7 BEST eSIMs for International Travel [Unbiased 2024 Guide!]

Cazzy Magennis
Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
April 23, 2024
Looking for the best eSims for international travel!? Look no more! I take you through the eSims I've personally tried and tested on international travels.
best e sim for travel

I first started using eSIMs for traveling internationally back in 2021.

In countries including Canada, the USA, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador, and more. 

And honestly … they have been a game changer!

For a while, we got into the habit of buying new sim cards in each new country we traveled to.

But as you will see below, this isn’t always the most convenient thing to do.

Nor is it necessarily cheaper either!

Plus, with an eSIM you can actually just switch back between your home network (if you want to receive texts) and your eSIM network instantly. 

Plus you can even get multiple eSIMs! 

Woooah slow down, I’m getting ahead of myself … 

Below I’m going to take you through:

  • What an eSIM is exactly
  • The advantages of eSIMs
  • The best eSIMs for international travel
  • + more!

Let’s get started …

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What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is basically the digital version of a traditional SIM card.

Instead of a physical SIM card, eSIMs are already embedded in your phone.

Which means all the information is digital.

You can activate it by purchasing and installing different eSIM plans, which then allow your device to connect to different mobile networks across the globe.

With this virtual technology, you don’t have to insert any physical card into your phone.

Compared to a mobile WiFi hotspot, or portable WiFi, an eSIM means your phone connects directly to internet access from the local cellular provider.

You don’t need any external device!

What phones are compatible with eSIMs? 

Below is a list of phones that can use eSIMS.

Note that this isn’t exhaustive (200+ devices currently support eSIM!) and it’s constantly growing as new phones enter the market.

Apple

  • iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS, XS Max, XR
  • iPhone SE (2020, 2022)
  • Apple watch series 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Apple watch SE

All iPads with 4G connectivity that have come out since 2018 support eSIM:

  • iPad Pro 11″ (model A2068, from 2020)
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ (model A2069, from 2020)
  • iPad Air (model A2123, from 2019)
  • iPad (model A2198, from 2019)
  • iPad Mini (model A2124, from 2019)

Samsung

  • Galaxy S22, S22+ 5G, S22 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy S21, S21+ 5G, S21 Ultra 5G
  • Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Note 20, 20+, 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Fold, Fold 2, Fold 3
  • Galaxy Z Flip, Flip 3
  • Samsung Watch (through Samsung wearable application)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G or 5G is not compatible with eSIM.

Google

  • Google Pixel 2 (only phones bought with Google Fi service), 2 XL
  • Google Pixel 3 (not including phones bought in Australia, Taiwan or Japan. Phones bought with US or Canadian carriers other than Spring and Google Fi don't work with eSIM), 3a (not including phones bought in Japan or with Verizon service), 3a XL, 3 XL
  • Google Pixel 
  • Google Pixel 4, 4a, 4 XL 
  • Google Pixel 5, 51
  • Google Pixel 6, 6 plus

Other ESIM Compatible Devices

  • Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei Mate 40 Pro (The Huawei P40+ is not compatible with an eSIM)
  • Oppo Find X5, X5 Pro, X3 Pro
  • Oppo Reno 5A, Reno 6 Pro 5G
  • Sony Xperia 10 IV, 10 III Lite
  • Honor Magic 4 Pro
  • Fairphone 4
  • Motorola Razr 2019
  • Nuu Mobile X5
  • Gemini PDA
  • Rakuten Mini
  • Microsoft Surface Duo

The chances are, if it’s older than those on this list, then your phone will not be compatible with an eSIM. But if it's a new phone then it's likely an eSim will work!

Advantages of eSIMs when traveling

1. Flexibility

Perhaps the main benefit of using an eSIM for travellers is its flexibility.

You can easily change between different call and data plans, according to what you need.

This also allows you to virtually change carriers when you reach your destination.  

Not to mention unlimited data packages and global plans where you can stay connected throughout multiple countries without having to constantly buy a new plan!

