How to Get a SIM Card for International Travel?
- Last Updated: 19 Feb 24
- 11 min read
Going on a trip ✈ and want to connect with your loved ones without any network problems?
Whenever you travel abroad, it’s important to check out the SIM card options available. Imagine a phone card that allows you to call, text, and use data from abroad.
This is where an international SIM card comes to the rescue with lots of benefits like global coverage, short-term usage, and flexible plans.
In this blog, you’ll know how to get SIM Cards for international travel including top international SIM card providers. Furthermore, we provide bonus tips, best practices, and alternate ways to communicate without inserting SIM cards.
30 Sec Summary 👇
- We compared features, and customer reviews and gathered a list of the top 5 SIM providers for international traveling
- KnowRoaming is an affordable SIM card available in more than 200 countries
- Check the prices, and features and look at customer reviews before choosing a SIM card for your international travel
- Virtual phone number is the best alternative for worldwide communication without the need for physical SIM cards.
Let’s find out!
What is an International SIM card?
An international SIM card is a special type of SIM card that allows you to use your mobile networks while visiting abroad.
It allows you to use your mobile networks to make and receive calls, send messages, and use data while you are traveling internationally.
Instead of depending on your home network, which can cost a lot because of roaming fees, the international SIM card lets you use a local network from the country you are visiting.
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Example: Suppose Sarah wants to visit Bangkok and wants to stay connected with her family and friends while enjoying Bangkok, she plans to get a Bangkok international SIM Card so she can easily call, text, and share her travel moments in phone calls, messages, and social media worrying about expensive charges.
What are the Benefits of Overseas SIM Cards?
Keeping contact with friends and family is essential, but roaming fees can make it challenging. But it is no longer a problem with international SIM cards.
Here are some benefits of getting international SIM cards when you are traveling abroad:
- Compatible with all devices: International SIM cards are compatible with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices as they are made to work with nearly all types of mobile devices.
- Pay local rates: Paying local rates in the place you are visiting is one of the best features of international SIM cards. They help you to avoid expensive roaming fees from your home carrier.
- Free incoming calls: You can benefit from free incoming calls when you use an international SIM card. This is especially useful because when friends, relatives, or coworkers make out to you, you won’t have to worry about paying fees.
- Affordable SIM: When compared to ordinary SIM cards, international SIM cards are less expensive. While ordinary SIM prices start from 20$, international SIM card price starts from 15$. They provide a range of options for your calls, texts, and internet consumption.
5 Best SIM Cards for International (Global) Travelers in 2024
There are many providers of international SIM cards. However, not all are suitable for users looking for better choices. We handpicked the best international SIM card providers based on:
- Best For
- Customer Review
To compare international SIM cards, we created the following table:
|Wide coverage area including Europe, middle and East Africa
|Extensive Network Partnership and Lifetime Plan Options
|Orange Holiday SIM Card
|Seamless connectivity for Europe
|Connection over 500 networks in over 100 countries
|Connection over 500 networks over 100 countries
|Global coverage and versatile connectivity
|Global data connectivity
|Inclusive UK Phone Number with Free Calling and Texting
|Extensive Roaming in Europe and the Americas
Known as one of the best SIM cards, OneSim coverage Expands to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa including eSIM.
The starting cost of OneSim is 20$ with monthly payments ranging from $20 to $100, depending on the area.
- Types of the number provided: Mobile
- Cost: purchasing cost + calling/SMS costs
- Document Needed: Depends upon the country you are thrilling. In general: Citizenship, Passport,
- No hidden fees
- Fast 4G and 5G networks
- Packages work in multiple countries
- No documentation (specific country)
- OneSim card is the best option for travelers who are traveling across multiple nations and regions due to its broad coverage.
- As an e-SIM, it avoids the trouble of handling several physical SIM cards while traveling internationally.
- Enables international calls when traveling with its data+call package.
- Comparatively more expensive and less cost-effective for consumers looking for more data.
- Buying and topping up could be more difficult than with other options.
- The website is difficult to use.
2. Orange Holiday SIM card
For around $50, you can get 20GB of fast internet with the Orange Holiday Europe prepaid package, which is ideal for travelers visiting Europe.
You can use it as an eSIM, which you receive quickly via email, or as a typical SIM card that works in all of Europe.
- Wide coverage options
- Dual SIM options
- No registration is required
- Extended coverage
- Roam across the European continent
- Easy to recharge or top up
- No registration required
- Does not work in the United States
- Limited technical support in specific language
- The cost of the prepaid plan may be comparatively higher compared to local alternatives.
Keepgo makes it easy to keep connected in more than 120 countries. Perfect travel in the USA and Europe.
It provides 1GB, 3GB, or 10GB data packages with top-up choices through its app. Remember it’s just for data, so don’t use it for calls or texting.
