If you’re traveling abroad, getting an internet connection makes a huge difference. Modern travelers depend on fast and reliable data, whether it’s for booking a cab, looking up restaurants, or texting those back home. But how can you get internet without paying for expensive data roaming fees? Well, it’s easy with a travel SIM card with unlimited data.
You will also read about international virtual SIM cards with which you will find an even better alternative as long as you have a compatible smartphone. We will talk about how they work, where to buy them, and the regional options for you. We will also compare them with other less efficient options like pocket WiFi or more expensive ones like international roaming.
Stay tuned to find out how to use international virtual SIM cards, which are already the top choice for many users and travelers all around the world.
Digital SIM card for international travel
What is an international travel SIM card?
A travel SIM card with unlimited data helps you connect and use internet services in several countries. These are categorized into specific areas, continents, or regions.
They work thanks to contract agreements with local operators in each country. You will connect to their networks as long as you are within their coverage area and have an international SIM card with good service.
An international travel SIM card does not work with a nonestablished provider. If you connect with the incorrect provider, you must select the right network manually on your phone’s settings. Not to worry, our recommendation is the international virtual SIM card that Holafly has for more than 160 destinations worldwide, which we will know about in a later section.
International SIM Card and International Virtual SIM Card. Are they the same?
There is a clear difference between these two, which is the international virtual SIM card, also known as eSIM, with the technological evolution of the traditional international SIM card. The main novelty is that eSIM cards do not require a physical installation in your phone, so you can have unlimited data anywhere in the world in a few minutes.
Virtual SIM cards are ideal for travelers because when you buy them, you will receive a QR code in your email to activate them! It’s that fast and easy! Definitely here to stay, eSIMs are very versatile and allow travelers and tourists around the world to purchase data services for any destination with immediate delivery. You can even find unlimited data alternatives, like in Holafly’s online store.
¿How do I know if my cellphone is compatible with a virtual SIM card?
This is important before buying your international virtual SIM card because not all cellphones are compatible with this technology. As they are a recent development, the industry is still in the process of moving to this type of chip. To help you check if your smartphone is eSIM compatible, you can take a look at Holafly’s updated list.
Of course, as with physical international SIM cards, your phone must be unlocked for international use. Some providers sell cellular devices with regional or carrier restrictions, so you should confirm if this is the case for your phone.
Virtual SIM vs. physical SIM cards
The first virtual SIM cards were indeed seen on the market a few years ago in very few cellphones. However, in the last couple of years, their implementation has expanded. Today they represent the next step in telecommunications due to their accessibility and speed of delivery anywhere in the world.
International virtual SIM cards are one step ahead of their physical analogs, and it is only a matter of time before they are standardized in all phones. On Holafly’s articles of interest find more information on eSIMs so you can learn more about them and compare them to the physical alternatives.
¿Where to get a travel SIM Card with unlimited data?
Once you have confirmed that your phone is compatible with the virtual SIM card and that it is indeed unlocked for international use, you are ready to buy one. If you want to find the solution to stay connected in more than 160 countries around the world in one store, you should visit Holafly’s website!
This store allows you to buy eSIM online and with instant delivery, no matter where you are. In addition, most of the packages they have for your destinations include virtual SIM cards with unlimited data, ideal for travelers abroad. Connecting is as easy as making the purchase and waiting for the mail with a QR code, scan it, and you will be ready to navigate to your destination without problems.
Multi-country virtual SIM cards
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that there were regional solutions for travel SIM cards, and now it is time to explain more. Holafly offers multi-country virtual SIM cards with which you can have coverage in several countries at the same time. So if you plan a trip like this, you can make a single purchase and stay connected throughout the experience, avoiding installing a new eSIM every time you change countries.
You will see below all the regional options available to you, including the countries where you will have coverage and their type of service.
eSIM for Latin America
Latin America has a lot to offer for your travels. Home of the Amazon rainforest (“The lungs of the world”) and vibrant cities like Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, you won’t have to worry about an internet connection with an international digital SIM.
You will be able to travel to several Latin American countries without having to look for local SIM cards or change your phone number.
