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A Beginner's Guide to Using a Travel eSIM

It's really easy to use!

· 4 min read

In an era of constant connectivity, staying connected while traveling is a top priority for many globetrotters. Traditional SIM cards have long been the standard for mobile communication abroad, but with the advent of eSIM technology, a new era of convenience has dawned for travelers. If you're gearing up for your first experience using eSIMs for travel, fret not! This blog will cover the essentials of using eSIMs for travel.


What is a travel eSIM?

Before we get into the how, let's first understand what a travel eSIM is. An eSIM is an embedded SIM, and unlike physical SIM cards, they are integrated directly into your device. eSIMs eliminate the need for swapping physical cards when changing carriers or traveling internationally. Instead, you can install and activate a new plan remotely, making it a hassle-free solution for those always on the move.

Fundamentally, travel eSIMs function in a similar manner to travel SIM cards, offering travelers with connectivity in many locations internationally.

How do you use a travel eSIM?

Travel eSIMs are simple to use. In the case of a physical travel SIM card, you will need to purchase your travel SIM card and insert it into the SIM tray on your device.

With travel eSIMs, instead of inserting a SIM card into your device's SIM tray, you will have to download and install an eSIM profile. Installing an eSIM profile can usually be done simply by scanning a QR code or by manually entering the details of your eSIM profile.

How to use a travel eSIM could vary slightly from provider to provider. However, generally, you just need to follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Find a travel eSIM provider and plan that fits your needs. If you are not sure where to start, you can check out sites like esimdb to help you get started.
  2. Purchase the travel eSIM from the provider of your choice.
  3. Receive your installation kit (usually via email).
  4. Install your eSIM by following the instructions sent to you.
  5. Activate your plan (if needed), and turn on data roaming for your eSIM.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are using a travel eSIM for the first time, you might have some questions about how to use your eSIM.

1. Can everyone use a travel eSIM?

To use a travel eSIM, all you need is an eSIM-compatible device. As long as your device is eSIM-compatible and it isn't carrier-locked, you will be able to use a travel eSIM!

2. Do I need to download any apps to use an eSIM?

Technically, no. To use an eSIM, all you need to do is to install your eSIM. Most travel eSIM providers allow you to purchase an eSIM via a web store. However, if you were to purchase an eSIM from a local telco, they might sometimes require that you buy the eSIM via their app, and they might provision your eSIM directly on your device.

If you buy a Nomad travel eSIM, you can buy the eSIM without downloading any mobile apps. However, downloading the Nomad mobile app will make it easier for you to track your data usage and manage your eSIMs on the go!

3. When should I buy my travel eSIM?

You will need a stable internet connection to buy and install your eSIM. So, it is recommended that you buy your eSIM while you are still at home, where you have access to a stable internet connection!

If you see a travel eSIM provider offering a good deal for your destination, you can also buy the eSIM ahead of your trip and activate it at a later time - subject to the terms and conditions of the provider of the travel eSIM.

4. How far in advance should I buy my travel eSIM?

It depends on the terms of the eSIM that you purchase! Typically, providers of travel eSIMs will have a validity for which you need to activate your eSIM. For a Nomad eSIM, the plan has to be activated within 60 days of purchase.

5. Can I make calls using my travel eSIM?

It depends on the plan that is offered! Most providers of travel eSIMs are data-only eSIMs, which means you won't be able to make calls. However, there are some providers that also provide call and message features - check out the different plans to find out what is included.

But, even with a data-only eSIM, you can still make calls using your messaging apps or through social media.

6. Can I still use my messaging apps with a travel eSIM?

Yes, you can! With the right settings, the travel eSIM is just a source for mobile data, and will not change the number that you are using for your messaging apps!

Get a Nomad eSIM for your next trip

All ready to embark on your travel eSIM journey? Get a travel eSIM from Nomad!

Nomad offers data plans in over 170 countries, and you can be sure to find one that is suitable for your travel needs. And if you will be traveling across multiple countries, there are also regional plans available so you can stay seamlessly connected as you hop between countries. Data plans are available from as low as $1.50/GB.

If you are unsure about how much data you need for your trip, Nomad also has a Data Calculator that can help you find the plan that is most suitable for you. Also check out our blog post on data-saving tips when traveling to keep your data usage in check when traveling.

Nomad also has a 24-hour customer support team. So, in the event where you face difficulties while using your eSIM, rest assured there will be someone available to help you resolve your issues!