eSIMs for travel: the new way to connect to the internet abroad

holafly esim urban

We’ve all been there. You’re in a foreign country and you need to connect to the internet.
Your first thought: look for free WiFi. But there are no shops or cafes nearby. You constantly refresh your WiFi menu but nothing comes up.
Mobile data isn’t an option or you’ll face huge charges from your phone company.
Should you risk a surprise internet bill when you get home?
We all know that feeling. But times have changed.
You can now say goodbye to worrying about your internet abroad. Just get an eSIM, the easiest way to get online overseas. You might not have heard of eSIM, so let’s learn more.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a virtual SIM card. An eSIM works just like a normal SIM card and you can use it to access mobile data.

But unlike a SIM card, there is no physical device. You don’t need to insert the card into your phone – you just scan a QR code and you’re online straight away.

qr code holafly

eSIMs for travel let travelers connect to mobile data easily. You just need to buy an eSIM for your destination.

Let’s learn more.

Why you need an eSIM for travel

Let’s find out why eSIMs are essential for modern travelers:

  1. Fast internet speed wherever you are
  2. Modern travelers need internet connection. Whether it’s for ordering a taxi, finding a restaurant or uploading your pictures to Instagram. eSIMs connect you to mobile data from the best network providers in each country. You can forget about relying on free WiFi and enjoy internet connection while you’re exploring new places.

  3. Internet on demand – no waiting for delivery
  4. There’s no need to go to a shop to buy an eSIM. You don’t even need to wait for delivery before you travel.
    You’ll receive an eSIM straight to your email address after you buy. So if you’re traveling soon or you’re already in your destination, don’t worry: it only takes five minutes to buy, set up and start using an eSIM.

  5. Don’t break the bank
  6. If you don’t plan how to connect to the internet before you arrive in your destination, your only choice will be to use data roaming.
    Data roaming charges depend on the country you’re in, but you might have to pay $15 for every megabyte you use. To put that into perspective, that’s $15 to listen to Spotify for an hour or to use Netflix for 8 minutes.
    Too many travellers return home to surprise cell phone bills amounting to $100s. Don’t get ripped off. There are no hidden costs with an eSIM, so you don’t need to worry about money.

using a holafly esim rural

Other options for internet connection when you travel

There are a few other options if you want to connect to the internet on your travels:

  1. A physical SIM card
  2. Pocket WiFi

So how do these options compare to an eSIM?

eSIM vs physical SIM card

Advantages of a physical SIM card
  • Mobile compatibility – all phones have a slot to place a physical SIM card. But as eSIMs are a very new technology, only the latest models are compatible
  • Data options – generally, international data SIM cards come with more options for the amount of data or the length of the plan.
Advantages of eSIM
  • Easy purchase and activation process: you can buy your eSIM from an online store and it will arrive in your emails in seconds. You just need to scan a QR code and there’s no long contract to fill out or fiddly installation process. You’ll have internet access in minutes.
  • Receive it to your email in seconds: as a virtual card, you receive your eSIM in seconds no matter where you are. So there’s no waiting around for parcels or couriers.
  • Eco-friendly: it’s simple. As a virtual product, the eSIM helps reduce waste. Do your bit to help the environment.
  • No chance of loss or damage: unlike a physical card, an eSIM cannot be lost, stolen or damaged.

eSIM vs Pocket WiFi

Pocket WiFi is a device you carry around with you that provides a WiFi connection for your phone. Travelers use it when they’re about and about. But how does it compare to an eSIM?

Advantages of Pocket WiFi:
  • Reliable WiFi by your side at all times
  • You can usually connect multiple devices to a Pocket WiFi device
Disadvantages of Pocket WiFi:
  • Daily limits – Pocket WiFi devices might limit your internet usage each day
  • Expensive deposits
  • (Sometimes expensive) shipping costs
  • You must carry the device around with you at all times
  • Low battery life – if the Pocket WiFi runs out of battery, you’ll be left without internet
  • Penalties for loss of theft

Where can you go with an eSIM for travel?

eSIM providers such as Holafly offer eSIMs for more than 60 different countries, on six continents. This includes popular tourist destinations such as the USA, Europe, Turkey, and Egypt. The world really is your oyster.

Multi-country eSIMs

If you’re visiting multiple countries in one trip, we’ve got you covered. You can buy multi-country eSIMs to save money and connect across an entire continent.
Let’s take a look at the multi-country eSIMs offered by Holafly:
eSIM for Europe: More than 40 countries, including Spain, France, the UK, Italy and many more
eSIM for North America: USA and Canada
eSIM for Latin America: 14 countries including Argentina, Chile and Mexico
eSIM for Asia: 13 countries including Japan, South Korea and Thailand

Is my phone compatible with eSIM?

eSIM is a very new technology, so not many phones are compatible. You need to check if your phone is a compatible device before you buy an eSIM.
The easiest way to check if your phone is compatible is to use this handy guide.

How to buy an eSIM for travel?

The best thing about the eSIM is that you can buy it from the comfort of your own home. And it will be with you in just two minutes!
The moment you buy an eSIM, you’ll be sent an email with a QR code. That means you can get online just minutes after your purchase.

holafly esim for europe

Activating the eSIM is easy:

  1. Scan the QR code
  2. Install the eSIM to your phone
  3. Turn on Mobile Data
  4. Turn on Data Roaming

Where can you get an eSIM? Buy an eSIM for travel from Holafly today.

eSIMs from Holafly

We recommend Holafly’s eSIMs. Their online store offers eSIMs for more than 60 destinations at a competitive price.

What else makes Holafly a good choice?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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