One of the main benefits of a Latin America virtual SIM card is that it connects automatically to the best network providers each time you arrive in a new country.
- El Salvador
- Costa Rica
International SIM card for North America
Visit Niagara Falls in Canada, New York City, or end up on the beautiful Cancun beaches in Mexico. And do it all without worrying about your connection.
You can travel without limits with a digital SIM card for North America. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the border or in the downtown area. This card will connect to the highest quality provider across the continent.
- United States
International virtual SIM card for traveling to Europe
If you’re from outside the EU and visiting several European countries, we suggest the international travel eSIM card for Europe with unlimited data.
Where can you use your Europe virtual SIM?
- United Kingdom
- Åland Islands
- Balearic Islands
- Canary Islands
- Czech Republic
- French Guiana
- Isle of Man
- Saint Martin
- Saint Barthélemy
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Digital SIM card for traveling to Asia
Being able to connect in Asian countries will be a challenge. Remember that support might not be available in English. So if you have a problem, it might be harder to solve it due to the language barrier.
The international virtual SIM card makes your life easier because you won’t need to do anything, as it will connect you to the internet regardless of the place or language.
- South Korea
- Hong Kong and Macao
Prepaid virtual SIM card for traveling to Australia
Oceania is another continent you can visit with a good Internet connection. On this continent, you can explore New Zealand and Australia without fear of running out of data in the middle of your trip. Avoid using costly roaming services or renting a pocket WiFi.
Digital SIM card for traveling to Africa
Advantages of a virtual SIM card for traveling abroad
If you want even more reasons to buy an international virtual SIM card for your next trip, here are some of its advantages:
1. Internet without complications or contracts
For all tourists looking to get an internet connection abroad with easy access, international eSIM cards allow you to do so without signing contracts. Local SIM card providers will generally ask you for personal information as well as go through national registration processes.
2. Clear your mind and don’t think about how much you are spending.
The prepaid virtual SIM card allows you to make a single payment for your service and, in the case of Holafly, offers unlimited data for many services. No more high roaming bills or running out of data in the middle of your trip.
3. Multi-country eSIM
As we already mentioned, with Holafly’s travel virtual SIM cards, you have access to regional options with which you maintain coverage in several countries. If your trip to Europe or North America takes you to more than one destination, these eSIMs are your ideal solution.
4. Online recharge option
This is also known as top-up; with this service, Holalfy will email you when your plan is about to run out. In this email, you will find a link to buy an extension of your plan and continue enjoying your virtual SIM card with peace of mind.
5. You keep your WhatsApp number
You don’t have to worry about your friends and family not being able to contact you. With Holalfy eSIMs, you can keep your local SIM card and your WhatsApp number at the same time.
Disadvantages of a SIM card for travel abroad
Despite having many advantages, international virtual SIM cards do not escape from having some disadvantages. You will find some differences regarding their physical analogs that you might need on your trip.
Generally, it happens that when you buy a travel SIM card with unlimited data in an online store, it does not include a local number, so you will not be able to make analog calls or send SMS. What you will be able to do is use instant messaging apps with unlimited data, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Skype.
With this in mind, virtual SIM cards are still the top recommendation for those tourists who want a fast, secure, and hassle-free way to stay connected while traveling.
Avoid roaming charges with international SIM cards
For many years, it has been common knowledge that roaming services are quite expensive regardless of your carrier.
When no other alternatives were, roaming was the solution for many who wanted to be connected abroad. Today, if you buy an international SIM card, you can avoid paying this high cost and still have the same goal of maintaining an internet connection while traveling. To find out the availability of your operator to roam in any destination, keep in mind that they usually classify it by zones.
The farther away the destination country is from your country of origin, the more expensive the service is. The European Union is a particular case of this situation, so many operators allow you to continue using your minutes, messages, and data within member countries. However, you should check with your provider because, in numerous instances, they may apply flat rates.
Beyond this small exception, keep in mind that for all other destinations, the price to pay will always be considerable compared to the virtual SIM card alternative. Don’t stay behind the times with the old-fashioned and expensive roaming; buy a travel SIM card with unlimited data for your next trip whenever you have the opportunity.
