What Is eSIM and How Does It Impact Traveling?

What Is eSIM and How Does It Impact Traveling?

Effortless and Economical Global Connectivity for Modern Travelers

WRITTEN BYDuane Cuaresma
PUBLISHED ONApril 10, 2024

Are you a traveler getting ready for a trip abroad? Perhaps you’re a digital nomad searching for adventure in another country while keeping tabs on your virtual work. eSIM technology offers a convenient solution, but what is an eSIM, and how does it improve your travel experience?

In this article, we’ll discuss what eSIMs are and their impact on traveling. We’ll also share some tips to help you make the most of your adventures.

What is eSIM?

eSIM stands for Embedded Subscriber Identity Module. It's a digital chip embedded in your smartphone, tablet, or wearable.

With eSIM, you don't need a traditional SIM card to connect to a mobile plan. Instead, you can set up a plan from your device, making it easier and quicker to stay connected.

How eSIM Helps You Connect Seamlessly Across Borders

eSIMs let you switch mobile carriers without changing physical SIM cards. This is a major benefit for travelers who want to avoid high roaming charges and use local plans at lower costs.

With eSIMs, you can store multiple plans on one device and switch between them as you travel. In other words, you can access the best local networks virtually anywhere without excessive roaming fees.

Why eSIM is Great for Travelers and Digital Nomads

eSIM eliminates the worry of losing physical SIM cards on their international travels. With an eSIM, you can set up different plans ahead of time and easily switch between profiles. This lets you stay connected for maps and directions, local tips, or work-related tasks, making eSIMs a valuable companion for exploring.

How Do eSIMs Work?

eSIMs use digital information to connect your device to a mobile network. However, not all devices are eSIM-compatible, so check with your manufacturer before buying one. eSIMs can be reprogrammed as needed, making it easy to switch carriers or plans without changing the physical card.

To activate an eSIM, scan a QR code provided by your carrier. This will trigger a secure download of installation data for your device. For smartphones and tablets, you can find the setup in settings under "Cellular" or "Mobile Data."

There may be device-specific instructions for wearables and IoT devices, but they are similar: scan the code or enter details to connect to your network.

How eSIMs Alleviate Travel Difficulties

Travelers often struggle to stay connected when they go to different countries. Traditional SIM cards can be expensive and may not work with local networks, leading to:

  • Costly roaming charges
  • Unstable connectivity
  • Slow speeds

With eSIMs, travelers can switch between phone network providers without changing SIM cards. You can connect to a local network as soon as you land in a new country, save money on roaming fees, and access the internet throughout your adventures.

Tips to Streamline Your Travel Experience

Traveling can be fun and exciting, but it can also be challenging. Here are some travel tips to help you enjoy your travels more.

Pack Smart

Pack light and bring clothes that you can mix and match. Remember to take a power bank and a travel adapter in case you run out of power. Rolling your clothes instead of folding them saves space and keeps them wrinkle-free. Remember, less is often better when you travel, as it helps you move freely and avoid extra baggage fees.

Use Mobile Apps for Organization

Mobile apps can help you stay organized while traveling. Use apps to keep track of your flights, hotel bookings, and activities. Navigation and translation apps can help you get around new places confidently.

Stay Connected with an eSIM

In today's world, being online is essential. eSIM technology makes staying connected easy for travelers. A reliable eSIM provider like Truely lets you use local data plans in over 200 countries. Pick a plan that works for you and activate it on your device to stay in touch with family, work, or get around in new cities.

Keep Your Documents Organized

The safest assumption you can make while traveling is that you’ll always need your documents. Keep your passport, boarding passes, and travel insurance information in easy-to-find yet secure locations. Use apps or a travel organizer to keep everything in order. Also, back up important documents in case you lose them.

Get an International Driving Permit


An International Driving Permit (IDP) can be very helpful if you want to drive in a different country. With the ability to drive legally abroad, you can explore places otherwise inaccessible without a personal vehicle.

International Drivers Association (IDA) simplifies getting an IDP. IDA translates your original driver’s license into the language of the country you’re visiting. Their permits are recognized in over 150 countries and accepted by car rental agencies worldwide.

eSIM technology is revolutionizing traveling. With the ability to access local networks across several countries, travelers can enjoy fast internet speeds and comprehensive coverage without bringing a single physical SIM card. Zero roaming charges are a solid bonus, too.

The next time you travel, add an eSIM to your arsenal and remember to get an international driving permit. Connectivity and a driving license remove navigation barriers during your trip, ensuring you can visit the places you listed in your itinerary.


What is an eSIM?

  • An eSIM, short for "embedded SIM," is a small chip inside a phone that works like a regular SIM card. It doesn't need to be swapped out. You can use it to connect to different mobile networks.

How does eSIM benefit international travelers?

  • eSIM helps travelers by providing accessible, seamless data service in different countries. It removes the need for physical SIM cards and enables travelers to access the local networks of several countries, circumventing roaming fees in the process.

How do I use an eSIM when traveling?

  • To use an eSIM, verify if your phone is compatible. Then, get an eSIM plan from a local provider or an online service. You can activate the plan on your phone by scanning a QR code or entering details.

Can I keep my regular SIM card on my phone and use an eSIM simultaneously?

  • Yes, you can use your regular SIM card and an eSIM simultaneously. This is helpful if you want to keep your regular phone number while using the eSIM for data when traveling.

What should I do if I encounter problems with my eSIM?

  • If you’re experiencing issues with your eSIM, try restarting your phone. If the problem persists, contact your eSIM service provider for assistance.

Can I use my eSIM for phone calls and texts while traveling?

  • Yes, if you choose a plan that includes these services, you can use your eSIM for regular phone calls, texts, and data. Check with your provider to see if your desired plan includes what you need.

How do I know if my phone supports eSIM?

  • The latest Android phones and iOS devices, like iPhone SE, iPhone XR, and newer releases, support eSIM. To find out if your phone supports eSIM, you can check its user manual or the manufacturer's website. You can also look in your phone's settings to see if adding an eSIM plan is an option.

What happens if I lose my phone with an eSIM?

  • If you lose your phone with an eSIM, contact your provider immediately. They can help you deactivate the eSIM on your lost phone and set it up on a new phone. This keeps your information safe.

Can I use an International Driver's License in all countries?

  • Each country has different guidelines addressing international drivers’ licenses, but hundreds of countries support international driving permits, like one from the International Drivers Association (IDA). We recommend thoroughly reading the guidelines for each country you plan to visit.

Is an International Driver's License necessary for renting a car abroad?

  • Not all countries require an International Driver's License for car renting purposes, but having one makes the renting process smoother and helps avoid language-related obstacles in transactions. Some rental companies abroad may require it for insurance purposes.

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