The advantages of using eSIM for international travel


By Heather

Travel & Tech Writer


Wheels up! For international travel, eSIM technology has the power to keep you connected while saving you money. 

After a worldwide slowdown that saw many people staying home more than usual, flights are picking up and it’s been a busy summer for international travel. No matter where you’re planning to go for your next trip — and whether it’s for business or pleasure — we hope you trust the convenience, safety, and reliability of an eSIM.

Wait! I’m new here. What’s an eSIM?

You’re familiar with traditional SIM cards that pop in your phone to provide you with cell service, right? Well, “eSIM” stands for “embedded SIM,” and it’s essentially the virtual version of those little plastic cards. 

Why should I use an eSIM for international travel?

More mobile users are turning to eSIMs these days — especially for travel — because they’re more convenient than physical SIM cards. They can’t be dropped, lost, or broken, they’re available whenever you need one, and you’re likely going to save money with an eSIM.

If you’re going to be spending time in a new place, you can simply buy a regional eSIM plan, activate it right on your own phone (no need for an in-store visit, and your device is likely already compatible). 

When you’re traveling locally, nationally, or internationally with an eSIM, you’re able to call, text, and go online like a local. Relax and explore confidently, without worrying about going over data usage.

Once you’re back at home, you won’t return to a huge unpleasant data overage cost because you haven’t been using your regular provider at all. And when you’re ready to switch back to your regular SIM, it’s quick and easy to do — just a few taps on your device’s screen, and POOF! Your travel eSIM is disabled.

What are the risks of using a physical SIM card for international travel?

While you can probably purchase a physical SIM card in just about any country you visit, there are a few considerations.

It might be difficult to buy one, if there’s a language barrier between you and the employee. You might not be sure exactly what you’re buying. (Labels can be tricky if you don’t read the language.) You also might overpay for the SIM card because you don’t have any other option but to accept what’s available there in the store.

If you do buy a physical SIM card while traveling internationally, then there’s the issue of actually swapping it with your main SIM. If a new one goes in, that means the old one must come out — and where will you keep it safe? Those suckers are pretty tiny, so please be sure you don’t lose it in the bottom of a bag or the depths of a pocket.

Physical SIM cards can’t be upgraded, so if you hit their limit, there’s nothing you can do except find another shop and purchase a new one to last for the remainder of your trip. This might be a real pain, especially if you’re nowhere near a mobile provider.

My cell phone provider says I can buy a travel SIM from them?

If you mention your trip to your regular mobile provider, they’ll surely offer up a solution — usually in the form of a special travel package that will be added to the cost of next month’s bill. 

But we’d caution you to do your homework before agreeing to this, as it’s often far more expensive than shopping around with a buddy like aloSIM.

But does the country I’m visiting have eSIM service?

Most likely, yes! When eSIM technology was first introduced, carriers in many countries started supporting it right away — like Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia.

Since then, dozens of other countries have followed suit, making it possible to go all over the world with the convenience of eSIM service. 

Use aloSIM to search for your destination and explore the various eSIM plans available. We’ll show you plenty of options so you can choose the data plan that suits you best, and never pay for more than you need. (With the ability to add more, easily, if you wind up needing it.)

I’m traveling internationally soon! How do I get an eSIM quickly?

The great thing about an eSIM is that they’re available to buy 24/7, right on your own device. Use aloSIM to compare prices and see which data package will work best for your trip, then activate your new eSIM in seconds in just a few steps.

In no time at all, you’ll be breezing around the world while staying fully connected — at a fraction of the cost of relying on your existing data plan. 

Bon voyage!

Want to learn more about eSIM technology and international travel? Check out aloSIM for local and regional eSIM plans. 


* eSIM vs. SIM card: Which is better for travelers?

* How to use eSIM while travelling

* What is an eSIM?

* Is my phone eSIM compatible?

* How to activate eSIM on your iPhone

* Safe travel tips for 2021