Best eSIM for international travel

In today’s interconnected world, staying connected while traveling internationally has become an essential part of any globetrotter’s itinerary. Whether you’re a business professional needing reliable communication on the go or a leisure traveler sharing your adventures with loved ones back home, finding the best eSIM for international travel can make all the difference. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top eSIM options available in 2023, helping you unlock seamless global connectivity and ensuring that you’re always just a call, text, or data connection away from the world, no matter where your travels take you. Say goodbye to the hassles of swapping physical SIM cards or dealing with exorbitant roaming charges, and say hello to a new era of effortless and cost-effective international communication. Discover the best eSIM for international travel solutions that will keep you connected, informed, and empowered while exploring the world.

Best eSIM for international travel

What's e sim?

An eSIM, short for “embedded SIM” or “electronic SIM,” is a digital SIM card that is built into a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch, rather than being a physical, removable card like the traditional SIM cards we’re accustomed to. Instead of inserting a physical SIM card into your device’s SIM card slot, an eSIM’s information is pre-installed or programmed into the device’s internal hardware.

Key characteristics of eSIMs include:

  1. Remote Provisioning: eSIMs can be remotely programmed or provisioned with carrier-specific information and credentials, such as phone numbers and subscription details. This means you can switch between mobile carriers or add new plans without needing to physically change your SIM card.

  2. Multiple Profiles: Some devices with eSIM support can store multiple eSIM profiles, allowing you to switch between different mobile carriers or data plans easily. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for frequent travelers.

  3. Space-Saving: Since eSIMs don’t require physical cards, they save space within the device, allowing for more compact and streamlined designs.

  4. Environmental Benefits: The reduction of physical SIM cards can have environmental benefits as it reduces the need for manufacturing, packaging, and disposal of physical cards.

  5. Security: eSIMs often come with enhanced security features, making them resistant to physical tampering and more secure for mobile communication.

eSIM technology is gaining popularity, especially in newer smartphones and other connected devices. It simplifies the process of switching carriers, provides greater flexibility in choosing mobile plans, and makes it easier for international travelers to access local networks without the need for physical SIM card replacements. However, the availability of eSIM support varies by device and carrier, so it’s essential to check if your device and mobile provider support this technology before making the switch.

Advantages of eSIM

The best eSIM for international travel offers several advantages over traditional physical SIM cards, making it a convenient and efficient choice for many users. Here are some of the key advantages of eSIMs:

  1. Convenience:

    • Remote Activation: eSIMs can be remotely activated and provisioned by carriers, eliminating the need to visit a store or receive a physical SIM card. This is particularly useful when purchasing new plans or changing carriers.
    • Multiple Profiles: Many eSIM-enabled devices can store multiple eSIM profiles, allowing users to switch between different carriers or data plans without changing SIM cards physically.
  2. Enhanced Flexibility:

    • Easy Travel: Travelers can easily switch to local mobile plans when abroad, avoiding expensive international roaming fees. This flexibility is especially valuable for frequent international travelers.
    • Trial Plans: Users can try out new carriers or mobile plans without the commitment of purchasing a physical SIM card.
  3. Compact Design:

    • Slimmer Devices: eSIMs eliminate the need for a SIM card slot, allowing for more compact device designs, including thinner smartphones, tablets, and wearables.
    • Dust and Water Resistance: Since there’s no physical SIM card slot, devices with eSIMs may have improved resistance to dust and water.
  4. Security:

    • Tamper Resistance: eSIMs are embedded within the device’s hardware, making them more resistant to physical tampering or removal.
    • Enhanced Encryption: eSIM technology often incorporates advanced encryption and security features, making it more secure for mobile communication.
  5. Environmental Benefits:

    • Reduced Waste: eSIMs reduce the need for manufacturing, packaging, and disposing of physical SIM cards, which can have positive environmental impacts.
  6. Streamlined Activation Process:

    • No Need for Physical Cards: Users no longer need to handle physical SIM cards, making the activation process simpler and less prone to errors.
    • Quick Activation: eSIM activation is often quicker compared to traditional SIM cards, as it can be done remotely in real-time.
  7. Easy Transition to New Devices:

    • Device Upgrades: When upgrading to a new device, transferring your eSIM profile is typically straightforward, ensuring a smooth transition.
  8. Global Compatibility:

    • Support for Multiple Regions: eSIMs can support multiple regions or countries, making them suitable for international travelers who need connectivity across different networks.
  9. Future-Proofing:

    • Adaptation to Technology Trends: eSIM technology aligns with the trend toward more connected devices, IoT applications, and wearables, making it a future-proof solution.
  10. Cost Efficiency:

    • Competitive Plans: The ability to easily switch carriers or data plans can lead to cost savings, as users can choose the most competitive options available.

