With Airalo’s eSIM plans, you can stay connected when you travel abroad for a much lower rate than roaming on your normal mobile network.

If you’re travelling abroad to another country for your winter break, it’s worth looking at how much it will cost to use your mobile phone whilst you’re there. The typical costs of international roaming are now more than £14 per week for travel in Europe and more than £40 per week for travel outside Europe (e.g. in the USA, Canada and Australia).

The good news is you can side-step these international roaming charges by using an eSIM from Airalo. Prices start from US$4.50 (approx £3.50) for a digital SIM card that you can download directly to your mobile phone. You can use it to stay connected on your trip abroad. And because it’s a lot more affordable, there’s no need to have your data switched off during the trip. There’s also no need to waste your time constantly looking for free wi-fi.

In this article, we’ll review the Airalo service, including the Airalo app and the eSIMs that are available from Airalo. We’ll also compare the costs of roaming on your normal UK SIM card to the costs of using an Airalo eSIM in popular tourist destinations.

How Do Airalo eSIMs Work?

eSIM is the next generation of SIM card technology. It’s essentially a digital version of the plastic SIM card that you’ll find inside most mobile phones. Because it’s digital, you can download one directly onto your phone. There’s no need to get a plastic SIM card and to put it inside your mobile phone.

One of the biggest benefits of eSIM technology is how it can help you to stay connected when you travel abroad. Often, you’ll need to pay extortionate rates for international roaming on your UK SIM card. This is especially the case when you’re travelling outside Europe. Because of this, many people switch off data on their mobile phones, or they waste time constantly looking for free wi-fi.

With eSIM technology, you cab save both money and time. You can use the Airalo app to buy and to download an eSIM for the country you’re visiting. Because it’s digital, this is a really quick process: there’s no need to faff around buying a SIM card in person, or switching out your regular SIM card for another plastic SIM card when you arrive at your destination.

How to Download & Buy Airalo eSIMs

Airalo is an online marketplace for eSIMs, allowing you to easily buy, download and install an eSIM for use in more than 200 countries and regions around the world. All of the eSIMs available in their marketplace are suitable for international visitors – there are no local residency requirements or ID checks to get an eSIM. There’s also no contract and no need for a credit check.

To get started, download the Airalo app for iPhone or Android. You can then choose your destination country or region, followed by the eSIM you’d like to purchase. Once you’ve purchased your plan, the Airalo app will allow you to install the eSIM with one tap. Alternatively, you can get a QR code or use manual set-up (e.g. to install the eSIM on another device such as an eSIM-compatible laptop).

Once you’ve installed the Airalo eSIM on your phone, you’ll be ready to go as soon as you arrive in your destination country. Just be sure to change your phone settings so the Airalo eSIM is used for data when you’re abroad. It’s also best to turn off the ‘data roaming’ feature on your normal SIM card so you won’t accidentally use it for data when you’re abroad. For step-by-step instructions, you can follow Airalo’s guide on how to install an eSIM plan on iOS or Android.

Calls & Texts

The vast majority of Airalo’s plans are data-only eSIMs. This means you won’t get a local phone number in your destination country. However, it’s still possible to use internet-based apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for calling and texting on your Airalo eSIM.

If you’d like to make or receive phone calls and text messages using your normal phone number, this will still be possible as your regular SIM card will remain active for calling and texting. However, it’s worth remembering that your mobile network’s standard international roaming rates will apply for this so it’s best to avoid it as much as you can.

Using an Airalo eSIM Abroad

USA

The United States is a popular destination this winter where you’ll typically pay quite a lot of money to stay connected on your mobile phone when you’re there.

On the major UK mobile networks, you’ll typically be charged £5 per day or more to use your phone through international roaming (this is unless you have a plan that comes with inclusive roaming in the USA).

In contrast, you can get a Change Mobile eSIM from Airalo, with prices starting from about £3.60 for up to 7 days of use in the USA. The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the costs:

Cost of Roaming Cost of Airalo eSIM

Typical saving in the USA with Airalo = £31 per person on a one-week trip

The following Change Mobile eSIMs are currently available to buy from Airalo:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
changeNoneNone1GBUS$4.50
(~£3.60)
valid for 7 days
changeNoneNone2GBUS$8.00
(~£6.40)
valid for 15 days
changeNoneNone3GBUS$11.00
(~£8.70)
valid for 30 days
changeNoneNone5GBUS$16.00
(~£12.70)
valid for 30 days
changeNoneNone10GBUS$26.00
(~£20.70)
valid for 30 days
changeNoneNone20GBUS$42.00
(~£33.40)
valid for 30 days

If you’re new to Airalo, you can enter the KEN10 voucher code at checkout to get a 10% discount on your Change Mobile eSIM. Alternatively, existing Airalo customers can use the KEN5 voucher code to get 5% off.

