Tldr: If you’re in a hurry we recommend Airalo. Airalo is a global eSIM provider that helps travelers add eSIMs to their phones, allowing them to connect in more than 200+ countries and regions worldwide. It is the first eSIM marketplace that helps people travel the world and stay connected wherever they might be.
In today’s increasingly connected world, the number of people traveling internationally is on the rise. Whether you’re a frequent business traveler or a globetrotting adventurer, staying connected while on the go is crucial. One option that is gaining popularity is the electronic SIM card, or eSIM. These virtual SIM cards allow you to use your mobile device on local networks without having to switch physical SIM cards.
One of the most significant benefits of eSIMs is their ability to support remote provisioning. This means that you can activate and configure eSIMs over the air, without the need for a physical SIM card or a visit to a carrier store. This feature is particularly beneficial for international travelers, as it allows them to switch carriers and manage their cellular plan easily while on the go.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best eSIM options for international travel. We’ll provide a range of choices, from budget-friendly to premium services with wide coverage areas.
In conclusion, eSIMs are an excellent option for staying connected while traveling internationally. They offer remote provisioning, a wide coverage area, and can be a cost-effective solution for frequent travelers. When selecting an eSIM, consider coverage, pricing, ease of use, and customer support. With the right eSIM, you can stay connected and enjoy your travels without worrying about connectivity issues.
Benefits of eSIMs
- Convenient: One of the most significant benefits of eSIMs is their convenience. They eliminate the need for physical SIM cards and the hassle of swapping them out or visiting a carrier store to activate them. Instead, users can activate and configure eSIMs over-the-air using an app or website.
- Flexibility: eSIMs offer greater flexibility than physical SIM cards. Users can switch carriers and cellular plans more easily, particularly when traveling to multiple countries. This is particularly beneficial for those who frequently travel for work or leisure.
- Cost-effective: eSIMs can be a cost-effective solution for international travelers. Some eSIM providers offer pay-as-you-go plans, allowing users to pay only for the data they use. This can be more cost-effective than traditional roaming plans or purchasing multiple physical SIM cards.
- Remote Provisioning: eSIMs support remote provisioning, which means they can be activated and configured over-the-air. This feature is particularly useful for international travelers as it allows them to switch carriers and manage their cellular plan while on the go.
Drawbacks of eSIMs
- Limited device compatibility: Not all devices are compatible with eSIMs. While more and more devices are becoming eSIM compatible, some older or budget-friendly devices may not support eSIMs.
- Limited coverage: The coverage area for eSIMs may be limited depending on the carrier or provider. This means that users may experience connectivity issues in certain areas or countries.
- Dependence on internet connectivity: eSIMs require an internet connection to activate and configure. If a user does not have internet access, they may not be able to activate their eSIM or manage their cellular plan.
- Technical issues: As with any technology, there is a risk of technical issues with eSIMs. This can include problems with activation, configuration, or connectivity.
Factors to consider while choosing an eSIM for international Travel
Choosing the best eSIM provider can be a challenging task, especially with so many options available in the market. However, taking a few factors into account can help you choose the best eSIM provider that meets your requirements. Below are some tips to help you make an informed decision:
- Compatibility: Before selecting an eSIM provider, ensure that your device supports eSIMs and that the provider is compatible with your device. Some eSIM providers may not work with all devices or operating systems, so it’s important to check compatibility beforehand.
- Coverage area: The coverage area of an eSIM provider is another critical factor to consider, particularly if you’re a frequent traveler. Make sure the eSIM provider has coverage in the countries you plan to visit. Some eSIM providers offer global coverage, while others may have limited coverage in certain areas.
- Plans and pricing: The plans and pricing of an eSIM provider can vary significantly, so it’s essential to compare them before making a decision. Pay attention to the amount of data you’ll need and the pricing structure offered by each provider. Some providers offer pay-as-you-go plans, while others offer monthly or annual plans, so choose the one that suits your usage pattern and budget.
- Customer support: Opt for an eSIM provider that offers reliable customer support, including a help center or support forum, and phone or email support. Technical issues can arise, and it’s crucial to select a provider that you can reach out to for assistance.
- Reputation: Look for an eSIM provider with a good reputation in the market. Read customer reviews and ratings to understand their experiences and satisfaction levels. A reputable provider is more likely to offer reliable services and a better overall experience.
By taking these factors into account, you can narrow down your options and select the best eSIM provider for your needs. A good eSIM provider can offer you greater flexibility, convenience, and cost savings, particularly if you’re a frequent traveler or need to switch between multiple mobile devices.
Best Esims For International Travel
Airalo is a popular e-SIM provider that offers affordable and convenient mobile data plans for international travelers. Airalo provides e-SIMs for over 100 countries, making it an ideal choice for those who frequently travel to multiple destinations.
