October 4, 2023

In all my years as a backpacker, there was one constant challenge that never failed to test my patience – the quest for reliable Wi-Fi. There were times when it flowed seamlessly, granting me excellent service in hostels or cozy cafes, and then there were those days when I’d go without even a single bar for what felt like an eternity. This not only raised concerns for my ever-worried parents, especially when I couldn’t respond to their messages, but it also added a layer of complexity to navigating unfamiliar territories. However, being a budget-conscious backpacker, I was hesitant to splurge on a data plan, so I soldiered on!

As I’ve transitioned from backpack to rolling suitcase, I’ve come to appreciate the value of my sanity. To ensure more comfortable travels and simplify my life, I’ve made it a habit to invest in a data plan when traveling abroad.

On my recent journey from Israel to the United States, I embarked on a comprehensive quest to unravel the myriad, often exorbitant options for call and data packages. To put it mildly, it was bewildering. Each telecommunications company offered a slightly different package, making it challenging to discern the best choice. However, after diligent research, I believe I’ve cracked the code.

Having done the legwork on your behalf, I’ve condensed my findings into this guide. My hope is that it streamlines your decision-making process as you navigate the intricate landscape of selecting a SIM card for your U.S. adventure

SIM for the United States

Why You Need Internet on Your US Trip

Let’s face it, while free Wi-Fi has become more prevalent in many locations, it remains an unreliable option. When you’re on the move, you’ll want the assurance of having access to calls, texts, navigation, and apps wherever your adventures take you, not just when you’re stationed in a hotel or cafe.

Investing in a data package liberates me from the constant quest for Wi-Fi. It grants me the freedom to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time, to research accommodation and activities, and to navigate with ease using maps. Plus, it allows me to share real-time photos with family and friends!

Having internet access while abroad undeniably simplifies life. But then there’s the issue of cost. Until a few years ago, securing a data package in most places came at a steep price. Thankfully, we now live in a remarkable technological era where you can acquire a digital SIM card for the United States at budget-friendly rates. And the best part? You can make this purchase before your trip, ensuring you’re connected the moment you touch down.

Now, you might be wondering about the reliability of internet access in the United States. Here’s the scoop: the U.S. is a vast and diverse nation, and you’ll certainly notice differences in internet strength as you transition from urban hubs to remote areas and everything in between. However, it’s essential to recognize that the United States ranks among the world’s leaders in the realm of cellular technology, so you can generally count on a stable and robust signal.

Introducing the Digital SIM

A digital SIM card, also known as an eSim, is the upgraded version of the classic physical SIM card. After years of traveling and having to switch SIM cards in and out, trying my hardest not to misplace my Israeli one in the process, I was more than happy to find out about the e-sim.

The eSIM is only recently starting to get the limelight it deserves and is now growing exponentially in popularity, and for good reason. Rather than a physical card that you need to insert into your phone, the eSIM is embedded into an app on your smartphone. With the simple click of a button, you have a solid data package for anywhere you go!

The Golden Bridge in the United States

Can I install an e-SIM on any smartphone?

In the ever-evolving world of smartphones, many cutting-edge devices now seamlessly accommodate digital SIM cards via dedicated apps. In fact, the latest smartphones exclusively rely on digital SIM technology. However, it’s worth noting that some older devices may not yet have embraced this advanced SIM solution. Therefore, if you’re gearing up for an international journey, I strongly advise conducting an e-SIM card compatibility assessment. As the most cost-effective choice, investing time in confirming your device’s eSIM support is a prudent step

eSIMple Packages for the United States?

Customizable to your trip duration and data needs, eSIMple offers four affordable plans for traveling to the US. Here are the choices:

  1. 1GB for 4 Days – $6
  2. 3GB for 7 Days – $11
  3. 5GB for 21 Days – $16
  4. 10GB for 30 Days – $23

How do I install an eSIM?

Beyond the attractive price points, the standout feature of an eSIM is its user-friendly installation process. It’s as straightforward as it gets – download the app, select your desired plan, make the payment, and activate your package. Could it possibly be any simpler? What’s more, you’ll receive timely notifications before your package expires, affording you the opportunity to decide whether to renew your data.

American landscape at sunset

Standard SIM VS Digital SIM for the United States – Which is Better?

In addition to procuring an eSIM for your U.S. adventure, you have the alternative of ordering an international SIM card from a reputable cellular provider.

Opting for this approach eliminates the need for a physical store visit, but you’ll still contend with the hassle of swapping out cards. Alternatively, you could consider purchasing a package at the airport, but that’s a bit of a gamble – it’s a hit-or-miss scenario, with the potential for both budget-friendly offers and overpriced packages. Generally speaking, airport prices tend to be on the higher side.

In essence, it boils down to this – any option that doesn’t involve a digital SIM is likely to be pricier.

No matter what option you choose, saving data is always key. Here are some tips:

  • Always capitalize on available Wi-Fi connections whenever possible.
  • Regularly check for background-running apps on your phone and close them when not in use.
  • Activate data-saving mode whenever it’s feasible.
  • Download maps to your phone – they work seamlessly even without an internet connection.
  • When confronted with software updates, hold off until you’re connected to Wi-Fi, as these updates can be substantial data hogs.
  • If you plan to indulge in movies or shows, consider downloading them while on Wi-Fi for optimal data management

Final Thoughts

eSIMple is completely changing the game for travelers, giving us affordable rates for solid data plans abroad. If you have a trip coming up to the United States or anywhere else around the globe, I highly recommend giving an eSIM a try! 

Do you have any more questions about eSIM? Leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you!

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