GlobaleSIM > 7 Advantages of Prepaid eSIMs over International Roaming Plans

7 Advantages of Prepaid eSIMs over International Roaming Plans

phone on a map using eSIM

eSIM (embedded SIM) technology has grown dramatically over the past few years. Unlike traditional physical-plastic SIM cards, eSIM technology is embedded into the device, allowing you to download a variety of different phone plans to suit your traveling needs. Switching between plans and carriers is much easier without the need to be constantly swapping out physical SIM cards.


For travelers, eSIM technology paired with prepaid data plans offers immense benefits, a remarkable proposition when compared with having to rely on standard international roaming plans from a primary or local carrier. International roaming rates can rack up hefty bills due to high data costs, whereas prepaid eSIM plans are both much more affordable and flexible.


This article will dive into the key advantages of using prepaid eSIM plans when traveling or living abroad. Adopting this modern eSIM approach can save money, enhance security, improve coverage, and lead to a smoother overall travel experience.

Pre-paid Plans – More Affordable Rates


One of the most significant points of contention for international roaming charges are the extremely high costs associated with the use of voice, SMS, and data while abroad.

In most cases, plans purchased from your local / primary carrier are not only expensive, but they also do not have the option of preventing further usage once you go over your plan’s data threshold. This can lead to a very unpleasant surprise “bill shock” with extremely high charges, which will most likely be responsible for ruining your entire vacation.


Pre-paid eSIM plans offer significantly cheaper data rates when compared to roaming charges from your primary or local provider. For example, a prepaid eSIM plan with 10GB of data for a trip to Europe will run somewhere between $20 to $30. Using 10GB of roaming data directly from your primary or local carrier could result in charges of over $1000! Even with a discounted roaming plan from your primary or local provider, eSIM plans still offer huge savings.


Not only will pre-paid eSIM plans mitigate any potential pricey roaming charges from primary or local providers, but they will also allow for tailor made plans that will work for any trip requirements. Once your prepaid data runs out, simply purchase another plan as needed. This metered approach helps control high costs, as well as avoiding any unintended data roaming charges.

Flexible Data with eSIM Plans  


In addition to the savings, prepaid eSIM plans provide tremendous flexibility that traditional roaming plans do not. With an eSIM plan, you can customize your data amounts to meet your exact travel requirements.


If you are only planning a short trip, you can always purchase a relatively small data plan in order to cover basic usages such as: Google maps, email, text messaging, and light web browsing. Purchasing a larger plan will allow further usages such as media streaming, video calls, photo uploads, and heavy app use for longer trips. If you initially underestimate your data needs, you can always top up your plan or purchase a supplemental data plan throughout your trip.


This versatility allows you to tailor your connectivity to your unique travel style. You are not locked into a rigid roaming plan or forced to pay for unused data allocation. The ability to mix and match pre-paid plans for different types of needs will end up saving you money, while allowing you to stay connected with your friends and family at a reasonable cost.

Wider Coverage

When roaming internationally, you are limited to the networks your primary carrier works with only. There may be significant coverage gaps, especially in rural or remote areas. The local network quality (not all support 4G/5G), as well as other variables such as your exact location, may also affect the data speed performance.

eSIM providers are able to bypass this issue by working with multiple network providers internationally.  eSIM plans are able to offer a wider range of coverage across a diverse network spectrum.  You will be connected seamlessly, while utilizing the best available networks wherever you find yourself traveling to.


For example, an eSIM provider has the ability to offer coverage in Spain from 3 different major network providers. With a primary carrier, a user can only access areas covered by that carrier’s single roaming agreement (usually) with only one provider. Though some carriers do occasionally work with more than one network provider in certain areas, eSIMs are still better options for coverage availability.

This expanded type of coverage ensures you stay conveniently connected at all times.

Enhanced Security – Another eSIM Benefit


Standard physical SIM cards have innate security vulnerabilities during international travel. They can easily get lost, damaged, or stolen, exposing your primary number and account information.

