The Best E-Sim for International Travel in 2024

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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Traveling abroad is an exciting and enriching experience. But without the right mobile network setup, it can also be stressful. One of the best solutions is to get an international eSim, which will allow you to stay connected no matter where your travels take you. An eSIM is an integrated SIM card within a mobile device that allows you to connect to any telecom provider offering eSIM support.

In this article, we’ll explore everything about eSims for international travel and provide tips on choosing the best one for your needs. We’ll also look at some popular companies offering eSims and additional features that could help enhance your travels abroad. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to find the perfect international e-sim for your next trip!

Best eSIM for travel: a quick summary

If you’re in a hurry and need a quick snapshot of the results, the following is a concise summary:

What is an eSIM, and how does it differ from a traditional SIM card?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card integrated into a mobile device, enabling users to connect to cellular networks without needing a physical SIM card. It lets you activate and manage multiple cellular plans digitally, making it convenient for frequent travelers or those looking to switch carriers easily.

In contrast, a traditional SIM card is a small, removable chip that stores the user’s cellular plan and related information. It must be physically inserted into a device to connect to a specific carrier’s network.

Key differences between eSIMs and traditional SIM cards include:

  • Physical form: eSIM is embedded in the device, while traditional SIM cards are removable chips.
  • Activation and management: eSIM can be activated and managed digitally, while traditional SIM cards often require in-person visits to carrier stores or kiosks for activation.
  • Flexibility: eSIM allows users to switch between carriers or plans more easily, while traditional SIM cards may require a new card when switching carriers.
  • Device compatibility: eSIM is supported by newer mobile devices, while traditional SIM cards can be used in a broader range of devices, including older models.
  • Multiple plans: eSIM allows users to store multiple plans on a single device, whereas traditional SIM cards typically only support one plan at a time.

What are the benefits of using an eSIM card while traveling internationally?

Using an eSIM while traveling internationally offers several advantages over traditional SIM cards. Some of these benefits include:

  • Convenience: An eSIM can be easily activated and managed digitally, eliminating the need to physically purchase and insert a new SIM card at your destination.
  • Multiple profiles: eSIM technology allows you to store multiple plans or profiles on your device, making switching between your home carrier and a local carrier at your destination easier.
  • Space-saving: eSIMs are embedded in your device, so you won’t need to carry additional SIM cards or a SIM card adapter for different countries.
  • Easy carrier switching: You can seamlessly switch between carriers or plans without replacing a physical SIM card. This is particularly useful if you travel frequently and need to change carriers often.
  • No roaming charges: Using a local eSIM plan at your destination can avoid expensive international roaming fees charged by your home carrier.
  • Improved device security: Since eSIMs are integrated into your device, there’s less risk of losing or damaging a physical SIM card during your trip.
  • Eco-friendliness: eSIMs reduce the need to produce and dispose of physical SIM cards, making them more environmentally friendly.

Remember that while there are many benefits to using an eSIM while traveling internationally, not all devices and carriers support eSIM technology. Confirm eSIM compatibility with your device and the carriers available at your destination before traveling.

What are the best e-SIM for international travel?

We have compiled a list of top eSIM providers that cater to globetrotters, offering seamless connectivity, competitive pricing, and reliable coverage across numerous countries. We also want to give our suggestion based on our preference and our eSIM of choice.


How Airalo works

Airalo stands out as the top global eSIM provider and enjoys widespread popularity.

Airalo provides travelers with flexible options when choosing an eSim for their trip. They offer three types of eSims, namely Global, Regional, and Local, which cater to different travel requirements.

If you plan to travel to multiple countries within a particular region, the Regional eSim is a suitable option. For example, the AsiaLink eSim is valid in 13 countries in Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan. The Local eSim is ideal for travelers visiting only one country, such as Thailand, as it offers coverage only in that specific country.

For those who travel extensively across different regions, the Global eSim is a perfect choice, as it offers coverage in 84 countries worldwide. With this eSim, you can stay connected to the internet, without switching to local sim cards in each country.

Each eSim plan is priced differently based on the amount of data purchased and its validity. You can select a plan that suits your budget and travel needs and stay connected throughout your journey without worrying about expensive roaming charges or connectivity issues.

The cost of each plan varies based on the amount of data purchased and its validity.

Purchasing an eSIM with Airalo is a breeze through their app or website. Simply choose from local, global, and regional plans, install your eSIM, and activate it. They also provide excellent customer support.

One notable perk of using Airalo is the helpful reminder emails they send as your plan nears expiration or when your data usage reaches 75%. This feature ensures you know your remaining data and plan duration.


Flexiroam best esim travel

Flexiroam is a leading eSIM provider for international travel, offering coverage in over 200 countries and extended data validity for frequent travelers. This provider could be an ideal choice if you frequently travel between countries but don’t require large data packages.
In addition to their distinctive global plans, they also offer more affordable and targeted local and regional plans. The regional options are diverse, covering areas such as Africa, Oceania, Japan/Taiwan/Korea, and Latin America.
This provider’s plans can be an excellent fit for travelers who don’t require substantial amounts of data and move between regions frequently. However, if you use the data quickly and need to purchase more, the costs can add up.


SimOptions best esim travel

SimOptions works as an eSIM comparison platform, aggregating the best deals from providers across more than 160 countries. They offer local plans by country and regional plans by continent, although global plans are unavailable. Setting up an eSIM with SimOptions is incredibly straightforward, and they also provide the option of obtaining a physical SIM card for phones without eSIM capabilities.
Their extensive range of plans includes options with unlimited data, catering to various needs. However, it’s important to note that all plans are short-term, with a maximum duration of 30 days.


