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How long does it take for my travel eSIM to activate?

Just a few minutes!

· 3 min read

In the digital age, where convenience is paramount, the emergence of eSIM has revolutionized the way we connect our devices to cellular networks. Unlike traditional SIM cards, which require physical insertion and removal, eSIMs are integrated directly into devices and are a convenient option for getting connectivity when traveling. If you are on a last-minute trip and looking for a quick way to get connectivity, you might be wondering how long it takes for an eSIM to be activated, and if it is a viable solution for your last-minute travels.


What is involved in getting an eSIM for travel

Broadly speaking, there are three main stages to getting an eSIM for your travels:

  1. Buying
  2. Installing
  3. Activating

Let's take a look at what each stage of the process entails.

Buying an eSIM

Well, at the buying stage, it is exactly what it is - you buy your eSIM. There are many different channels where you can buy an eSIM from, whether it is from the local telcos or from providers of travel eSIMs.

The buying process could differ depending on how you buy the eSIM. Most providers of travel eSIMs allow you to buy the eSIMs online, and you will receive the eSIM package via email. If you are buying from a local telco directly, some of them may still require you to make your purchase or collect your eSIM physically at the counters.

If you are buying an eSIM from an online provider, check the terms of delivery. Some providers (especially if you purchase through third-party OTA sites) will promise a delivery of your eSIM in 24 hours; while in other cases, you will be able to receive the eSIM within minutes of purcahse.

When you buy an eSIM with Nomad, you will receive your installation package almost instantly after you complete your purchase.

Installing your eSIM

After you have bought your eSIM, the next step is to install your eSIM. eSIM installation is rather straightforward and the entire process takes no more than a couple minutes.

In most cases, you will be given a QR code for your eSIM. Simply scan the QR code using your device to install your eSIM.

If scanning a QR code doesn't work, your eSIM purchase will usually come with the details for the eSIM and you can add your eSIM to your device by manually entering your eSIM details. Check your eSIM installation kit provided to you by your provider for more details on installation process.

Activating your eSIM

Now comes the final stage - which is to activate your eSIM. Your eSIM plan needs to be activated for it to connect to the network and access cellular services.

How long does it take for my travel eSIM to activate?

If you have had the experience of signing up for a new primary line or to transfer telcos, you might have been told that your line will be activated in a few hours or a few days; and perhaps you are wondering if your travel eSIM might take that same amount of time for activation.

For travel eSIMs, that's typically not the case.

Most of the time, your travel eSIM is typically activated within minutes. In most cases, the activation is triggered when your eSIM first connects and registers itself to the network, and you will be able to connect to the internet after a few minutes. There might be some cases where you will need to manually activate your eSIM - but even in these cases, the activation process will take only a few minutes from the time you trigger the activation.

Travel eSIMs as a good and quick option for last minute trips

The entire process from buying to installing and activating your travel eSIM takes no more than 10 minutes.

If you are preparing for a last minute trip, and you don't have time to buy a travel SIM card or local SIM card for your trip, eSIMs are a great alternative. The process of getting an eSIM is hassle-free and straightforward. It is also a much cheaper option than if you were to activate international roaming for your trip.

However, it is important to note that to take advantage of travel eSIMs, your device needs to fulfil these criteria:

Get a Nomad eSIM to help you stay connected on your next trip

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 $1.10/GB.

The networks that Nomad's eSIMs use for each plan are stated on the plan details on the web store and apps, so you can check which networks are supported before buying your plan. Data sharing and tethering is also supported on Nomad's eSIM plans.