eSIMs for Travel


Staying connected while traveling does not have to be a fiddly mess of taking tiny SIM cards in and out of your phone. It doesn’t have to be if you use eSIMs for travel.

Deciding on a phone plan when you travel is always tricky. Our business and banking is registered in New Zealand. Managing our banking and business often requires us to receive a text message for 2 Factor Authentication (2FA). But staying connected to data using our “main” New Zealand SIMs is not a sustainable option. The fees are astronomical, for one thing.

We specifically only look for housesits that have high speed broadband, but these days, it is not realistic to only use data when you are at “home”.

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Discover eSIMs for Travel

Up until about 6 months ago, we were juggling a New Zealand SIM, a US SIM, and a UK SIM that also functioned for us on a housesit in France. It was a real production every time I wanted to buy something substantial like an airline ticket. Manually installing my NZ SIM just to wait for it to be connected and able to get my 2FA code via text message. I had a big and bulky SIM holder for all my various SIMs and SIM paraphernalia!

One of the eSIM packages available at Airalo
One of the UK eSIMs available

Then I saw someone on Facebook mention Airalo. I can honestly say that discovering their eSIMs has been a complete game changer for us. I never take any physical SIMs in and out of my phone anymore!

Airalo has an eSIM for just about anywhere you would like to travel. We have used the European region eSIM in France, a UK specific one, and a US specific eSIM, and we have been happy with their coverage in all those locations.

eSIMs available

You do need to make sure you have a later model phone that can hold eSIMs. My iPhone 13 Pro Max can have two SIMs “on”

You can find out more About Us and our life as housesitters on our blog.

Organizing Your SIMs

So how do I organize the various SIMs so that I don’t incur expensive roaming charges, and do not have to fiddle with opening the physical SIM card holder? This may vary depending on how you use your phone.

Airalo makes the set up process pretty simple, with a great walkthrough.

This is how we organize it all:

Two of the eSIMs I currently swap between
  1. We leave our home/banking phyisical SIM in all the time. In our phone’s settings, we turn off at a roaming on this SIM and enable wi-fi calling. That way we can receive calls and texts for this number as long as we are connected to wi-fi. And we do not need to get charged a daily data roaming charge.
  2. We activate the data only eSIM for the region that we are in. You can choose however much data you think you’ll use, and you can top it off incredibly easily.
  3. Keep in mind that the eSIM is for data only. Therefore, you will need to use iMessage or WhatsApp for calls and texts in whatever country you are in. As house and pet sitters we always tell the pet parents that they need to communicate with us via WhatsApp. We don’t want them actually calling our New Zealand number!

This method has worked incredibly well for us!

Manage your SIMs in the settings

You can get the AIRALO APP and try it out for yourself! We can honestly say that we are very happy with the experience.

We full-time travel around the world through travel exchange using platforms like TrustedHousesitters. This lets us arrange accommodation in exchange for pet and home care. You do not have to commit to full-time to enjoy this way of travel. Many sitters use the platform to arrange for their yearly vacation.

We recently changed how we keep our bags organized with packing cubes.

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