Nomad best esim travel

Nomad is a well-regarded eSIM provider with extensive coverage, encompassing 110 countries worldwide. The service is dependable, user-friendly, and generally robust. They offer a variety of global and regional plans, such as Nordic/Scandinavia, APAC, and Europe, although regional plans for North and South America are absent. Individual country plans for the USA, Mexico, and others are available.
While Nomad’s plans are reasonably priced, they only cater to short-term usage with a maximum duration of 30 days, which may not be suitable for extended global trips. Additionally, there are no single-country local plans, which can be inconvenient. Furthermore, the maximum data allowance for a global plan is 5GB over 30 days, which may not meet the needs of many travelers.


Holafly best esim travel

Holafly provides coverage in over 130 countries, including unlimited data packages, allowing you to surf the web without worrying about data consumption. However, using unlimited data packages for hotspot functionality is not possible. Setting up Holafly is quick and straightforward, with options for local or regional plans, although global plans are unavailable. Their plans are reasonably priced and come in both short and long durations. While their customer support team is small, they will eventually respond to your inquiries. Holafly is likely the best eSIM option for Europe, as it offers unlimited data at an affordable price and maintains a reliable connection.

How to choose the best e-sim card for traveling?

To choose the best eSIM for traveling, consider the following factors:

  • Coverage: Ensure the eSIM provider offers coverage in the countries or regions you plan to visit. Look for providers with extensive global or regional coverage to guarantee a reliable connection.
  • Data packages: Analyze the packages offered by various providers, considering your data usage habits. Some providers offer unlimited data, while others have different tiers based on data usage. Choose a plan that meets your requirements without overpaying for unnecessary data.
  • Pricing: Compare the prices of eSIM plans from different providers, considering any hidden fees or taxes. Look for competitive pricing without sacrificing quality or coverage.
  • Duration: Consider the duration of your trip and select a plan that matches your travel period. Some providers offer short-term plans, while others cater to long-term travelers with extended validity.
  • Device compatibility: Verify that your smartphone or tablet supports eSIM technology before purchasing a plan. Not all devices are compatible with eSIMs, so it’s essential to double-check your device’s specifications.
  • Flexibility: Assess the provider’s flexibility regarding plan options, including local, regional, and global plans. This will allow you to choose the most suitable plan based on your travel itinerary.
  • Customer support: Opt for an eSIM provider with reliable customer support to assist you with any issues during your trip. Read reviews or testimonials to gauge the quality of their customer service.
  • Ease of setup and activation: Choose an eSIM provider with a straightforward setup and activation process, either through their website or mobile app. This will save you time and ensure a hassle-free experience.

How can I check if my phone is compatible with eSIM cards for international travel?

To check if your phone is compatible with eSIM cards for international travel, follow these steps:

  • Look up your phone’s specifications: Search for your phone’s make and model online and review its technical specifications. This information is usually found on the manufacturer’s website or reputable tech review sites. Check for mention of eSIM support or dual SIM capabilities with an eSIM.
  • Check the manufacturer’s website: Visit the official website of your phone’s manufacturer and navigate to the support section. Look for information on eSIM compatibility, which might be listed under FAQs, device support, or a dedicated eSIM page.
  • Contact customer support: If you’re still unsure, contact the manufacturer’s customer support for assistance. Provide them with your phone’s make and model, and ask if it supports eSIM technology for international travel.

Remember that even if your phone supports eSIM, you’ll still need to ensure that the eSIM provider you choose offers coverage in the countries you plan to visit. Additionally, ensure your phone is unlocked, which means it can be used with any carrier to take full advantage of eSIM technology while traveling internationally.

How do I set up and activate an eSIM card for international travel?

The exact steps to set up and activate an eSIM may vary depending on your device and eSIM provider, but generally speaking, following these steps will allow you to install and activate an eSIM card for international travel, follow these steps:

  • Check eSIM compatibility: Confirm your smartphone or device is eSIM-compatible and unlocked for any carrier.
  • Choose an eSIM provider: Select an eSIM provider that offers coverage in the countries you plan to visit. Compare plans, pricing, and coverage to find the best option.
  • Purchase an eSIM plan: Buy the eSIM plan from your chosen provider, either through their website or mobile app. Upon purchase, you will receive a QR code or an activation code for the eSIM.
  • Add the eSIM to your device: follow your eSIM provider’s activation instructions.
    Set your eSIM as the primary or secondary line: Depending on your device, you may need to choose whether to use the eSIM as your primary or secondary line for data, calls, and texts. Follow your device’s instructions to make the appropriate selection.
  • Activate your eSIM: It should automatically activate after adding the eSIM to your device. If not, follow your eSIM provider’s activation instructions, which may involve restarting your device or waiting for a specific activation time.
  • Verify the connection: Once activated, check your device’s network settings to confirm that your eSIM is connected and displaying the appropriate carrier name.

Can I have multiple eSIM plans from different carriers on my phone while traveling?

You can have multiple eSIM plans from different carriers on your phone while traveling, provided your device supports eSIM technology and has the capacity to store more than one eSIM profile. Most modern eSIM-compatible smartphones allow you to store multiple eSIM profiles, although the number of profiles you can store may vary depending on your device.

However, it’s important to note that you can typically only use one eSIM plan for data, calls, and texts at a time. To switch between different eSIM plans or carriers, enter your phone’s settings and manually select the desired plan or carrier.

Multiple eSIM plans can benefit international travelers who want to use different carriers in different countries or regions to optimize coverage, data speeds, or cost. Research each carrier’s coverage and plans to choose the most suitable options for your travel needs.

Is it correct to call an eSim an eSim card?

Referring to an eSIM as an “eSIM card” can be considered a mistake because “card” implies a physical, removable object. An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital and non-removable version of a SIM card integrated into the device itself. Therefore, it is more accurate to call it an “eSIM” rather than an “eSIM card.”

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