While eSIMs offer numerous advantages, it’s essential to note that their adoption and support may vary by device, region, and carrier. Users should check device compatibility and the availability of eSIM services with their chosen carriers before making the switch to the best eSIM for international travel.

Best eSIM providers

Now, let’s have a look at the top eSIM providers, because they do each offer slightly different types of products.

It’s not just about what they promise, but how much it costs – and also how reliable it is.

Airalo eSIM

Airalo is a leading eSIM provider that offers travelers access to eSIMs for multiple countries. With Airalo, you can easily purchase and activate eSIMs for various destinations, enabling cost-effective and hassle-free international connectivity on your mobile device. Airalo has a lot of flexibility in the geography of what it covers. You can choose eSIMs by country; or it has regional plans that cover areas like 39 European countries, 13 Asian countries, and 19 South American countries; and it has global plans as well.

Almost all the eSIMs are based on a fixed data limit, such as 1 gigabyte, or 10 gigabytes – which should be fine for most people, but may be an issue if you’re planning to use a lot of phone data.


Holafly specializes in eSIM solutions designed for travelers. They offer preloaded eSIMs that provide seamless mobile data access in numerous countries, making it convenient for tourists to stay connected during their international journeys.

The main selling point with Holafly is that most of the eSIM plans it offers are for unlimited data. Rather than having to guess how much you think you’ll use, you can just buy an eSIM for a duration and use it to your heart’s content!

Nomad eSIM

Nomad is known for its eSIMs designed for global travelers. Nomad eSIMs offer broad coverage and flexible data plans, making them an excellent choice for those who want reliable connectivity across different countries without the need for physical SIM cards.

This best eSIM for international travel providers will have slightly different prices for each country depending on exactly what deal they’ve made with local operators. So it’s worth checking each of them if you want to find the cheapest and save a few dollars.


Simify provides eSIM solutions that cater to the needs of international travelers. Their eSIMs offer convenient, cost-effective, and quick access to mobile data in multiple countries, ensuring you stay connected wherever you go.

For example, it has this Europe & UK eSIM with 15 gigabytes for 30 days that also includes unlimited local calls, for just US$40. Compare that to Airalo, which gives you 10 gigabytes for 30 days (and no calls) for US$37, and you’ll see it’s a fantastic price!

Another great eSIM plan it offers is 30 days of unlimited data and local calls in the USA for just US$50, which I think is one of the best eSIM plans you can get. (For that price with Nomad, you get 30 gigabytes and no calls.)

Simify doesn’t cover nearly as many countries. But it’s one of the best options for the US, Europe, Japan, and parts of SE Asia.


Drimsim offers a unique eSIM service that provides a single global SIM card for travelers. With Drimsim, you can enjoy data, calls, and texts in multiple countries without needing to switch SIM cards, making it a practical choice for frequent international adventurers.

The concept behind Drimsim is that you don’t buy an eSIM for a particular country, for a set amount of time, or even a set amount of data. 

Best eSIM for international travel

The world of international travel has been forever transformed by the advent of eSIM technology. Gone are the days of juggling physical SIM cards, enduring exorbitant roaming fees, or facing connectivity issues in foreign lands. The best eSIMs for international travel have ushered in a new era of convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Whether you opt for versatile providers like Airalo, Holafly, Nomad, Simify, or the innovative global solution offered by Drimsim, you can now enjoy seamless connectivity across borders. These eSIM providers empower travelers to choose and switch between data plans and carriers with ease, ensuring you stay connected to family, friends, work, and essential information no matter where your adventures take you.

Moreover, the convenience of eSIM technology extends to environmentally friendly practices, with reduced waste from physical SIM cards and streamlined activation processes. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, eSIMs are poised to play a pivotal role in keeping us connected, informed, and secure during our international journeys.

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