4G+Wi-Fi, Xiaomi 12T Pro, Windows 10*/ Windows 11

Local Mobile Operators Offering eSims in the US

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon are the only three local providers that offer eSIMs for USA.

An eSim provider that has a local network already in place in the USA is likely to provide better coverage. They should also provide better pricing but this is never a guarantee.

Data Needed When Traveling to the USA

How much data you need while traveling in the USA depends on your data usage habits. If your business requires you to be on Instagram all the time, or you want to watch movies on Netflix while traveling from one place to the next, you are going to use a lot of data.

On average, people use about 5 GB of data per week. Heavier users can hit around 15 GB per week, whereas light users only use about 2 GB per week.

Always try and buy a plan to match your data usage, as getting it right is way more affordable than having to buy another plan when you run out.

Tips for Using eSIM in the USA

Make sure your device is compatible and unlocked.

Before you do anything, make sure your phone or tablet works with eSIMs and it is unlocked from your provider. Locked devices will not work with eSIMs.

They are easy to unlock, just call your provider and it will be unlocked in seconds.

Use Facetime & iMessage

If you are using an iPhone, use iMessage and Facetime to call and text for free over data only.

Most people in the USA communicate over iMessage and Facetime, whereas the rest of the world uses WhatsApp . This means you only need data to communicate with everyone.

Use Offline Maps

If you are worried about data consumption, download the area you intend to use on Google Maps while on WiFi. You can then use it offline on airplane mode to navigate your way around the country without using any data.

Here is how to download Google Maps for offline use.

Try To Use WiFi

If you are trying to use less data, then avoid using apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Netflix until you are on WiFi. Any app downloading photos and video chews up data like crazy.

Luckily, most establishments such as cafes and restaurants in the USA offer free WiFi, so staying connected without data isn’t too difficult.

Live In Airplane Mode

Airplane mode stops your phone from connecting to data. A lot of apps actually use data in the background to check for new things, using your data plans without you even knowing, sneaky!

In airplane mode, nothing connects and you can still use GPS for navigation plus take pictures too.

Control Which Apps Use Data

If you go into settings, you can control which apps are allowed to use mobile data roaming and WiFi. Go and turn off mobile data for all the apps you don’t want chewing up your data plans. You can still use them on WiFi, and turn mobile data back on for them if you want to.

What is an eSIM?

In case you are not familiar with eSIMs…

An eSIM is like a digital version of the traditional SIM card you put in phones. Instead of inserting or swapping SIM cards when you want to change your phone service, you can just activate or change services electronically. This makes it simple for travelers like you to choose a competitive data package for your trip without paying hefty roaming fees at home.  It’s also easier because you can switch to local networks without needing a new card and still keep your home phone number if you want.

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Best prepaid usa esim data plans for travelers | esim buyer’s guide.

What travelers need to know about buying a prepaid USA eSIM data plans.

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smart tourist esim

A prepaid eSim is the cheapest and easiest way to get high-speed mobile data while visiting the USA. There are a handful of different plans tailored to visitors so I’ve compared the most popular options to help you find the best prepaid USA eSIM data plans.

Quick Note About Prepaid Data Plans In The USA

best USA prepaid sim card data plan

Many visitors to the US are frustrated by the high costs and lack of prepaid data plans—especially since they’re so easily available in the rest of the world. So what’s the deal? There are multiple reasons:

  • Most Americans Use Multi-Year Phone Contacts: It’s common for a majority of Americans to have multi-year phone contracts so there aren’t many prepaid options.
  • You Might Need a US Credit Card: Many mobile carriers require that you use a US credit card to buy month-to-month plans. You can sometimes get around this by purchasing a prepaid VISA debit card from a grocery store and then using this card to sign up for service. Again, it’s a hassle.
  • US Mobile Carriers Are Slow To Adopt eSIM Plans: eSIMs make switching carriers easier—which mobile carriers don’t like. I personally had to jump through multiple hoops with tech support to transfer my plan to an eSIM for my iPhone.

In short, don’t expect to easily find a prepaid data plan quickly once you arrive in the US. That’s why I highly recommend buying a data plan before arriving in the US if you don’t want to deal with the hassle.

Check out SimOptions (both physical SIM cards and eSIM plans) or Holafly (eSIM only) for a few different options.

The Best Prepaid eSIM Data Plans For The USA

smart tourist esim

Let’s take a look at the best USA eSIM data plan options that I’ve found. Each eSIM plan I’ve listed in this guide will vary slightly so spend time looking at the specific details. But here are the main things to consider:

  • Data Allowance:  Most plans give you a set amount of mobile data (i.e. 5GB, 10GB, 30GB, etc) but others give you unlimited data over a set amount of time (5 days, 15 days, 30 days, etc).
  • Plan Length:  eSIM data plans can be valid anywhere from about 5 days to 90 days. It depends on your plan so it’s something you’ll want to consider when picking a plan.
  • Mobile Hot Spot Tethering:  Most eSIM plans don’t allow you to use your phone as a mobile hot spot.
  • NOTE: You can still use iMessage to “text” between Apple iPhones but you can’t send messages between iPhones and Android phones. Or you can download WhatsApp to send messages over data (which is what most of the world is already doing).

Holafly Unlimited Data USA Prepaid eSIM Data Plan

smart tourist esim

Holafly  is a Spain-based eSIM startup that offers multiple affordable eSIM data plans—including a USA plan. I’ve personally used Holafly and found it worked surprisingly well (read my  Holafly eSIM Review  to learn more).

Unlike other eSIM providers, Holafly gives you unlimited data (although they’ll throttle your data if you use excessive data) and their plans run from 5 to 90 days. Holafly also connects to the AT&T and T-Mobile networks—two of the largest mobile carriers in the US.

