If you are planning to travel abroad and international roaming costs are scaring you, then take a sigh of relief. We will spill the beans on the best international eSIM cards for travelling abroad to help you save money on calls, texts, and data connectivity.

International SIM cards work all across the globe and let you stay connected with family and friends back home without having to spend a bit over the odds. In this article, you can learn all you need about international eSIM cards for foreign trips, including their cost, packages, credit validity, and coverage.

We will also shed light on the difference between an international sim card and a local prepaid sim card, along with a quick comparison of the best travel sim cards for the year 2024, including the pros and cons for each. So let’s get it going and discover some of the top-performing esim cards for international traveling.

What is an eSIM Card?

Before we dive into the list of best international eSIM cards, let’s take a look at what an eSIM is, how it works, and in what ways it differs from a conventional physical SIM card.

Physical SIM cards are rapidly being replaced by digital SIMs called eSIM cards. These SIM cards however work on compatible phones only so you need to check if your mobile device supports one. eSIM cards are ideal for travelling abroad and can be bought online with just a few clicks.

eSIM cards have an edge over conventional international SIM cards as they can be used worldwide and not only in the country that you intend to travel to. So if you plan to visit multiple countries during your trip, an eSIM might be the best option.

Why Use an International eSIM Card?

When travelling abroad, cellular connectivity is the most annoying thing you ever have to confront. Often, travellers are stressed out because of their inability to connect to family back home and use data connectivity to carry out multiple tasks, including finding nearby locations on the map, booking a cab service, or searching for stuff online.

International data roaming plans are usually outrageously expensive and have limited internet connectivity. Malls and public places have open Wi-Fi but they are often not reliable and secure. Tourists and travellers want to stay online without compromising their budget and safety. This is where an international eSIM card steps in to help save the day.

Standard Local Prepaid SIM Cards vs International eSIM Cards

While local prepaid SIM cards can be the cheapest option when it comes to using mobile data, international SIM cards can generally help you save on the overall roaming costs.

There is a big difference between a local tourist prepaid SIM card and an international eSIM card. While local SIM cards are great for travelling to one country, an international tourist SIM card is a cost-effective option when travelling to multiple countries during your trip.

A local tourist SIM card is generally cheaper than an international SIM card. But of course, the latter comes with more benefits and options and can be suitable for travellers who often travel to different countries across the globe.

Local sim cards designed for tourists usually offer value bundles for data and calls. Most countries and mobile operators have specially designed SIM cards to provide affordable call and data packages to visitors. The only con is that you, as a tourist, can purchase them only after you arrive in the destination country. These SIMs can be bought from the airport or a local phone store.

On the other hand, international eSIM cards can be bought online beforehand and may save you from the hassle of buying a SIM card after arrival at your destination. With an electronic sim card, you can go online the moment you land in a foreign country and easily connect to family and friends.

Local prepaid SIM cards and international eSIM cards have pros and cons. Therefore as a tourist, you will have to decide whether you want to opt for an international SIM card or a local prepaid SIM according to your personal preferences and budget.

11 Top International eSIM Cards for Tourists

Now that you have a basic understanding of a local prepaid SIM card and international esim card for tourists, it’s time to move on to our list of best international eSIM cards for traveling abroad.

All the SIM cards mentioned below can be purchased online and delivered straight to your home address or sent as a link to your valid e-mail address. International eSIM cards can be digital as well as physical. Make sure your device supports electronic SIM cards in case you purchase an international esim for your trip abroad.

In a nutshell:

  1. Best sim card for Europe: Orange Holiday Europe & Bouygues Telecom (e-sim)
  2. Best sim card for Caribbean: Knowroaming or KeepGo
  3. Best sim card for North America: Orange Holiday World & Three UK or a Discover Global E-sim card
  4. Best sim card for Central America: Three UK
  5. Best sim card for South America: Three UK & Discover Global E-sim card
  6. Best sim card for Africa: Orange Holiday WorldDiscover Global E-sim card
  7. Best sim card for Asia: Discover Global E-sim cardJetpac Global
  8. Best sim card for Southeast Asia: Jetpac Global
  9. Best sim card for the Middle East: Discover Global E-sim card
  10. Best sim card for Oceania: Smart Traveller eSimNomad Global
  11. Best sim card for Global: Discover Global E-sim card

Now let’s take an in-depth look at the best-performing international eSIM cards to help you save money and stay connected to the world on the go.

