Best eSIM For Europe Travel – What To Lookout For

eSIM technology may not seem like a massive game changer for many people. Particularly if you’re one of those people that really doesn’t even know where your SIM card outlet is or how they inserted an eSIM into your phone in the first place. For travelers though, it does represent an upgrade when compared to what you had to do pretty much since the birth of cell phone technology to be able to get coverage in another country. Now you don’t have to open up your phone and remove a SIM card risking data loss to get local coverage when you travel. What is the best eSIM for Europe travel plans? That’s what we want to find out in this particular study. 

What we also want to go over though is wether or not relying on eSIM technology is actually fisable at this point. For the most part travel eSIM options are currently a bit more expensive than your regular foreign SIM card. If you’re trying to get coverage at the lowest rate posible this is certainly something that you’re going to want to account for. At the same time there’s no question that buying an eSIM is an easier thing to do when stacked up against buying a regular SIM card. That’s another factorr that could certainly come into play. 

  • eSIM or Regular SIM Card – Not A Price Comparison 
  • Best eSIM For Europe Travel over Regular SIM Card Coverage & Price
  • Regional SIM Card or eSIM Or Coverage Per Country
  • Is Taking Your Regular Coverage Plan To Europe An Option?
  • Things You Need To Know To Get A SIM  Card or eSIM Abroad

eSIM or Regular SIM Card – Not A Price Comparison 

If you’re keen on getting an eSIM for your Europe trip then this is may be one of the parts of this article that you can skim through. However, we did want to talk about the difference between having an eSIM and a regular SIM card besides the price tags on each of them. The benefit that you’ll have with the best eSIM for Europe travel is that you don’t have to deal with the dreaded SIM switch, and the potential for data loss. Virtually all of the eSIM compatible phones are going to allow you to hold multiple eSIMs on one device. You can use a marketplace like Airalo also to manage the eSIMs that you buy. Again all of this is done digitally, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of individual cards. 

In this realm its really hard for regular SIM cards to compete. You need to make sure with a regular SIM card that you buy the card that fits your phone. That’s the number one thing that you have to account for. If you have to remove your regular SIM card from your phone you won’t be able to get calls and texts to your regular number when the card is removed from the phone. If you have to do that you have to make sure that its stored correctly so the SIM card doesn’t get scratched or damaged. This changes a bit with a dual SIM phone, but you still have to insert the card, if you want to get multiple SIM cards for your trip that could be an issue.               

Best eSIM For Europe Travel over Regular SIM Card Coverage & Price

In this particular spot even the best eSIM for Europe travel which may very well be the Eurolink option that Airalo offers pales a bit in comparison with what regular SIM cards for Europe travel can offer. For one, in the current landscape eSIM options don’t offer calls or texts they are data only options. The other thing is that with a Holiday Zen SIM card from Orange you can get more data as well as unlimited calls and texts for right around 30 dollars. With the eurolink option for around the same price you’ll be looking at 8GB of coverage for 15GB of the Orange option. The credit validity though can be an issue. 

The regular SIM card option only offers 15 days of credit validity while adding a combination of a 13 dollars, and 20 dollar charge on the eSIM option gets you 30 days of credit validity that you can extend to 60 days even! Although if you put them side by side the regular SIM card can offer more data, and even calls and texts at a lower price point, there’s more flexibility with eSIM options. You wouldn’t even need to spend the full 30 dollars that you would pay for to get the regular SIM card, and still get enough coverage for your trip abroad. The main reason why we like Eurolink, as the best eSIM for Europe travel is precisely that flexibility even though the price tag could be a bit cheaper and we wouldn’t have a problem with it.    

Regional SIM Card or eSIM Or Coverage Per Country

city view at london
Photo by Dominika Gregušová on

This title is a bit of a mouthful to be honest, so we want to break it down a bit. Other than picking a regular SIM card or an eSIM you’re also going to have to chose the type of SIM card that you want to have. The examples that we’ve been talking about as the best eSIM for Europe travel are regional eSIM cards. The holiday card from Orange is also a regional SIM card. So this means that you need one card and you’ll get coverage potentially throughout your entire Eurotrip. There are a couple of things to account for though. Mainly you want to make sure that the regional eSIM or SIM card that you chose does provide coverage in all of the countries that you’re going to visit. 

