We may earn affiliate commissions for the recommended products. Learn more.

Best eSIM for travel in 2024

Bes eSIM for international travel

Tired of expensive plans, crazy roaming bills, and shoddy connectivity when using a SIM card while traveling? That can all be a thing of the past with the best eSIM for international travel. It’s a digital service, so you won’t have to worry about losing your SIM card. Plus, it will help you stay connected for way cheaper.

But how do you choose the best eSIM? Well, I’m here to help you. Here, you’ll find all the info you need about the best eSIM services. I’ll walk you through the process of setting up your new eSIM card on your Android or iPhone devices. Plus, you’ll find recommendations on how to choose the best eSIM for traveling.

Best eSIM for international travel: expert’s rating

  1. The best eSIM for international travel
    9.6
  2. Top-tier travel eSIM with great reputation
    9.3
  3. eSIM service provider with sleek apps
    9.0
  4. Best affordable eSIM with great features
    8.8
  5. Travel eSIM with excellent coverage
    8.5

What is an eSIM?

eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module. Think of it as a digital version of a SIM card that’s built right into your device. You can activate it remotely, so that lets you avoid the hassle of buying a card locally. Moreover, you can use multiple mobile service carriers on one device and have different plans in various locations.

So, they are super handy for travelers as eSIM cards are all about convenience and flexibility.

Why should I get an eSIM for travel?

eSim services might initially seem confusing, but they are fairly easy to set up and use. Moreover, they are slowly pushing out traditional SIM cards when it comes to traveling.

Perks of using eSIM

So, let’s see why eSIM services are getting more popular and what perks they provide:

  • Flexibility. Firstly, you won’t lose your eSIM, because it’s not a card and you won’t have to take it out. Secondly, most eSIM providers offer global or regional plans that won’t require getting multiple services in different locations.
  • Cost-efficiency. Unlike SIM cards, eSIMs don’t require signing a contract and paying ridiculous money for services. Moreover, most of them offer great data plans or pay-as-you-go options.
  • Easier activation. You won’t have to wait in lines and stress to get phone service abroad. You can often activate eSIMs remotely, which means you can set up a new plan without finding a store or getting a physical SIM card.
  • Multiple accounts on one device. You can use 5+ eSIM cards at the same time if you need to. So, you won’t need separate phones for your regular, business, or travel needs. You’ll have everything in one place.

Basically, an eSIM will give you more freedom and security while traveling. But as you’ll soon see, heaps of providers seem to offer similar eSIM services. To pick the best eSIM for travel, check out the detailed list below.

Top 5 eSIM providers for international travel: detailed list

  1. Saily – up-and-coming best eSIM for international travel
  2. Airalo – best travel eSIM with a variety of plans
  3. Nomad – eSIM service provider with sleek apps
  4. aloSIM – global eSIM app that you can top-up
  5. Instabridge – pay-as-you-go eSIM service

With the help of a VPNpro research team, I’ve curated a list of the best eSIM providers. They all offer great prices, excellent connectivity, a variety of plans, and some extras that will make trips more enjoyable. Not to mention, you’ll have plenty of data to share all of your adventures on social media!

1. Saily – the best eSIM for international travel in 2024

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
150
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Great data plans for international travel
  • Covers 150+ countries
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Fairly new service

Saily is the best eSIM for international travel, as it’s reliable, fairly cheap, and easy to use during trips. Plus, it’s a highly trustworthy service in terms of security because it was created by NordVPN’s parent company.

Coverage: Overall, you can use Saily in 150 countries. That includes common travel destinations, such as Mexico, the UK, or Canada, and more exotic ones, like the Dominican Republic, Seychelles, and China. However, one thing that Saily will hopefully improve is the regional and global plans that currently need to be included.

Plan types: Saily offers 7 and 30-day plans, which are excellent for all sorts of trips. As for data, there’s loads of variety. For basic needs, you can grab smaller 1 GB or 3 GB plans. If you’re terminally online like me, you can choose a 20 GB option. And you can always get more data by opting for a plan again.

The app: I love Saily’s simplicity. The apps look exactly the same on Android and iOS devices, and they are not stuffed with questionable features. The setup process is easy to follow, and I had no problems activating my eSIM before the trip.

Noteworthy things: Depending on the country, Saily offers 3G, 4G, and 5G cellular networks. Plus, with the service, you can use your phone as a hotspot and share data with your travel buddies. What I really enjoyed was the customer service. I got a super quick and informative answer from the 24/7 customer support.

