How to Choose the Best eSIM for International Travel in 2024

Traveling outside your country and decided to get a data eSIM to connect to the world? You might be a little confused about which carrier to choose or how much data you need. How to choose the best eSIM for international travel from a plenty of options. We’re here to help.

📱 Before purchase eSIM, be sure that your phone supports it. 📱
Read our article to find out how.

What to consider when choosing an eSIM?

How do you choose the eSIM that gives you the best value and meets all your needs? Is unlimited data abroad worth considering? Let’s go through all the factors to consider when choosing an eSIM.

data SIM vs. data eSIM

Your first thought may be to get a traditional SIM card when you arrive at your destination. Price will be an important factor. That’s why you always want to do your research. They may offer more expensive packages at the airport than at a store in town. In addition, you will often need to show your passport to register your SIM. It can also take some time to install. I remember spending an hour in Japan trying to get a data SIM card to work and getting quite nervous (I bought it at the airport vending machine, so there was no specialist on hand). It finally worked.

With the eSIM, all that hassle is gone. With very few exceptions, you don’t have to show your passport. You don’t stand in line at a kiosk trying to sell you a more expensive package. Which is hell if you don’t speak the language. Last but not least, installing an eSIM is quick and easy. You’re online as soon as the plane hits the tarmac. An easy way to get data abroad.

Which provider to choose

If you’ve been wondering about eSIMs, you’ve probably heard of Airalo. In our country, it is the best known and most used provider. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that there are a lot of similar companies out there. So what do you choose?

A big factor for you will be price. But you should also look at things like how good customer support the provider has. Some offer it in Czech and 24-hour chat, others only in English and via email during certain hours, and there are some that have almost no support at all. If you don’t have any experience with eSIM, we recommend you choose the ones you can rely on almost anytime. Our providers reviews can help you decide.

Also check out reviews on Google Play or the Apple Store.

Only data eSIM vs. eSIM with data, calls and texts

Keep in mind that most plans only include data. You will not get a local number with calling and SMS capabilities. This may also be the case with traditional SIM cards. If you want to use your purchased eSIM for calls or SMS, always check the package to see if this option is available. For example, Airalo in Thailand offers a local number with calling capabilities. This came in handy when we needed to call the hospital or the driver to pick us up at the hotel.

You can also use your personal number for roaming calls and texts. With a few texts and short calls, it may not be that expensive. Data is always the most expensive abroad.

However, you can use Whatsapp, Messenger, Telegram, Skype and other similar apps to communicate these days. Accommodation providers often use them as well. For example, in the Balkans we used Whatsapp to communicate with locals about arrival and other important things.

How many GB of data do you need?

We’re getting to the price. Before you look for a special deal, think about how much data you’ll need for your trip. We usually get by on 10GB for 14 days, although Katya sometimes pushes it to the limit.

Try to figure out how much mobile data you’ll use in your everyday life at home. You can use that as a starting point. But expect higher usage because you probably won’t have as much Wi-Fi time as you do at home, and you’ll be using more apps (maps, booking, and other travel apps).

Check out the Wi-Fi at your destination. Will it be enough for you to just get on at the hotel? In New York, for example, you can connect on the subway.

Do you watch a lot of videos, post photos and videos on Instagram? Don’t want to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi all the time? You’ll probably want more than 5GB, which is optimal for classic use.

Pro zajímavost zde uvedeme pár aplikací a kolik GB jsme spotřebovali za 14 dní:

best eSIM for international travel

Is unlimited data abroad worth it?

If you’re working or just want to stay online all the time and not worry about how much data you’re using, unlimited data may be the perfect option for you. Holafly, for example, specializes in this.

Always check that unlimited data really is unlimited. Some providers may slow down your Internet speed once you’ve used a certain number of GB.

How long will you be abroad?

Choose according to the length of your trip, too. There are also eSIMs that are valid for 1 day. So be careful not to just go for the good price, but you need to check this too.

Consider a regional eSIM

Planning a trip where you want to see more than one country? A regional eSIM might be worth considering. This means that your data will work in all the countries you put in the package. For example, we bought a Balkan eSIM this way and it had all the Balkan countries on it.

Most carriers offer large packages for regions like Asia, Latin America, North America, etc. However, there are also those that only offer different countries or parts of regions. Try Mobimatter.


And last but not least, price always matters. Once you have a good idea of what kind of eSIM you’re looking for, you can start looking for that particular one.

In your search, you will find many inexpensive but perhaps lesser known and reliable vendors. Try to find a balance between quality and price that works for you.

Tips and tricks for the best eSIM for international travel

It sounds trivial, but be careful. Always check exactly what the package offers. This includes the amount of data and any limitations (especially if you’re buying unlimited data abroad), the validity of the eSIM (when it starts and for how long).

To save data, we recommend disabling automatic updates or enabling them only over Wi-Fi. Also, close apps regularly. Many of them run in the background and eat up data.

Try using actions. If you’re going on vacation for a long time, it can still make sense to do your research now. Maybe a retailer is running a promotion where you can buy an eSIM at a better price, but you cannot activate it until six months from now (when the promotion is no longer available).

📱 Wondering how to install and activate eSIM? 📱
Read our aritcle.


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Marek Farda
Marek Farda
I have been travelling since I can remember. Currently I have visited a total of 45 countries. My girlfriend and I run the blog, where we help people travel cheaper. We want to be online when we travel, so we have been exploring eSIM options for two years now. We try them everywhere on our trips outside the EU and write our observations on this blog.

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