2. Convenient and quick

You don’t have to deal with buying a new, physical SIM card whenever you arrive in a new country.

As the eSIM is already embedded in your phone, all you have to do is purchase and download a new plan, which can be done online and remotely.

It’s also super quick and you can get online as soon as your plane lands!

If you work online, this can be a huge advantage as you’ll be saving a lot of time.

3. More affordable

You often have to buy a data package in addition to the physical SIM card itself.

Even roaming packages can be expensive.

Most eSIM data plans are much more affordable, especially if you’re a frequent traveller.

4. No physical SIM cards

The fact that you don’t have to deal with physical SIM cards anymore is also a huge advantage.

In other words, there’s no risk of losing the card.

And no more fumbling with different SIM sizes too.

5. Keep your number

Although a lot of smartphones nowadays include a dual SIM card tray, having to constantly swap them in and out can be a hassle.

Plus, you might need two numbers anyway for business purposes.

With an eSIM, you can travel internationally, access internet, and still keep your number (or numbers)!

BEST eSIMs for international travel 

1. Maya Mobile - Overall best eSIM for travelers!

Our top pick of eSIMs for traveling today has got to be Maya Mobile.

Overall, I think Maya Mobile generally has better prices than most other eSIMs on the market. 

For instance, we recently used them throughout South America and used their Latin America plan, which includes South America.

maya mobile latin america prices

We paid £104 a month for unlimited local data, which might seem like a lot, but we work full-time on our laptops so this worked out perfectly.

Especially considering we were moving through three different countries in a month, so it was super useful to be able to connect easily from the van and get our work done.

Not to mention you can hot spot it, which is great as some eSIMs disable this feature! 

(If you’re wondering, the LatAm+ plan works in 16 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Chile).

Maya Mobile currently operates in 194 countries, with both local and regional plans available.

Again, they also offer unlimited data plan options for those of you who work online a lot.

Another great thing about their eSIMs is the sheer range of plans you can choose from.

The plan is for 30 days, but there’s an auto-renew feature you can use if you’re travelling for longer periods of time.

All in all, this was the perfect digital nomad eSIM for us, namely when exploring South America!

We didn't have any issues with speed, and we generally got good connection. There are some places where it struggles, but that is simply down to being in areas with limited signal, but I was using another eSIM alongside Maya Mobile, and I can tell you that Maya Mobile got connection when the other eSIM struggled! 

I've seen they also offer unlimited data plans for Europe too, for a simply excellent price of £40, so I think I'll be testing that out on my Iceland trip in October and will be reporting back with an update!

These are the included countries in Europe!

Maya mobile europe locations

I also love just how quickly it was to set up. It literally took less than 5 minutes!

how to set up maya mobile esim
It was this easy!

I know you might be thinking, "would it not just be cheaper to buy sims in each country in South America?".

I mean, you can go down this route, and I had bought a local sim in Peru, and almost lost my original sim card, which just can't happen with an eSIM and none of the data plans in South America were offering unlimited data, especially not for tourist sims, so this was without doubt the best price for us as digital nomads!

But overall Maya Mobiles rates for around the world are realllllyyy reasonable, and trust me I did a LOT of research and comparison before I settled on this one!

Advantages of Maya Mobile: 

  1. One of the best pricings for eSIMS
  2. Can be used for hotspots
  3. 194 countries with local and regional plans
  4. Unlimited data packages in some regions

Disadvantages of Maya Mobile: 

  1. No global plan

2. Holafly - Best eSIM with long-term plans

holafly esim

With 160+ destinations and long-term plans of up to 90 days, Holafly might be the best option if you’re travelling for months at a time.

There’s no need to keep renewing your eSIM plan!

While they have a wider range of plans in certain places like Europe, unfortunately some (like Thailand) have more limited options, whereas competitors might offer more.

But another plus is that they have unlimited data plans in multiple areas, including USA, Europe, Asia, and more.

One of the biggest drawbacks to Holafly is that many of their eSIM plans can’t be used for hotspotting. Namely the unlimited data plans.

