One of the most annoying things about traveling to a new country is having to constantly search for reliable Wi-Fi spots or figure out how to buy a local SIM card to connect. Or worse, getting hit by the exorbitant international roaming charges.
When traveling in the US, it’s helpful to have an always-on internet connection to navigate public transit, follow Google Maps on car trips, and quickly look up restaurant reviews when you’re looking for a restaurant.
Well, you can now stay connected with a travel eSIM in the US.
We recently partnered with Holaflyan international eSIM provider to tell you all about how eSIMs work and why you should get one for your next trip to the US (or anywhere outside your home borders).
What is an eSIM?
An eSIM (embedded SIM) is a virtual or digital SIM card that is built into your mobile phone. Modern cell phones have microchips installed that allow you to install multiple “eSIM profiles” that resemble physical SIM cards with phone numbers and data plans.
You don’t need to insert a physical card into your phone (since it’s already built-in) and you can start using your eSIM plan right away (without having to wait for delivery). It also allows you to buy a data plan from another country to avoid paying high roaming prices.
Simply put: With an eSIM you can use several lines at the same time. You can easily switch between different providers directly in your phone’s settings. Just make sure your phone is unlocked!
Does the US support eSIM?
Yes, eSIMs are supported by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon in the US. There are also many different eSIM providers in the US including Holafly that offer different US eSIM plans.
You just have to make sure you have an eSIM compatible phone. Current phones that are compatible include:
- All models from iPhone XS, XR, including iPhone SE 2 (2020)
- Starting with the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra
- From the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Fold 2 and higher
- From the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and higher
- From the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and higher
- Huawei P40, P0 Pro and newer models
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro and newer models
- Google Pixel 3, 3a (some versions do not allow eSIM)
- Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5 and newer models
- Oppo Find X3 Pro
- Oppo Reno 5A
- Motorola Razr (2019)
- Motorola Razr 5G (Dual SIM)
You can also find a complete list here. eSIM is fast becoming the standard for all new cell phones and eventually all will support eSIM.
How does international eSIM work?
The first thing you need to do is verify that your phone is compatible (which is listed above). Once you know your phone is compatible, you can choose an eSIM provider that works with the country you’re traveling to. Most eSIM providers connect to a variety of countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Then all you have to do is buy a data plan in the country you are traveling to. For example, you can buy unlimited US data plans that last from five to 90 days.
You will then receive a QR code to activate the plan via the eSIM card on your mobile device. And you’re done and you can start surfing the web right away.
Why is a travel eSIM useful when visiting the US?
There are many benefits to using a travel eSIM in the US, including:
- Save on high international roaming costs by simply purchasing local data plans
- You don’t have to risk losing your traditional SIM card by removing it to replace it with a local SIM card
- eSIM cards allow for dual SIM setups, so you can have both a home and work phone number on the same device, for example
- No need to search for Wi-Fi or stay disconnected
- You get better rates than buying local SIM cards
eSIM tariffs for the USA
You get an unlimited data plan and only pay for the number of days:
5 days = $19
10 days = $34
15 days = $47
20 days = $54
30 days = $64
60 days = $84
That connects you to the best network, so you don’t have to search for WiFi spots.
Stay connected in the US
eSIM is the best way to stay connected internationally (assuming your phone is compatible). You get better rates and speeds than roaming, and you get a local phone number to call – super handy if you need to call to make restaurant reservations.