The Traveler’s Guide to eSIMs (and How to Get One)

When you travel to another country, one of the most frustrating things is dealing with phone service. Unless you have a prepaid international plan (that offers you a really solid deal), your only option seems to be switching out your SIM card for a local one.

Fortunately, there’s a solution that makes international travel much less expensive and frustrating: eSIMs. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what an eSIM is, how it works, and how you can get one.

What Is an eSIM?

An eSIM (short for “embedded SIM” or “electronic SIM”) is a virtual SIM card that’s built into your device. Rather than physically inserting a SIM card, you can download the necessary information and use it as your primary one temporarily. This means you can have multiple numbers on the same device without having to physically change out the card in your phone.  

How Do eSIM Cards Work?

eSIMs use a small chip that’s soldered into your device’s motherboard. The chip acts as a storage for all the necessary information you’d normally find on a SIM card. When you travel abroad, you can simply download the necessary information (a phone number, network provider) straight to the eSIM.

Benefits of Using an eSIM While Traveling 

When you want to make the most out of your vacation without breaking the bank, getting an eSIM is definitely a game changer. The biggest advantage of using an eSIM is the fact you don’t have to worry about changing a physical SIM card for a local one. Especially if you’re only somewhere for a short period of time or you’re checking multiple destinations off your bucket list, getting new physical cards isn’t practical (not to mention, you could lose your original one).

With an eSIM, you no longer have to worry about buying a new SIM card or paying higher prices for an international plan, either. If you plan on staying somewhere for a month or two, this could save you serious cash over paying high international fees with your phone service provider from home.

How to Get an eSIM

The process is quite simple, especially if you’re in a country where they’re widely available. You can either obtain one from a network provider or purchase one online.

From your network provider

If your network provider offers eSIMs, you can go into their store and ask for one. They’ll normally give you a QR code with all the necessary information. All you have to do is scan the code and follow the instructions.


If you prefer to purchase one online or it’s your only option, there are plenty of websites that sell them. In fact, 98% of operators will offer eSIMs by 2025. Go for one specific to the region you’re traveling to. For example, you might want to check out Holafly New York if you’re traveling to New York City for a few weeks.

Electronic SIM cards are a convenient and inexpensive way to stay connected while traveling. Since they’re so easy to get, there’s no reason you should go without instant access to the internet, no matter where you are in the world.

The next time you’re planning a vacation, don’t forget to get an eSIM and enjoy a hassle-free travel experience.

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