Considering English-speaking operators such as Three, Verizon, and AT&T, we can consider daily rates from $5 to $15 to have internet. It is also possible to find rates above this, but it is less common.
Something similar happens with calls or messages abroad, so if we also want to use these services are additional daily rates of $5 or more. As mentioned above, the cost is higher in more distant areas and can go up to $6 per minute per call when calling from these destinations. Note that this applies whether you make or receive calls.
Not surprisingly, the reputation of the expensive roaming service comes to the fore. For this reason, with a virtual SIM card that you can buy and receive immediately anywhere in the world, you will solve your internet connection abroad in the best way.
International SIM card vs Roaming
Here is a quick comparison between virtual SIM cards, physical data SIM cards, and roaming services. From a general point of view, these three alternatives are intended to keep you connected abroad only with your phone and chip. You will be able to see which one best suits your needs.
|Virtual SIM card
|Traditional SIM card
|Local operator roaming service
|Depends on the local operator
|Depends on the local operator
As we can see, the three alternatives fulfill their objective of having internet abroad. But if we look closely, the virtual SIM card is the only option that allows you to get unlimited data at a good price and with excellent coverage.
Even so, each option has its usefulness, and in case you prefer one or the other, you will always be able to stay connected to the internet. For those of you who need to receive SMS or consume talk time abroad, your most useful option will be the roaming service of your local operator.
On the other hand, if you are an average traveler who wants to keep an internet connection for a low cost and without many steps to achieve it, surely your ideal option will be the travel eSIM. Also, with unlimited data options like the ones offered by Holafly, you will always be able to navigate to order an Uber, look up an address on Google Maps, or do whatever you need.
International data SIM card vs. Pocket WiFi
Pocket WiFi is another option to connect to the internet during your travels. It allows you to share data between multiple devices, and, most importantly: it’s unlimited!
But make sure to read the terms or conditions and the fine print regarding restrictions. Sometimes, there are restrictions even if providers claim to offer the longed-for unlimited internet feature.
Look closely at the daily limit they offer. It is usually around half a gigabyte or 1 GB. If you start watching a Netflix movie or series, you’ll be halfway through the movie and then left in the middle of the road without internet.
One limitation of Pocket WiFi is the number of devices you can connect to the internet. If you’re traveling in a group, it’s possible someone may be left without a connection.
Be aware of these limits when using Pocket WiFi. Firstly, battery life will be extremely low (you can rent a new battery for around $10). Also, remember to review the conditions in case of loss or theft, The price of the penalty can be $150 with immediate effect.
Sometimes pocket WiFi sellers don’t mention the shipping fee, which could be between $8-10. You may also have to pay to return the device once your rental period is over.
Now that we know better how pocket WiFi works, let’s see a quick comparison with international SIM cards.
|Virtual SIM card
|Traditional SIM card
|Need to return
|Penalty for loss
After looking at the table, we can conclude that it seems that pocket WiFi is becoming obsolete. In previous years, they were a viable option to connect to the Internet abroad. Today, smartphones have evolved by leaps and bounds and are replacing them.
With some of your international data SIM cards, you can also share data with other devices, and you don’t have to rent anything. Nor do you need to receive or return anything that is not yours. In short, you are worry-free.
Conclusions on Virtual SIM cards for international use
International virtual SIM cards are an excellent alternative for you to avoid paying roaming fees and have Internet on your travels.
Holafly has a valuable number of destinations to travel to at your disposal, and you can surf abroad.
FAQ about the international data SIM card
You can activate data roaming and use data provided by your domestic carrier. But be aware that this will be very expensive. If you intend to go for this option, you can expect a hefty phone bill when you get back home. Alternatively, you could buy Pocket Wi-Fi (a portable device that generates a WiFi connection for your phone). This option is also expensive and you’ll have to carry the device everywhere. A virtual SIM card is the cheapest and most convenient way of connecting to the internet.
Yes, you can enjoy unlimited data depending on the country you travel to. Holafly travel sim card with unlimited data in several countries.
Digital SIM cards work perfectly most of the time. But if you encounter any issues, just contact the customer support team.
It is not possible, SIM cards will have their number assigned individually.