In the dynamic world of travel tech, the meteoric rise of eSIMs is perhaps something akin to the transition from bulky paper maps to sleek, real-time GPS navigation on our smartphones. There will be no going back!

The debate of a local vs international sim continues. I cannot count the hours I wasted queuing at SIM-card airport kiosks. Neither can I count the tiny bits of plastic I have discarded over the years (most of which probably ended up in the ocean). But the days of sourcing, fitting, and then throwing away physical SIMs are fast coming to an end with the surge of Esims.

There’s no shortage of eSIM providers fighting to help us stay connected, the question on everyone’s lips, however, is which is the best sim for travel? Well, luckily for you, I’ve tried a lot of them – the good, the bad, and the grotesque.

In this post, I’m going to examine GigSky’s eSIM offerings. By the end of this post, you will know all that there is to know about the company and their eSIM packages.


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Who The Hell Are GigSky?

Founded back in 2010, GigSky is a Palo Alto, California-based mobile technology company that provides e-SIM and SIM card data services to international travellers. Unlike many (most) other eSIM companies, GigSky are actually a Network Operator themselves, and partner with over 400 other carriers worldwide.

GigSky serves both consumer and business customers, offering mobile data services in more than 200 countries. Long established as a bit of a pioneer in the global mobile connectivity landscape, they have been making waves for over a decade now.

But what exactly makes GigSky stand out in the crowded space of eSIM providers? Read on to find out.

Why eSIM?


For globetrotters, the allure of eSIM technology lies in its simplicity and flexibility. Whether hopping from one country to another or requiring different data plans based on usage, eSIMs offer the ability to switch carriers without physical barriers.

You can download and install an eSIM before you leave home and then activate it the minute you land. This is a huge step forward, and you can also leave your native SIM in and have both your native SIM, and the eSIM working at once.

It also means no more unnecessary plastic waste too.

What Do GigSky Offer?

GigSky is not just about offering eSIMs; they’re about offering a world of connectivity right at your fingertips.

Let’s delve deeper.

How GigSky Works

To reiterate, while most of the other best eSIM companies out there are ultimately resellers of SIM profiles, GigSky is an operator who partners with over 400 other local carriers across the world.

Now, to get started with GigSky you first need to download and install their app. You can find it quite easily in either the Google Play Store or iTunes. 

Alternatively, you can just go straight to their website, but for various reasons, I suggest getting the app. It will make installation, activation, monitoring, and topping up easier.

Then you simply browse the different destinations or regions (or search using the search bar) and peruse the different packages on offer. The screenshot below should make it pretty clear;


I will get into the finer details of what the packages offer, and how to activate them, in the next few sections to come. In case you are wondering how GigSky can offer extensive network convergence in over 200 different countries, well GigSky partners with local carriers worldwide.

What Packages Do GigSky Offer?

As you probably gleaned from the screenshot, the package offerings from GigSky tend to be pretty straightforward with only 3 key metrics to look at:

  • Data Allowance
  • Duration
  • Price

In order to decide which package is right for your needs, you need to work out how long you will be in your chosen destination and go from there. Of course, a secondary concern is the amount of data you anticipate using.

For example, in the screenshot above, the Indonesia Packages start at 1GB for 7 days. Well some of you out there may burn through more than 1GB in 7 days – so may be better off with the 3GB 15-day package.

Does GigSky Offer Local Phone Numbers?

At this time GigSky is a data-only service. Their packages do not include a local phone number, texts, or minutes.

In most cases, this is unlikely to be an issue. Most travellers only need data for their apps, and if they need to ‘phone home’ can do it via WhatsApp or whatever.

However, I appreciate that in some instances you may want or even need a local number. For example, when I recently travelled to Bali, I needed a local SIM in order to sign up for the ubiquitous, everything app, that is Gojek. If you absolutely need a local phone number for your trip, then GigSky may not be the eSIM provider for you.

Which Destinations Do GigSky Cover?

Wait for it, GigSky offers eSIM packages for over 200 countries! Considering that there are officially only 195 countries, that is very impressive indeed…

It’s probably easier to mention the countries they don’t cover and these include the usual ‘sanctioned’ countries like Cuba, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela where US businesses are not able to operate.

Nic stood by the water edge in front of the Doha skyscrapers
Doing in Doha.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

As well as offering eSIM packages for individual countries, If you are looking for a sim in Europe GigSky also offers some decent Region Packages such as a Europe Plan and an Asia-Pacific Plan.

