Technology

Holafly eSIM review: the best international eSIM?

Sometimes buying a local sim is easy but other times it can be a complete headache. They are not always available at the airports or if you are traveling through a land border, you’re always going to have a gap in coverage until you can go hunt down a sim card.

When you’ve finally found one, you might have spent money on a taxi getting there or are facing a language barrier when setting up your sim or recharging your data plan. You also have to constantly switch between sims in and out of your phone all the time. In some countries they won’t even sell you a sim at all unless you have a local id.

Instead of buying a local sim, Holafly has been becoming relevant these days as an excellent option for having an internet connection without wifi or roaming. This is a recommended brand for many users across the world such as travelers and digital nomads.

We decided to review Holafly to know if it is as good as the people have been talking about. So, let’s check what Holafly is. Here is our full Holafly review, both the good and the bad.

What is Holafly?

Holafly provides 4G connection around the world. At their website, you can buy eSIMs for more than 60 destinations. You can connect to the internet just by scanning a QR code.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a digital SIM card that allows you to receive data without inserting a physical chip in your mobile device. When buying an eSIM you immediately receive the eSIM to your email and can easily activate it.

How does Holafly eSIM work?

First, you have to check if your smartphone supports eSIM. If yes, go to the website of Holafly,  choose the country you’re traveling to and buy your eSIM online. I have a discount code for Girlswanderlust followers, you can check that our below:

Here is a link with a special discount for Girlswanderlust followers: click here (coupon code GIRLSWANDERLUST).

Then you will receive a QR code via email and you can scan it the day before you leave or you can wait till the day of arrival in your country. Once you reach your destination, just activate the data plan and turn on data roaming. We recommend you print the QR code and take it with you on your vacation just in case. The configuration takes about 30 seconds.

Once set up, you can check how much data you have by going to your device’s data settings. 

Advantages of using Holafly eSIM

The ease of setup is just one advantage of using Holafly eSIM. The most important one, is that the data actually works and you can easily have an internet connection. Traveling so far, we’ve used the eSIM in Iceland and Thailand. You can almost use it all over the world. It worked pretty well everywhere we went, even in some remote places. This is probably because the eSIM switches automatically between carriers based on what carrier has the best strength wherever you’re.

With eSIM you can also share data between devices by generating a WiFi connection on your cell phone. Tethering data to our laptop worked perfectly in most places. This comes in very handy for digital nomads.

Another huge advantage is that using the eSIM allows you to keep your physical sim from your home country in your phone, so you can keep your phone number. This way, it’s easy to stay connected to your family and friends without roaming or surprise bills. You can keep your WhatsApp number and can call and message all your contacts on WhatsApp, like you’re in the same country. The fact that you don’t need to buy a local sim which is made of plastic, also makes eSIM an eco-friendly replacement.

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eSIM disadvantages:

Just because it worked well for us does not mean the eSIM is suitable for everyone. We would not recommend this for backpackers traveling on a shoestring budget. It’s almost always cheaper to buy a local physical sim card once you arrive in a country. For all other travelers, it’s super handy. The cost is well worth the time and hassle that it saves.

Just keep in mind that not all phones do support eSIM cards and that the eSIM only allows the use of mobile data. It does not include a local phone number to receive or send calls or SMS. Furthermore, you need  internet access to activate the eSIM.

International eSIM plans: how much do I need to pay?

The cost of an eSIM depends on the destination. At Holafly you can buy eSIMs for more than 60 destinations. These are the most populars:

  • eSIM for Europe: $27 to $49
  • eSIM for Asia: $47
  • eSIM for North America: $54

International eSIM plans for Europe:

If you want to travel to Europe you can buy an Holafly eSIM for between $27 to $49. You will get connections across the continent and would be able to explore more than 40 countries with the internet. The Europe eSIM uses several providers like Orange,Vodafone, Movistar, Tim, SFR.

International eSIM plans for Asia:

If you want to travel to Asia you can buy an Holafly eSIM for $47. You will have the internet in 13 countries.

International eSIM plans for North America:

If you want to travel to North America you can buy an Holafly eSIM for $54. Connect to the internet in the USA, Mexico and Canada with superfast connection. The North America eSIM uses AT&T, Rogers, Telus, Bell, one of the best eSIM providers in the country.

Final thoughts about Holafly eSIM

If you’re looking for a travel SIM card that doesn’t take up a physical SIM slot in your phone and can be activated before landing in your destination, we highly recommend checking Holafly out. Some parts of the world are cheaper than others, but if you want to avoid the hassle of hunting down local SIM cards once you arrive, it’s certainly a convenient option.


Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links provided, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting the work I put into Girlswanderlust!

Author: Daphne

Make sure to pin this post for later if you consider using an eSIM!

4 Comments

  • Kate

    Hi, your article states ” Tethering data to our laptop worked perfectly in most places” but on the Holafly website is says you can’t share data by creating a WiFi hotspot. Just wondering which information is true. We travel to Europe in 2023. Thanking you in advance. Kate.

    • Girlswanderlust

      Hi Kate, tethering data to my laptop in Thailand works perfectly. I use it almost every day to work on my laptop. I also use the hotspot regularly to provide internet to my friends. I think it also works just fine in europe.

  • Expat Panda

    If I travelled between countries in Europe that are in the Holafly network (for example Netherlands & Belgium), would I need a separate one for each country try?

    • Girlswanderlust

      Hi,
      No, you won’t need separate eSIMS. When you buy the eSIM for Europe, you can use 1 eSIM for 40 countries within Europe, including The Netherlands & Belgium =)

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