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Is eSIM Better Than Physical SIM for Travel?

If you’re someone who travels a lot, you’ll know how much of a headache SIM cards can be. Every time you visit a new country, you gotta buy a new SIM card, swap it with your original one, and remember all the different phone numbers you have.

Plus, it’s a pain to find a network that won’t rip you off, and there’s always a chance you’ll lose your SIM card or mess up your phone trying to switch them out.

But what if there was a way to stay connected while traveling without having to carry a bunch of different cards, worry about crazy roaming charges, or bad network quality? Well, there is. 

Enter esims.io, a revolutionary solution for mobile connectivity that simplifies staying connected while abroad. But before diving into how esims.io can transform your travel experience, let’s understand what eSIM technology offers.

woman holding her phone at a train station while traveling and using an esim
eSIMs are especially useful for travelers or business people who need to get to different countries, but their uses are not limited to just that.

What is eSIM?

eSIM is short for embedded SIM. It’s a tiny chip that’s built right into your phone, smartwatch, tablet, or laptop. Unlike the physical SIM card, you don’t have to take it in and out of your phone.

With these types of cards, you can store multiple digital SIM profiles and switch between them just by tapping your screen. It’s super easy!

Is eSIM better than physical SIM for travel?

Traditionally, if you were traveling and needed network access to your phone, you had to rely on physical SIM cards. But now, there’s the eSIM technology. So, let’s take a look at the advantages of eSIM over traditional cards.

eSIM is a game-changer for travelers and people doing workcation because it allows you to:

No need to swap SIM cards

You can use your eSIM to connect to local networks in other countries without having to change your SIM card.

This means you will get rid of losing or damaging your SIM tray or physical card, you can keep your original phone number and use the other one without major changes.

Save money on roaming charges

One of the biggest pros of eSIM is that you can save some money by using different plans instead of paying for expensive roaming charges.

With eSIM plans, you can buy local or international plans that are usually cheaper and allow you to use a certain amount of data.

Plus, you get to choose the best plan that suits your needs without worrying about hidden fees or contracts.

Access multiple networks

eSIM allows you to connect to multiple networks at the same time or switch between them whenever you want.

That means you get better coverage, faster speeds, and lots of flexibility. Plus, you can use your eSIM to access Wi-Fi hotspots or VPN services for an extra layer of security and convenience.

When Should You Choose eSIM or Physical SIM?

Choose eSIM If:

  • Frequent Traveler: If you travel often, having an eSIM simplifies connectivity.
  • Dual SIM Phones: eSIMs complement physical SIMs in dual SIM phones.

Choose Physical SIM If:

  • Device Compatibility: If your device doesn’t support eSIM, stick with physical SIMs.
  • Local Deals: Sometimes local SIM cards offer better rates.

How to get an eSIM

Getting an eSIM is pretty easy, but first, you need to make sure your device can handle it. Not all devices are eSIM-friendly, so you’ll wanna check your device specs before buying an eSIM plan.

If you’re not sure, there’s a website that can give you a list of eSIM-compatible devices.

Chances are that your device is already compatible with eSIM, nowadays even PCs have eSIM compatibility, if that’s the case, you can follow these steps to get an eSIM:

  1. Choose an eSIM provider: Search online, make sure to find and compare eSIM plans. You can also check if your current mobile network offers eSIM plans.
  2. Scan a QR code: Once you choose a plan, you will receive a QR code or a link that contains your profile. Scan this QR code and follow the instructions on your screen to download and install your eSIM.
  3. Enjoy your eSIM: After you install your eSIM, you can start using it right away. You can check your plan status, balance, and expiry date on your device’s settings or your provider’s app or website.

Where can I find travel eSIM plans ?

For travelers seeking the best eSIM plans, navigating the plethora of options from providers like Airalo, Nomad, Holafly, Yesim, and others can be daunting. 

However, eSIM comparison platforms stand out as destinations made for this purpose, offering user-friendly interfaces that aggregate thousands of data plans from many of those worldwise eSIM providers. 

Those sites like esims.io, esimdb or esimradar simplify the task of comparing and buying eSIM plans, ensuring travelers can easily find a plan that matches their needs through an intuitive interface where users can filter plans based on key factors such as destination, data allowance, price, and duration.

How to use an eSIM

Using an eSIM is straightforward, and it’s usually similar to switching between dual SIMs. You need to know how to manage your eSIM settings and switch between your profiles.

Some providers have a dedicated app for eSIM, which makes everything easier since all you need to do is open the app, turn it on or off and the rest will be done automatically.

Here are some tips on how to use an eSIM:

Activate or deactivate

You can turn your eSIM on or off whenever you want, depending on what you need. For example, you can switch it on when you get to your destination and switch it off when you leave, without so much trouble.

To activate or deactivate your eSIM, all you need to do is turn off your physical SIM, go to your device’s settings, select Cellular or Mobile Data, and tap on your eSIM. Then, toggle the switch to turn your eSIM on or off.

Switch between SIM

You can easily switch between multiple eSIM profiles installed on your device, like different country eSIMs or personal and work eSIMs.

To switch between your eSIMs, just head over to your device’s settings and find the Cellular or Mobile Data option. From there, simply select the eSIM you want to use.

Then, select the option to use this eSIM as your primary or secondary line.

phone next to a sim card and different tools
Physical SIM cards still have their practical uses even if you decide to buy one for each location to visit, but it may end up costing a lot more.

Manage your settings

You can manage your eSIM settings to customize your eSIM experience.

For example, you can personalize your eSIM label, choose your favorite network, turn data roaming on/off, or set a default voice/data line!

If you want to manage your eSIM settings, just head over to your device’s settings, select Cellular or Mobile Data, and tap on your eSIM. You’ll see all the options available, then, feel free to play around with the options and make the changes you want.

In case your provider has a dedicated app for the eSIM, most changes will be done there, make sure to check it out beforehand.

FAQs

What is the difference between eSIM and SIM?

A SIM card is a physical card that you insert or remove from your device, and it can store only one SIM profile.

An eSIM is a digital chip that is embedded in your device, and it can store multiple SIM profiles.

two hands holding a physical sim card
Whether you choose an eSIM or a physical SIM, make sure to always evaluate your situation and preferences, and compare prices, pros, and cons.

Is eSIM safe and secure?

Yes, eSIM is safe and secure, as it uses encryption and authentication protocols to protect your data and identity.

You can also lock your eSIM with a PIN, or erase your eSIM remotely if you lose your device or suspect any fraud.

Conclusion

eSIM is a cool technology for travelers! In my opinion, it’s way better than traditional SIM cards because it offers more convenience, flexibility, and savings when it comes to avid travelers.

With an eSIM, you can stay connected to the world while you’re on the go. Getting an eSIM is easy, and using it is a breeze even if you’re not familiar with it you just follow the steps and tips in this guide.

Essential Travel Resources

❗Don’t forget travel insurance


This company is the one I trust, it’s one of the most essential things for any trip. It has your back in case you get sick abroad, or have an accident.

🎒Pack smarter, not bulky


Check out this vacation packing list, including all the essentials you need to pack when traveling, from travel clothing to backpacks and more.

🏡Where to Stay – Here are Suggestions


This is my favorite place to look for accommodations, it offers different types, a ton of locations, and good price options.

🗺️Get Around Hassle-Free


This one is the perfect option to look for different transportation options between cities, from flights, buses, and taxis to minivans and more.

🛫Find Cheap Flights


Whenever I need to fly, I head to this website for low-cost flights.

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission for any purchases made through the links. Your trust is important to us, and we ensure that all products or services we recommend meet or exceed our editorial standards.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

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