Please sign in to post.

eSIM or Verizon International?

Sorry if this has been hashed over before. We will be in Portugal for 4 weeks and want to access WiFi away from hotels etc. (e.g. bus terminals.) We know Portugal's WiFi service is MEO and we were wondering if an sSIM "card" or Verizon's $100 international plan would be the best option.
Thanks to all of you!

Posted by
6281 posts

Well, it depends. eSIM data plans are definitely cheaper than the Verizon international plan, and I would go with an eSIM every time. But there are people who prefer convenience over cost, so you may want to consider getting the Verizon plan for that reason.

Before I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile (which has a free international plan), I bought an eSIM to use in Germany for one month from Airalo, and it worked very well. My total cost was around $23 for one month. It's easy to install, activate and use, but again some peope prefer the convenience of using what they have.

Posted by
180 posts

I am also a T-Mobile customer. For our two RS tours in 2023 (England and Italy), the only extras I paid for were a handful of phone calls charged at .25 a minute. Data and texting were included in our Magent55+ plan. Coverage was quite good in both countries, as well.

Posted by
98 posts

I'm with AT&T and also used an AirAlo Regional ESim for my Netherlands and Italy tour back in November. The Esim worked very well and was seamless.

Posted by
1 posts

@mardee said something about it being inconvenient. What do you mean by that? I am traveling to AU for about 7 weeks and would be very interested in the eSIM instead of paying $200 for two months of international Verizon charges. Also, is using the eSIM the same situation as using a regular SIM card, meaning you would get a phone number from that country. I'm not very tech saavy so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks all

Posted by
6281 posts

@mardee said something about it being inconvenient. What do you mean by that? I am traveling to AU for about 7 weeks and would be very interested in the eSIM instead of paying $200 for two months of international Verizon charges. Also, is using the eSIM the same situation as using a regular SIM card, meaning you would get a phone number from that country. I'm not very tech saavy so any help would be greatly appreciated.

jamo23, I just meant that some people prefer to pay the $100/month charge for the Verizon int'l plan, rather than learn how to use an eSIM. Myself, I would much prefer to pay a much lesser amount for an eSIM.

With regards to phone numbers, most eSIMs are data only and do not give you a phone number. I used WhatsApp to call people or FaceTime, but your needs may vary. Some people here have used the Orange Holiday eSIM that comes with a French phone number, but I'm not sure that's available for Australia. I used Airalo and SOME of their plans have phone numbers, but again, I'm not sure that the Australia plan does.

Your other option would be to buy a physical SIM card to use, which would give you a phone number.

Either way, here are some posts from Reddit, which covers this a bit better, which you may want to look at. https://www.reddit.com/r/eSIMs/search/?q=australia&restrict_sr=1

Posted by
4064 posts

@jamo23, Adding to Mardee’s answer, Airalo does have an eSim available - their Global plan and you have the option to purchase it with a telephone number. It says it covers Australia. I have done this once, using it in Croatia, Hungary, & Ukraine. An eSim leaves you the easy option of switching back and forth to your home number, should you need to do that.

In your case, a cheaper option might be a physical sim once you arrive in AU. For this option, you have to change the small SIM card if you need to use your home #. And of course, to use either, your phone has to be unlocked.

OP, what is better totally depends on your plan for use and, like Mardee said, what you want to do. I have AT&T and generally have it turned off and my Airalo data plan turned on. I use Skype for phone calls home. However if for some reason I need my home cell number (a confirmation code for online purchases, for example), I do have the option of easily turning on my home cell and paying $10/day for the privilege. Lol.