This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re only using one device anyway, but could be a disadvantage if you need to use your laptop.

They also don’t give you a local phone number, so you can’t receive or make calls with your eSIM.

We’ve talked about using Holafly in Canada, so do check it out!

Advantages of Holafly: 

  1. Unlimited data packages available
  2. Long-term plans up to 90 days
  3. 160+ countries

Disadvantages of Holafly: 

  1. Can’t be used as mobile hotspot
  2. No local phone number
  3. Only 1-2 plan options in certain areas

3. Eskimo - the best esim mobile app for international travel

eskimo esim

Looking for a convenient app that offers you accessible and affordable eSims with coverage across in over 60 countries?

Then let me introduce you to Eskimo!

We will be testing this eSim out on an upcoming trip, but I love it's features so much already, I wanted to share.

PLUS, there's an opportunity for you to try it for FREE!

Key features of Eskimo!

  • Simple global data plans at lowest prices (you can get prices as low as $3 per GB- I promise you, that's a great deal!)
  • Borderless eSims: All data plans include 60+ countries- this is a super useful feature if you are travelling for a longer period of time, for example, travelling throughout Europe.
  • Super long expiry date: all data plans are valid for 2 years and they don't expire, so you can use one eSIM for lifetime use- again, this is a SUPER useful feature, so you don't need to chop and change between eSims, you can have an all-in-one solution
  • Extensive 4G/LTE coverage without daily data limits or throttling
  • Hotspots are available and unrestricted to a number of devices (a must for digital nomads like us!) 
  • Data transfer: one of the really unique features of Eskimo, is that you can split, share or transfer data with anyone, anywhere, so you can share data with your partner on the road, or friends somewhere else if they need it.

AND this is all done in one convenient app on your mobile that you can go ahead and download right here.

CHECK OUR FULL REVIEW OF ESKIMO ESIMS RIGHT HERE!

FREE ESIMS & 1GB OF DATA

Want to test out Eskimo and see how awesome it is? Then simply click this link to download the app on your phone, and you'll get a free 1GB to test out :)

eskimo

4. Jetpac - Best eSIM for multi-country trips

jetpac esim picture

Jetpac are one of the most recent eSIM travel companies I've used- and I've been very impressed.

Check out my full review here.

Recently they won an award for 2023 Travel Product of the Year with Asia Telecom Awards, (which is a good sign!)

Jetpac offer a variety of different plans including a country specific plan, regional and global plan.

All of their plans offer a good amount of data so you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ve got enough internet to keep you going throughout your trip. 

Their most popular and most convenient eSIM plan is their Global Globetrotter plan which operates in the 50 most popular destinations around the world.

This is a perfect option if you're doing multi-country trip! This is particularly useful for me when roadtripping through Europe as I tend to go through a lot of countries in a realtively short period of time.

They also offer a range of other area specfic plans including, Europe, Asia and more!

But, what makes them truly stand out is that they offer complimentary airport lounge access if your flight is delayed, through their ‘Smart Delay’ program.

If the airline announces a delay that meets the qualifying delay threshold, or if your flight is cancelled you’ll be sent a LoungeKey voucher which gives you access to a network of over 1000 airport lounges around the globe.

That's a really cool perk!

Oh and they also allow you to hot spot to other devices, AND they don't throttle your speed!

Advantages of Jetpac: 

  1. Global package: one eSIM for 50 countries
  2. User-friendly mobile app
  3. Smart Delay (free lounge access if you're flight is delayed)
  4. No speed throttle
  5. You can hotspot!

Disadvantages of Jetpac: 

  1. No unlimited package available
  2. 50 countries may limit some people

5. Airalo - Best eSIM for global coverage

airalo esim

If you want an eSIM with the most destinations and global coverage, try Airalo.

They have a Discover Global plan which can be handy if you want to tackle multiple countries at a time.

It doesn’t literally cover all 200+ destinations, but does work in 85 countries, which is still fab!

As a company, they’ve been around since 2019 and have had 1 million+ user by August of 2022.

