How to Choose the Best eSIM Plan for Your Trip

As you plan your next trip, you’ll pack your bags and book flights and hotels. However, one thing that people tend to forget is ensuring seamless connectivity wherever they go. For a long time, smartphones relied on physical SIM cards that needed to be swapped when traveling internationally. But today, eSIMs offer a more flexible alternative that allows seamless switching between carriers without the hassle of physical replacements. Whether you are looking for the perfect eSIM for Europe, Asia, or Australia, nowadays, there are many travel plans for every traveler. So, what tips can you use to ensure you get the best eSIM plan with the lowest roaming charges? We have done the research and tried to simplify the process for you.

  1. Where Are You Off To?

The first thing you ought to think about is your destination. Most phone companies offer various plans that suit different needs and vary from country to country. If you are planning on visiting just one country, you can choose one plan tailored to that country. However, if your trip will require visiting several countries, your best option would be to go for regional eSIM plans. For example, if you are traveling to Germany, Italy, France, and other European countries we would recommend you get a regional European eSIM card. If your travels include you visiting a wide variety of countries globally, then the global eSIM card is the one for you.

  1. For How Long?

Now that we’ve got the place covered, how long will you be there? This is important for determining the right plan for you, since eSIMs also have different validity periods. For example, local eSIMs tend to have a minimum validity period, meaning you can’t just pay to use it for a few days. Therefore, you might be at a disadvantage if you get it yet, your trip will only last a couple of days. In such instances, we recommend going for an eSIM plan that will cover you even after you leave that country. This helps you avoid paying for a subscription that may not be useful once you cross borders. 

  1. What Are Your Data Needs?

Your data consumption is also crucial when choosing the eSIM you land on. So start by analyzing how much data you use on average and what you use it for. Someone on a business trip might need more data than a tourist on a sightseeing adventure. However, even if you are just touring the country, your data needs might be higher if you do vlogging and regularly upload content. However, if you need to download heavy files, you can always resort to the WI-FI network where you are staying or visit the nearest cafe. 

For those on business trips, it might be a good idea to purchase a separate data eSIM card. These offer unlimited plans because of the high data requirements. Since you might also have to use your cell phone as a hotspot, ensure the plan you buy allows for hotspot connections. This is especially important if you need secure internet connectivity. 

Breaking Down the Data You Need

If you aren’t sure whether your data will be enough, we have compiled the common types of activities that most people engage in. So here is how you can determine how much data you might need for your trip. 

  • Social media – 50 MB per hour
  • Google Maps – 50 MB per hour
  • Internet Browsing – 100 MB per hour
  • Online Gaming – 20-200 MB per hour, depending on the game
  • Streaming Music – 100 MB per hour
  • HD Video – 4 GB per hour
  • 4K Video – 7 GB per hour

How Do You Install and Activate an eSIM?

As soon as you have selected and decided on the best eSIM plan for you, now comes the time to purchase, install, and activate it. 

  1. Installation

For most eSIM cards, there are different ways to install them: direct installation, manual installation, and finally, using a QR code. You must ensure that you have a stable internet connection beforehand to avoid getting stuck mid-installation. For direct installation, all you would have to do is download the app and follow the prompts on your screen. 

The QR code method simply involves scanning the provided QR code, and the installation will start right away. Finally, you could manually enter the eSIM information directly into your device settings. On the off chance you have multiple eSIMs on your phone, we recommend labeling them when you get the prompt during the installation process. Always ensure you give the appropriate label to avoid confusion, for example, ‘Data eSIM or Mexico eSIM’. 

  1. Activation

You can usually find the activation policy in the ‘Additional Information’ section of your eSIM instructions, which includes the official start of the eSIM’s validity period. Some eSIMs activate immediately when they are installed, whereas others will wait until you get to your destination and connect to the supported network. If you are using the former, you can wait until you get to your destination to activate it to avoid having the validity ending too soon during your trip.

  1. Connection

As soon as you arrive at your given destination, turn on the eSIM, connect it to the local network, and then get online. For iOS devices, this is done by going to the settings menu, tapping on the eSIM line on mobile, and then toggling both the line and data roaming. You will then see the option to choose your preferred network. If you are using an Android, similarly get to settings, then “Internet,” and turn on eSIM from the Mobile Network. This is followed by turning on the mobile data and data roaming, then choosing a supported network. 

Takeaway

Whether you are on a business trip or vacation, staying connected to your loved ones back home or your business partners is important. An eSIM offers a seamless alternative that allows you to smoothly switch networks and continue enjoying your internet connectivity. Moreover, they help travelers compare and select the most affordable data plans or local SIM options that will save them from expensive roaming charges. 

Amy Fischer – was born in Israel, studied in the UK and now works in the US. She is an experienced specialist who is well versed in economics and banking. Also in her spare time, Amy shares her experience and interesting news with the readers of various blogs.

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