Teaching Grandpa how to use eSIM


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer

Dear Grandpa, here’s how to use eSIM
Dear Gramps,
Dad says you’ve got a few vacations coming up, and that you were determined to learn ‘how to use eSIM thingys’ that I’m always posting about on the Facebook.

First of all, thank you for supporting me at my job! (But maybe stop commenting on my work Facebook page about how proud you are? Because my boss can see it?) Second of all, yes, Dad’s right. I can hopefully definitely explain how to use eSIM without making it complicated like that DVR that wouldn’t show your programs.

Okay, ready? Here we go! The simplest, most bare-bones eSIM instruction guide on the internet, just for you …

1. See if your phone supports SIM

I can’t remember what phone you have, Gramps, but I swear it’s easy. Just clicky-clicky in our eSIM device checker and see if your phone is on the list. (If your phone isn’t on the list, just stop reading now and go make a cup of tea. I love you.)

2. Get the aloSIM app

Yes, Gramps the app is totally free. No, you don’t have to pay for it. Just click this link to download aloSIM from the App Store or Google Play. It’ll only take a sec. (I know I said to be cautious about clicking on links, but this one is okay, I promise.)

3. Pick a destination

Where are ya goin’ on your trip, Gramps? Was this for the Pensioner’s Cruise, or the Widowers’ Walkabout? Just pick a country or region from the list. (No, not where you live — the place you’re going on vacation.)

4. Buy some prepaid data

Remember, Gramps? Data is ‘internet.’ Data is like Wi-Fi, except it goes everywhere with you. You need data to ‘go on the Facebook,’ and send those chain emails, and send emojis in the family chat. You want data while you’re travelling so you can keep doing all of that.

How much data do you need? Well, we have a travel data calculator. But I don’t think you’ll need much. Just pick ‘1 GB’ (that means ‘one gig,’ Gramps) and you can start with that. If you need more, I’ll hop on FaceTime and describe how to top up your eSIM with more data.

5. Install your eSIM

Still with me here, Gramps? Good! Remember that time you accidentally wrecked tinkered with Nannie’s cell phone and there was a little plastic card inside? That was a SIM card. (It made the phone have internet and stuff.)

Well, you’re going to use an ‘eSIM’ on vacation, and that means it’s like an invisible version of a SIM card. Don’t worry about the details. Just follow the instructions on how to install an eSIM on your phone, okay?

6. Rename your eSIM

Now, Gramps, I just want to keep this simple, okay? And if the Widowers’ Walkabout takes you to different countries, I want to make sure you know which eSIM to use for data. So please follow the instructions on how to label your eSIM.

7. Prepare your phone to travel

Remember when Uncle Frank went to Portugal years ago and got that giant phone bill, Gramps? I know, I know, we’re still boycotting *redacted* because that employee was rude about the situation.

But Gramps, that big phone bill was because Uncle Frank let his phone’s regular SIM card ‘roam’ while he was in Portugal, and I don’t want that to happen to you. A penny saved it a penny earned and all that.

So follow these instructions to turn ‘Data Roaming’ off on your phone, okay? You do NOT want your phone to roam when you’re away. You can do this right now. Yes, you’ll still be able to call and text (here at home, and when you’re travelling).

8. Get your eSIM ready

When Dad drives you to the airport five hours early, this is when you follow this step okay? Only when you are standing in the airport, or sitting down getting a tea at the airport, or otherwise in the airport about to leave the country.

Follow the activation instructions to turn on your eSIM, toggle on Data Roaming for your eSIM, and make your eSIM your phone’s data source (i.e. tell your phone to use your eSIM as soon as you land.

Yes, Gramps, I know you’re not there yet — but this will make sure that when you land on vacation, you will have data. Your phone will know you’re there, and it will be able to connect to one of the big cell phone towers in the new city. It’ll be like ‘Hi! Welcome, Sir! Here’s the internet you ordered.’

9. Use your eSIM data

Okay, so you know how when you fly, you have to put on Airplane Mode? Right! So when you arrive on vacation, you’ll switch Airplane Mode off, and then the eSIM on your phone will be able to find local internet for you. It might take a few minutes, so be patient unlike when you see people get easy answers wrong on Jeopardy.

10. Ask aloSIM if you need help

Gramps, if your data isn’t working when you get there, I need you to reach out to the team, okay? Get on the airport Wi-Fi and send an email to support@alosim.com, or go to alosim.com and click the little bubble thing to chat with someone. No, you won’t be disturbing them. There are always people working, all the time (yes, even in the middle of the night) and they’re here to help.

I think that’s everything, Gramps. I hope I did a good job of explaining how to use eSIM because I know you’ll really, really like it once you try it.

This is going to be great! You’ll have internet during your whole trip, so we can still chat when you’re travelling, and you won’t have to worry about finding Wi-Fi whenever your tour groups stops somewhere. You will even have internet on the bus, or on a little harbour cruise, or standing in the middle of giant park. You’ll be the envy of the Widowers’ Walkabout.

Lots of love,