The Airalo App is easy to use and has a great interface, allowing you to change between multiple eSIMs seamlessly.

This is also where you can quickly browse through all your options without feeling overwhelmed.

Not to mention a pretty cool rewards system where you can collect points by purchasing new plans, topping up credit, and more.

Plus, their customer support is known to be especially impressive, with many users testifying to their quick and reliable responses.

Advantages of Airalo: 

  1. Coverage in 200+ countries and regions
  2. User-friendly mobile app
  3. Fast customer support

Disadvantages of Airalo: 

  1. No unlimited package available
  2. Mostly data-only, with limited call plans

6. BNESIM - best all-in-one eSIM for travel

BNESIM

Experience the world without borders with BNESIM.

- Stay connected in over 200 countries with unlimited data plans, pay-as-you-go options, and hassle-free eSIM activation
- Protect your privacy and data with built-in VPN  offerings
- Enjoy unlimited high-speed hotspot capabilities
- Never worry about running out of data again

With BNESIM, you can work, stream, and stay in touch no matter where you roam. Regional and single country plans fit every travel itinerary.

Unlimited data options keep you connected for daily activities or binge-watching your favorite shows.

VPN and hotspot capabilities empower you to use the internet freely and securely.

If you're a digital nomad, remote worker, or avid traveler who wants flexible, unlimited data worldwide, BNESIM has you covered. Their subscription plans and pay-as-you-go rates beat traditional providers. Experience true global connectivity and internet freedom with BNESIM.

As well as offering individual country data plans as well as regional plans covering popular destinations in Asia and Europe.

Plans start at less than £0.80p for 1GB which is incredible value.

You can purchase your eSIM via their app or their website!

Advantages of BNESIM: 

  1. Coverage in 200+ countries and regions
  2. User-friendly mobile app
  3. No restrictions on hot spotting
  4. Local numbers and minutes available for purchase

Disadvantages of BNESIM: 

  1. No unlimited data for PAYG eSIMS

7. Sim Local - best eSIM for value for money

Sim Local is like having your digital passport to connectivity worldwide!

Cutting out the hassle of physical SIM cards and offering seamless, instant access to data networks wherever you go, Sim Local has a lot offer in the eSIM game.

The website and app are easy to use, and they offer lots of cover for various part of the world!

First up, they offer fantastic value on eSIMS in Europe (starting at just £3 per GB), and regional eSIMS that cover Europe as a whole, for a fantastic price (includes call and texts too!)

Not only that, but they also offer global eSIMS for when you're heading further afield.

For example, you can get 10GB for data for global use for a reasonable cost of £28. This actually covers 149 countries, which pretty much covers most of the destinations you may be looking to go, and it lasts for 2 weeks, which is the perfect amount of time for a holiday ;) 

But, if you don't want a global specific eSIM, then don't worry, you can get eSIMS for individual countries at great costs.

Let's take Thailand as an example.

You can get 1GB for as little as £3.50, the whole way up to 20GB for £27.00. That is an excellent deal, it lasts 30 days, which is perfect since the average itinerary in Thailand is 3 weeks (you can our 3 week guide right here!) 

So whether you're jetting off for business or pleasure, Sim Local is a great option!

Advantages of Sim Local

  • Excellent pricing
  • Hot spotting is allowed
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Easy to use app

Disadvantages of Sim Local

  • Sometimes limited durations (such as max 14 days)

Which eSIM will you go for?

That’s all for our version of the best eSIMs for international travel!

Whether you’re searching for the best eSIM providers or simply wondering if your device supports eSIM, we hope this post has been useful for you…

PPPSSSST, if you're looking for a specific eSIM for Europe, then check out our dedicated Europe Travel eSIM guide!

Or, South East Asia!

Which eSIM do you think you’re getting for your next trip?

Do you have a particular brand that we haven’t included?

Comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Disclaimer: Fully research your destination prior to travel, or any products prior to purchase. We can accept no responsibility for anything you experience as a result of the information found on this website. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for some purchases, at no additional expense to you. Read more here
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