- Modern eSIM compatibility
- Streamline-only service
- Broad international coverage
- Lifetime plan options
- Accessible data in more than 120 nations.
- Provide connection to more than 500 networks in 100 nations.
- Lifetime plan option for one-year data packages with the ability to extend.
- Only supports data; calls and SMS are not supported.
- Priced at a flat $10 per GB, which might be costlier than regional alternatives.
- Needs buyers to remember some of the SIM numbers to top up their data in the future.
KnowRoaming promotes itself as a versatile travel SIM provider with a presence in over 200 countries and a variety of plans to keep you connected when traveling.
The density of the population in your location determines the quality of your coverage since these SIM cards locate and connect to local networks.
- Coverage across 200 countries
- Locates and connects to local networks
- Base Cost of $10 (Does Not Include Credit)
- Versatile travel SIM provider
- An affordable international SIM card that is available in more than 200 countries.
- Uses local networks in highly populated locations to provide reliable connectivity.
- Compatible with most unlocked devices, including phones and tablets.
- Reliance on local network connections limits performance in isolated or remote locations.
- Plans are mostly data-focused; call plans and text are pay-as-you-go, potentially leading to higher costs for those requiring these services.
5. Three UK
For visitors from outside the UK, is especially, Three UK is a preferred choice. It offers a UK phone number, flexible pay-as-you-go data rates, and free calls and messages to over 70 countries.
Starting at $39.90, you may get 12GB of data at no additional cost.
- Extensive roaming coverage in over 70 countries
- Flexible pay-as-you-go data plans
- Continued calls and texts without an active data plan
- Provides a UK phone number for international free calls and texts to more than 70 countries.
- Provides one of the best options for international SIM cards for visitors from the UK.
- It is considered one of the most economical and effective foreign SIM cards that you can use in Europe.
- Only UK credit cards are accepted for data top-ups, who are traveling more than 30 days.
- The process takes time and needs a credit card that is registered in the UK to top up data.
- Not a problem for UK citizens, but after the first month, non-UK cardholders can only use the plan for calls and texts.
How to troubleshoot your common issues related to International SIM Cards?
- No Network Connection: Verify that the SIM card is placed correctly. Restart your phone and ensure the device is not in Airplane mode. If there is still an issue, try the SIM Card on another phone.
- Invalid PIN or PUK codes: Enter the correct PIN. If you enter the wrong PIN multiple times, you might need the PUK code. Contact your SIM carrier for more assistance.
- Data Connections Issues: Verify in your device’s settings whether mobile data is enabled. Check that the APN settings are correct. If necessary, reset the network settings.
- Online Support Channels: Check the online help resources provided by your carrier, such as the website’s FAQ section and chat support. Many carriers offer troubleshooting guides for common issues.
Stay connected with Your Friends/Family members While Travelling Abroad Without Switching SIMCards with KrispCall
Another option to connect from abroad is getting an international phone number. These numbers allow users to make and receive calls over the internet without a SIM Card. Another international phone number provider, KrispCall stands out as the best one.
KrispCall provides international virtual phone numbers from 100+ countries with advanced VoIP features like global calling and advanced IVR call analytics at an affordable cost.
Purchasing an international SIM card is a huge benefit when traveling abroad. With global coverage, local rates, and compatibility with many devices, international SIM cards make smart choices for travelers.
International SIM cards come with a lot of advantages, such as texting, calling, and internet plans, but some of them can be more expensive.
Always do research and select a reliable international SIM card provider based on your travel needs. Always search for features, pricing, coverage, and hidden charges.
While International SIM Cards offer various feature coverage and pricing, KrispCall’s virtual phone number comes out as the best alternative to international SIM cards. KrispCall not only offers an affordable and adaptable alternative for global communication, but it also completely removes the problems of inserting SIM cards.
What types of international SIM cards are available?
There are many types of SIM cards like prepaid, and postpaid, regional SIM cards, Data only, and virtual SIM cards.
What is the best SIM card for international travel?
It all depends on what kind of traveler you are. Many benefits are provided by services like OneSim, Orange Holiday, Keepgo, KnowRoaming, and Three UK. Think about the features, coverage, and price of your purpose and destination. However, you can travel internationally without a SIM card you can use our KrispCall virtual phone number to communicate with loved ones at an affordable price wherever you are.
Do I need to change my SIM card for international travel?
Yes, you need to change your SIM card for international travel. However, you can use our KrispCall service to communicate without a SIM Card.
How to Use a Global SIM Card in Your Phone?
First, check your phone compatibility, make sure your phone is unlocked and compatible with GSM networks, choose the right SIM provider, and purchase the SIM Shutdown your phone > Insert the SIM card > Power on your phone > Top up your credit like calls plan & data plans > Then you are ready to use your global SIM card.
Where to buy your international SIM card?
You can buy it from online retailers like Amazon, and Onesim cards, or you can buy it from mobile phone stores or convenience stores.