On Esim

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Esim has been around for a while, but I never felt the need to switch my regular sim to eSIM. From the stories I've heard, the eSIM technology still have some quirks, particularly when changing phones.

However, my perspective shifted when it came to traveling. During my last trip to the US in 2019, I had to purchase a prepaid plan from T-Mobile, which set me back around 40 USD. Traditional US carriers often lack short-term options for travelers. This time, I tried Airalo. A 5GB data plan cost me only 16 USD, valid for 30 days. With a referral code, you can get an extra 3 USD off:

Hey, have you tried an eSIM? Get US$3 off your first eSIM data pack from Airalo. Use code JAC4766 when you sign up or apply it at checkout. https://ref.airalo.com/z7Bg

Before diving in, double-check that your phone supports eSIM.

The only downside is that the plan covers only data, no phone calls or texts. But for me, that's not a dealbreaker when I'm on the road.

The Experience

Overall, the experience was smooth. I purchased the plan a day before takeoff. The instructions were clear, and activating the plan was a breeze. Just remember to turn off your original sim in the setting to avoid roaming charges, or you can simply pop out the sim before landing.

Upon arrival, the Esim automatically connects to local network, granting me immediate access to essential services like Uber. By the end of the trip, I hadn't used up all the data. However, if you find yourself needing more, you can always purchase another plan.