In short, if you don’t want to worry about monitoring your data usage while traveling then Holafly is an excellent option.

Holafly USA eSIM Plan Specs:

  • 5 Days: $19
  • 10 Days: $34
  • 15 Days: $47
  • 20 Days: $54
  • 30 Days: $64
  • 60 Days: $84
  • 90 Days: $99
  • Service Speed:  4G/LTE
  • Calls:  None
  • Texts/SMS:  None
  • Tethering:  No

Three 30-Day Pass USA eSIM

smart tourist esim

The Three 30-Day Pass is another great eSIM plan that’s hard to beat for the price and data allowance. This data plan gives you 20GB of data for $35 and it’s valid for a month.

Three 30-Day eSIM Plan Specs:

  • PRICE:  $35
  • DATA:  20GB
  • INCLUDES TEXTS OR CALLS?: NO
  • CREDIT VALID FOR:  30 Days

Smart Traveller USA eSIM

smart tourist esim

The Smart Traveller eSIM is a cheap option for short trips since this plan is only valid for 10 days. If you’re visiting for longer than 10 days, it makes sense to go with Holafly or Three 30-Day Pass .

Smart Traveller eSIM Plan Specs:

  • PRICE:  $18
  • DATA:  6GB
  • CREDIT VALID FOR:  10 Days

The Major US Mobile Carriers

Here’s a list of the largest mobile carriers in the USA. You’ll see that it’s hard (sometimes impossible) to find any information about eSIM on their websites. In most cases, the only way to get an eSIM from them is to have a long-term contract and then have their customer service port the eSIM plan to your phone. T-Mobile looks to be your best bet if you want to go this route.

  • Verizon Wireless: https://www.verizon.com/
  • AT&T Mobility: https://www.att.com/wireless/
  • T-Mobile US: https://www.t-mobile.com/
  • U.S. Cellular: https://www.uscellular.com/
  • TracFone Wireless (includes brands like Straight Talk, NET10 Wireless, and Total Wireless): https://www.tracfone.com/
  • Metro by T-Mobile: https://www.metrobyt-mobile.com/

If you want to learn more about data plans with physical SIM cards in the US, check out my guide to the Best SIM Card Data Plans For USA Travel .

More USA Travel Tips From The Savvy Backpacker

smart tourist esim

I’ve mostly written about NYC travel so here are a few helpful articles for visiting The Big Apple (and beyond):

  • The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide To New York City
  • Best Hostels in New York City
  • The Best Things To Do In New York City
  • Best Cheap Restaurants In New York City
  • How Much To Budget For Visiting New York City
  • The Best Travel Shoes
  • The Best Travel Backpacks  and  The Best Travel Backpacks for Women
  • Recent Posts

James Feess

  • Best eSIM For Europe Travel | Everything You Need To Know About European Prepaid eSIM Data Plans - June 6, 2024
  • Best Travel Shoes — Fashionable & Comfortable Shoes for Traveling - May 31, 2024
  • New York Pass Review | Is It A Good Value or Waste of Money? - May 20, 2024

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Best esim for europe travel | everything you need to know about european prepaid esim data plans.

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A guide on how to use an eSIM for international travel

smart tourist esim

Planning a trip abroad? Then you’ll need to figure out how to stay connected while you’re away. Before, I’d buy pricey physical SIMs, but not anymore. Now, I rely on eSIMs for international travel.

My guide will tell you everything you need to know about eSIMs, from how they work to the benefits they offer. Staying connected has never been easier.

In this post

What is an eSIM card?

How does an esim card work, which esim should you choose for international travel, benefits of using an esim for international travel, are there specific esim cards for european travel, how to set up your esim for international travel.

An eSIM is like a digital SIM card inside your phone. It lets your phone connect to a local mobile network and set up a cell plan, all without needing a physical SIM card. Unlike regular SIM cards, you don’t need to take it out or switch to a new one. 

eSIM cards can be used for smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, cars, and even drone cameras.  Of all the international travel tips and hacks , having access to the internet is one of the most important, which is why eSIMs are such an essential travel tool.

A curly-haired woman in a black hoodie holds her phone as she stands on a sidewalk.

The first thing to do is check if your device is eSIM compatible. Navigate to the “Mobile Data” or “Cellular” settings on your phone. If your device supports eSIM, you should see an option to add or manage an eSIM profile.

If your smartphone is eSIM compatible, choose between your domestic network provider or an international provider in the country you are visiting. Apply for the eSIM plan that works best for your needs – all you need to do is create your profile (just make sure you’re in a Wi-Fi zone when you do it), activate it, and start using the network services.

You can choose from two options:

  • An eSIM from your domestic network provider.
  • An international service provider specific to the country you’re landing in.

The choice depends on your needs and how much you’re willing to spend. If you go with your own mobile provider’s eSIM, you will have the same plan as with your physical SIM.

If you buy an eSIM from an international provider, you’ll have to pick a new data and calls plan that reflects your needs on that trip.

But remember, this plan will only work in the country you’re visiting. Prices and packages vary, so it’s important to pick the plan that best reflects what you’re looking for.

Using an eSIM is much easier than buying a physical SIM card when traveling, and allows you to connect to the internet immediately – particularly useful when you’re trying to book a cab from the airport, look up a location on Google Maps or check local train times. But those aren’t the only advantages of using an eSIM.

It is impossible to lose or damage your eSIM because it is a virtual SIM. They’re designed in a way that means it’s almost impossible to hack them. Also, unlike physical SIM cards, they can’t be stolen or broken.

A woman using her smartphone while standing on a busy sidewalk with the blurry dazzling light in the background.