Canada

If you’re travelling to Canada, you can normally expect to pay in the region of £6 per day to use your mobile phone through international roaming.

As an alternative, you can get the Tuque Mobile eSIM from Airalo. This is available from approximately £4.80 for up to 7 days use in Canada. Over a one-week trip, you can expect to save in the region of £37 per person with a Tuque Mobile eSIM.

Cost of Roaming Cost of Airalo eSIM

Typical saving in Canada with Airalo = £37 per person on a one-week trip

The following table shows Airalo’s Tuque Mobile deals:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
NoneNone1GBUS$6.00
(~£4.80)
valid for 7 days
NoneNone2GBUS$11.00
(~£8.70)
valid for 15 days
NoneNone3GBUS$15.00
(~£11.90)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone5GBUS$18.00
(~£14.30)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone10GBUS$35.00
(~£27.80)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone20GBUS$49.00
(~£38.90)
valid for 30 days

As above, if you’re new to Airalo, you can use the KEN10 voucher code at checkout to get a 10% discount on your eSIM for Canada. Alternatively, existing Airalo customers can use the KEN5 voucher code for a 5% discount.

If you’re combining your trip to Canada with a trip to the USA or Mexico, you can get Airalo’s North America eSIM instead. This will cost you a little bit more but you’ll be able to use it across all 3 destinations.

Australia

If you’re planning a trip down under, the major UK mobile networks will charge you at least £5 per day to use your mobile phone whilst you’re abroad in Australia (this may vary, depending on your mobile network and plan).

To put that in perspective, a £5 per day charge would add up to costing you an extra £35 just to use your mobile phone in Australia for one week. When multiplied up for a family of four, you could be looking at an extra £140 on top of the cost of your break.

A cheaper option would be getting Airalo’s Yes! Go! eSIM. With this, prices start from just approximately £3.60 for up to 7 days of use in Australia. This could save you in the region of £30 per person, per week on your trip.

Cost of Roaming Cost of Airalo eSIM

Typical saving in Australia with Airalo = £30 per person on a one-week trip

The following table shows Airalo’s eSIM deals for Australia:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
AiraloNoneNone1GBUS$4.50
(~£3.60)
valid for 7 days
AiraloNoneNone2GBUS$8.00
(~£6.40)
valid for 15 days
AiraloNoneNone3GBUS$9.00
(~£7.10)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone5GBUS$12.50
(~£9.90)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone10GBUS$20.00
(~£15.90)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone20GBUS$40.00
(~£31.80)
valid for 30 days

If you’re new to Airalo, you can enter the KEN10 voucher code to get a 10% discount on your Airalo eSIM for Australia. Alternatively, if you’ve used Airalo in the past, the KEN5 voucher code will give you a 5% discount.

Japan

If you’re planning a trip to Japan, Airalo’s Moshi Moshi eSIM is available from just US$4.50 (approximately £3.60) for up to 7 days of use in Japan.

For comparison, if you were to roam on the major UK mobile networks, you’d typically expect to pay at least £6 per day to use your phone in Japan. This would add up to an extra £42 per person, per week.

Cost of Roaming Cost of Airalo eSIM

Typical saving in Japan with Airalo = £40 per person on a one-week trip

The following table shows Airalo’s eSIM deals for Japan:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
AiraloNoneNone1GBUS$4.50
(~£3.60)
valid for 7 days
AiraloNoneNone2GBUS$6.50
(~£5.20)
valid for 15 days
AiraloNoneNone3GBUS$8.50
(~£6.80)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone5GBUS$11.50
(~£9.10)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone10GBUS$18.00
(~£14.30)
valid for 30 days
AiraloNoneNone20GBUS$26.00
(~£20.70)
valid for 30 days

If you’re new to Airalo, you can enter the KEN10 voucher code to get a 10% discount on your Airalo eSIM for Turkey. Alternatively, if you’ve used Airalo in the past, the KEN5 voucher code will give you a 5% discount.

Europe

Following the reintroduction of European roaming charges, you may now find yourself paying £2 per day or more to use your mobile phone in Europe (this includes in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Greece). This can add up to an extra £14 if you’re travelling abroad in Europe for one week.

If your mobile network has reintroduced European roaming charges, it might be better value getting a Eurolink eSIM from Airalo. This starts from approximately £4 for up to 7 days of usage in Europe.

