Airalo eSIM

Airalo, the world’s first eSIM store, offers a variety of options, including local, regional and global data coverage, based on time and GB size and offers a substantial savings over standard cellular services while travelling.

eSIMs are the new generation of portable SIM cards and are handier than their predecessor due to the lack of a tiny physical SIM card to lose or damage, once you’ve swapped out your regular carrier’s SIM card.

Airalo Stable Connection
[Install your Airalo eSIM over a stable wifi connection]

They are pre-installed on your device and work 100% digitally to connect to telecom networks around the globe and can save you a lot of money on roaming with your existing carrier.

Airalo covers 200 countries and regions, and you can set up the eSIM ahead of your trip so you can use your phone once you arrive. Another advantage of an eSIM is being able to continue to receive texts and calls on your regular phone number even when you’re abroad (if you choose to turn both eSIMs on).

First off, make sure your device is eSIM-compatible. Airalo’s website lists all compatible smart phone models to ensure yours will work.

Airalo eSIM Airalo eSIM

Download the free Airalo app, then search for the country or region via the options within the app. You can instantly see how much data you’ll get over a specific time period (e.g. 2 GB within 15 days). You can always top up the amount if you’re running low on data (the app lets you know once you’ve hit a milestone, e.g. 25% remaining on the eSIM package).

Airalo eSIM Airalo eSIM

Once you select a regional or global eSIM, you can view a list of supported countries. At that point, you can also view the available networks, plan type, activation policy, and other info. Sign up for an account with an email and password, wait for the email verification code, and you’re all set.

Airalo eSIM Airalo eSIM
[In Canada, payment options include Credit/Debit cards, PayPal and Alipay]

You can pay for an eSIM package with credit and debit cards, PayPal, etc. At this point, you’ll scroll down to Go to eSIM Details, and tap on View Instructions, to see how to install.

Airalo eSIM Airalo eSIM

The eSIM card can be installed one of three ways: Direct, QR code or Manual. Direct is the simplest; just make sure that you’ve got a stable wifi connection while installing the eSIM and allow time for the screens to load to complete the process.

Tap install eSIM, click next until you see the Activate eSIM screen. Let it activate, click on continue a second time, and eventually a screen will pop up asking for a Default Line (which line you’ll be using currently). It’s suggested to click on Primary (your regular line) until you arrive at your destination.

You’ll then have to let Airalo know which line you’d like to use for iMessage and FaceTime. I stuck with Primary until I arrived. A third option will pop up, asking what line you’d like to use as a default for your cellular data (and again, I selected Primary until I landed).

Pro tip: It’s important to toggle the Allow Cellular Data Switching to OFF, so that you won’t be charged roaming fees should the eSIM card have a weak connection at any point during your trip and default to your regular eSIM card.

Airalo eSIM Airalo eSIM

At this point, you’ll see a green screen showing that the eSIM was successfully installed. Pay close attention to the validly plan. The activation policy window will state that the validity period starts when the eSIM connects to any supported network/s in your destination.

This offers assurance that the plan will not start until you’ve arrived and used the connection for the first time, even though you’ve paid for and activated the eSIM card. This is a major advantage over physical SIM cards: You can set up the eSIM long in advance of your trip and not have to fumble with it after a long day of travel.

Once you have arrived, go to Settings > Cellular Data and choose Airalo eSIM as your cellular data (unless you’ve given it a name, it will be called secondary by default). Then go back to the Cellular Data page, and click Secondary under Sims, and make sure that both Turn On This Line and Data Roaming are toggled ON.

Airalo eSIM card Airalo eSIM card

Select My eSIMs tab to view the remaining data on your chosen plan. Scroll to the bottom to view exactly when the plan will expire as well.

The experience was flawless. When I had wifi available, I simply switched the Airalo eSIM to off, and then back on when needed. I was easily able to remain under 5 GB of usage during the entire 16-day trip. And Airalo sent a courtesy email three days before the eSIM expiry date as a heads up.

Just a heads up: I own an iPhone 15 and use Rogers as my cellular service provider. After I returned home, turned off the eSIM, and set my primary line back on, my phone wouldn’t ring when someone was trying to call me nor could I hear ringing when I dialled out. I had to delete the eSIM and restart the iPhone to resolve the issue.

Visit Airalo online for details and the variety of packages available for your travels. Bon voyage!

I was provided with a Eurolink 5GB/30 day eSIM card (USD $20) for the purpose of checking out Airalo’s cellular service while in Iceland, Scotland, and Copenhagen. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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