The other option that you’re going to have is to buy an eSIM or SIM card for every country that you visit. If you go with the regular SIM card option this can be a bit of a hassle because you’re going to have to keep track of different cards that are going to change your phone number every time. The big benefit though is that you can ensure that you’ll have coverage in every country that you’re visiting. If you’re going to use a marketplace like Airalo to buy eSIMs for your trip getting one for every country that you visit may not be an issue at all. You can manage your eSIMs through their site, and keep track of how much your spending and how much data you have left to use. Local SIM cards per country tend to provide more reliable coverage than regional options.  

Is Taking Your Regular Coverage Plan To Europe An Option?

man wearing black zip jacket holding smartphone surrounded by grey concrete buildings
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

There are certainly benefits to be had when you decide to take your regular plan to your trip abroad. For one you’re going to be reachable on your regular number for calls and texts. Actually incoming calls and texts may not be as expensive as outgoing ones. The real issue though, is data usage, and how you’re going to be charged for your overall phone usage when you’re abroad. In europe your best bet to stay on your regular plan may very well be to pay the day pass the most phone companies offer. What this is a 10 dollar fee that allows you to have coverage in a similar way to what you could expect locally. This is an option that most phone companies only offer to unlimited plan users, but then again most people are on unlimited plans these days. 

The biggest downside to taking this route is that those ten dollars a day are going to pile up quickly throughout your trip. T-Mobile has a bit of a different pay scheme, but it checks out to be pretty much the same because they promise international coverage, but the speeds are minimal to the point where you probably will be timed out of every site that you want to visit. At the end of the day you end up having to pay an extra fee for more speed. In a 10 day Eurotrip you could be spending 100 dollars extra per line! All of the options that we’ve talked about so far offer better coverage for much less than that. With the potential downside that you won’t get calls and texts to your regular number. However, you could be getting calls and texts through apps with that data.           

Things You Need To Know To Get A SIM  Card or eSIM Abroad

SIM card for the MTN mobile network, 2012 (mobile telephone component)

First off you’re going to want to make sure that you have an unlocked phone when you decide that you want to insert another SIM card or eSIM into your phone. There are some eSIM options that may allow you to get coverage on a locked phone. For the most part though, an unlocked phone is always going to be the best option to ensure that you won’t have to jump through anymore hoops to be able to access the coverage that you can get from a foreign SIM card. When it comes to traveling to Europe that comes with a set of unique circumstances for people who are arriving there from the other side of the Atlantic. You’re going to want to make sure that you have a solution for the electric current issue.    

If you didn’t know you won’t be able to plug in your phone charger directly to the wall in Europe the outlets are different. So what you need is not only an adapter, but a voltage converter to be able to charge your phone. Many times on this site we’ve talked about this issue, and we’ve mentioned that you want to be really careful with the type of voltage converter that you chose. Many of the ones that you can literally buy on the plane as you’re going over to europe may not necessarily be quality devices. With the number of electronic devices that people take abroad these days it may very well be worth it to buy a good voltage converter to be able to plug in your chargers and make sure that you don’t run the risk of ruining any of the electrical devices that you take abroad.  

Best eSIM For Europe Travel Conclusion 

Are best eSIM for Europe travel is Eurolink of the Airalo market. If we hadn’t made that clear to this point. We like this particular eSIM because it allows people a wide range of price options. Yes, you could make the argument that you can get more data for less with a regular SIM card. When Orange steps their game up and starts shipping out their eSIM options then things are going to change. That being said, if you’re able to minimize your data usage when you’re abroad this eSIM can be a great option because you won’t necessarily have to dish out the full 30 dollar fee for example, and still get coverage. At the same time we happen to like the countries that the eSIM includes. That’s something that you really want to make sure that you’re on top of though.

The last thing that you want is to go out and buy a regional eSIM only to figure out that you won’t get coverage in some of the countries that you’re going to be visiting. There’s also the option of getting an eSIM card for each of the countries that you’re going to be visiting. That way you can avoid the problem that we just talked about. With an eSIM marketplace like Airalo that’s not going to be a hard thing to achieve. You could even purchase the coverage at home before you go on your trip. Just make sure to activate each eSIM at the right time so you don’t run into credit validity issues that could come down the line. Keep an eye on the credit validity of the coverage that you buy, particularly if you’re planning to stay multiple weeks abroad.