Seamless integration

You don’t have to remove your physical SIM to get your eSIM to work. Both of them can co-exist on the same device at the same time, meaning you can still receive calls and texts through your original SIM while abroad.

Versatility

They can be used with smartwatches and tablets for tracking and general internet usage. I love the fact that my iWatch still shows me calls and messages when I’m using an eSIM card.

There are two types of eSIMs available for European travel: ones specific to a single country, and others that cover multiple countries. 

  • My personal recommendation is Airalo . I have bought it a couple of times before, and I’m planning to buy it on my next trip as well. Its Europe eSIM offers six different plans in the form of Eurolink and can be used in 39 countries. 
  • If you’re looking for calling and SMS services along with internet usage, try SimOptions ’ Europe eSIM. Depending on your needs, you can choose the right plan from their list of options. 
  • Nomad is another great choice. It has two types of eSIM: a 30 country plan and a 35 country plan. Both categories offer multiple data and calling options and plans start from $5 offering 1GB data. 

smart tourist esim

Using an eSIM for international travel is easy and it takes just three steps to set one up.

1. Purchase an eSIM data plan

To buy an eSIM online, visit the provider’s website, choose your plan, and make the payment. All the above-mentioned eSIMs are available for online purchase.

Expert tip : Buy your eSIM for international travel before leaving your home country, to make sure you can use it as soon as you land.

2. Check your email for the QR code to activate it

Make sure you’re in a Wi-Fi zone so you can open your mailbox, where you will get an email containing a unique QR code. Scan it and it will take you to the eSIM installation page.

The best hack is to do it at the airport, because you can use the airport’s free Wi-Fi.

3. Install your carrier’s eSIM application

Click on the ‘Install on my device’ prompt to give access to your phone. Once it’s installed, you’ll be able to access the app where you can click on the activate button to start your mobile services.

Bottom line: eSIM is the new travel essential

Thanks to its flexibility, convenience, and safety, traveling internationally with an eSIM is a game-changer. Whether you’re a frequent globetrotter or an occasional explorer, the freedom and reliability offered by eSIMs make them an indispensable travel accessory. 

Both seasoned travelers and those just starting out on their adventures abroad can trust KAYAK’s travel guides. Read about what is not allowed on a plane carry-on , learn some expert travel packing tips , or discover the difference between Premium Economy and Economy .

How does KAYAK know what to put in this guide

Having traveled to multiple countries around the world, I prefer buying a local eSIM card to stay connected.

I am a digital nomad and I work everywhere, use a lot of maps, food delivery services, socializing apps, and social media to upload pictures, so access to the internet is a must at all times. 

This guide is a blend of research and first-hand experience, as well as some great suggestions from the KAYAK team dedicated to facilitating travel.

Young Asian business woman going on a business trip. Business and leisure travel.

Frequent questions about eSIM for international travel

Yes, it helps you keep your physical SIM safe and allows you to access several network profiles for different countries.

Yes, it is advisable to install an eSIM before traveling. However, you can do it wherever you have Wi-Fi access. 

Depending on the mobile plan you choose, you can make calls, send SMS, and use the internet.

It can be difficult to switch devices and they are available only on premium smartphones and electronic devices. 

Yes, European eSIM cards are different, as they include more than 30 countries in one plan.

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Best eSIM for Philippines Travel in 2024

As someone who travels frequently to the Philippines for both business and pleasure, having reliable data connectivity is essential during my visits. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various local SIM cards and international travel SIM card options to find the most convenient and cost-effective solution that also provides the speeds and coverage I need.

Recently though, eSIM technology has been gaining significant traction globally as a secure and hassle-free connectivity option for travelers. As more smartphone models embed eSIM compatibility and providers expand support, eSIMs are proving to be a gamechanger that enables travelers to access telecom services through a digital profile rather than requiring a physical SIM card.

What is an eSIM and How Can It Benefit Travelers?

An  eSIM  or Embedded SIM refers to a standardized SIM card built into a device and not removable like traditional physical nano-SIMs. The eSIM contains a basic specification that allows reconfiguration to connect with different network profiles downloaded and managed by a dedicated eSIM connectivity app.

For travelers, eSIMs provide multiple advantages:

  • No need to obtain a physical SIM card by visiting local carrier stores
  • Ability to quickly connect to purchased data plans by scanning a QR code
  • Flexibility to switch data plans or extend validity by downloading profiles
  • Option to use both eSIM and physical SIM card (Dual SIM mode)
  • More affordable prepaid data packages than local carrier roaming rates

However, eSIM connectivity depends on device compatibility and OS support. The latest smartphones models mostly come equipped, but do check whether your device has an integrated eSIM chip or not by referring to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Top eSIM Providers for Traveling in the Philippines

The Philippines has two major local carriers – Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, while DITO Telecommunity also launched commercial services in 2021. Both Smart and Globe now offer some prepaid eSIM plans targeted at tourists visiting the country.

However, purchasing local SIM cards including tourist eSIM plans requires going through a mandatory SIM card registration process. This can be inconvenient, especially if you’re arriving late.

Thankfully, international eSIM providers collaborate with Philippines carriers to offer prepaid travel eSIMs that tourists can purchase without any registration hassles. Data-only eSIMs are also exempt from SIM registration requirements currently.

Based on my trips to the Philippines accessing networks via different eSIM providers, here are my top recommendations:

Airalo has been my go-to eSIM provider for Philippines travel because of their affordable prepaid plans and good speeds via Smart’s LTE network.

They offer Philippines-specific data packs through a tie-up with local provider Alpas Mobile:

  • 1GB for 7 days @ $4.50
  • 3GB for 30 days @ $9.50
  • 5GB for 30 days @ $13
  • 10GB for 30 days @ $21
  • 20GB for 30 days @ $32

Airalo’s eSIM app enables securely downloading these Philippines profiles and their team assists promptly in case of any activation issues. With free data roaming in over 195 destinations, their eSIM works seamlessly during transit as well.

