How to travel on a budget with ESIM: expert advice

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Traveling abroad can be affordable, and you don't have to win the lottery to explore the world – not if you know how to watch your money. There are many opportunities to travel cheaply, including using rewards points or miles and choosing the right time to travel, which can result in significant savings. However, there is one pro tip that may be the most profitable investment for your trip: the eSIM card for international travel. Still have doubts ? Read on.

1. Understand eSIM

An eSIM, which stands for embedded SIM, is the digital counterpart of a traditional physical SIM card. It is a game-changer for travelers as it provides seamless connectivity to overseas networks at minimal cost. It is very convenient to purchase eSIMs online, download them to your device and activate them through network settings. Additionally, removing the eSIM card from your phone after use is a simple process.

You still don't know what the advantages of the eSIM card are? Let's compare the expenses of the traditional approach with the profitability of using the eSIM card for the same journey.

2. Easy Roam vs. eSIM for international travel

I currently subscribe to Telus, a Canadian mobile service provider that offers the “Easy Roam” feature. This feature allows me to use my Canadian plan not only in the United States, but also in various international destinations. While this feature is undoubtedly practical – it allows you to deactivate airplane mode upon arrival – it may not be the most cost-effective option. According to their rates, a day of travel in the United States costs $14, and for other international destinations, $16 per day.

Now imagine if I told you that I recently acquired an eSIM for my upcoming 5-day trip to Las Vegas, and it only cost me $18.19 for 5GB of data, good for 15 days? It's becoming clear that Telus' seemingly “reasonable” prices are, in reality, quite extravagant.

A quick calculation reveals that opting for an eSIM is around 16 times more profitable than the “Easy Roam” alternative.

3. Prerequisites for eSIM adoption

Although mobile devices with eSIM and dual SIM are becoming more common, it is essential to note that not all devices support eSIM. Before purchasing an eSIM, make sure your device is compatible. Many devices, including some models from Apple, Samsung, and Pixel, support eSIM functionality.

You can view the list of eSIM compatible devices here. If in doubt, you can check it directly by following the steps below:

For the iPhone:

  • Make sure your phone is not locked to a specific carrier.
  • Navigate to Settings – Cellular – Look for the option to “Add a cellular plan” or “Add an eSIM” or “Add a mobile plan”. The presence of this option indicates eSIM compatibility.

For Android:

  • Make sure your phone is not locked to a specific carrier.
  • Go to Settings – Connections – Manage SIM cards. If you see the “Add a mobile plan” option, your device is eSIM compatible.

Please note that ALL phones purchased in China, Hong Kong and Macau are not compatible with the eSIM card. Travelers to mainland China who want to use an eSIM card for prepaid data plans should explore the options offered by different international service providers.

4. Get an eSIM for international travel

4.1. Choosing the Best eSIM Provider for Travel: Gohub

If you're wondering where to find the $18.19 US eSIM card with 5GB of data for 15 days that I mentioned above, the answer is at Gohub. Gohub offers eSIM travel services for over 100 countries, making the purchase and installation process hassle-free with clear instructions.

Gohub stands out by offering both data and calling (voice or SMS) and data-only plans, which provides a wider range of choices.

Benefits of using Gohub eSIM card:

  • Convenience: Buy and activate your eSIM online, without having to search for a local mobile operator while you travel.
  • Affordable: Gohub offers a variety of eSIM plans to suit different budgets.
  • Reliability: Gohub uses reputable networks, which ensures a reliable connection during your travels.
  • 24/7 Support: Gohub provides 24/7 customer support for any eSIM related issues.

4.2. Acquiring an eSIM from Gohub

Obtaining an eSIM from Gohub is a simple process. Visit their website at, select your destination and the length of your trip, and a simple search will bring up the appropriate packages. Provide your payment details and once the request is processed you will receive a QR code for eSIM card activation.

5. Installing the eSIM on your device

Important considerations:

  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection (Wi-Fi or 4G) before installing your eSIM.
  • Remember that each eSIM profile can only be installed once and cannot be reused or reinstalled after being deleted.

For iOS devices:

Go to Settings > Cellular/Mobile Data > Data Plans.

Note: To configure the eSIM card, your device must have an internet connection (Wi-Fi or mobile data) and a compatible operating system version. To enable eSIM, make sure your iPhone is running iOS 12.1 or later.

For Android devices:

Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile network > Carrier > Add carrier.

Note: To set up eSIM, your device must have an internet connection and a compatible operating system version.

In conclusion

If your device is compatible with eSIM functionality, integrating it into your travel plans can be a cost-effective solution. The process of acquiring, installing and using eSIMs is simple. Given my positive experience with Gohub, I highly recommend this company to anyone considering using eSIM for their future travels.

Click here to get 20% off your first purchase from Gohub.