How much data do I need when I travel?

If you’re buying a SIM card to travel abroad, you might be faced with many different options. Do I need 1GB or 7GB? I need internet to work while I’m abroad – will a SIM card give me enough data? These questions are important to answer so you can buy the right product when traveling abroad. In this post, we’ll tell you how much data you need when you travel, so you can make sure you always have enough.

Common reasons to use the internet?

Action1 minute1 hour1 week (2 hours each day)
Using Google Maps for directions1 MB60 MB840 MB
Listening to music1.2 MB72 MB1 GB
Searching on Google1.5 MB90 MB1.26 GB
Using social media1.5 MB90 MB1.26 GB
Making calls with WhatsApp or Facebook3 MB180 MB2.52 GB
Streaming shows or movies11.6 MB700 MB9.8 GB
Watching YouTube videos18.75 MB1.13 MB15.75 GB
Video calls30 MB1.8 GB25.2 GB

As you can see, using mobile data to stream videos or make video calls could end up using a lot of data. If you plan to use the internet for this on your travels, you will have to buy an eSIM with a lot of data when you travel.

If you are only planning to use mobile data for simple tasks such as Google, music and directions, you will not need more than a few GBs per week.

How much is 1MB of data?

Using data from our friends at buenavibra.es, here is what you could do with 1MB of data:

  • Share three photos on Instagram
  • Publish five posts on Facebook (text only)
  • Publish one photo on Facebook
  • Tweet 17 times
  • 2 seconds of a videocall
  • Access Google Maps for one minute

This is not a lot, right? But if you use data roaming to travel you could be charged up to $15 just for each MB. That’s right: you’d be charged that much each 2 seconds of a video call.

That’s why it’s important that you buy an eSIM or physical SIM card, with prepaid plans to avoid high costs when traveling.

Holafly offers eSIM from 1GB to 7GB of data, depending on the destination.

But now let’s get to the important question.

How much data will I need for my trip?

Right, let’s examine how much data you might need for different length of trips.

Let’s say you use the internet for the following reasons on your trip:

Google searches

Directions

Social media/messaging

Listening to music

The average person spends almost 3 hours each day using the internet, so let’s see how much data you would need for three hours of internet use.

Type of internet useData usage per dayData usage per week
Google searches (45 minutes per day)67.5 MB472.5 MB
Directions (45 minutes per day)45 MB315 MB
Social media/messaging (45 minutes per day)67.5 MB472.5 MB
Listening to music (45 minutes per day)54 MB378 MB
Total (3 hours per day)234 MB1.64 GB
How much data do I need when I travel abroad?

So here is an estimate of how much data you might need for different types of trips:

1 week – 1.6 GB

2 weeks – 3.2 GB

3 weeks – 4.9 GB

4 weeks – 6.6 GB

For most trips, 3GB or 5GB of data will be enough to cover common internet usage. However, if you are planning on using the internet more or if you are traveling for a month or longer, you might want to consider cards with up to 7GB of data.

Remember that everyone’s internet usage is different, so you might want to check how much you use in an average day.

How can I save mobile data when I travel?

Here are our top tips to make sure you never run out of data on your travels:

  • Set data usage limits to remind you if you’re using too much
  • Monitor how much data you’re using on your phone’s settings
  • Avoid watching videos or making video calls
  • Use free WiFi in your accomodation or a cafe if you need to download files
    Download music and videos before you travel
  • Turn Mobile Data off when you’re not using it

If you follow these steps, your data will go further than you imagine!

I’m ready to buy my card

If you are ready to buy your eSIM, take a look at the right product for you.