Stay Connected Abroad With This New SIM Card Alternative

Traveling internationally can be an amazing experience, but one hassle is dealing with your phone service. Roaming charges from your regular carrier can rack up a huge bill. Buying local SIM cards in each destination is inconvenient and time-consuming.

But new eSIM technology offers international travelers a better solution. With an eSIM, you can easily connect to local networks abroad while keeping your number and home carrier.

In this guide, we’ll explain what an eSIM is, the benefits for travelers, how to choose a provider, and tips for saving money. Read on to learn how eSIMs can make your next trip easier and more connected.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card chip that allows you to connect to mobile networks without needing a physical SIM card. eSIMs are built into cellular-enabled devices like smartphones and smartwatches.

On devices that support eSIM functionality, you can download carrier profiles over the air and switch between plans with a few taps on your phone screen.

“There’s no need to go to a store and insert a new SIM card to change providers. This is one of the biggest advantages travel eSIM’s have over traditional SIM cards.” J. Stevenson,

With an eSIM in your device, you can sign up for cellular service in a new country in minutes. eSIM providers offer pay-as-you-go international data plans perfect for travel.

You get convenient access to local networks with competitive rates. When your trip is over, you can simply delete the eSIM profile and re-activate your home SIM card.

Benefits of Using an eSIM When Traveling


Using an eSIM when traveling internationally provides several notable benefits over old-fashioned physical SIM cards:

Avoid roaming charges

The biggest perk is avoiding expensive roaming fees from your regular mobile carrier. With an eSIM, your device connects to local networks in each country so you don’t rack up hefty roaming charges.

Easily sign up for local data

Purchasing eSIM data plans for your destination is quick and convenient. Sign-up takes just minutes on your phone without visiting stores. Local data is much cheaper than roaming rates.

Switch carriers easily

With eSIMs, you can switch between cellular plans and carriers with a quick swap in your device settings. Switch to the best local provider in each country you visit.

No need for physical SIM cards

Ordering eSIM profiles eliminates the inconvenience of finding and swapping physical SIM cards in each location.

Keep your phone number

With an eSIM, you can keep your primary phone number and home carrier active. Just pause your plan while traveling.

Use dual SIM mode

Some eSIM-enabled devices allow dual SIM mode. You can have both your home SIM and an eSIM active simultaneously.

Choosing an eSIM Provider


If you decide to get an eSIM for an upcoming trip abroad, you’ll need to choose a provider. Here are key factors to consider when selecting an eSIM plan for international travel:

Coverage map

Look for providers with extensive networks in your destination(s) to ensure solid coverage.


Compare the pricing of data packages across eSIM providers. Look for deals and bulk data discounts.

Data limits

Most eSIM plans for travel offers bucket packages like 1GB, 5GB, or 10GB of data. Pick a sufficient amount for your needs and length of stay.

Contract length

Many eSIM plans are pre-paid and flexible without lengthy contracts. You can cancel after your trip.


See how easy it is to swap plans and manage your account while traveling. The best eSIM apps make it simple.

Top eSIM providers for international travel include Airalo, Ubigi, KnowRoaming, AlwaysOnline Wireless, GeoSim, Dent, and Surfroam. Compare plans to find the best fit based on the countries you’re visiting, the length of your trip, your data needs, and your budget. You can even register with multiple eSIM providers and switch as needed for each destination.

Setting Up an eSIM Before You Travel


Once you’ve chosen an eSIM provider, you’ll need to set up your plan before departure:

Download the eSIM app

For your selected provider, download their eSIM app from the Google Play or Apple App Store. You’ll use this app to manage your plan.

Complete registration

Complete the signup process by entering your personal details and payment information. Make sure to use accurate info to avoid issues.

Select a data plan

Browse available plans on the eSIM app and choose one that fits your trip. You can filter and compare plans by country and data amounts.

Activate your eSIM

Activate your selected plan by following the prompts on the app. This will install the eSIM profile on your device over the air.

The activation process only takes a few minutes. Once your eSIM is set up, there’s no need to insert a physical SIM card. You’re ready to use local networks abroad.

Using an eSIM While Traveling


Here’s what to expect when using your eSIM on a trip outside your home country:

Automatic network connection

Upon arriving in a foreign country, your device will automatically connect to the local cellular network through your eSIM profile.

Monitor data usage

Keep an eye on your data usage and remaining allowance in the eSIM provider’s app. Avoid surprise overages.

Top up when needed

When your data allotment runs low, you can purchase a top-up directly from the eSIM app. No need to find a store.

Switch providers easily

If needed, you can delete one eSIM profile and install another from a different provider. Quickly find the best local network.

Reactivate home SIM

When your trip ends, turn off your eSIM profile and reactivate your physical home SIM card. Welcome back!

Tips for Saving Money with eSIM


To keep costs down when using an eSIM internationally, keep these money-saving tips in mind:

Uninstall eSIM app when not in use

When back in your home country, uninstall the eSIM app to prevent unintended data usage that could incur fees.

Consider data-only plans

If your phone is unlocked, use eSIM data and WiFi calls instead of paying for voice/text.

Suspend plans when not traveling

Some providers allow you to temporarily suspend your eSIM plan when between trips. Then resume when needed.

Buy data in bulk

For long-term travel, purchase your total data allowance upfront. Buying in bulk can offer big discounts compared to pay-per-use rates.

Track data consumption

Monitor usage closely each day and disable background data for the eSIM to avoid surprise overages.


For anyone who travels internationally frequently, eSIM technology can make your trips more convenient and connected. Avoiding roaming fees and the hassle of swapping physical SIM cards in each country is a huge benefit.

With a bit of research, you can find an eSIM provider and plan that meets your specific needs and travel style. Look for great coverage, fair rates, and flexible packages.

Setting up your eSIM only takes a few minutes before departure. Then stay efficiently connected abroad with this new SIM card alternative. Safe travels!

About Nina Smith