  1. Discover Global eSIM Card by Airalo

The easiest and budget-friendly way to stay connected when travelling abroad is via the Airalo eSIM card. It is software you activate on your device without swapping SIM cards. This lets you switch to a new network where you can use data and make calls as per your choice.

The Discover Global SIM card is an eSIM and is unavailable as a conventional SIM card. Upon receiving mail from the operator, you can scan the QR code, follow the instructions, and install the eSIM on your device. It wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to activate the connection.

Airalo Discover Global eSIM

Discover Global eSIM is powered by Airalo, one of the popular eSIM card providers across the globe. Airalo offers international eSIM cards for all parts of the world and sells two international eSIM cards, one data-only SIM, and the other for making and receiving calls and texts.

Both versions of the Discover Global eSIM cards have coverage in more than 130 countries and stay valid for a year from the activation date.

  • Airalo Prices for the Discover Global data-only eSIM Card

The Discover Global eSIM cards cost $69 (≈ AED 253) and come packed with 20 GB of data with one-year validity. The operator offers multiple packages to suit varying budgets.

Airalo Discover Global Data

Click here for more info or to order a Discover Global data-only eSIM Card via Airalo.

  • Airalo Prices for the Discover Global eSIM, including calls & texts

A version of the eSIM from Airalo is available with Calls and Texts. This will help for quick calls in any of the 130 countries supported by the eSIM – starting from $15 (≈ AED 55) for 1 GB, 10 minutes of Calls and 10 SMS.

Airalo Discover Global Text with Calls

These global data packages are valid in 130 countries, including:

  • Europe: every European country is covered, including the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Greenland.
  • North America: USA, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador
  • Asia: China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Macau, Philippines, Tajikistan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan.
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay.
  • Middle East: Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen.
  • Africa: Sudan, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Gabon, Eswatini, Central African Republic, Chad, Tunisia, Tanzania, Seychelles, Senegal, Reunion, Kenya, Congo DRC, Republic of Congo, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Mali, Madagascar.

A big plus of the Airalo Discover Global eSIM is that it has 5G compatibility in many countries, which means you can enjoy high-speed connectivity and stay online without spending much money.

While the Airalo Discover Global eSim card offers convenience, it’s worth noting that in certain lesser-known countries like Greenland, Belarus, Gibraltar, Eswatini, Central African Republic, and others, the maximum data speed is limited to 3G, leading to disappointing performance. However, I primarily rely on my Global eSim card from Airalo only for the initial hours or day when I arrive in a new country. Afterwards, especially in less-traveled destinations, I often switch to a local prepaid SIM card for better connectivity and performance.

  1. Orange Holiday World

Orange Holiday World international SIM card offers value-for-money data bundles and robust coverage. This SIM card works well globally with prepaid packages that allow the user to stay connected easily.

The unique travel sim card lets people enjoy data roaming in more than 197 countries, which means wherever you go, you can make calls and go online without having to swap multiple sims in your device.

The only downside of this Sim is that you cannot make or receive phone calls. The Orange Holiday World is a data-only sim card with no designated phone number. The connection stays valid for 14 days after which you can use the balance online.

SimOptions power the SIM card and can be purchased online with ease. You may visit SimOptions’ website to order an Orange Holiday World international prepaid sim card.

The company has more than 250 million users worldwide, thanks to its value-for-money data plans and free international roaming worldwide. However, the sim card has no electronic version and can only be purchased as a physical sim card.

Orange Holiday World

  • Orange Holiday World Cost

The Orange Holiday World International SIM Card costs around $50 (≈ AED 183) and comes packed with 10 GB of data over two weeks. Please remember that the data volume may vary depending on the country you intend to travel to.

orange Europe International

No activation is required, and the SIM card activates automatically upon insertion into the device. The data validity starts when you connect the sim to the network. For further details and information, you may visit Orange’s official website and get your queries sorted.

The Orange Holiday World international SIM card is priced at $49.90 (≈ AED 183) and includes a maximum of 10 GB data, depending on your destination(s).

  • For EU countries and Zone 1 destinations (listed below), you’ll receive the full 10 GB data allocation: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Benin, Botswana, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Liberia, Macao, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Switzerland, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom, Uganda, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam.
  • In Zone 2 destinations (Argentina, Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Dominican Republic, Uruguay), you can utilize up to 5 GB data.
  • For specific countries like Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Sri Lanka, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Togo, Venezuela, you’ll have access to 1 GB of data.

In any other country not specified in the previous zones, you’ll receive only 50 MB of data, which may be insufficient for most users’ needs.

