eSIM, US to Europe travel + what carrier

We will be heading to Europe in a bit and in the past we’ve just used T-mobiles free data (3G) on our phones. Being a thrifty bloke I switched our fleet to the pre pay $15pm plans and now don’t have that feature (not that we needed it in the past 24 months :frowning: )

So, seeing as both of our phones 12 and 11 are eSIM capable it seems like we should go that route. So firstly what carrier should be use and I assume it’s easy to add the eSim card virtually.

US mobile seems to have a nice plan for 30 days with 5Gb - $15. We don’t the data really just iMessage, TXT and voice calls. We will not travel around Europe that much and only stay in one country.

Suggestions ?

It will be hard to find e-sim prepaid sim cards in Europe. In the UK only the major providers offer e-sim contracts. If you can switch your US plan to an e-sim, I would do that and use the physical sim to load a local one wherever you go.

Most European sim cards come with Europe-wide roaming included, so one card will sort you out data-wise. The principal rule is “call, text and internet” as if you were in your “eu-home country”, so read the fine print for text and voice rates if you travel to mutliple countries.


I use a data-only service called GigSky when I travel. It’s probably not the least expensive, but it’s easy to set up, and works with e-sims.

GigSky is definitely a good fallback option, especially on e-Sim devices but as you say rather expensive.

$50 for 5Gb data in Europe on GigSky and that is Data only.

A local sim card here in the UK gives you 20Gb Data for around $20 (unlimited data for around $40) and the benefit of a local phone number for voice calls and SMS. All sims cards sold in Europe can roam across the continent and be used “as if you were in your home country”

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Does that still apply now that the UK has officially left the EU? I haven’t seen anything major suggesting otherwise so far.

None of the providers has removed roaming as of yet.

Thanks, I think an app is the easiest way to go and see some Ok deals on the apps store 15Gigs for $25 - I realize that I won’t get a number or voice / txt capabilities but that’s ok. I also learnt that the eSIM is the future of IOT devices! I swear the Tmobile monthly plan was the best and at one stage we used it for 9 months in Europe with unlimited 3G data. I recall some folks in the US on Verizon pay $10 a day for data!

Also had another idea - switch my current tMobile account to eSIM ( not sure if pre pay allows that ) and use a local SIM. Perhaps I’d do that next time when I visit the UK.