eSims and finding best deals for travel

There are no affiliate links in this post – just unbiased information to help you find the best deals for your needs.

By Luis – https://activarchips.com/, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=96183426

In the last couple of years the number of devices that can use eSims has continued to increase. And even better the process for using them is relatively straight forward. The only problem is finding the best deal, for your circumstances.

What is an eSim?

Basically it is a virtual sim activated on your phone, tablet or watch. There is no more small plastic sims that need to be swapped out as you change countries. You can swap between service providers in a short time, without needing to move a physical SIM card.

If your device has dual sim capability then you can have 2 phone number active at the same time. An ideal scenario is if you retain your home country number on one and a travelling number on another – but profiles you can use depends on the type of device you have.

What devices are eSim compatible?

The list is always changing but a recent list can be found here. https://business.ee.co.uk/help/ee-getting-started/esim-compatible-devices/
This can be summarised as

  • iPhone XR, XS and later (on the latest software version)
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold, Z Flip, Galaxy S20 and later
  • Huawei P40 Pro and later

How to find a plan that suits my needs

I use 2 methods to find information about my options 1. Consolidator Sales Websites plus 2. Finding out more about the service providers

  1. I check on eSim consolidator sites for the options that meet my travel parameters. And to be honest I check on more than one as I am always suspicious the results they give will have some bias depending on how much commission they receive or how their search criteria are set up.

    Sites I use to find information include:
    https://esims.io/
    https://esimdb.com/
    https://www.esim.net/
    and I usually use the 1st 2 links, as they seem to have the best filter or advanced search functions
  2. I also read the information on Prepaid Wiki for information about providers in the country (or countries ) of travel. There is nothing worse than thinking you have found a great deal, only find out the provider behind the sim has only 40% coverage in the country

    This is the website https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/Prepaid_SIM_with_data

    Type in the country or countries you are looking at and find at information about the networks and current plans. There is a wealth of knowledge here including feedback from real users if you scroll to the bottom of the page. And the information is not limited to eSims, but covers all the possible current options
  3. And depending on the language, I often also check the website of the company that sells the eSim – not just through the sales consolidator site

 Using Filters to find the best information


By selecting the parameters that apply to your travel – how long in country, how much data do you want etc, you can find the best options for the circumstances

Tips for finding the best deal for you

  1. Single country sims are usually cheaper than multi-country.
    Usually a 7 day sim for Spain (or any other country) plus a 7 day sim for Portugal is cheaper than a 15 day sim that covers multi-countries.
    On the other hand sometimes it is worth the convenience to just have one sim – it all depends on you
  2. Look into the provider – make sure that they coverage where you intend to travel
  3. Buy only the data you think you will need. It is usually easy enough to buy more data or a new plan than to estimate way to high and pay over the odds for oodles of data that you dont use.
  4. Check any additional data plan info that is noted with the plan

Good luck and happy buying an eSim for the next trip

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