If you find yourself running out of data, calls, or texts, you can conveniently top up your SIM card online via the Orange website. By doing so, you can renew the same package for only $31 (≈ AED 117) and regain access to up to 10 GB of data.

The Orange Holiday World prepaid global SIM card is highly recommended for travelers visiting countries listed in Zone 1 or Zone 2, offering ample data and cost-effective rates. While it’s a convenient plug-and-play option with no activation required, some users may find the 14-day validity period limiting and wish for broader coverage, particularly in popular Caribbean destinations. Nevertheless, its popularity among travelers worldwide attests to its value and makes it one of the top choices for global data SIM cards.

  1. Jetpac Global

Jetpac is a relatively new eSIM provider but offers some incredible connectivity plans on a budget. Jetpac Global eSIM works in more than 50 countries worldwide and is valid in popular holiday destinations, including Europe, USA, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and China.

This international eSIM card is perfect for travelling and heading to Europe and East and Southeast Asia countries.

  • Jetpac Cost

Jetpac Global eSIM card is by far the cheapest international eSIM available at the moment with plans starting from as low as $1 (≈ AED 3.67). You can avail 1 GB of data for this price with a validity of up to 30 days. The operator also offers a whopping 15 GB of data for just $25 (≈ AED 92)with a one-month validity.

The SIM card can be ordered online with just a few clicks. The Jetpac Global eSIM is not available as a physical prepaid card and can only be used as an electronic sim. It’s a data-only sim and does not support incoming and outgoing phone calls.

An added benefit of the Jetpac Global eSIM cards is that they allow users to access free lounge service in case the flight is delayed. You must register your itinerary before departure to activate the complimentary lounge access.

For more information and details, we recommend you visit Jetpac’s official website.

  1. Three UK Prepaid SIM Card

International sim cards powered by Three UK allow customers to browse the internet in more than 56 countries with no added or hidden costs. This one can be a suitable option for budget travelers who want to stay online when traveling abroad.

However, the international eSIM cards by Three UK are not available as eSIMs therefore you would need to order one from their website to be shipped to your address. You can purchase these SIM cards from SimOptions online and get the physical SIM parcelled to your chosen location.

There are at the moment 6 data plans available with Three UK international SIM cards. Some packages may not be available in a few countries, so it’s better to check beforehand to avoid any surprises.

  • Three UK Cost

You can get a prepaid sim card by Three UK for as low as $24.90 (≈ AED 91) which comes with 10 GB data valid for up to 30 days. The maximum data you can purchase is 24 GB for $79.90 (≈ AED 293) with a validity of up to one year. No activation is required as the network is connected as soon as you insert the SIM into your device.

You can enjoy free data roaming in all the valid countries but incoming and outgoing calls are not supported. One big downside is that once the data is all drained, you can only top it up with a credit card registered in the UK. So basically after the 30 days, you can use the sim card for receiving texts and calls only.

To learn more about the international sim cards by Three UK, we advise you to visit their official website at

  1. Nomad eSIM

Nomad is another new name in the eSIM card market but has established itself in a very short time. The company offers many attractive deals for some countries, including the Middle East and Dubai. Their international eSIM cards are pricier but are valid for use in more than 100 countries.

Nomad provides data only on international eSIM cards from Truphone and eSim GO. The plans offered by eSim Go are valid in almost 139 countries, whereas the Truphone data plans are valid in up to 109 countries across the globe.

  • Nomad Cost

eSim Go Data plans

You can get 1 GB of data with a 7-day validity for $19 (≈ AED 70). The maximum you can get is 5 GB of data for $57 (≈ AED 209) with a validity of up to 30 days.

Truphone Data plans

A Nomad eSIM powered by Truphone can give you 1 GB of data for $25 (≈ AED 92) and the maximum volume you can purchase is 5 GB for $45 (≈ AED 165) with validity of up to 30 days.

You may visit Nomad’s official website to order an eSIM and stay connected wherever you go.

  1. ESim2FLY Global

Thailand-based AIS internet provider offers an eSIM card designed specifically for international traveling. With this electronic sim card, you can go online in an instant and browse the internet on your mobile device with ease.

The data-only sim powered by AIS does not support incoming and outgoing calls and texts and is only suitable for travelers who prefer online connectivity. Users can use their AIS international sim card in more than 141 countries and is compatible with 5G networks ensuring high-speed connectivity on the go.

ESim2FLY Cost

You can purchase 6 GB of data for $39.90 (≈ AED 147) with a validity of up to 15 days. For further details on data bundles, pricing, and purchase of Esim2FLY AIS International eSIM card, we recommend you visit the official website of SimOptions.

