Planning an international trip involves numerous logistical details, and figuring out how to stay connected online abroad is often one of the most challenging. With so many solutions available, the process can seem overwhelming and expensive.

Thankfully, eSIM technology has emerged as a convenient option, allowing travelers to purchase data plans without dealing with the physical hardware of their phones. I used to rely on some popular eSIM brands for my travels. However, since these services are now banned, I discovered another excellent alternative, which I will review in this article.

My Previous Experiences with International Data Services

On my first international trip as an adult, I was on a tight budget, viewing data as a luxury rather than a necessity. I opted to turn off my data and rely solely on available WiFi. This strategy worked fine until I found myself lost in Rome, trying to communicate in broken Italian with locals to find my way.

I was supposed to meet a friend, but the inability to contact her only heightened the stress of the situation. Later, I also struggled to find the Colosseum, despite having taken a screenshot of the directions beforehand. Unfortunately, my navigational skills were lacking, and I ended up in an unfamiliar and slightly unnerving part of the city. All of these issues could have been avoided had I researched international data plans and set up a backup option.

After this bad experience, I decided to do my research for my next trip and discovered a reliable eSIM provider. Life became much easier after that, as I started using their eSIMs. They were incredibly convenient and easy to use, and the best part was that they functioned in every country I visited. Travel became significantly more manageable, allowing me to stay connected effortlessly no matter where I went.

But recently, when these popular eSIM brands were banned, I found myself confused and unsure of what to do next. I started looking for other alternatives and discovered TSIM International.

Photo by Elena Jiang on Unsplash

TSIM International: A Game-Changer for Travelers

TSIM International proved to be a fantastic solution. They offer a wide range of international data plans, and their eSIMs are compatible with numerous countries, just like the previous providers I used. The setup process was straightforward, and the customer support was excellent, providing quick assistance whenever I had questions.

Moreover, TSIM has a new app, TSIM eSIM, that has made the experience even more seamless. The app allows you to purchase and manage your eSIMs easily. You can browse different data plans, make purchases directly through the app, and even monitor your data usage in real-time. The user interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy to stay connected no matter where you are.

My Experience Using TSIM eSIMs

Each experience I had with TSIM eSIMs was more effective than any plan I previously had with others. TSIM stands out because it utilizes the local network in each location, rather than relying on the often unreliable international connections provided by other services.

Although physical SIM cards are available, many newer phones no longer support swapping out SIM cards, making eSIMs the only viable option. Conversely, some older phones aren’t compatible with eSIMs.

St. Peter´s ceiling in the Vatican Photo by Anna Church on Unsplash

Guide: How to Use the TSIM eSIM When Traveling

Begin by downloading the TSIM app and creating an account. The app has three simple pages: Plans, My eSIMs, and Profile. In the Plans section, you can purchase local, regional, and global eSIMs. If you’re looking for a specific country, there’s a handy search feature. Once you purchase a plan, it’ll show up in the My eSIMs section.

It’s important to activate your eSIM before you travel. Make sure you have a stable WiFi connection and simply follow the instructions for the download. This varies depending on your phone.

Download Instructions for iPhones

  1. Note that the eSIM installation process must not be interrupted and make sure your device has a stable internet connection before installing.
  2. Tap “Install eSIM,” tap “Continue” twice and wait for a while. Your eSIM will connect to the network.
  3. Choose a label for your new eSIM plan.
  4. Choose “Primary” for your default line, then tap “Continue.”
  5. Choose the “Primary” you want to use with iMessage and FaceTime for your Apple ID, then tap “Continue.”
  6. Choose your new eSIM plan for cellular/mobile data, then tap “Continue.”

When you’re ready to activate your eSIM, go into the settings under the Cellular Data section and simply toggle on the eSIM you want to use. It will take a couple of seconds to connect. Make sure to also turn on data roaming.

You can keep your primary line on if you want to keep your number for iMessage, WhatsApp, and FaceTime (recommended). Be sure to never delete your downloaded eSIMs; just toggle them off when you’re done. They automatically get archived in the app when they run out of days.

Within the app, you can check and see the status of your eSIMs and how many gigabytes are left. There you can top off your data as needed. Packages expire after a certain period depending on which plan you purchase. Even when the eSIM expires, you can always buy another plan to add more days.

Before you go to a new country, make sure to have the eSIM downloaded ahead of time so all you have to do is toggle it on.

Cost and Benefits

Most plans do not include a phone plan; they’re data-only. If you have WiFi calling enabled, this is usually not a problem. The only time I encountered an issue with not having a phone plan was when I was trying to make reservations at local restaurants. If this is important to you, consider looking into an additional phone plan. Some countries do not work with TSIM. The global plans are compatible with 124 countries.

eSIM plan prices vary depending on which one you purchase. Different countries have different plan costs. Regional and global are more expensive because they cover wider areas and have the ability to tap into many different networks. A one-gigabyte purchase is around $4.50 for many countries in Europe.

You can store credit cards in the app for easier purchasing. Also, users have the opportunity to earn TSIM points. Depending on the amount you purchase, you get a certain level of cashback. I am currently a platinum traveler and I get 10% cashback. This is a wonderful feature because I have been able to get many free gigabytes of data this way.

TSIM’s Online Resources and Guides

Here’s a breakdown of TSIM’s resources and guides for installing, using, and managing your eSIM data:

  • To learn more about TSIM, please visit About TSIM
  • If you want to stay up to date with eSIM technology, visit their blog.


Overall, I had great success using TSIM during my three months abroad, and it ended up being far cheaper than using an American international data plan. As a digital nomad, TSIM was a lifesaver while I was working abroad. On trains that didn’t have WiFi, I was still able to work from my hotspot.

Whether you’re traveling to Thailand or the Caribbean, there are options for many destinations around the world that provide flexibility like no other data plan. Plan your next trip knowing that there’s an easy solution for international travel data plans. 

Try their app to get 20% off.

Follow the rest of the Italy series