What Reddit Think About Airalo:
U/Secure-Jellyfush-252- “I have used Airalo for the US and recently Mexico. It is cheap and super simple if your phone supports eSIM. Just follow the directions carefully and remember to turn roaming off from the Airalo eSIM.
U/cybersurfr- “I’ve used Airalo extensively, especially in the US, and had friends and family also use it. Even my elderly parents. It is solid, and the eSIM download is instant. Use this whenever you travel, and don’t pay the extortion fee from your carriers”.
U/luhe- “Had a good experience with Airalo eSIM in US and Canada, and it did its job and was less cumbersome than getting physical SIM cards”.
- Airalo offers a range of data plans, from as little as 100MB to as much as 10GB, depending on your travel needs.
- Their plans are priced, starting at just $4.5 for 1GB of data.
- One of the standout features of Airalo is their “Pay As You Go” option, which allows you to only pay for the data you use, making it a great option for those who don’t need a lot of data or who want to control their expenses.
- Airalo offers customer support via chat, email, or phone. They also have a comprehensive help center with FAQs and troubleshooting guides to assist customers.
How Does Airalo Work?
Most of the packages offered by Airalo are data-based, so you won’t be able to make phone calls or send SMS. The good news is that you can easily make calls or send messages across most internet-based services on your Phone.
Airalo has three types of eSIMs:
- Local eSIM- The eSIM allows you to get coverage across the 200+ countries that Airalo covers. This is a great choice for users if they are only visiting one country on their trip.
- Regional eSIM- The eSIM gives you complete coverage across different regions and continents. For example, the Island Hopper regional eSIM covers 24 Caribbean islands. Similarly, the Eurolink regional eSIM covers 39 countries in Europe. Apart from this, there are also regional eSIMs in Asia and Africa. If you are going for a multicountry trip within the same region, the eSIM is designed for you.
- Global eSIM- The eSIM covers around 84 countries having 1-20 GB data having a validity of 7-180 days. This is ideal for users if they are planning a multicountry trip across multiple regions of the world.
You can choose to buy an Airalo eSIM based on the country you are visiting. Prices for them vary based on the location, data amounts, and the validity period. You can purchase top-up packages for your eSIM that meets all your requirement.
Next, you simply have to download the Airalo app from the Play Store or the App Store. Follow all the instructions carefully to add the eSIM to your phone utilizing the device settings. You can directly do this on your mobile device, and you no longer have to waste time getting going on your laptop. Users can purchase the eSIM directly from the Airalo website and connect it to their QR code.
Depending on the eSIM you choose, it will be activated immediately once you arrive at your destination. However, in certain cases, the activation policy will give you further installation instructions that typically involve the setting up of an APN. You don’t have to worry even here, as Airalo will provide clear instructions on how to do it.
If the QR code doesn’t work, then you’ll have to manually activate your Airalo eSIMs yourself. Here are quick steps to do so.
- Go to the settings tab on your phone
- Select the cellular or mobile section and press on Add a cellular/mobile plan
- Enter your details manually
- Enter the SM-DP, address, and activation code, which you’ll find in its purchase confirmation details
- Finally, add a 4-digit confirmation code if applicable
Once you have added the Airalo eSIM, you connect directly to the local network and enjoy super-fast and reliable internet access. It sounds cool, right? In the past, you would have 2 choices:
- Get a local SIM card
- Pay a huge roaming cost
Both are less attractive, making them time-consuming and costly. With Airalo, you can stay connected while traveling to a foreign country. You simply have to buy a data plan that is suitable for the country you are traveling. Once you arrive at the destination, activate it like the steps we have discussed above, and you are good to get going right away.
KnowRoaming offers a range of plans for international travelers, including data-only plans and voice and messaging plans. They have coverage in over 200 countries, making them one of the most widely available E-sim providers. KnowRoaming offers a unique “soft SIM” feature, which allows you to access local networks without having to switch SIM cards.
- KnowRoaming offers a range of data plans, from as little as 1GB to as much as 10GB, depending on your travel needs.
- Their plans are competitively priced, starting at just $3.85 for 1GB of data.
- KnowRoaming offers a user-friendly app that allows you to manage your data usage and top up your balance easily, as well as a web-based dashboard for those who prefer to manage their data usage on their computer.
- KnowRoaming offers a unique “Global SIM Sticker” option that allows you to use your existing SIM card with their e-SIM technology, making it a great option for those who want to avoid the hassle of switching SIM cards.
Truphone is a great option for anyone looking for E-sim coverage in multiple countries. With Truphone, you can enjoy coverage in over 190 countries, with the ability to add additional countries as needed. One of the standout features of Truphone is their “Truphone Local Anywhere” option, which allows you to use your e-SIM as a local phone number in multiple countries, even if you’re not physically in that country.
