Best eSIM For International Travel

The Best eSIM For International Travel in 2024

This blog post is written in cooperation with Holafly and based on my personal experience.

Living in a state that’s part of the European Union brings many advantages when traveling. One of them is using my domestic allowance of minutes, texts, and data when traveling in EU countries.

That’s truly awesome because I hardly ever have to worry about getting a different SIM card within Europe.

Not so on my last trip to Albania, a country that’s not part of the EU.

I usually prepare myself very well before my trips and do lots of research about the best SIM card provider, best network coverage, etc. but this time, I didn’t. Simply because I forgot I would need one!

I’m also not a fan of buying prepaid SIM cards locally and prefer ordering them online in advance. However, since it was the last evening before our trip, it was too late for that, so I looked for another option.

After a quick (and somewhat desperate) Google search, I discovered eSIMs and immediately bought one for Albania.

I have to say, I had no idea what a game-changer an eSIM is! If I had known about it earlier, I would have used it for all my trips much sooner.

But what exactly is an eSIM, why should you use one, and which provider should you choose?

Let’s have a look!

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

What is an eSIM?

Unlike traditional SIM cards, eSIMs are digital counterparts integrated directly into your device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or smartwatch. They offer all the functionality of a physical SIM – just without the physical swap.

Activating an eSIM is usually straightforward, provided you have a stable internet connection.

Each device includes a special chip that can download carrier information, allowing you to choose and activate an eSIM plan online or through an app.

The real advantage though? You can switch between carriers or data plans seamlessly without needing a physical SIM change!

Why Should You Use an eSIM?

When traveling internationally, dealing with SIM card changes can be a hassle for both individuals and groups. If you want to save yourself the trouble, you should consider using an eSIM as it offers you many advantages.

Firstly, you no longer need to struggle with tiny SIM cards or search for tools to access your SIM tray. eSIMs simplify connectivity by letting you change carriers or plans directly on your device.

Second, imagine arriving in a new country and quickly getting a local data plan while keeping your home SIM active for calls and texts, all without worrying about expensive roaming charges.

Last but not least, modern smartphones now come with dual SIM technology, featuring both eSIM and physical SIM slots. This allows you to handle two numbers or plans simultaneously, for example, if you want to separate work and personal matters.

Why Holafly Has The Best eSIM For International Travel

For my trip to Albania, I used the eSIM from Holafly, a company based out of Ireland.

I found their services particularly appealing because many of their plans offer unlimited data at pretty affordable prices.

This is perfect for me since I always use a lot of data for navigating with Google Maps and keeping my Social Media followers updated on my travels.

However, the unlimited data plans weren’t the sole reason why Holafly won me over; there were some other factors that led me to ultimately choose this provider.

1. Lots of Destination Options

Holafly offers eSIM data plans for more than 190 destinations and while you can get an eSIM for each specific country, there’s also the possibility of getting a Europe eSIM that covers more than 32 European countries at once.

Best eSIM For International Travel
You can browse plans by different categories or search for a specific destination

2. Unlimited Data

As mentioned, many eSIM plans come with unlimited data, especially for Europe and North America.

Holafly stands out as one of the few brands in the market to provide this option. Even for the countries where unlimited data isn’t available (which is rare), their data allowances typically exceed those of other brands.

Gone are the days when you had to worry about running out of data!

3. Flexible Duration of Plans

Whether it’s for short getaways, work, or study trips abroad, Holafly eSIMs cater to all types of travel needs.

Their data plans offer excellent flexibility in duration, and you can often choose from 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60, and 90 days. For many destinations, it’s even possible to set the number of days completely individually.

We spent two weeks in Albania so the 15-day option for $47 was perfect for me!

4. Easy Setup

I’ll delve into the step-by-step setup of a Holafly eSIM later, but it’s worth mentioning here that the process is straightforward.

Even as a newcomer to this technology, I found it to be a breeze to install the eSIM.

5. Holafly App

Holafly provides an app that enables you to track the remaining days of your contract and access the eSIM installation code manually, in addition to the QR code.

Moreover, within the app, you can conveniently reach out to the customer service department and find solutions to queries in the frequently asked questions section.

With the option to purchase an eSIM directly within the app, you can complete the entire process seamlessly in one place!

You can download the Holafly App completely for free for iOS and Android.

6. Excellent Coverage

When using an eSIM from Holafly, you don’t need to worry about getting the best possible coverage or the best mobile provider.

They only partner with the best networks at every destination to provide internet that’s both reliable and fast. And that’s the case for real!

Throughout my entire stay in Albania, I never encountered any issues with my network coverage. Even while driving from Himarë to Vlorë via the Llogara Pass, I had a strong connection!

7. 24/7 Customer Support

Holafly’s technical support is incredible and unmatched in the industry since they respond in less than a minute at any time of day and in multiple languages: English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

If you have any questions or issues during the purchase and installation process, they resolve them quickly via chat or WhatsApp, which automatically opens when you purchase the eSIMs.

This, btw, is pretty awesome because you also receive the instructions for installation via WhatsApp – in addition to mail.

Speaking of installation, let’s have a look at how to install the Holafly eSIM for international travel.

How to Install The Holafly eSIM

Once you’ve bought your eSIM, it’s time to set it up!

In my opinion, the best is to not activate it until you’re at your destination. Otherwise, you might accidentally activate the service while you’re setting everything up.

After you purchase your Holafly data package, you’ll get an email and a WhatsApp message with a QR code and the information for manual setup as well.

Holafly eSIM Installation
Instructions via WhatsApp
Best eSIM For International Travel
Instructions via mail

Since I’m using an iPhone with the newest iOS version, the only thing I had to do was press the QR code and wait a bit until it was connected to the network provider.

That’s it! This was by far one of the easiest installations I have ever done in my life! 😀

Alternatively, you can also download the Holafly app and the eSIM will then be installed automatically.

If you’re not using an iPhone with iOS 17.4 or higher, or an Android phone, you can simply scan the QR code with your device, and it will walk you through the activation process.

Final Words

I can honestly say I was extremely satisfied with Holafly’s performance in Albania. I mostly experienced 5G speeds, occasionally dropping to LTE/4G, but I never noticed any data throttling.

I even used Holafly to create a hotspot on my phone, allowing me to stream Netflix and YouTube videos on my laptop and it never had any performance issues.

All in all, my Holafly data worked incredibly well for the entire two weeks of my trip to Albania.

Do I recommend Holafly?

Absolutely!

I wholeheartedly think Holafly is the best option for everyone seeking an affordable, hassle-free eSIM for international travel that offers excellent speeds at a very reasonable price.

Save 5% on your order at Holafly with the code: WORLDOFLINA


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Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources:

Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without one. I use the simple and flexible one from SafetyWing that protects me against unforeseen events.

Tours: I love taking tours to explore destinations like a local. My favorite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.

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