In contrast, eSIM profiles are securely digitized and stored within your phone’s firmware. Without a physical SIM card, there is zero risk of your eSIM profile being compromised. This provides immense peace of mind knowing your eSIM’s security cannot be breached.


Additionally, remote eSIM activation means purchasing a plan online and uploading it directly and safely on your device—no need to track down and insert a new SIM card at each location. Your device will remain secure throughout your travels.


You also avoid publicly exposing your primary SIM card in multiple countries, reducing potential cybersecurity risks. eSIM technology has fundamentally enhanced security for frequent travelers through its virtual, intangible nature.

Multi-SIM Capabilities


Another significant eSIM benefit is utilizing the dual SIM functionality on your smartphone. This means you can have your primary SIM card AND an eSIM plan active simultaneously.


If receiving calls from home or making outgoing calls using your home phone number is required, you can always use your primary line (your physical SIM line) while simultaneously using your eSIM in order to use your eSIM’s pre-paid affordable data service while abroad. You can conveniently keep your existing contacts and primary number while reaping the benefits of an eSIM plan overseas. Keep in mind that for using Voice / SMS from your carrier you will still need to purchase an international plan, according to your carrier’s terms and pricing. If you are ok with using Voice just to make a few phone calls back home, or to a local contact like a restaurant, taxi driver, or hotel reception, there are a few eSIM providers which offer a Voice/SMS plan with a foreign phone number – this will surely be cheaper compared to your local carrier Voice plans.


Without an eSIM, accessing dual SIM capabilities would require carrying and swapping out physical SIM cards. eSIM technology circumvents this hassle by allowing you to switch between your primary carrier and local data connection digitally. Streamlined multi-SIM usage is a crucial factor distinguishing the eSIM experience.

Easy Digital Activation – Activate Your eSIM Within Minutes 


Traditional roaming forces you to wait until you land in a foreign country before purchasing and activating a local SIM card. You have to research where to buy a SIM, find and visit a store, and then go through activation and account setup, a real hassle.


With an eSIM plan, you can complete the entire purchase and activation process online from home before your trip. Select your destination country, pick your preferred eSIM plan, complete your purchase, scan the QR code received by email, and within 2 minutes your new eSIM line will be installed and ready to use immediately upon arrival. All network authentication happens in the background remotely.


A few quick taps on your phone are all it takes to get your eSIM connected.  No more hunting around for stores in unfamiliar places or fussing with SIM card installation. You will now have instant access to your prepaid data, enabling you to simply sit back and enjoy your trip.


Oh, and don’t forget to turn on “data roaming” in order to allow your device to connect to a network!

Improved Travel Experience


Summing up the benefits above, eSIMs deliver a smoother overall travel experience compared to traditional roaming solutions. You can stay confidently connected while avoiding service disruptions.


With affordable data, extensive coverage, and built-in security, there will be much less urgency to monitor usage or have to suffer with limited connectivity. Enjoy a smooth mobile performance, whether in a foreign city or off the grid, and never worry about getting slapped with a “bill shock” again.


Dual SIM support allows you to keep your primary number without juggling between physical SIM cards. Remote activation means your eSIM will be good to go immediately upon arrival.


Travel is challenging enough without connectivity headaches. eSIM simplifies your mobile needs abroad so you can focus on creating memorable moments. The benefits add up to a streamlined solution, allowing you to use your phone naturally while traveling.


As eSIM usage continues to accelerate, using prepaid eSIM plans for international travel makes increasing sense compared to standard roaming options. The fundamental benefits of eSIM technology translate directly to better travel experiences.


Savings, flexibility, enhanced coverage, improved security, multi-SIM convenience, and instant remote activation all make eSIMs an ideal connectivity option for global travelers. Avoid the pitfalls of archaic roaming services and unlock the advantages of modern eSIM plans.


eSIMs simplify wireless connectivity abroad on nearly every level. Whether for a short trip or an extended foreign getaway, the digital convenience of eSIMs will reduce connectivity headaches and enhance your traveling experience.

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Have a pleasant trip
Globalesim Team