Saily is an up-and-coming eSIM provider that will be a reliable companion during your travels. For as little as $2.49/week, you can get a 1 GB plan. You can pay for the service using credit/debit cards and Google Pay. You can find more information in our Saily eSIM review.

2. Airalo – eSIM card for travel with biggest coverage

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Variety of plans
  • Global plan allows texting & calling
  • Offline mode for easier setup
  • No pay-as-you-go plans

Airalo is one of the most-known travel eSIMs. The provider successfully collaborates with local mobile carriers, guaranteeing excellent connectivity and great prices.

Coverage: The eSIM provider covers 200+ countries, the most on this list. Apart from individual locations, you can get a regional eSIM that works in Europe, the Caribbean Islands, or North America. If you’re planning a multi-location trip worldwide, getting a global Airalo eSIM is the best decision.

Plan types: The length of plans varies from 7 to 30 days, which is relatively standard. As for data, you can pick anything from 1 to 20 GB. If you need more than data, the global eSIM option offers phone calls and SMS as well. Plus, there are rechargeable eSIMs that you can top up anytime. Sadly, I was missing a pay-as-you-go option, making things slightly inconvenient during my trips.

The app: I found the app design quite sleek on both iPhone and Android devices. There are 3 main categories (Store, My eSIM, and Profile), which make it easier to navigate the app. The only thing that bugged me was the number of notifications, but I found a way to reduce them in the settings.

Noteworthy things: Airalo offers a friend referral service that gives you $3 Airmoney. You can also use your phone as a hotspot with this eSIM. And if you’re ever in trouble, you can get in touch with their customer support via the Airalo app or WhatsApp.

Airalo 1 GB plans start at $4.50/week. It offers various payment options, such as credit/debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Alipay, and Airmoney. Find out more in our Airalo eSIM review.

3. Nomad – best travel eSIM with various plans

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
110
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Good for hotspot
  • Various plans available
  • Prepaid SMS option in the US and Canada
  • Poor customer support

Nomad is another travel eSIM that works well worldwide. While it is more expensive than the previous providers, I found it to be a reliable option during my trips.

Coverage: Nomad works in 110+ locations. There are also regional options. You can choose from smaller ones that cover only 3 countries (Japan, China, South Korea) or big plans for entire continents such as Europe. Not to mention, there is a global plan that will work in up to 109 countries.

Plan types: You can use Nomad from 1 to 30 days. Data plans vary from 1 to 20 GB. I found it disappointing that there’s no unlimited data plan, but I found out that you can top up your eSIM as you go. Furthermore, there’s an option that lets you send SMS messages. Still, it’s only available in the US and Canada, which is a bummer for international travelers.

The app: I really like the design of the Nomad app. It looks modern, eye-pleasing, and neatly packed in different categories. The eSIM setup process is quite standard and doesn’t require any extra effort. When using Nomad’s services, I only got notifications when my data was running low, which I was okay with.

Noteworthy things: You can refer a friend to get Nomad credits, which can be used on later trips. Sadly, the provider doesn’t have 24/7 customer support, and I could only send a ticket. That was extremely frustrating as I needed quick help and couldn’t get any.

Nomad eSIM prices start at $4.30/week (1 GB plan). You can pay using credit/debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or Nomad points. Overall, it’s a noteworthy service that you should try at least once.

4. aloSIM – eSim for international travel with top-up

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
170
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Top-up available
  • Region-based plans available
  • Useful travel data calculator
  • No global plans

If you’re looking for a fairly cheap travel eSIM, aloSIM is worth checking out. It’s a fairly popular eSIM provider that’s trusted by millions of tourists.

Coverage: You can travel and browse with aloSIM in 170+ countries. While the provider doesn’t offer a global plan, there are plenty of regional options, including the British Isles, Asia, the Mediterranean, and North America.

Plan types: The length of plans is relatively standard, varying from 7 to 30 days. As for data amount, there is no unlimited plan, but you can opt for 1 to 30 GB options. I was missing plans for phone calls and SMS, but at least I had plenty of data to get in touch with people.

The app: The interface overall is very similar to other popular eSIM brands. It’s minimalistic and user-friendly, so it is easy to navigate and understand where everything is without any issues. I had no problems with the setup and overall usage was quite alright.