  1. Surfroam

International sim cards operated by Surfroam offer data-only connectivity with coverage in more than 200 countries worldwide. While you may not be able to make or receive calls, you can stay connected to the world via WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and other apps offering voice-over-internet calls.

  • Surfroam Cost

You can purchase two types of SIM cards from Surfroam. One is a standard sim card for $16.40 (≈ AED 60) and an eSIM card for $22 (≈ AED 80). Surfroam offers free-of-cost international eSIM cards and you get a balance equal to the sim’s cost.

There are no data plans to be bought and you can browse the internet and pay as you go. On average you can use 1 GB data for $11 (≈ AED 41) considering the standard cost of data usage in Western countries.

For further details on online orders, shipping, and costs, we recommend you visit Surfroam’s official website.

  1. Keepgo

KeepGo is a popular cellular network provider which works in conjunction with AT&T, Vodafone, and Telefonica with offices spread out in America, Israel, and the Netherlands. The company operates on more than 500 networks in around 100 countries worldwide.

The international sim card offered by KeepGo is a data-only sim so you won’t be able to make or receive any calls or texts.

  • Keepgo Cost

With KeepGo international sim cards for Europe and the USA, you will have to pay $8 (≈ AED 29) per GB when browsing the internet.

Other international sim cards by KeepGo offer data plans where you can spend $14 (≈ AED 51) and get 500 MB. The maximum data volume you can buy is 10 GB, worth $165 (≈ AED 606). All data packages stay valid for up to 1 year and if you recharge your balance once every year, then all data remains valid for a lifetime.

KeepGo international sim cards are pretty expensive when compared with other networks. You may use coupons and avail of special sales and promotions to lower the cost but overall it’s a pricey network but offers robust connectivity on the go.

For more details and information, you may visit KeepGo’s website and get all your queries sorted.

  1. Know Roaming

With coverage in more than 200 countries, Know Roaming’s international SIM cards are worth considering if you are an avid traveller.

You may buy a Know Roaming sim card for $9.99 (≈ AED 37) and buy data plans as per your choice. The network does not support incoming or outgoing calls; thus, you may only be able to use data connectivity on your device.

  • Know Roaming Cost

To go online using a Know Roaming international eSIM card, you can buy from a variety of data plans as per your choice.

The Global data plan works in 79 countries and can be bought for $99.99 (≈ AED 367). This package comes with 5 GB of data with a validity of up to 30 days. The European sim card can be purchased for $39.99 (≈ AED 147) and comes with 5GB Data volume and a validity of up to 30 days.

The sim card for Asia can be purchased for $39.99 (≈ AED 147) and comes packed with 5 GB data which stays valid for a month.

Compared with similar networks, Know Roaming international eSIM cards seem cost-effective. Their global data plans are reasonably priced, and you can choose packages depending on the destinations you want to visit.

Their eSIM can be ordered for free, and you can then buy data plans as per your choice and budget. For further details on pricing and connectivity, we advise you to visit their website or contact customer assistance services.

  1. Travelsim

The next one on our list of best international eSIM cards for traveling abroad is the Travelsim sim card. These sim cards work well in around 135 countries across the globe and offer multiple connectivity plans to help users make calls, send texts, and browse the internet while traveling to foreign countries.

  • Travelsim Cost

A standard travelsim international sim card may cost you $10 (≈ AED 37) whereas an eSIM can be purchased for $6 (≈ AED 22). The network allows users to receive free calls and texts without any additional roaming charges.

Travelsim international sim card data and call packages are a bit on the pricier side but offer great coverage in popular tourist destinations across the globe.

The company offers free shipping on all orders worth more than $50 (≈ AED 183). For further information on packages and pricing, we recommend you visit their website or contact their customer support team for assistance.

  1. GigSky eSIM Card

GigSky specializes in selling electronic SIM cards and has discontinued selling physical SIM cards. The company offers a variety of data packages to suit varying budgets. At the moment they are only selling data-only international SIM cards which do not support incoming or outgoing calls and text messages.

GigSky has robust coverage in more than 116 countries but has limited connectivity in Africa.

  • GigSky Cost

GigSky offers free international eSIM cards; you only need to download their app on your device and select a preferred package depending on your personal preference and budget. You can purchase a data plan online and start using the internet right away.

They offer regional and global data plans to suit the varying needs of travellers. On average, you may spend $40 (≈ AED 147) for 5 GB of data in most countries. Rates may vary slightly across regions.

Also read: A Quick Guide To Buying SIM Cards in UAE

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