These are ideal for backpackers or interrailers in Europe. (I will come to Cruises later.) Finally, GigSky also offers a very impressive Global SIM which will work in most countries in the world.


As you would expect, the price of GigSky’s packages varies depending on destination, duration, and data allowance. However, in order to give you some idea of what a GigSky eSIM might cost, let’s look at a few examples.


  • 1GB $3.99 – 7 Days
  • 5GB $16.00 – 30 Days
  • 50GB $153.99 – 500 Days

By way of comparison, HolaFly’s 7-Day Spain package starts at €27.99. Although it does offer unlimited data.


  • 1GB $4.99 – 7 Days
  • 5GB $20.99 – 30 Days
  • 50GB $174.99 – 500 Days

Once again, HolaFly’s Euro package offers unlimited data for €27.99.


  • 1GB $5.99 – 7 Days
  • 5GB $23.99 – 30 Days
  • 10GB $45.99 – 30 Days

If you’re looking for a sim in Thailand, it is still quite a cheap country to visit and you can still find local, plastic SIMs ‘on the ground’ that offer a lot more data for a similar price.

However, remember that the advantage of eSIM is that you can sort it from the comfort of your home before you fly, and get connected the minute you land in Bangkok.

Global Trial Plan

If you want to give GigSky a try then remember that they are also the one and only network offering a free eSIM plan. This means you can get a 100MB plan for anywhere in the world completely free of charge – quite literally a ‘try before you buy’. Other international SIM cards have yet to rival this offer.

Finally, GigSky have also partnered with Apple Pay and Visa where account holders can get free GigSky eSIM packages.

What Else?

Let’s take a look at some of the unique and novel services and functions that GigSky can offer.

In Air Coverage

As well as offering eSIMs in over 200 destinations, GigSky also offers an in-air eSIM data service. Priced at $13.99 for 1 day or 100MB use, travellers can use this exciting service on over 20 different airlines at the moment.

man on empty plane flight
Best working space ever.
Photo: @joemiddlehurst

This is really useful for business travellers and those living as digital nomads who can use long flights to get some work done. Of course, it is vital to download and install the package before boarding the plane.

Cruise Coverage

GigSky’s cutting-edge ‘Cellular at Sea’ package may just be the world’s first anywhere-at-sea eSIM. The package will work anywhere in the maritime world and pretty much anywhere on the ship too.

Say goodbye to slow loading and buffering wifi, Gigsky’s has you covered when the ship’s crappy wifi fails you repeatedly. Just remember that it will not work ‘in port’ when you have to connect to the network of the host country.

This package is also a pricey one, costing $99 for 1GB over 7 days.

Offshore/North Sea

I appreciate this is a niche offering, but if any of you are working on the Gas and Oil Rigs, well GigSky even has a data plan for you!

How To Use GigSky eSIM

In this section, we are going to talk you through how to actually install, activate, and use GigSky.

Firstly, you need to take a second to check that your phone is actually eSIM compatible. Most smartphones in current circulation are eSIM ready, but if you have a slightly older one like an iPhone 8, then you will not be able to use GigSky’s eSIM.

The actual installation and activation process varies depending both on the model of your phone and whether you purchased your eSIM through the GigSky app or on their website.

As such I won’t go into the full specifics but will instead direct you to the GigSky website.

Monitoring Use

One of the stand-out features of the GigSky eSIM is that you can quickly and easily monitor your data use inside the GigSky app. At a glance, you see how much data you have used, how much you have remaining, and how many days you have remaining on your plan.

Topping Up And Extending

The good news is that GigSky does allow you to top up your package and buy more data (many eSIM’s don’t). It’s also pretty quick and easy to do via the GigSky app.

However, note that GigSky’s packages cannot currently be extended and a 7-day pack will expire at the end of the 7th day. This means – if you decide to stay a bit longer in your destination – you will need to buy a new package.

Pros and Cons of GigSky


Covers over 190 countries

Competitive Prices

In air and cruise options

Easy to monitor use and top up


No local number

No Cuba package available


Final Thoughts

In summary, even in a tough niche, GigSky has emerged as a compelling choice for travellers seeking a reliable and versatile eSIM solution. They offer fairly priced and easy-to-use data packages in 200+ countries – as well as some truly novel in-air and cruise packages.

Of course, the lack of a local phone number will be a hindrance for some and the GigSky eSIM may not be the cheapest option for some destinations. Still, I highly recommend downloading the app and taking one of their eSIMs for a spin sometime.

At sea? No worries.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short
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