Noteworthy things: Thankfully, aloSIM has 24/7 customer support in case of dire situations. Plus, when I ran out of data I found the option to top up my plan instead of buying a new one.

AloSIM plan prices start at $4.50/week for 1 GB. Payment options include credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and their native aloCASH credits. Read more in our AloSIM review.

5. Instabridge – travel eSim with flexible plans

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
190
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Exceptional worldwide coverage
  • Pay as you go rates
  • Data saving option
  • No call or SMS plans

Instabridge is an excellent eSIM provider that focuses on safety and user-friendliness. Plus, it offers extra-long plans if you ever stay in one place for a while.

Coverage: The service works in 190+ countries. There’s also a global option for multiple international travels. In addition, you can get regional plans in Europe or Latin America. However, I find it a bit disappointing that there are no multi-country plans in Asia.

Plan types: Depending on the length of your journey, you can get a weekly or monthly plan. You can also opt for 1, 3, or 10 GB options. Plus, I found a “pay-as-you-go” plan quite useful when I needed loads of data.

The app: Instabrigde stands out because it uses brighter colors and a different layout than other eSIM providers. Nevertheless, finding and setting everything up is a piece of cake.

Noteworthy things: The eSIM provider lets you share data with others via hotspot. Instabridge also offers plenty of other features, such as a data-saving browser, a map with free WiFi locations, and even a VPN.

Avoid massive roaming fees with Instabridge. Right now, you can get a 1 GB plan for as little as $4.00/week. You can pay for a plan using credit/debit cards, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. Find out more in our Instabridge eSIM review.

How to choose the best eSIM for international travel

I’ve been using eSIM cards during my travels for quite some time now. Before I pick one, I consider a few key factors. So, me and the VPNpro research team compiled a list that will help you decide which eSIM to pick:

  • Coverage. First, I make sure that the eSIM provider works in the country or region where I am traveling. For international travel, I go with eSIM providers that have global plans that work almost anywhere.
  • Data plans. Social media apps, GPS, and video streaming consume quite a lot of data. Therefore, I usually go with providers that offer flexible plans. I suggest going for unlimited or pay-as-you-go options. Plus, most providers offer daily, weekly, or monthly plans.
  • Cost. I always consider the price-quality ratio and choose a reliable provider instead of the cheapest one. Moreover, I check whether there are any hidden fees or charges associated with data usage.
  • Customer support. A few times, I struggled with the setup or overall use of the eSIM. Thankfully, my selected providers had reliable customer support that sorted things out for me. So, I would recommend an eSIM provider that offers 24/7 customer support or, at the very least, a self-help section.

Apart from that, I suggest looking at device compatibility, overall reviews, or even trial versions to help you test an eSIM before your trip. If you don’t have the time for extensive research, I recommend Saily eSIM. The plans are really flexible, it works in 150+ countries, and there are no hidden fees. I tested it out, and I really enjoyed their app and how easy it was to set up the eSIM.

Check out Saily

Does my phone support eSIM card?

eSIM compatibility shouldn’t be a problem with a fairly new phone. However, you might have issues with smartphones released before 2018 or if your devices are locked with your current carrier. Lastly, some eSIM services might only work on certain devices, so make sure it will work on yours before buying a plan.

I’ll review the devices that support eSIM services and show you how to check whether you can set up an eSIM yourself.

eSIM compatibility with Android phones

Samsung Galaxy S24, Google Pixel 7, and heaps of other Android phones should work flawlessly with eSIM cards. If you’re unsure about the compatibility, the easiest way to check it is to go to Settings, tap on Connections, and then head to SIM Manager. Then, if you see an option to add an eSIM card – you’re good to go.

eSIM compatibility with iPhone

With a few exceptions mentioned above, all iPhones made after 2018 should allow you to set up eSIM cards. You can quickly check if your iPhone supports eSIMs by going to Settings, selecting General, and then About. In the Carrier Lock section, it should say “No SIM restrictions.”

How does eSIM work?

Imagine an eSIM as a digital chip built into your device. Instead of getting a physical card from your carrier, they give you a QR or activation code. Once your eSIM is set up, it works like a regular SIM card. Depending on your provider, you can make calls, send texts, and use mobile data like you normally would.