Another globally recognized name in eSIM connectivity services is Nomad, which partners with Philippines’ Globe network to offer prepaid travel plans.

Nomad eSIM options for the Philippines include both shorter (7 days) and longer (30 days) validity plans:

  • 1GB for 7 days @ $4
  • 3GB for 30 days @ $8
  • 5GB for 30 days @ $12
  • 10GB for 30 days @ $19

Their well-designed app and website simplifies plan purchases, while the longer validity plans work very well for longer Philippine holidays. With 5G access enabled as well on Globe’s network where available, it’s certainly a top choice.

3. KnowRoaming

While more renowned regionally within Asia-Pacific, Taiwan-based KnowRoaming is another competitive option for eSIM connectivity in Philippines.

They offer two types of global eSIM data packs valid in Philippines:

  • Multi-country regional eSIMs: $15 for 1GB valid 30 days
  • Single-country (Philippines) eSIM: $25 for 8GB valid 30 days

With LTE speeds via Globe’s reliable network, KnowRoaming delivers consistently good connectivity. If visiting mutiple South East Asian countries, their ASEAN regional eSIM works well too.

Using Smart / Globe Tourist eSIMs in the Philippines

While visiting local carrier stores to undergo SIM registration can be avoided with international eSIM options, Smart launched their Ready2GoTourist eSIM initiative to simplify the process for visitors.

This enables tourists to purchase Smart Tourist SIM cards online prior to travel. The physical QR-code enabled nano-SIM is then couriered to your hotel, delivering solid connectivity with 15GB data and unlimited calls + texts for just 14 days at 995 PHP (approx. $17 USD).

For a fully digital approach, both Smart and Globe offer in-country app and online channels to purchase local prepaid eSIMs if you have compatible devices. However, you still need to go through identity verification during the checkout process.

While more affordable than international options on a per GB basis, the registration overhead for local SIMs makes roaming eSIMs more practical and convenient generally.

Philippines – Mobile Network Coverage and Speed Considerations

With over 7600 islands, quality of connectivity can vary at different Philippines destinations based on extent of network rollout. The country’s mobile operators continue densification initiatives to expand population coverage, but there remain disparities in data experience depending on location – especially in remote areas.

OpenSignal’s independent Philippines Mobile Network Experience Report for Q4 2022 provides interesting insights on how Smart, Globe and the newer DITO network compare.

For 4G availability, Smart leads marginally on this metric – recording users able to access LTE services 93.6% of time compared to Globe at 92.5%. But Globe takes top honours for 4G coverage experience, which measures proportion of locations visited by users where LTE connectivity meets minimum speeds.

Smart however tops network download speed charts with typical LTE downloads averaging 33.7 Mbps. For uploads, Globe and Smart again dominate with typical speeds over 10 Mbps.

Video experience is where Globe shines through – winning all four video metrics tracked. This examines real-world streaming usage for parameters like resolution, stalling rates, picture quality etc – where Globe had the edge.

While OpenSignal’s tests cover high-population areas primarily, their insights on Philippines overall network comparisons are telling for tourists choosing eSIM providers too – since international offerings eventually route via local carrier infrastructure.

Top Philippines Destinations – Mobile and eSIM Tips

Deciding on which mobile network to use is also influenced by where in the Philippines you intend visiting. For some islands and beaches off the usual beaten tourist trail, it’s prudent to check network availability from locals in advance.

Operaators have invested heavily in the main Philippines islands of Luzon and Cebu, delivering solid connectivity – but other destinations have gaps.

Boracay is hugely popular with both local and international tourists because of its stunning white sand beaches and vibrant nightlife. All three major mobile networks offer strong 4G/LTE coverage on Boracay. Smart Edge LTE network even enables 5G speeds at times.

Bohol islands need a bit more advance planning regarding mobile connectivity. The Chocolate Hills and tarsier sanctuaries are amazing to visit, but interior areas only receive Globe signals currently. Getting a local Globe prepaid SIM or eSIM like KnowRoaming provides the best connectivity.

Palawan is another Philippines jewel, with the El Nido coves attracting many tourists. Both Smart and Globe offer respectable 3G and some 4G signals around El Nido town – but nearby islands and dive sites remain tricky with limited towers. Offline maps + WiFi hotspot rentals are useful if planning to stay on outlying Palawan beaches for long.

For Manila, Cebu, Davao, Puerto Princesa cities – all top operators deliver strong 4G/LTE coverage with Globe and Smart both supporting 5G roaming as well using latest phones. International eSIMs from providers like Airalo work very well while visiting these heavily populated cities and nearby satellite townships.

Activating and Using eSIM for Travel in Philippines

Ordering an eSIM before visiting the Philippines for your trip is a straightforward process. You first pick a provider based on destination network compatibility, plan costs and validity duration that matches your stay.

Account creation entails simply providing an email + password (and contact info for courier delivery in some cases) before selecting your preferred Philippines connectivity package.

Payment mechanisms supported are also designed for global travelers – with card payments, PayPal, Alipay and even crypto options available across major eSIM platforms.

After completing checkout, your eSIM voucher, plan instructions & QR activation code will be emailed instantly. If transiting before reaching Philippines, roaming gets enabled in intermediary airports as well automatically.

To activate your Philippines eSIM, locate the built-in SIM setup option on your phone (refer device manual if unsure) and scan the QR code – that’s it! Takes less than a minute.

If you face any activation challenges or need help with topping up data, customer assistance channels include email, chat and social media support across top providers.