Cost of Roaming Cost of Airalo eSIM

Typical saving in Europe with Airalo = £10 per person on a one-week trip

The following table shows Airalo’s Eurolink eSIM plans:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
EurolinkNoneNone1GBUS$5.00
(~£4.00)
valid for 7 days
EurolinkNoneNone3GBUS$13.00
(~£10.30)
valid for 30 days
EurolinkNoneNone5GBUS$20.00
(~£15.90)
valid for 30 days
EurolinkNoneNone10GBUS$37.00
(~£29.40)
valid for 30 days
EurolinkNoneNone50GBUS$100.00
(~£79.40)
valid for 90 days
EurolinkNoneNone100GBUS$185.00
(~£146.90)
valid for 180 days

If you’re new to Airalo, you can enter the KEN10 voucher code at checkout to get a 10% discount on your Eurolink eSIM. If you’ve used Airalo in the past, the KEN5 voucher code will give you a 5% discount.

Other Destinations

Airalo says they offer eSIM plans in more than 200 countries and regions around the world. When you travel abroad, it’s worth comparing the costs of international roaming on your network, versus the cost of buying an Airalo eSIM for your destination country or region.

Some of Airalo’s most popular eSIM plans including the following:

Regional eSIMs:

Country eSIMs:

You can find a full list of Airalo’s eSIM plans on their website.

Using an Airalo eSIM In the UK

It’s also possible to use an Airalo eSIM when you’re inside the UK. Simply pick up a Uki Mobile eSIM, which is available from approximately £4 for up to 7 days usage:

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
NoneNone1GBUS$5.00
(~£4.00)
valid for 7 days
NoneNone2GBUS$7.50
(~£6.00)
valid for 15 days
NoneNone3GBUS$10.00
(~£7.90)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone5GBUS$15.00
(~£11.90)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone10GBUS$22.50
(~£17.90)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone20GBUS$36.00
(~£28.60)
valid for 30 days

There are a few reasons to get a Uki Mobile eSIM for your phone:

  • It’s easy to get a Uki Mobile eSIM, with no contract & no credit check. Whether you’re a visitor or a long-term resident in the UK, it’s really easy to get a Uki Mobile eSIM. There’s no need to wait for a physical SIM card to arrive in the post. There’s also no need to sign any contracts, or to undergo a credit check before you can get a plan.
  • Your Uki Mobile eSIM can give you additional data for less. If you’ve run out of data on your normal SIM card, it’s likely you’ll be charged quite a lot extra to top it up with more data. For instance, an extra 1GB of data would cost you £10.43 on EE, £10.50 on O2, and £8 on Vodafone. In contrast, you can get a 1GB Uki Mobile eSIM for just US$5 (approximately £4).
  • A Uki Mobile eSIM can boost your phone’s coverage, with access to more masts. Your Uki Mobile eSIM will give you coverage on both the Three and O2 UK networks. This can be advantageous as you’ll get access to more masts. You might even be able to get coverage in locations where you’re not able to get coverage on your regular SIM card.

Compatible Phones

To use an Airalo eSIM, you’ll need to have a mobile phone that’s compatible with eSIM technology. You can find eSIM support on the iPhone 11, the Galaxy S20, the Pixel 3, and later versions of each device. It’s also available on many other recent high-end smartphones, including all of the following devices:

  • Apple iPhone 11
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone 12
  • Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone 13
  • Apple iPhone 13 Mini
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone 14
  • Apple iPhone 14 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone 15
  • Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro
  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Apple iPhone SE 2020
  • Apple iPhone SE 2022
  • Apple iPhone XS
  • Apple iPhone XS Max
  • Apple iPhone XR
  • Google Pixel 31
  • Google Pixel 3 XL1
  • Google Pixel 3a
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Google Pixel 4
  • Google Pixel 4 XL
  • Google Pixel 4a
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G
  • Google Pixel 5
  • Google Pixel 5a
  • Google Pixel 6
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro
  • Google Pixel 6a
  • Google Pixel 7
  • Google Pixel 7 Pro
  • Google Pixel 7a
  • Google Pixel 8
  • Google Pixel 8 Pro
  • Google Pixel Fold
  • Huawei P40
  • Huawei P40 Pro
  • Motorola Razr2
  • Samsung Galaxy A54
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S20
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S22
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Samsung Galaxy S23+
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

There’s a full list of eSIM-compatible devices on the Airalo website.

More Information

For more information about Airalo and the eSIM plans available, please see Airalo’s official website.

Your Comments 4 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 4 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Hi Ken
    Love this site!
    I’m off to South Africa in Feb 24 and I have a EE contract, they however do not cover that Country in their Data Roaming, what is the best way I can use my phone over there please?
    Get a sim when I land or do you know any other deals
    Thanks
    Richard

  • I just arrived in the USA and Airalo is amazing – I bought the the sim on the airport wifi, and had it fully set up and on the network before I got to LAX baggage claim! So easy, no paperwork, didn’t need to find a shop/kiosk, queue, open up the phone or any of that nonsense. Also with dual sim capability I’m still able to use my British number for receiving sms/iMessage.

    It’s good coverage too, and it automatically swaps between AT&T or T-Mobile depending on the area. I’d highly recommend it and look forward to using it in other places in the future.

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