Amidst the maze of ads and marketing tactics, we struggle to secure the best deals that simplify our travels and save us some serious cash. The eSIMs market is heating up, becoming an intensely competitive arena. With an array of choices before you, the decision-making process can feel overwhelming.

Holafly eSIM stands out as the BEST choice. In this piece, I aim to articulate precisely why.

You can think of Holafly as a huge online store for eSIMs that keeps you connected in 160+ destinations worldwide. Impressive, isn’t it? It’s seriously convenient for literally anyone on a trip. HOWEVER, how smooth your digital experience goes comes down to how ravenous your data appetite is, and how long you intend to stay in your destination.

If you don’t want headaches, just toss a coin. As it hangs in the air, you’ll suddenly know which decision to make! (Uninformed tactic yet insanely fast lol)

If you decide to trust me! (Which I HIGHLY recommend :)) Scroll down slowly as you’re about to make the smartest move for your digital journey… that is, assuming your Holafly eSIM is the real MVP.

Here’s the Holafly eSIM review! 

danielle at a phone booth in london, england
Hi mum. Send me money for a HolaFly package, please.
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

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Spotlight on Holafly eSIM (+Discount Code)

The Broke Backpacker team set out to conquer Europe armed with Holafly’s 90-day unlimited data plan for Europe. We roamed through London, Amsterdam, and Berlin while putting this nifty invention to the test. And let me tell you, folks, it did not disappoint. 

From touchdown to takeoff, we were logged in and ready to roll. And here’s the kicker: It now offers a phone number that includes 60 minutes of calls to/from any European phone number – one of the latest AND GREATEST features introduced by Holafly.

Here’s everything you should know before getting Holafly eSIM.

Plan Options and Pricing

The eSim Europe plans start at $19 offering unlimited data with 60-minute calls for 5 days and go right up to the $99 package for 90 days.

Well, Holafly may seem a bit steep for budget backpackers out there. But it’s considered worth the cost for their convenience and reliability.

Holafly eSIM for Europe pricing plan

Hit the button to get the Holafly eSIM Europe package. You can save a few of your hard-earned bucks and bag yourself an exclusive discount by using the unique code THEBROKEBACKPACKER.

Country Coverage

Our good ol’ Mother Earth comprises 195 countries, a fact that you might have stumbled upon during some geography class… Anyway, Holafly offers eSIM packages tailored for connectivity across +160, including 32 European countries.

Hold your breath and let’s do the count: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.

You will not experience any service interruption when crossing borders within the countries your regional plan covers – making it particularly convenient for travelers visiting different destinations within a single region. Obviously, you’ll need a different package once you leave the covered area.

Phone Number With Up to 60-minute of Calling Credit

Holafly offers an Austrian phone number (+43) and grants you up to 60-minute calls across European countries EXCLUDING Iceland, Norway, the UK, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Turkey. This is particularly convenient when you’re keeping up with local contacts, making reservations, or staying connected with loved ones back home.

New feature… Cause Holafly like to evolve!

Is Holafly Actually Unlimited?

Holafly’s got you covered with unlimited data plans spanning across Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America, all neatly packaged with a set number of days.

Meanwhile, other countries like the Caribbean have data packages with a fixed amount for a specific duration. However, there are some limitations to consider.

According to Holafly’s customer service, operators might enforce a Fair Usage Policy. This means that if your usage exceeds 90GB in a month, the operator might temporarily and intentionally throttle your speed to ensure fair internet usage and allow all users to enjoy optimal connection. Easy guys, that’s for a fair game!

Holafly FAQs are just about everything you need!

Can I Use My Phone With Holafly?

Be very careful, I paid 69 USD for 30 days in Asia, then found out Holafly eSim is not compatible with my iPhone 8. Not me, but someone from TrustPiot wishing they could Ctrl+Z their life, ugh!

Unfortunately, not all phones are eSim compatible. For a phone to work with eSIM, it needs to have a small piece of microchip hardware installed which older models don’t have.

Whilst all current-generation phones are manufactured to be eSim ready, older (but still popular) models are not, so make sure to verify eSIM compatibility before you make any payment.

The following devices are eSIM-ready

You’re gonna look for your phone anyway right? Lol.

Apple

  • iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2 (2020), iPhone SE 3 (2022)
  • iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini
  • iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 13 Mini
  • iPhone 14, 14 Pro, 14Pro Max
  • iPhone 15, 15 Pro, 15 Pro Max
  • iPad Pro 11? (model A2068, from 2020)
  • iPad Pro 12.9? (model A2069, from 2020)
  • iPad Air (model A2123, from 2019)
  • iPad (model A2198, from 2019)
  • iPad Mini (model A2124, from 2019)
  • IPad 10th generation (model 2022)

Samsung

  • Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+,S20+ 5g, S20 Ultra, S20 Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ 5G, S21+ Ultra 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S22, S22+, S22 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy S23, S23+, S23 Ultra, S23 FE* (Models from China or from Hong Kong do not admit eSIM)
  • Samsung Galaxy S24, S24+, S24 Ultra
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Note 20 Ultra 5G 
  • Samsung Galaxy Fold
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Z Fold3, Z Fold4, Z Fold5 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Z Flip3 5G, Z Flip4, Z Flip5 5G
The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

Grab an eSIM!