Using an eSIM is no different than a regular SIM once activated. You can configure APN settings if required and mobile data switches on automatically depending on device OS power saving preferences. Monitoring data usage and add-ons is managed via the respective eSIM provider’s mobile apps.

Dual SIM functionality also enables simultaneously retaining existing physical SIM card numbers if required. You can dedicate eSIM data for domestic usage while mobile number stays active on primary SIM for calls and texts if visiting home country, for instance.

For frequent travelers heading to the Philippines regularly, an eSIM ensures persistent connectivity across trips while eliminating hassles of finding stores selling SIM cards accepting overseas payments.

Summing Up – eSIM Use for Philippines Travel in 2024

As more destinations globally embrace embedded SIMs and compatibility expands across phones and devices, eSIM adoption for travel convenience is rising steadily. This is accelerating further as leading carriers like Smart enable secure digital alternatives for tourists visiting countries like the Philippines through collaborative tie-ups with eSIM providers.

For Philippines travel in 2024, eSIMs undeniably represent the most frictionless method of activating affordable prepaid connectivity compared to local physical SIM purchases needing registration.

Top international eSIM providers like Airalo and Nomad offer reliable connectivity with LTE speeds on par with directly roaming with Smart and Globe SIM cards. And if visiting multiple Philippines islands or headed onwards to nearby ASEAN countries, having an eSIM also enables persisting connectivity.

Ultimately the best eSIM option depends on your device OS and specific travel plans. I hope this guide summarizes everything needed for travelers to choose the ideal Philippines connectivity package digitally in 2024 and simply start exploring this amazing country!

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What is an eSIM? Here’s everything you need to know

I f you’ve purchased a new cell phone in the past decade or so, you’re probably already familiar with the SIM—the little thumbnail-sized card that’s used to connect to your your carrier’s cellular network —but in recent years smartphone manufacturers and carriers have started replacing them with something called an eSIM.

The “e” in eSIM stands for “embedded,” which makes sense as this is a SIM card that stays inside your phone and can’t be removed. It performs the same function as a traditional SIM card but has the potential to make things a lot simpler for most smartphone users. Almost any new phone you buy nowadays features eSIM technology, including the new iPhone 15 . In fact, the iPhone 15 doesn’t even have a physical SIM card slot available, and all iPhone 15 users need to transfer to eSIM — giving a hint at where the technology is going. Pretty soon eSIMs could become the standard, with physical SIM cards gradually fading out of use.

But if you’re confused by the concept of an eSIM, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Read on as we get more specific about what eSIM technology truly is, and how it differs from its predecessor, the physical SIM card. 

What is an eSIM?

An embedded SIM, also known as an eSIM, is a SIM card that’s built into your smartphone and can’t be removed. It performs the same function as a traditional SIM, except that it’s programmable and physically connected (soldered) to your smartphone’s motherboard.

This may seem problematic at first glance. For instance, when traveling abroad using phones with removable SIM cards, you can swap to another carrier’s SIM card to get local coverage and avoid paying roaming fees from your primary carrier. Likewise, if you want to switch local carriers but keep your phone, a removable SIM card can be popped out and easily replaced with a new one in seconds. Your first impression may be that this is impossible with an eSIM.

However, eSIM technology actually makes switching carriers even easier, at least in theory. Instead of waiting for a new SIM card to ship or making a trip to a local store to pick one up, you can make the switch right on your phone by entering information from your carrier — often just by scanning a QR code with your smartphone’s camera. If your smartphone has an eSIM inside, you’ll find options in the settings that allow you to configure your eSIM , switch between lines and carriers, and manage your accounts. If you’re a dual-SIM user , eSIM technology may even support multiple accounts — and switching between them is super easy.

Unfortunately, while getting an eSIM should be easier than obtaining a physical SIM, that’s not always the case. Some carriers have taken longer than others to embrace the seamlessness of eSIM, and it’s not uncommon to encounter a few that still want to mail you your eSIM codes or have you visit a store before you can set up your phone. That takes away one of the biggest advantages of using an eSIM, but thankfully most carriers are working quickly to catch up with the times.

The other significant benefit of eSIM technology is the space saved by removing a physical SIM tray. Devices can be smaller because the eSIM chip is embedded in the device’s motherboard — there’s no unnecessary space taken up by placing a slot and tray on the outside edge of the device. This allows for thinner designs and larger batteries. It also helps with improving water resistance by eliminating another place where moisture can get inside your phone.

Devices with eSIM technology

All of the major phone manufacturers now offer eSIM technology in their phones: Apple iPhones  have it (including, of course, the recently released iPhone 15), Samsung Galaxy devices have it, Google Pixel phones have it, and flagship Motorola phones have it. If you buy a new phone, chances are strong you’ll have eSIM functionality in the palm of your hands. Many tablets and watches include eSIM technology too, including Apple Watches and iPads.

Speaking of Apple, all iPhones from the iPhone 13 on offer support for using two eSIM cards, letting users get dual-SIM support without the need for a physical SIM card. In fact, Apple removed the physical SIM card slot entirely for the U.S. models of the iPhone 14 lineup, making eSIM the only way to get your iPhone 14 activated on a carrier network .

iPhone 14 models sold in most other countries still include two eSIM cards and one physical SIM card slot, the same as the iPhone 13. The notable exception to this rule is China, where eSIM has never been included on an iPhone. Instead, when Apple debuted the iPhone XS/XR in China, it provided two physical SIM card slots. That practice has continued to this day.

However, if you’re in the U.S. and want a physical SIM card slot on your iPhone 14, there’s one thing you’ll want to keep in mind before hopping up to Canada or down to Mexico to do a little cross-border shopping. Although all North American iPhone models  support the same 4G/LTE,  low-band 5G , and mid-band 5G frequencies, only the U.S. iPhone models support the mmWave 5G used for the fastest portions of Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband and AT&T’s 5G Plus coverage.

