data at local prices as soon as you land..
one of the biggest issues i face in some of the countries i visit is access to data. yes, it may sound trivial to most but when you are a digital nomad & need to be connected at all times this is one of the most important services. okay..okay i've heard enough already let's skip to the free data part.....
issues travellers face
when i land in a new country my first thought is i hope they have a mobile operators store in the arrivals hall, well this is after collecting my bags as i have had a few losses recently.
most airports have at least one provider at the airport selling sim cards with data packages but operators have recently started to catch on that they could charge foreigners a premium & recently i have seen so-called 'tourist sim's' in most airports the issue is they are normally around double to triple the price of a local sim's with data. So depending on how desperate i was i would either buy the 'tourist sim' for a premium or stick to my morals & not be ripped off by the operators. having data at the airport is essential to me as i have been conned so many time by unscrupulous taxi drivers that charge crazy prices to tourists. having data lets me order an uber (or taxi service) for a fraction of the cost.
what is an esim
well, it's an electronic sim card. you can add many eSIMs to your phone & switch between them easily. most phones can also run your native countries sim card at the same time for things like calls & sms while using the esim for data. it is great for those times when you would still like to be reached by phone or sms on your original number this can come in the form of 2FA (two-factor authentication) as we all know when travelling our banks tend to block our cards seemingly for no reason as we let them know we where travelling and ask for an OTP (one time password) repeatedly, sent via either SMS or automated call.
the solution | airalo
airalo is a company that offers data eSIMSs in 100+ countries around the globe.
The data packs are either the same price as local operators or in the case of the USA, it’s much cheaper. the sim is activated as soon as you arrive in your new destination. it is a total game-changer for nomads like myself but also for business & casual travellers that visit countries for short periods of time.
I often find that i purchase much more data than i need simply because i have no choice but with airalo you can purchase the lowest plan say 1GB & then top up when you need.
for those that are travelling to multiple countries on a trip they have regional eSIMs like the european one that covers 41 countries all over the EU this is great for most travellers arriving in the EU as i find they tend to visit multiple countries & buying a physical sim in every country would be arduous.
if you are an avid traveller, sailor, pilot, nomad or backpacker the world eSIM covers 52 countries for 90 days, it's only ($40).
lets get technical
devices that are compatible with eSIMs at the moment are; iPhone XR, XS / Max, 11, 11 pro, iPad LTE, samsung galaxy , google pixel & motorola razr. most new phone from 2020 should have eSIM capabilities built-in as the technology is becoming standard for most manufactures.
so what's the downside?
right now the main issue is the number of devices that support eSIMs but also that fact that airalo only lets you use data. sms & calls are not supported.
everyone one loves something for free so i am giving away $3 for new users which is enough to get you 1GB in a-lot of countries.