Truphone also offers a range of other services, including mobile data plans for IoT devices, eSIM solutions for businesses, and a platform for developers to build and deploy their own applications on Truphone’s global mobile network.
- Truphone offers a range of data plans, from as little as 1GB to as much as 20GB, depending on your travel needs.
- Their plans are priced, starting at just $6 for 1GB of data.
- The use of their feature “Truphone Local Anywhere”
- Truphone offers an application development platform that allows developers to build and deploy their own applications on Truphone’s global mobile network.
GigSky is a popular e-SIM provider that offers mobile data plans for over 190 countries, making it one of the most comprehensive options on the market. Their plans are competitively priced, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers.
- GigSky offers a range of data plans, from as little as 1GB to as much as 10GB, depending on your travel needs.
- Their plans are priced, starting at just $5 for 1GB of data.
- GigSky offers high-speed data, with speeds of up to 4G LTE, ensuring that you can stay connected even when on the go.
- One of the unique features of GigSky is their “GigSky for iPad” service. This service is designed specifically for iPad users and allows you to easily connect your iPad to the internet when traveling.
- GigSky does not charge any activation fees for its eSIMs, making it an affordable option for travelers. You can easily download the GigSky app and activate your eSIM on your device without any additional fees.
5. Google Fi
Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service offered by Google that provides wireless phone and data services using cellular networks operated by other carriers, such as T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular, as well as Wi-Fi networks. Google Fi offers flexible and transparent pricing plans that allow customers to pay only for what they use.
- Google Fi uses multiple cellular networks (T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular) to provide coverage across the US, as well as Wi-Fi hotspots for calling and texting. This means that customers can often get better coverage and faster data speeds than they would on a single network.
- Google Fi offers bill protection for customers on the Flexible Plan, which caps the monthly bill at $60 for data usage, regardless of how much data is used. Any unused data is credited back to the customer’s account.
2023 update: We recommend a wifi hotspot like Skyroam over Google fi for the main reason that Google in 2023 blocks and disables your SIM card if you travel for long periods of time. No notice, just a blanket deactivation of your SIM card. So for anyone looking to travel Skyroam is a no brainer.
Get up to 10% Discount on the Skyroam Solis X. Simply click the link below and use the discount code “THINKTRAVELLIFTGROW”
Skyroam Coupon Code: THINKTRAVELLIFTGROW
eSIM2Fly is a popular e-SIM provider that offers mobile data plans for over 200 countries, making it one of the most comprehensive options on the market. eSIM2Fly offers flexible plans that can be tailored to your specific travel needs, making it an ideal choice for frequent travelers.
- eSIM2Fly offers a range of data plans, from as little as 500MB to as much as 15GB, depending on your travel needs.
- eSIM2Fly offers a unique “Multi-eSIM” option that allows you to use multiple e-SIMs on a single device, making it a great option for those who need to access data in multiple countries.
- eSIM2Fly does not charge roaming fees, which means that you can use your plan in any of the supported countries without incurring additional charges.
- eSIM2Fly’s plans can be used on multiple devices, which is convenient if you have multiple devices that need to be connected while traveling.
In conclusion, When it comes to choosing the best e-SIM, it’s important to consider the features that matter most to you. Whether you’re looking for a provider that offers a wide range of data plans, competitive pricing, or a user-friendly app, there’s an e-SIM provider out there that can meet your needs.
Overall, Airalo, GigSky, Truphone, KnowRoaming, and eSIM2Fly are all excellent options. By taking the time to compare these providers and their features, you can choose the e-SIM that will best serve your needs and help you stay connected while traveling the world.
Best eSIM Providers FAQs
Q: How do I activate an eSIM?
A: You can activate an eSIM by scanning a QR code provided by your carrier or manually entering an activation code. Once activated, your device will be connected to your carrier’s network.
Q: Do all devices support eSIMs?
A: No, not all devices support eSIMs. However, many newer smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches do support eSIMs. Check with your device manufacturer to see if your device supports eSIMs.
Q: Can I use an eSIM and a physical SIM card at the same time?
A: Some devices allow you to use both an eSIM and a physical SIM card at the same time. However, this depends on your device’s capabilities. Check with your device manufacturer to see if this is possible.
Q: Can I keep my existing phone number with an eSIM?
A: Yes! You can typically transfer your existing phone number to an eSIM just as you would with a physical SIM card. Contact your carrier for more information on how to do this.
Q: Are eSIMs secure?
A: Yes! eSIMs are just as secure as physical SIM cards. In fact, they may even be more secure because they are not susceptible to physical damage or loss.