How Does Holafly eSIM Work?

Step #1 Check phone compatibility and select your data plan.

If you’ve just learned how to use emojis and are wondering how an eSim works? Good news, it’s straightforward to get set up. You can simply head to their website or download the HolaFly app and navigate to your desired destination. If HolaFly covers the destination (and they do cover most ‘popular’ destinations) all of the relevant information such as price, data amount, and expiry periods is clearly set out. Then, choose the local or regional data plan that suits you best.

Step #2 Follow the payment process

Step #3 Open your inbox and scan the QR code

Upon confirming your purchase, an email with a QR code will be sent to you. Go to the ‘Mobile Data’ settings, select ‘Add Data Plan’, and simply scan the QR code (You can also just type a code if you can’t scan the QR code).

Step #4 Set up and activate your eSIM

Choose Holafly as the main data source within the mobile data settings, and the eSIM will be immediately active. It will show in your phone settings as toggled off. As soon as you land just toggle the eSIM to on; your service will be activated, connecting you to some local provider. Select it as preferred to make calls and data.

Whilst you can and should buy and download the package before you land, it is best NOT to activate the package until you arrive to prevent the data period from starting before you need it. With this in mind, it is wise to carry a printed, paper copy of the QR code in case you need to scan it again.

If you wanna give Holafly a try on your next trip, you can profit from a discount via this link using our discount code THEBROKEBACKPACKER.

Holafly eSIM Review – Is Holafly Reliable?

So, is Holafly reliable? Well, It’s an excellent choice for those seeking more than just the standard “Unlimited” data promise.

Obviously, the appeal of an eSIM and the convenience of catching that network signal immediately upon touchdown is IRRESISTIBLE. A lot of us will pay for that, I know.

However, it’s important to understand that Holafly is not a mobile provider. It partners with local companies and rents bandwidth from them. Network quality experienced by users can be influenced by the performance and capacity of these local providers with which Holafly has agreements.

If you still need a bit more info, have a good at our guide to eSIMs here.

A close-up of a cell phone lying on a gray concrete floor.
Ready to roam?
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Digital Experience

Holafly’s website and app offer the most intuitive interface with a fluid digital process that will quickly get you connected. You can literally start using your eSIM within just 10 to 15 minutes.

The customer support team is incredibly responsive and patient, especially when you’re navigating different time zones – other eSIM providers we have used do not offer this and instead invite customers to open a support ticket and wait.

Shout out to my buddy Hector who was super patient as I shared screenshots of what I was looking at, and gave me detailed instructions with pictures to get it right.

I did the research (you can trust me on that!) and pretty much every destination I looked at offered a range of different eSIM packages (+160 countries remember?) Basically, each one you choose will come down to how ravenous your data appetite is, and how long you intend to stay in your destination.

However, there is a rather big ‘however’ coming up….

While many customers reported satisfactory experiences with Holafly eSIM (including me!), there are concerns raised regarding speed fluctuations and the hotspot/tethering restriction.

Network Speed

As soon as you land on the plan page, Holafly keeps it real with you about potential speed reduction: “The eSIM includes unlimited data for the contracted time. However, please note that the carrier may reserve the right to apply a Fair Usage Policy”

If your data usage exceeds 90GB in a month, the operator might temporarily slow down your speeds might temporarily to ensure fair internet usage and allow all users to enjoy optimal connection.

The restriction is typically removed within 24 hours. But it’s important to understand that in the context of prepaid mobile data using a cellular network, “unlimited data” is never really unlimited nor constantly high (or normal) speed.

While this label may appear attractive from a marketing standpoint, personally, I believe promoting data plans with specific GB limits is just more convenient for users.

Photographer capturing a lush valley scene with their smartphone.
You can upload all your pics to the cloud.
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

Tethering/Hotspot

Holafly eSIM doesn’t let you share your internet via tethering/hotspot, which sucks if you’re relying on this feature. It’s especially convenient for individuals who rely on consistent access to emails, navigation, and other online services during their travels. If tethering/hotspot is a must-have for you, your best bet would be to go for a regular SIM card instead.

These points aren’t deal-breakers, they’re guiding lights to help you make an informed decision. We still rate HolaFly’s eSim service very highly. Look at the breakdown below!

