What Are eSIMs and How Do They Work for Travel?

Make travel smarter with eSIMS: an extension of your phone’s data plan specifically made for travel abroad. Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know about eSIMS: from how they can benefit your travel style, to how they actually work.

What are eSIMS? 📱

Think of sim cards as digital nametags which identifies your phone as your property. Aside from containing your number and network, it also helps your phone to function without Wi-Fi. In a move away from external cards, companies have started using microchips which are embedded into devices and known as eSIMS.

eSIMS allow you to connect to the internet wherever you are without a physical sim card. They save on expensive roaming fees and allow you to still use your existing phone number. Think of it as a secondary data plan, rather than replacing your main one.

Key benefits of an eSIM ✅

  • Quick Setup: Activate data coverage in over 194 destinations in a few seconds, no physical setup required.
  • Flexible and Affordable: Choose a plan that suits your data needs and trip duration
  • Best Internet Speeds: Enjoy the fastest 4G/5G internet speeds with connectivity to 400+ networks globally
  • Unmatched Security: Stay secure with end-to-end encryption and 100% data privacy

How can I use it when travelling? 🛄

ESIMS are compatible with every type of traveller. Maya Mobile offers several different data packages for each destination covered, ranging everywhere from 1G to 40G as well as unlimited data. Here’s how their data plans could match your travel style.

🗺️ Backpackers: Even if you’re looking to disconnect from technology on your long journey, you’ll still benefit from an eSIM. Whether it’s needing Google Maps while lost in the countryside, or being able to access basic communication tools, let your phone be the compass. Shoestring travellers will appreciate Maya Mobile’s comparatively affordable prices, as well as the option to purchase a regional eSIM that covers several countries. And since it’s all digital, you don’t have to worry about losing a SIM card in your luggage!

📱 Business travellers & Digital nomads: eSIMS will help workers abroad meet all of their deadlines stress-free. You’ll have secure access to your emails at any time, as well as any additional apps to support communication and productivity. And if you have any strict deadlines, the fast 4G and 5G internet speeds available will get your work delivered on time.

👪 Family trips: Video streaming is notorious for taking up data, so what do you do if your kids are asking for screentime? Maya Mobile’s higher data plans are more budget-friendly than pricey roaming fees, and if you’re looking into the 20G or 40G plans: will take ages to burn through. In order to get through 40GB, you’d have to be watching video in standard definition for 80 hours! If you’re still concerned, all you need to do is check on the Maya Mobile app how much data you’re using, and top up if needed.

👜 Weekend getaway: Even if you’re only going away for a short time, eSIMS will make a major difference to your trip. Whether your travel itinerary is tight or spontaneous, an eSIM means you can google the local hotspots and opening hours while out. You’ll also be able to upload onto social media without the worry of roaming fees; no need to wait until you get back to the hotel!

Tokyo Tower at night, Tokyo, Japan.

How do I get an eSIM? 🛜

Skratch has partnered up with Maya Mobile so that you can stay connected on your travels. All you have to do is open up the Skratch app, select a country, choose your plan and pay! The set-up only takes a few minutes: either by scanning a QR code and letting Maya Mobile take care of the rest, or by following email instructions.

Find out more by downloading Skratch today, or by reading our eSIMS FAQs here.

Background is of Val di Funes, Italian Dolomites.
Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:
Get practical with our How To travel series.

eSims Buzzwords & What They Mean — A Quick Guide

Data Roaming = the use of data services outside of the coverage area of your home network, i.e. while abroad.

End-to-end encryption = private communication which prevents interference from third parties.

Wi-Fi Calling = allows you to make calls and send texts using a Wi-Fi connection, even in areas where there’s no mobile network coverage.

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Hannah Douch
March 23, 2024
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