If you are planning to travel to the United States soon, you may have already asked yourself this question: what’s the best way to stay connected throughout your journey?
Technology is truly a beautiful thing. Forget about paying exorbitant prices for international roaming (try not to shudder while thinking of numbers). Equally, you no longer need to spend your time trying to find a local provider to sell you a top-up SIM card just so you can post your tourist snaps on Instagram.
With smartphones constantly evolving and adding new features, cellular connection is now available within a few clicks. The only thing you need is a device supporting the eSIM standard.
How eSIM Is Different from Physical SIM Cards
If eSIM sounds confusing to you, there’s a simple explanation. An eSIM (embedded SIM), is a programmable SIM card implanted directly into a device. There’s no need for inserting a physical card into a device.
The eSIM standard launched in 2016, and since then it has become a go-to feature in modern devices, slowly making general SIM cards a thing of the past.
Best eSIM Plans in the USA
When you are traveling to the United States, the last thing you want is to rely on public WiFi. Buying an eSIM is a game changer, giving you the much-needed connection and saving you dollars.
There are two possible options one can go when choosing an eSIM, namely, local providers and international eSIM plans. Let’s have a look at both.
Most of the US cellular providers cater to their local audience, prioritizing long-term contracts over short-term options. However, some of them do offer plans for tourists.
T-Mobile, one of the three big names in the US market (alongside with AT&T and Verizon), offers its T-Mobile Prepaid eSIM app that allows travelers to activate the new T-Mobile prepaid service on an iPhone with eSIM.
T-Mobile prepaid plans work for 30 days. They start at $50 for unlimited data, and there’s also a 10 GB/month option for $40.
Local US providers aren’t the only option for those traveling to the United States. With the inception of eSIM, a number of international companies started offering eSIM services that work in the US.
Here are the top 3 international eSIM companies to choose from, depending on what you need during your travel.
This Lithuanian-based company offers a number of eSIM plans for a variety of countries. The best pick for travelers to the US would be the provider’s Worldwide option: for €90 they get an eSIM that has 10 GB of data and works in 133 countries. It’s also unlimited in duration, which means the possibility of reusing it.
eSIM Plus’ website is available in three languages (English, Russian, Polish), which is a great perk for Eastern European travelers.
Another European startup Holafly can help you stay connected in the United States (and 100 other countries) as well. The company’s eSIM plans include unlimited data — but are limited in duration.
Nomad is a Singapore and US-based data eSIM provider. Likewise, it offers worldwide eSIM plans. There’s a catch, though, as Nomad’s plans are relatively short-termed, ranging from 7 to 30 days.
So how do you choose the best eSIM plan for your journey to the United States? It should depend on the following factors: duration of your trip, the amount of data you consume, and your traveling activity. If you need a connection for basic things like email and directions and prefer an eSIM to use on multiple trips, pick a plan with unlimited duration. If you can’t live without data-heavy social networks like Instagram or TikTok, then you definitely need a plan with unlimited data.
In any case, using an eSIM will help you stay connected in the United States and not overspend on international data roaming.