When we travel, we use our phones for just about everything. From planning, booking hotels and rideshares to maps. Having reliable internet access available is necessary for us and when we arrive in a new destination the one thing on the top of our list is sorting out how to get a global SIM plan for our new location.
This normally involves seeking out a SIM card provider on arrival and configuring it for our phones. Sometimes that’s an easy task but at times it was a challenge especially in a foreign country where English is not the common language. We never bother with phone call plans as we always use internet apps for calls such as WhatsApp or Messenger.
In this post, we are going to take a look at eSim and how it works. We will also examine a few different eSim packages and try to ascertain, what is the best eSim for travel and backpacking.
Why You Have to choose ESIM To Travel in 2023
While global data roaming from your existing provider may be available it is fair to say it will come at a hefty price and we have all heard reports of travellers who have returned home to a huge bill.
That’s why purchasing country specific SIM cards when travelling is so appealing as local data charges often come at a much cheaper price and certainly way cheaper than global roaming.
Not only does the contemporary traveller need their phone in order to travel, but that phone also needs to be connected to the internet. And as you probably already know, the moment you leave your native country, your data will stop working the moment you cross an international border. Therefore we wrote this post today to help you stay connected.
First Up, What Even is eSim?
In short, an eSIM is an embedded/digital version of the traditional physical SIM card. So instead of installing a physical SIM card to change your mobile provider, you simply connect to a new mobile data service provider using an app.
This is great for international travel because you no longer have to hunt down a new SIM card when you change countries. You simply activate the eSIM service and you’re online in seconds.
And most new phones are dual SIM so you can still use your physical domestic SIM card while also using the eSIM so you can switch back and forth between your mobile data providers.
Did You Know? – Airlines are currently losing more luggage than ever!
Yep, lost luggage claims are currently through the roof and a misplaced bag or case can really ruin your trip.
So why not give yourself the edge and use a GPS luggage tracker to help your airline find your bag faster if they do lose it?!
THE BENEFITS OF ESIM MOBILE DATA PLANS
Below are some of the many benefits of using an eSIM data plan while traveling.
Since eSIM cards are all digital you don’t have to pay shipping fees if you want to pre-purchase a European data plan before arriving in Europe. For example, you can buy a plan from YohoMobile and we’ll email you a QR code or link to activate the service.
DUAL SIM CARDS SO YOU CAN USE TWO DATA PLANS AT ONCE
Another big benefit to using an eSIM is that you can seamlessly switch between your domestic plan (via the physical SIM) and the travel plan (via your eSIM). In fact, most phones let you have up to 5 eSIM data plans on a single phone—which is overkill for most people but it’s still an option.Another huge benefit to having dual SIM cards is that many services will send you texts for things like two-factor identification or your bank might text you with fraud alerts and these won’t come through if you don’t have your home plan’s physical SIM card installed.
NOT HAVING TO REMOVE YOUR SIM CARD
Removing the physical SIM card is a hassle. First, you need the little tool to pop the SIM out of the phone (which is easy to lose). Then you also have to remove your phone case. You also have to keep track of your original SIM card so you don’t lose or damage it (you’ll need to reinstall it to get your service back).
Delivery is instant so no waiting around for physical cards to arrive in the mail or having to hunt out a provider at the airport when you arrive.
GET READY BEFORE YOU GO
By pre purchasing an eSIM online before you travel, apart from the obvious benefit of not having to first seek out a provider then change the physical card, the eSIM can be activated before or as you arrive and your online straight away and ready to explore your new location.
SAFETY MORE THAN EVER
Once your eSIM is active you are using your own data plan so there is no need to rely on sharing public WiFi networks which is always a hacking risk.
Who Can Use eSim?
eSim is open to everybody regarldess of age, gender, religion or sexual prefernce as long as you have the right phone. Seriously whilst eSim does not discriminate on grounds of immutable identity characteristics, it quite brazenly and shamelessly discriminates on the basis of what phone is in your pocket!
Basically, that crappy old Nokia 2320 you still like to use, is simply not eSim ready. In fact, only the more modern and recent generation of phones and devices are actually eSim ready. Pretty much any phone made prior to 2019 is unlikely to be eSim compatible on the grounds that it lacks the aforementioned magical eSim chip. Sorry about that.
My iPhone 8 was NOT eSim compatible and I was only recently able to try eSim for myself when I updated to the iPhone 12. I know that a lot of you reading this still use iPhones 11’s and Samsung ?? but unfortunately, these phones are not able to access the joys of eSim.
The following devices ARE eSim ready;
- iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR under iOS 12.2 at least
- (The base iPhone X and anything older is not eSIM compatible)
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
- iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini & iPhone SE 2020
- iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Mini
- Samsung Galaxy Fold & Galaxy Fold 2 / Galaxy Z Flip & Z Flip 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra / Galaxy Note 20
- Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G
- Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4XL, Pixel 4a (4G), Pixel 5 (5G), and Pixel 6
- Huawei P40 and P40 Pro & Mate 40 Pro
What is the Best eSim Package?
In this section, we will help you to identify which is the best possible travel eSim for your next trip.
Choosing The Right eSIM
Before you go off and buy an eSIM for your trip, there are a few different things to bear in mind.
Whilst it probably goes without saying that you probably want the maximum amount of data and calls for the minimum price, there is more to choosing a travel eSIM than this. Try to identify how much network coverage the provider offers. I mean, your eSIM is going to be of little use to you if it struggles to connect. This is particularly pertinent when choosing an eSim for a destination like Greece where the networs who serve the mainland may not be the same networks who seric the islands.
Something else to bear in mind is that some eSim providers offer data-only packages – that means they don’t come with a local phone number. This may be perfectly fine for some uses, but others may want a local number in order to be able to make and receive calls.
The Singapore based eSim specialist Yohomobile offers excellent and fairly priced e-sim packages for 190+ countries and counting. Yohomobile achieves this by partnering-up with an international network of local carriers to offer travellers like thee and me reliable, accessible data packages.
If Yohomobile currently covers the destination (and they already cover most popular travel destinations) and all of the relevant information such as price, data amount and expiry periods is clearly set out.
Note that at this time an Yohomobile eSim package does not come with a native phone number so you won’t be able to make calls.
The reason we love Yohomobile is because the Yohomobile eSIM for Europe package covers a whole number of different European destinations such as Spain, France, Germany, Portugal or Switzerland, working seamlessly across 40 countries in Europe.
Final Thoughts on Choosing The Best eSim
By now you should hopefully know all about what eSim is and how it works. eSim is set to truly revolutionise travel communication forever by making it easier to get connected. While not all phones in circulation are yet eSim ready, the ones that are have access to an unprecedented raft of extensive, eco-friendly and affordable sim packages.
So wherever you are headed for your next trip, why not give eSim a try?