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ESIM – INTERNATIONAL ROAMING AND WHY TRAVEL ABROAD WITH AN ESIM

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International roaming has always been one of the biggest worries of travelers. Data and the constant connection to the internet are now of utmost importance. However, turning on international roaming in another country with your regular sim card network is just super expensive. And more often than not, it gets time-consuming (or even annoying) to go find a new local sim card for every new country you need to travel to. Not counting the issue when you’re not carrying a dual sim card phone, or having the need to carry two (or heaven forbid, more) phones. Insert, the esim.

ESIM – A SOLUTION TO YOUR DATA PROBLEMS WHEN TRAVELING ABROAD

eSIM – is this term new to you? One of the newest solutions that are now available to certain mobile phones is the capability to activate an eSIM with international eSIM plans. An eSIM is a digital sim card that allows you to connect to a new data plan specific to the country you’re traveling in, without the need to buy a physical sim card. Basically, it means that you’ll be able to operate your phone with your regular sim card, meaning you’ll be able to use Instant Messaging (apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, Viber, and other phone-number-specific messaging apps) connected to your original number, however, use a secondary data network to connect to get a data connection. You’ll be able to subscribe to much cheaper and affordable data packages. Less headache when traveling abroad.

Activating an eSIM is very easy. One of the services we love using is Holafly, which lets you get access to an eSIM on the go, subscribe to a data plan package, and activate it wherever you are (while home, or when you are already abroad). You’ll have to make sure you have an internet connection when activating the eSIM after purchasing a plan, then you’ll immediately be emailed a QR code which you’ll need to scan on your phone, then you’ll be ready to go. You can now use your new eSIM data plan for your trip.

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WILL YOU BE ABLE TO USE AN ESIM WITH ALL PHONES

Although we definitely agree that an eSIM is one of the most efficient and affordable data solutions when traveling abroad, there are a few things you’ll need to know when using one.

Only certain phones have the capability to use an eSIM. Since this is a hardware capability that should be readily added to your phone, software upgrades unfortunately can’t solve solutions for phones that don’t have this feature on them. For the list of all handsets that currently have the eSIM capability, check this list.

HOW TO START USING AN ESIM

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Once you’ve checked that your mobile phone supports the eSIM capability, get your eSIM data plan here. Currently, Holafly supports the following countries for an eSIM data plan: the United States, multiple European countries like United Kingdom, Spain, Austria, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and Asian countries like Israel, Turkey, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Hongkong, South American countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina, and even main tourist destinations in Africa like Morocco.

Subscribe to the data plan of the country you are visiting, get the QR code immediately via email and scan it to start using it. If you finish your data plan and will require more use of the internet, you can’t top up your current eSIM subscription. However, it’s very easy to just get a new plan to continue using data with your eSIM.

MY PHONE DOESN’T SUPPORT AN ESIM

If your phone doesn’t have the eSIM feature, the best option to is get a physical sim card in the country you’re traveling to. Check some options here to get a physical sim card plan.

ADVANTAGES OF AN ESIM

Easier access to international data plan

You won’t need to look for a physical sim card every time you travel and move between countries, some countries have more difficult ways to get a physical sim card like India and Thailand

Applying for a new physical sim card can be exhausting. In a lot of airports, you can get a local sim card or a traveler sim card. However, airports usually charge a much higher fee than local stores when selling a sim. In some countries, like Thailand and India, they employ deeper security when giving sim cards like the presentation of identification cards, (passports and additional IDs), and filling out forms, which can be very time-consuming and may not be doable by a lot of people.

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Eliminating the problem of thinking about which physical sim card has better connection

Ah, the constant comparison of which sim card works best. When picking a physical sim card, you always have to think about which sim card provider actually has a better data connection. With eSIMs, you stop worrying about this because it can actually get data connection through various towers depending on location. This may still be limited if you’re traveling to a very remote area.

Less trackable and more private

Unlike physical sim cards where you have network plans that are connected to your identity, eSIMs are meant to be disposable and easily used and finish. Sign up with an email and pay online, and your personal information doesn’t have to be connected to it.

No need to manage multiple sim cards to multiple mobile phones

This is one of the biggest pros because if you rely on your main sim card a lot for messages, buying a second sim card is such a hassle because you’ll either need to have a dual sim card phone, a secondary mobile phone, or worse replace your main number. A lot of people dislike the latter because you’ll easily miss a lot of important messages and calls. With an esim, you’ll be able to use your regular sim card and just connect to your esim’s data.

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DISADVANTAGES OF AN ESIM

Not all phones have it

The biggest con is of course not all phones have the eSIM yet. If your mobile phone, doesn’t have it, you can’t really choose the eSIM option.

Cloud hosting

In case you are traveling longer, and are saving new contacts, saving under the eSIM means you are saving everything in cloud hosting, which means it can be a hassle moving all this info to your original sim card. The easiest way to go around this is to make sure that you are saving new information locally to your phone’s storage. This way, you won’t have to rely on saving to any cloud hosting.

Still very new and could be subject to limitations

Bugs, limitations can always happen with new technology. In any case, this shouldn’t be a very big issue because the eSIM has been available for a while now. We don’t see any reason not to try out the eSIM if your phone actually supports it. Unless you can get a much cheaper data connection when traveling with your local network, which is usually not the case because of hefty international roaming charges.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We always believe in efficiency and ease when it comes to constant travel. And being digital nomads ourselves, we value our time, and we always find ways on how to connect with the internet constantly, and in the easiest fastest way. We love using eSIM because it lets us travel and jump to various locations without the constant worries and headaches. of getting a physical sim.

Let us know what you think and we’d love to hear your own eSIM experience. And just as always, happy travel friends!

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!