Using an eSIM to avoid paying high roaming rates when travelling

Daniel Puchert

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Avoid paying high roaming fees when travelling overseas

Prepaid eSIMs offer a way for international travellers to cut mobile data and voice costs and avoid the constant fear of receiving a massive roaming bill from their network operator.

Mobile networks allow their customers to continue using their subscriber identity module (SIM) when outside of their home country.
 
Not many phones support esim's. Almost an exclusive feature of a (semi) flagship phone.
 
Not many phones support esim's. Almost an exclusive feature of a (semi) flagship phone.
Samsung's starting to add eSIM to their cheaper ranges
Currently: A54 (Only Europe, North America, Korea, Japan), A55 (All region), A35 (Only Europe, North America, Korea)

For those that can't though,you get physical SIMs that can be swopped to other providers through Software that's practically a "eSIM" in your phone - good for those Dual SIM phones
 
I have used Nomad as well as Orange Travel eSIM (not listed in article) and both were painless and easy to use. Much, much easier than running around trying to find a local Sim.
 
Not many phones support esim's. Almost an exclusive feature of a (semi) flagship phone.
You can buy a esim to upgrade a basic phone:
 
Silly question — but when do you activate the e-sim, after purchasing? Here, or when you land in the other country? Does it make a difference?
 
Silly question — but when do you activate the e-sim, after purchasing? Here, or when you land in the other country? Does it make a difference?
No. It will fail to activate but it’s fine just ignore it. In the country it set to work (the first country it can work in) as you turn it on it will activate and start working. Remember to set your mobile network provider to that eSIM not your home sim which is default.

In fact only activating it when you arrive can be a problem as it needs internet to obtain the eSIM so you either need WiFi first or just load it at home before you go.
 
Silly question — but when do you activate the e-sim, after purchasing? Here, or when you land in the other country? Does it make a difference?
Depends on the network but I activated my Mint mobile esim for the US a few days before I left SA. It was nice to be able to provide my ride with my number before I even left.
 
I have used Nomad as well as Orange Travel eSIM (not listed in article) and both were painless and easy to use. Much, much easier than running around trying to find a local Sim.

Local sims are very easy to find.

(Depends on the level of development of the country, eg in Europe, easy-peasy)
 
Local sims are very easy to find.

(Depends on the level of development of the country, eg in Europe, easy-peasy)
Yes. Sometimes. Not when you are in a hurry. Esims is flippen convenient. For some reason everybody tries to convince me that getting out of an airplane and just switching on your phone like normal is the same amount of effort as slogging around in the airport looking for an open shop. Yes if the stars align and you land at a big airport in the middle of the day. Landing late night? Meh.

Just cut the noise and get an eSIM. Anybody that tells me "oh you can always get a normal SIM" have obviously limited travel experience and haven't experience delays, cancelled flights, small airports, countries that doesn't speak English, waiting airport shuttles, staff that doesn't know their own Rica laws etc etc. Why struggle when you can just do it beforehand, get it done and it just works? I don't fly overseas to do admin there.
 
Yes. Sometimes. Not when you are in a hurry. Esims is flippen convenient. For some reason everybody tries to convince me that getting out of an airplane and just switching on your phone like normal is the same amount of effort as slogging around in the airport looking for an open shop. Yes if the stars align and you land at a big airport in the middle of the day. Landing late night? Meh.



Just cut the noise and get an eSIM. Anybody that tells me "oh you can always get a normal SIM" have obviously limited travel experience and haven't experience delays, cancelled flights, small airports, countries that doesn't speak English, waiting airport shuttles, staff that doesn't know their own Rica laws etc etc. Why struggle when you can just do it beforehand, get it done and it just works? I don't fly overseas to do admin there.

It depends. I just buy a sim at the airport or in a supermarket. Granted I usually rent a car and spend more than a couple of days.
 
... I don't fly overseas to do admin there.
Fair enough, but it just means you do a lot of admin beforehand to find out which operators have to best packages for you. My experience is that the first driver in Foreign will usually tell you exactly where to go.
 
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