CharacteristicsSIMeSIM
🧳 Travel-friendly❌ No✅ Yes
🔀 Easy carrier switching❌ No✅ Yes
📏 Varies in sizes✅ Yes❌ No
⏏️ Possible to remove✅ Yes❌ No
📶 Simultaneous multiple carriers and plans❌ No✅ Yes
📱 Can use on different devices✅ Yes✅ Yes, via hotspot

The cool thing is some phones can store multiple eSIM profiles. So, if you’re traveling or just want to switch carriers, you can do it all from your phone without swapping out physical cards. It’s like having a whole bunch of SIM cards, but they’re all stored digitally inside your device.

​​Overall, eSIMs are super convenient. No more fiddling with tiny cards or running around looking for a new SIM when you’re traveling. It’s all digital, right at your fingertips.

How to activate eSIM card when traveling

Setting up an eSIM before your trip is not as complicated as it seems. Apple and Android have made it pretty straightforward. They give on-screen instructions that guide you through the setup, making it a breeze.

Below, I’ll show you the step-by-step process.

How to activate eSIM on iPhone

  1. Get a top-tier travel eSIM for your iPhone. My top choice is Saily that you can get for as little as $2.49/week
  2. Launch the app and create an account
    Launching best eSIM
  3. Choose the country and a plan depending on your needs
    Choosing country with the best eSIM
  4. Tap Install the eSIM. It should automatically take you to the settings
    Installing the best eSIM
  5. Press Activate New eSIM in your Settings
    Activating the best eSIM card
  6. Head back to the app and Activate the Plan before your trip
    Active best eSIM
  7. Now you can browse, use social media, or stream during your travels!

Get Saily for iPhones

How to activate eSIM on Android phone

  1. Pick the best eSIM provider for Android. I recommend Saily that you can get for as little as
  2. Launch the app and create an account
  3. Choose the country depending on where you’re traveling
  4. Press Install the eSIM. It should automatically take you to the settings
  5. Follow the steps in the Settings section
  6. Head back to the Saily app and Activate the Plan before your trip
  7. Now you can browse freely and stay connected abroad!

Get Saily for Android

Conclusion of best eSIM for travel

There is no doubt: eSIMs are super convenient. You won’t have to fiddle with multiple physical cards or run around and look for a new SIM when you are traveling. Best of all, you can find eSIM providers that offer flexible and cheap plans, so you’ll always stay connected.

And Saily is the best eSIM for international travel. It offers excellent prices, various plans, and magnificent global coverage. During my tests, I really enjoyed the app as it was super easy to use. Moreover, Saily provided easy to follow instructions on how to activate the eSIM on my iPhone. Overall, it’s a great up-and-coming eSim provider.


You might also like to read:

Best eSIM for USA
Holafly eSIM review
Best VPNs for travel
How to get cheaper flights
How to book hotels cheaper


FAQ

Which eSIM service is best for international travel?

The best eSIM for international travel is Saily. It offers one of the best setup processes and apps. On top of that, there are various plans to choose from in terms of length and size. Best of all, it offers amazing prices in all 150+ countries.

Should I get eSIM for international travel?

Yes, getting an eSIM for international travel is an excellent decision. You can get plans that fit your needs and prices that won’t break your bank. Furthermore, most providers offer services that work globally or in certain regions. And you won’t have to physically switch cards or look for mobile carriers during your travels.

Is there a global eSIM?

Yes, there are plenty of global eSIMs you can choose from. The top eSIM providers such as Airalo, Nomad, and Instabridge offer excellent plans and prices that you can choose from.

Is eSIM good for travel?

Yes, getting an eSIM for travel is an excellent decision. You won’t risk losing one as it’s completely digital. Moreover, many eSIM providers let you activate your plan remotely, so you can set up a new one wherever you are, with no store visits necessary.

Should I install eSIM before traveling?

Yes, installing a travel eSIM before your journey is a wise decision. You won’t have to worry about activating the plan when you arrive at your destination. Plus, as soon as you touch down, you’ll have access to the internet instantly. Plus, you can test it out before your trip to see if everything works correctly.

1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Megan June 26, 2024 at 7:53 am

    This article is a must-read for anyone considering this connectivity technology. I really like how they have given an analysis on each provider’s features, cost, and compatibility, making it very easy to decide. Highly recommended the article! Additionally, do consider Zetexa eSIM as they are the most efficient so far. https://www.zetexa.com/

Jump to section
Thanks for your opinion!
Your comment will be checked for spam and approved as soon as possible.