Travel Tech

Should I Use a SIM Card or eSIM When Traveling?

With the introduction of eSIM, many people are scratching their heads, wondering if they should move to it. This is especially the case for travelers who are used to changing SIM cards when they travel. Of course, there are pros and cons to eSIM, but what about during travel? Should you make the switch to eSIM or stick to regular SIM? We’ll get to that, but first, let’s talk about what SIM and eSIM actually are.

What’s a SIM Card versus an eSIM?

A SIM card is a physical card that stores your mobile phone number and other information that identifies you as a subscriber to a particular mobile network. An eSIM is a virtual SIM card that is embedded in your mobile device and can be used to activate a mobile service from any carrier that supports eSIM.

The main difference between a SIM card and an eSIM is that a SIM card is a physical card that you insert into your phone, while an eSIM is a virtual card that is stored on your phone. Another difference is that an eSIM can be used with any carrier that supports eSIM, while a SIM card can only be used with the carrier that issued it.

The Pros and Cons of SIM Cards in comparison to eSIM for Travel

The debate about whether to use a SIM card or an eSIM when traveling is one that has been going on for a while. There are pros and cons to both, so it really depends on your individual needs and preferences as to which is best for you.

Here, we take a look at the pros and cons of each option to help you make a decision.

SIM Cards

  • Pro: With a SIM Card, You Can Usually Get a Better Data Deal

When you buy a local SIM card, you are usually able to get a much better data deal than you would if you used your home SIM card. This is because local carriers often have special deals and offers for tourists.

  • Con: It Can Be a Hassle to Get a Local SIM Card

Depending on where you are traveling, it can be a bit of a hassle to get a local SIM card and swap it with your existing SIM. This is because you often have to go to a local store, which can be difficult if you don’t speak the language. You also have to make sure that your phone is unlocked, which may not be the case if you have bought it on a contract.


  • Pro: An eSIM Is Much More Convenient than a SIM Card

An eSIM is much more convenient than a SIM card because you don’t have to go to a store to get it. You can simply add it to your phone via the Settings app. This is especially handy if you are traveling to multiple countries and don’t want to have to keep getting new SIM cards.

  • Con: Not All Phones Support eSIM

The main downside of eSIM is that not all phones support it. At the moment, it is on recent phones, starting with the iPhone XS and XR (from 2018). This means that if you want to use an eSIM, you need to confirm that your device is eSIM-enabled i.e. has the eSIM feature.


So, which is more convenient for travel? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for convenience and flexibility, an eSIM may be a better option. If you’re trying to save money and have enough time to do that, a SIM card may be a better option. Either way, eSIMs are still new, but they are gradually being implemented. Sooner or later, eSIMs will take over, and we’ll all be enjoying the benefits it offers.

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