When can I start using an eSIM?

Chances are, your mobile device already has an eSIM card, as we’ve outlined above. Laptops with cellular connectivity mostly connect using eSIM technology, like the Surface Pro X and various models from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. You will still see cases where SIM cards are employed in laptop designs, but that’s becoming far less common.

Until eSIM tech becomes the universal standard, many phones will still have a tray designated for a removable SIM card. There’s nothing wrong with using one of these phones — it’s just an older means to identify you on a carrier’s network. Still, swapping out a SIM card can be troublesome, given its size and delicate do-not-touch circuits. Managing an eSIM is easier for everyone, whether you’re switching phones or moving to another carrier.

If you’re using a dual-SIM phone with both a physical SIM card and eSIM, such as an iPhone or Google Pixel, you may also be able to transfer your physical SIM information directly to your eSIM . Many carriers allow for this, and iOS and Android provide tools to make it quick and easy. Once that’s done, you can toss your old SIM card aside and free up that slot for a physical SIM card for traveling.

Nevertheless, while you’ll want to check ahead, you may be pleasantly surprised to find how many international carriers support eSIM, and it’s hard to argue that it’s much easier to scan a QR code than trying to fiddle with swapping out a small and fragile SIM card, especially when traveling through a busy airport.

What is an eSIM and how does it work?

An eSIM is an embedded SIM card that lives inside your phone, making it distinct from a traditional SIM card, which can be physically removed from your phone. An eSIM performs the same function as a physical SIM: it allows you to connect to your carrier’s cell phone network and plan.

What is the disadvantage of eSIM?

On its face, the disadvantage of eSIM technology is that because it can’t be physically removed, quickly swapping out SIM cards when you’re traveling to get local coverage from a different carrier is a harder thing to do. In actuality, it makes switching carriers even easier, since switching to a new SIM is as easy as scanning a QR code from your phone.

Why would someone use an eSIM?

The reason someone would use an eSIM is that it enables easier switching between carriers. Instead of delicately swapping out easy-to-lose (or damage) physical SIM cards, all you have to do is scan a QR code to get coverage from a different carrier. Switching your cell phone carrier, data, or plan is all handled via software.

How do you use an eSIM when traveling internationally?

One other popular reason to use an eSIM is if you are traveling internationally. As anyone who travels regularly can tell you, you can rack up big charges on your phone if you try to use a standard plan while you’re abroad. So one smart option, particularly among those who travel often, is to have a separate SIM for other countries that you visit. That way, you can take advantage of local pricing for calls, texts, and that all-important internet access. And rather than worrying about a physical SIM card which is easy to lose and can be fiddly to swap when you’re on the go, you can get an eSIM to easily swap between your home and international carriers.

You can buy a cheap pre-paid SIM or even a SIM with a data plan if you think you’ll need it, then use the eSIM option to load those SIM settings to your phone. Once you arrive in your destination country, you can start using your alternative eSIM straight away and save money by accessing the local tariff rates.

What is an eSIM? Here’s everything you need to know

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Best eSIM Card for Saudi Arabia in 2024

Saudi Arabia is quickly becoming a popular travel destination. From ancient cultural sites to modern cities, the Kingdom offers unforgettable experiences for visitors. However, staying connected can be a challenge when visiting Saudi Arabia.

That’s where eSIM cards come in. eSIMs provide fast, reliable connectivity across Saudi Arabia by linking directly to local cellular networks. Unlike old-fashioned physical SIM cards, eSIMs are digital – allowing easy access to data plans no matter where your travels take you.

But with so many eSIM providers available, how do you know which one is the best eSIM card for Saudi Arabia? This complete guide breaks down the top options to help you make the right choice. We’ll compare networks, data allowances, prices, and more so you can find the perfect connectivity solution.

What Exactly is an eSIM Card?

Before diving into the top picks, let’s make sure we all understand what an eSIM card is and how it works.

An  eSIM (embedded SIM)  is a digital SIM card embedded directly into a mobile device. Once activated, it provides cellular and data connectivity just like a physical nano SIM.

eSIMs remove the hassle of obtaining, inserting, and replacing SIM cards. Everything is handled digitally, allowing you to instantly activate data plans and switch networks through an app or website.

Almost all phones and smartwatches released after 2018 support eSIM functionality. As long as your device is eSIM-compatible, you can download connectivity in seconds.

So in summary:

  • eSIMs are digital SIM cards enabling instant cellular activation
  • Support cellular data and calls (depending on plan)
  • Embedded into device (no physical card to insert)
  • Activated remotely through provider’s app/website
  • Require an eSIM compatible device (iPhone XS or newer)

Key Benefits:  No roaming fees, easy network switching, multi-network dual SIM functionality.

Now that we understand what an eSIM is, let’s explore the top options for getting connected in Saudi Arabia!

Buy eSIM For Travel

Best eSIM Card for Saudi Arabia Overall: Airalo

After comparing over a dozen eSIM providers in Saudi Arabia,  Airalo  stands out as the best overall choice for most visitors.

Here’s why Airalo tops our list:

1. Uses Leading Saudi Carrier Networks

Airalo partners directly with Saudi Arabia’s biggest networks – including stc, Mobily, and Zain.

By leveraging these tier-1 carriers, Airalo plans deliver the most extensive high-speed coverage across the Kingdom. Whether you’re exploring metro areas like Riyadh or venturing off-the-beaten-path, connectivity remains reliable.

2. Generous, Flexible Saudi eSIM Plans

Airalo offers prepaid eSIMs for Saudi Arabia with plenty of data, long validities, and flexible durations. Short-term plans start with 1GB over 7 days while month-long options range up to 10GB.

