How to Activate and Manage Your eSIM on Android Devices
Traveling overseas soon? Avoid high roaming costs and get yourself a travel sim card, an international sim card with data that works all over the world! Does that exist? Yes! And good news for my 2023 comparison I included e-sim cards as well.
Sim cards are tiny plastic cards comparable with a microSD card that you put in your phone and allows you to connect to a mobile network. Slowly though these physical sim cards will be replaced by e-sim cards, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling. Prepaid sim cards that you buy in a store are generally just valid in the country you it in.
Great resources for buying international sim cards and e-sim cards are: SimOptions for physical sim cards as well as e-sim cards and Airalo for e-sim cards. Personally I use SimOptions more than Airalo.
When you have time and want the cheapest option you should consider buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in your destination. But if you are looking for the most convenient way to stay connected and want to arrive prepared at your holiday destination then order an international sim card or an e-sim card.
Traveltomtom recommends an Orange Holiday World sim card, a Three UK AIO20 sim card or a Discover Global e-sim card for traveling the world in 2023. Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card for 180 days with 20 GB data installed on my phone and then mostly I buy a prepaid sim card in the destination as well. But keep in mind that I travel 365 days a year. In 2022 for example I visited a total of 62 countries!
The easiest and most convenient way to get internet when traveling abroad in 2023 is an e-sim card! The way e-sim cards work is that through software on your phone (just settings, nothing fancy) you are able to switch to another network. On this network you are able to use the data allowance according to which package you activated.
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Mind you this is an e-sim card and NOT a physical sim card. Therefore it does NOT come with a phone number and calling is NOT supported. However, when looking for a data-only international sim card this is the perfect match.
Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card activated on my phone as well. I bought the 20 GB for 6 months and using it a lot when I go to countries for just a couple days like when I was in Qatar, visiting family in Netherlands for 3 days, a couple days in Turkey, etc. To me this international e-sim card is a game changer! I am loving it!
One of the negative sides of Surfroam are the steep shipping costs. For most Western countries you already pay more than $20, for the USA Surfroam adds even $25 shipping fee. Therefore I would recommend you buying the Surfroam e-sim travel sim card instead to save on shipping costs.
The price for a Know Roaming Travel SIM card is $9,99 and does NOT come with any credit. Know Roaming international sim cards do NOT support incoming and outgoing phone calls. You can opt for a Know Roaming e-sim which is for free.
GigSky does NOT sell physical sim cards anymore and only offers an international e-sim card. There are multiple data packages available some with pretty good deals. Gigsky is a data only service, you can NOT make or receive phone calls/sms.
Great thing is that the Gigsky e-sim cards are free, but you will need to download their app to use their service. Through the app you can buy your desired data bundles. They offer regional data packages as well as a World Plan.