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Data roaming in USA: Which One Should I pick?

If you want to connect easily and without a lot of logistics while traveling to the USA, roaming could be your option. 

Leoneska Ruiz

September 1, 2023

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The United States is your next travel destination, and you want to know how to stay connected to the internet in this American country. But how? Don’t worry, nowadays, there are many alternatives to connecting to cellular internet on our trips. And if you wish to connect easily and without too much hassle, USA roaming could be your option.

Throughout this article, we will talk about how to use the roaming plans that worldwide operators offer to their users. So, you can check if they are suitable for your trip. Also, if roaming is not your thing, and you prefer other options, we will give you many more alternatives with which you can maintain an internet connection in the USA. Read on to find out more!

eSIM for the USA

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What is Roaming?

International roaming is a service offered by many carriers worldwide. This service basically allows the carrier’s users to be able to continue using cellular data, calls, and text messaging from their cell phones while traveling to another country. 

The great advantage of this service is that you will have your domestic operators’ customer service available. So if you encounter any problems, you will be able to effectively communicate with them. In addition, you will still be able to use your phone number as if you were at home, making it much easier for you to communicate with your family and friends. 

On the other hand, the disadvantages of international roaming are that they tend to be quite expensive, so if you don’t manage your consumption carefully, you may end up with very high bills when you get home from your trip. 

The United States. Source: Unsplash

Roaming rates in the USA:

It is no secret that international roaming internet charges are one of the main concerns for travelers, especially when for some reason they forget to turn off cellular data during their trip. Although with international roaming, you can use your cellular data, make or receive calls, send and receive text messages so that you can have Mobile internet in the USA, the charges will always have to be considered.

Prices for roaming in the United States vary depending on your operator; however, they can range from $7 to $12 per day. Below are some of the most popular operators that offer international roaming to their customers in the USA.

O2 UK

It is a British telecommunications services provider, and if you are one of their customers, then you can use the International roaming options for the United States. Besides this is one of the best eSIM cards for the UK.

O2 offers its users with selected Plus plans, to make use of the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone, with which they can make daily use of unlimited minutes, text messaging, as well as data usage. With this plan, there is no data usage limit, however, depending on the amount of data usage, the speed may be decreased. 

On the other hand, those users who do not have the possibility of using the aforementioned plan can opt for the O2 Travel Bolt-On. However, this does have a cost of 7 dollars per day, with which will provide an unlimited amount of minutes and messages. This also applies for cellular data consumption. 

Telstra 

If you are a Telstra customer and want to activate your services in the USA with them, then you will have two options. Firstly, there is the International Roaming Day Pass, which allows you to use your Telstra cellular phone service while abroad. However, this plan is only compatible with Telstra cellular services on a postpaid plan.

On the other hand, the company also allows you to use its data services with a pay-as-you-go plan, the price of this service for the USA is around $3 USD per MB.  With it, you can also make calls and send messages on a pay-per-use basis. 

Vodafone

In case you are a Vodafone user from the UK, you can make use of international roaming as well. Many of Vodafone’s plans include international roaming to the USA at no additional cost. However, in other cases, you will have to charge a fee. 

If you have the Unlimited data Xtra Airtime Plan, then you will be able to make use of international roaming at no extra cost, with certain benefits. 

If, on the other hand, you have the Limited data Xtra Airtime Plan, you will be able to make use of the data, calls, and messaging benefits for 7.2 dollars a day. Likewise, if you don’t have any of these plans, you can also roam in the USA for 7 dollars a day. 

Rogers Canada 

Rogers Wireless Inc. is a Canadian wireless telephone company based in Toronto. It is an excellent option for Canadians who need a roaming service to travel to the USA. They offer only one plan to make things simple, and it costs only $12 per day, for a maximum of 20 days. With it, you will be able to use your cellular data, messaging, and calling services. 

On the other hand, with Rogers, you can also opt for the pay-per-use option. However, it is only available for postpaid plans. With it, you will be able to use 50 MB for $7.99. This option is available for Canadian eSIM and SIM cards.

How to avoid roaming charges in the USA

solo trip to new york
New York. Source: Unsplash

In case you don’t want to use international roaming to the USA and you want to avoid it at all costs, don’t worry; other alternatives will allow you to stay connected to the internet while traveling to this country. That’s why below we will be talking a bit about options such as purchasing an eSIM and SIM cards, renting a Pocket WiFi for your trip, or looking for places with free WiFi in the United States. So, you can choose the option that suits you best and avoid USA roaming charges. 

Prepaid International USA SIM Card

A USA SIM card is an excellent idea if you are looking for a different option to stay connected to the internet. They work just like the SIM card you use in your home country but are made especially for use in other countries and in most cases, are available mostly for data use. 

Acquiring a SIM card is very simple, and there are different ways to get one. The most recommended way to acquire one of these is through online stores. They have international shipping to deliver the chips to your country. There are also physical stores of carriers such as AT&T or T-Mobile once you arrive in the country. You can even find options at international airports throughout the country. Prices range from $25 to $60 for a tourist SIM card with data.

eSIM for the USA

eSIM with unlimited data for the USA
International travel eSIM for USA with unlimited data. Source: Holafly.

Another option that stands out for its quality when it comes to allowing access to a data plan in the USA is the one offered by an eSIM. And one of the best examples of quality after-sales service and coverage is the eSIM USA with unlimited data offered by the online store Holafly. With this product, you can have an internet connection in the USA whenever you need it and based on different data plans. 

Specifically for the United States, Holafly offers eSIM plans, with prices from $6 to $139. Likewise, these plans can be found on the Holafly store from 1 day to 90 days, with all options having unlimited data and data sharing up to 500 MB daily. The advantage of these eSIMs is that since they are entirely digital, they are effortless to purchase and activate through QR codes. You can also customize the plan and only pay for the number of days you want.

On the other hand, we recommend that if you want to purchase an eSIM for your trip, verify that your cell phone is compatible with these, as they are currently only compatible with the latest generation phones. 

Free WiFi

Finding free WiFi hotspots in the United States is something that will be very easy since this country is a developed country that has free wifi hotspots in many places, such as libraries, coffee shops, hospitals, and hotels, public parks, and many more. They are also ideal as a complement to the service provided by prepaid SIM cards or eSIM if you need to save on your data.

However, you must consider that connecting to free WiFi spots implies that many people connect to it, so it could be an unstable and insecure connection. Likewise, we recommend that if you connect to one of these free WiFi hotspots, do not provide your personal data, bank details, passwords, or other personal information. This way, you can avoid any type of situation where your information is stolen while traveling to this country. Likewise, we also recommend that if you will be in a hotel, ask if it has free WiFi, so you connect to a trusted network. 

Pocket Wifi

As the last option, we will talk about the Pocket WiFi. If you want to have cellular internet in the USA, you can rent one of these small, lightweight, portable WiFi routers, which provides unlimited internet access anywhere in the country. It also allows you to connect multiple devices.

Currently, there are a number of companies that offer this type of service. The costs to rent one of these Pocket WiFi can range from $55 to $349.99 for 7 days. However, you must keep in mind that you will also have to pay for delivery costs, as well as in many cases the insurance of the device is offered separately.

This option is very feasible if you are traveling in a group and need internet for several devices. However, you will have to be cautious not to damage or lose it. If you do not return the device, you must pay up to $100 as a penalty.