If you need minimal data, prices begin at just $4. But for uninterrupted HD video streaming and mobile hotspot usage, heavier users can purchase up to 10GB for $25.

You can also pool data when traveling with others by sharing your connection across 10 devices.

3. Seamless App-Based Activation

Ordering and activating an Airalo eSIM takes only minutes through their user-friendly app (iOS & Android).

After securely paying online, you’ll receive a QR activation code. Scan this code using your phone’s camera and the Airalo plan instantly downloads into your device’s built-in eSIM.

With Airalo’s app, you can also monitor data usage in real-time, purchase add-ons if needed, and chat with customer support.

Runner-Up: DENT eSIM

While Airalo sits far ahead of other eSIM providers in Saudi Arabia, DENT Wireless stands out as a solid second choice:

1. Low Cost Per GB

One advantage DENT has over Airalo lies in its pricing model. Instead of fixed-price plans, DENT sells prepaid data credits allowing you to only pay for what you use. 1GB costs around $5 – which can translate to big savings if you barely use data.

Just beware that while data rates appear very cheap, you must first purchase a minimum of 200 credits (~$10) upfront.

2. Global Coverage Beyond Saudi Arabia

DENT provides extensive reach across 130+ countries globally through its 400+ network partnerships – including Saudi Arabia.

So if you need an eSIM that works seamlessly across multiple countries, DENT delivers flexibility and affordability in a single solution.

On the other hand, DENT’s underlying networks tend to be lower-tier providers, especially in Saudi Arabia. So while extensive, coverage can be spotty in remote regions.

3. Data Roaming Add-On Available

DENT allows you to enable affordable data roaming capabilities through their ‘World Data’ add-on. You can pre-purchase a fixed bundle of megabytes usable anywhere across DENT’s 130+ nation footprint.

If you’ll be hopping between several countries, this convenient feature helps prevent scary out-of-bundle roaming overage charges.

Best Unlimited eSIM for Saudi Arabia: Holafly

For travelers who require unlimited full-speed data during their stay, Holafly reigns as the top choice.

They partner with Saudi carriers like Zain to deliver plans with truly unlimited 4G/LTE data along with free unlimited incoming calls.

While unlimited plans cost more upfront, the peace of mind can be worth it for heavy data users – no stress over surprise overage fees! Holafly offers both weekly ($19) and 15-day options ($34) with endless high-speed data usage.

Another advantage Holafly has is its 24/7 live chat and WhatsApp support available in 7 languages. Airalo also provides helpful customer service, but channels remain limited to email and in-app messaging.

The only real downside to Holafly is that their unlimited data plans cannot be shared across devices via hotspot/tethering and don’t include cellular calling capabilities.

But when you need lots of completely unrestricted data during your Saudi Arabia travels while keeping within a fixed budget, Holafly emerges as the dominant solution.

Other Notable eSIM Providers for Saudi Arabia

eSIM Card for Saudi Arabia

Here are a few other popular choices that didn’t make our top recommendations but remain solid options:

  • Flexiroam X:  Known for their flexible no-contract plans and rates as low as $0.01 per MB. But avoid roaming with their Saudi Arabian eSIM.
  • Ubigi:  A European-based solution offering 1GB/day packages usable globally. But we found their Saudi Arabia rates overpriced.
  • Always Online Wireless:  Specializes in customizable long-term international eSIMs valid for up to 1 year. But their data-only plans cost over $600 for 30 days in Saudi Arabia.

Main Benefits of Using an eSIM in Saudi Arabia

Here are the biggest perks you’ll enjoy by using an eSIM for cellular connectivity instead of an old-fashioned physical SIM:

Avoid Roaming – Save 96%

If you travel to Saudi Arabia without purchasing a local SIM/eSIM, your home carrier will inevitably slam you with egregious roaming fees.

  • For example, AT&T bills $10 PER DAY for roaming data in Saudi Arabia. Vodaphone charges a whopping $6 per MB – yes, per megabyte used!

By switching to even the most expensive eSIM provider like Holafly with unlimited data, you slash your daily roaming costs by 96%.

Based on typical usage, switching from Vodaphone data roaming to an eSIM will  save over $500 per week  in fees. The savings are truly massive, quickly justifying paying a bit more upfront for a quality local eSIM plan.

Enhanced Network Quality + Speeds

All reputable eSIM providers operate by linking directly into high-grade Saudi telecom infrastructure.

Local brands like STC and Mobily deliver faster speeds and lower congestion than international roaming networks. You’re almost guaranteed at least 40 Mbps throughout Saudi cities.

Seamlessly Use Phone Features

With an international eSIM keeping you off roaming networks, you can freely enable handy features often blocked when roaming like:

  • Google Maps navigation
  • Ride-sharing services like Uber
  • Food delivery apps
  • Video calling via WhatsApp

Key Considerations When Buying an eSIM for Saudi Arabia

To ensure you choose the best eSIM for your needs and avoid issues, keep these vital factors in mind:

1. Confirm eSIM Compatibility

Remember, your device like an iPhone or Galaxy must contain built-in eSIM capabilities to download a digital plan. Most phones from 2018 onwards with iOS 12 or Android 9 support eSIM.

However, some models with hardware limitations cannot use eSIMs – most notably the iPhone XR and older devices. carefully verify compatibility before purchasing an eSIM.

2. Understand Coverage Limitations

While Saudi Arabia’s mobile infrastructure is rapidly improving, rural areas still suffer from spotty connectivity.

All quality eSIM providers partner with leading national networks to deliver reliable coverage across 95%+ of the populated Kingdom.

But if your travel plans involve venturing deep into the deserts, be prepared for the possibility of no signal. Topography and lack of towers remain challenges.

