How to get the most out of your phone when travelling abroad

February 9, 2024

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We’ve never been more connected.

Smart phones have revolutionised the way we communicate with every app you could imagine right at your fingertips, including email, WhatsApp, social media, video calling and, of course, traditional phone calls.

However, this all changes when you are using your phone abroad.

Suddenly you’re panicking when you open an app and memories of accidentally hitting the internet browser button on your Motorola Razr and slamming the ‘cancel’ button (remember buttons on phones?!) like your life depended on it to prevent an unwanted cost come flooding back.

But it doesn’t have to be that way…

Enter the eSIM: The greener, more cost-effective travel companion that will make you wonder how you ever travelled without using your phone abroad.

In this article, we are going to provide you with our top tips for using an eSIM abroad, including what you need to do to get the most out of your phone, without coming home to a huge bill.


Tip 1:  Understand Your Phone

Not all phones and tablets are created equal, especially when it comes to going abroad.

Finding out if your device is eSIM compatible is the first step to phone freedom.

Most smartphones are eSIM ready but you can check yours by visiting our guide.

Phone not on the list? No problem! You can find out more about physical SIMs here.


Tip 2: Choose the Best Plan for Your Plans

There are many different types of eSIM plans that connect to a variety of networks so you can choose the plan that works for you, including data only plans, and bundles that include texts and/or minutes.

Plans also vary in length so you can select the number of days that the eSIM is required for while you are away.

Some plans even cover multiple countries, such as regional and global plans, meaning that you can buy one plan and hop around the globe to your heart’s content!

Consider what you are planning on doing and where you are travelling before purchasing and ask yourself:

  • Will I be crossing any borders?
  • Will there be frequent access to Wi-Fi or will I be relying on data?
  • Will I need to communicate with locals (such as contacting your accommodation owner, booking a restaurant etc)?
  • Am I likely to post on social media?

Answering these questions can give you a good steer on what kind of plan you need and what to include.

Plans can be purchased through desktop or an app on your phone (so long as the handset is unlocked).


Tip 3: Rome Without Roaming

Purchase your plan ahead of time and activate it when you arrive at your destination.

You can then use it instantly.

Take advantage of the airport Wi-Fi to avoid any accidental charge or using up of data and utilise other Wi-Fi spots throughout your trip.

From there you can use your phone as you normally would and share your travels with your friends and family.


Tip 4: Stay Safe

Having no phone signal abroad is a worry for a lot of travelers, however eSIMs combat this by using local networks, meaning you’ll always have the best possible connection when away from home.

Another benefit for travelers using eSIMs isthat eSIM technology is built into your handset, making it impossible for anyone to switch your SIM card with another.

The only way for a criminal to do that with an eSIM would be to steal your phone, which sounds like a risky strategy with a lot of hassle.

Keeping your phone charged and secured safely in your bag or zip pocket will help to prevent this though.


Tip 5: Troubleshooting

There is always a small chance that something could go wrong, although with eSIMs it is highly unlikely.

However, if you do run into problems, most answers or help can be found on FAQs pages, or by contacting customer services.

Representatives can also be found in airports for advice or handset help.

Saving the customer service number or contact page in your phone as message, note, or even a screenshot, gives you the peace of mind that you can access help easily if required.



Our phones are a huge part of our everyday lives and there is now no reason this should change when using your phone abroad thanks to eSIM technology.

By understanding your device's compatibility, choosing the right plan for your journey, and activating your eSIM upon arrival, you can roam freely without the worry of large bills or connectivity issues.

Remember, a little preparation goes a long way—setting up your eSIM correctly can save you time, money, and stress, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: enjoying your travels.

Use Sim Local’s tips to get the most out of your phone abroad, turning it into your most reliable travel companion.

Safe travels!

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