Pros of HolaFly
  1. Impressive variety of destination options
  2. Easy-to-use interface
  3. You can buy in advance
  4. You can keep your original sim and phone number for emergencies and two-step authentications
  5. Pretty good coverage overall
  6. iMessage, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, etc work well
  7. If you are going to more than one country, you can purchase separate eSIMs and load them (as long as your phone supports that) then switch between eSIMs
Cons of HolaFly
  1. Some devices do not support eSIM
  2. Connectivity quality can differ between destinations (As per customer reviews)
  3. Data only (Although they’re constantly updgrading)
  4. No hotspot/tethering allowed
  5. Local physical SIM cards may be cheaper

Holafly Vs The Rest – How It Compares To Other eSim Providers

I’ve now tried quite a few different eSim providers and packages in my time. While the concept is the same across the market, there are a number of key differences.

For example, when compared to the eSim range offered by OneSim, HolaFly offers a much wider variety of different European destination packages whereas OneSim offers a “Europe Package” which is slightly more expensive than HolaFly’s.

Then we have Nomad. Their European packages are quite affordable but I was often unable to actually connect to the internet which defeated the object entirely.

In short, HolaFly performs pretty well against most other eSim providers, and its recent inclusion of phone numbers and calling credit adds further intrigue.

Holafly Alternatives

As more young pros ditch their desktops for mobile, the competition to cater to our need for global connectivity is heating up among companies.

It’s smart to shop around, especially when it comes to eSIM plans. Right now, Holafly’s leading the pack, but there are some other big players and up-and-comers ready to shake things up. Let’s take a look at some of them.

GigSky

Founded in 2010, GigSky is a Palo Alto, California-based mobile technology company that provides e-SIM and SIM card data services to international travellers. As well as offering excellent, well priced data packages in over 190+ countries, they also offer a global sim package, a number of different regional sim packages and a one of a kind “Land + Sea” package making it one of the best sim options for cruise travellers.

  • Extensive Coverage: Covers 190+ countries, ensuring global connectivity for travellers.
  • Flexible data packages: Ranging from 7-60 day periods.
  • Mobile Carrier Selection: What sets GigSky apart from other providers is the ability for clients to choose which mobile carrier their eSIM uses, granting users control and customization over their network experience.

To use GigSky, you can just browse the website’s eStore and look for suitable eSim packages, but users will often get a better browsing experience if they download the GigSky app onto their device.

OneSim

OneSim is long established as our personal favorite provider of travel sim cards and eSIMs. Basically, OneSim were providing multi-region, international SIM cards long before it became fashionable and have years of experience in helping travelers stay connected. They provide a reliable service, as well as a bunch of neat extras, to keep their clients happy chappies.

  • Comprehensive Services: OneSim’s advantage lies in its inclusive packages, encompassing data, voice, and text services.
  • Diverse Plans Available: Including daily, weekly, and monthly packages, as well as a pay-per-MB option for data usage.
  • Flexible Pricing: With rates starting at $0.05/MB for 4G service in the US, OneSim offers flexibility for users who only wish to use data in emergencies.

While OneSim has many advantages, two themes across multiple review websites were clients being caught out with unexpected plan costs and problems with connectivity in different countries. These are common issues within both physical and eSIM markets and are a good reminder to make sure you read the fine print when comparing which provider is best for you. 

YeSim

YeSim is an excellent app with compelling deals for savvy travelers. They don’t really provide network or data themselves but act as kind of a broker helping travelers find the best and cheapest possible eSIM for their trip. Here’s a brief overview of what YeSim brings to the table:

  • Extensive Coverage: Provides eSIM packages for over 120 countries
  • Diverse Package Options: For each covered country, there’s a variety of package options tailored to different needs and budgets.
  • Virtual phone numbers: A pivotal feature for most of us, I guess!

The price of a Yesim eSIM package does of course vary depending on how much data you want, how long you want the package for, and the destination country you are visiting. There is also an additional charge for a Yesim virtual phone number. However, our readers can get a discount off any package by using the promo code “Backpacker” at checkout.

Want to know more? We’ve put together a comprehensive Yesim review just for you!

Is HolaFly eSim a good deal?

Holafly eSIM is a trustworthy choice for fast and stable connectivity. When you visit their site, you’ll feel genuinely guided towards making a purchase. No tricks, just genuine quality.

Aside from the global coverage, fantastic customer service, and overall stable connectivity, they’re always evolving, which makes it a reliable companion you can actually count on.

However, it’s not perfect for managing your entire digital life during long trips. Speed issues and the lack of tethering features can be bothersome. Yet, its ‘unlimited’ design helps cover some of these gaps, but I guess, it’s important for you to balance your priorities before making any choice.

If you wanna give it a try, use this link and discount code THEBROKEBACKPACKER at checkout.

Dani capturing a moment of Harvey on the boat.
You can upload that to the gram!
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short
Get set for your next adventure with our EPIC resources!