Hacks & Tips

AirAlo eSIM review from a frequent traveler

The concept of an eSIM is not new by any means and there are quite a few companies out there who offer them. After considering a few options friends and followers recommended I ended up becoming a regular AirAlo* user and here is my honest review based on a year of use. We’ll add this one to the travel tips collection :).

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AirAlo pros:

  • Easy to purchase, easy to activate. You can buy the eSIM online or within the app. The instructions are easy to follow and the customer support is built into the app.
  • Options for geographies and data package sizes are great. You can get a single country, or a regional SIM, for example, Europe, so there is no need to find new physical SIM cards at every stop of your European road trip. Your options come in various package sizes and duration, you can get 10g for 30 days and not think about it till you’re home or have it cover multiple trips to the US within 30 days. 
  • Easy refills. You get notified when your package is about to run out and have an option to purchase a top-up. Once your original package runs out your new one kicks in.
  • The eSIM* lasts a long time. As in, once installed on your phone, you can turn it off and on as needed and add data to that eSIM a year later if your device is still the same. 
  • There are regular customer perks. You get a small percentage back from each purchase and can apply any amount to your new purchase at any time.
  • Customer support is quite fast and is very helpful. I’ve had to use it on a couple of occasions (both times because my internet connection at the time of activation was bad) and they were able to fix my issues efficiently. 

AirAlo cons:

  • You do have to have a stable internet connection to connect to a network. My go-to solution of course is checking the airport wifi on arrival, quite often you can find a stable spot, you just need to spend a few minutes there waiting for things to connect (5-10min average)
  • You cannot make phone calls or use SMS but WhatsApp is widely available abroad and has worked just as fine for me even when making dinner reservations in Italy.
  • It could be more expensive than a local physical SIM, so here really just see what your priorities are. Sometimes SIM cards are sold directly at the airport but if not you may have to go on a bit of a hunt. Do you have time to do that and can go without the internet until you find it? Keep in mind that turning on your home country’s SIM for even a minute comes with a charge. With Rogers, for example, that’s $12 in the US and $15 internationally, the key here is the 24-hour window is in your home timezone not the time zone you are traveling in. 

See your eSIM options on airalo.com*.

January 2024 promo

New Customers Promotion: Use the code MAR15 to offer New Customers an additional 15% discount on all Airalo eSIMs. Terms & Conditions apply.

Existing Customers Promotion: Use the code MAR10 to offer Existing Customers an additional 10% discount on all Airalo eSIMs. Terms & Conditions apply. 

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That’s all I got for you today. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

AirAlo eSIM review from a frequent traveler

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8 Comments

  1. We have been looking at some sim options lately. Appreciate the review!

  2. I feel like this is really convenient for traveling! The way you can turn it on and off easily means you can quickly make quick and easy changes as needed. Sounds like a great option!

    1. I love that part, especially if I need to travel to the same destination a few times within the 30 days, no need to pike around with the physical sim.

  3. We finally tried an ESIM for the first time on our big road trip this year. It was indeed easy to buy and activate. And worked pretty well. The biggest downside for me was lack of phone and text capability. I will have to check out AirAlo on a future trip.

    1. Ah yes, not being able to make phone calls can be problematic. I tend to use WhatsApp while abroad which works just fine.

  4. I have used physical SIM cards or WiFi when travelling so far. It will be more complicated on my next trip. So I am thankful for your tips for using AirAlo. I hope I will be successful using it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. My problem is different.. it works fine but the gb usage is not realistic. I use a different provider and the gb limit stays much longer.. im not sure how to validate the gb count that I get from the airalo app but sure dosent seem realistic and finish very quickly.

    1. Interesting! Who do you use instead?

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