3. Avoid Public WiFi Without Security Measures

Free public WiFi networks in airports, hotels, restaurants remain quite common in Saudi Arabia.

But we strongly advise against using these connections for any sensitive browsing, transactions, or accessing private accounts.

Most public WiFi lacks encryption, allowing malicious actors to easily intercept transmitted data and steal passwords.

An eSIM keeps all activity secured through VPN capabilities while unleashing full mobile functionality.

How Does an eSIM Card Work? Full Activation Guide

If you aren’t familiar with eSIMs, their lack of physical components can cause confusion around installing and activating connectivity.

Here is a full step-by-step walkthrough covering exactly how to start using an eSIM card in Saudi Arabia:

Step 1: Order Your Saudi Arabia eSIM Online

First, select your preferred eSIM provider like Airalo or Holafly and purchase a Saudi Arabia plan matching your length of stay and data needs.

As a tourist, durations between 7 days (1 week) and 30 days (1 month) tend to work best. But depending on the retailer, plans can be as short as 24 hours or over 1 year!

Step 2: Receive Activation QR Code

Shortly after completing checkout, you’ll receive an email containing:

  • A QR activation code
  • Instructions for installation

This QR code allows you to download the plan’s digital profile containing all service details and identifying information.

Step 3: Scan QR Code – Install eSIM Profile

Open your phone’s camera app and point it directly at the QR code you received. This automatically initiates the installation process.

You’ll then be asked to confirm adding an additional cellular plan to your device and walk through activation steps. Accept any permissions or prompts that appear.

After 2-3 minutes, your Saudi Arabia eSIM will finish installing and be ready for use! The process requires an active internet connection via WiFi or your existing cellular data.

Step 4: Disable Other SIMs – Enable eSIM

Most eSIM providers don’t function properly unless all other physical SIM cards inside your device remain OFF.

So head into Settings > Cellular and toggle OFF any local SIM cards present. If you only have one SIM slot, remove your usual SIM card now.

Finally, switch ON your newly installed Saudi Arabia eSIM plan and turn on cellular data roaming capabilities if prompted.

You’re all set! Connectivity should activate immediately with blazing-fast domestic mobile internet access usable anywhere across the Kingdom.

Main eSIM Alternatives for Tourists Visiting Saudi Arabia

While eSIMs provide the ultimate convenience plus value for short-term visitors, a couple of other options exist for getting connected during your Saudi Arabia travels:

Local Prepaid SIM Card

If your device lacks built-in eSIM capabilities, purchasing an old-fashioned physical nano SIM card locally remains an alternative.

However, significant downsides exist like:

  • Needing to find and visit an open carrier store location
  • Supply shortages if visiting during busy travel seasons
  • Manually swapping out your usual SIM card
  • No ability to keep current number

We only suggest local SIMs as a fallback option if your phone absolutely cannot support eSIM functionality.

International Roaming

Sticking with your provider’s roaming capabilities lets you maintain your current phone number and account during Saudi travels.

But as outlined earlier, shocking fees making roaming extremely expensive for all except the shortest trips. Expect to pay $5-15 daily plus $1-5 per minute of calling – costs rapidly spiral out of control.

Only utilize roaming if you have exceptional rates included like free data/texting/calling through business accounts or special roaming packages. And even then, restrict background app data usage to prevent surprise bills.

Key FAQs: Getting Connected With eSIM in Saudi Arabia

Here are answers to the top questions asked by visitors planning trips to the Kingdom:

Is an eSIM required for Saudi Arabia?

No, purchasing a local eSIM is optional. But unless you possess amazing international roaming rates, visitor connectivity via eSIM saves over 95% compared to roaming.

What’s the best eSIM carrier for Saudi Arabia?

As outlined in detail earlier, Airalo stands as the best provider for Saudi eSIM cards based on network quality, plan flexibility, pricing, ease of use, and reliability.

How much does an eSIM cost for Saudi Arabia?

eSIM pricing depends on desired data amounts and coverage duration but averages between $5-30. For example, Airalo offers a 1 GB weekly (7-day) plan for Saudi from just $4. Holafly sells unlimited 15-day eSIMs from $34.

Can I use WhatsApp/Google Maps in Saudi Arabia with an eSIM?

Absolutely! Once activated, an eSIM delivers full, unrestricted access to all apps and websites. No need to worry about limitations commonly imposed when roaming internationally across Saudi networks.

Do eSIMs work in rural Saudi Arabia?

Leading eSIM providers partner with top national carriers like STC and Zain to reach 95%+ of populated areas with 3G, 4G, and upcoming 5G connectivity. But remote desert villages may suffer from no signal.

Can I use a VPN with a Saudi eSIM?

Yes! An eSIM card allows you to use a VPN client/service without issues. However, Saudi Arabia restricts access to many VPN providers. Confirm your chosen VPN app works reliably across the Kingdom before depending on it.

Wrap Up: Activate the Best Saudi Arabia eSIM Card Now

To wrap up, eSIM cards provide tremendous value over old fashioned SIM cards and roaming when visiting Saudi Arabia.

Airalo  leads as the best all-around choice for fast, reliable coverage with generous prepaid data allotments.

But don’t forget alternatives like  Holafly  offering unlimited full-speed data packages.

Whichever provider you select, an eSIM simplifies connectivity across Saudi Arabia while preventing exorbitant roaming fees. With this guide’s help picking the perfect plan, seamless coverage awaits your next visit!

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    2. Generous, Flexible Saudi eSIM Plans. Airalo offers prepaid eSIMs for Saudi Arabia with plenty of data, long validities, and flexible durations. Short-term plans start with 1GB over 7 days while month-long options range up to 10GB. If you need minimal data, prices begin at just $4.