Are you planning a trip across the United States? An eSIM data plan for your smartphone can help you quickly access maps, translation apps, social media, and more while seeing the sights.
With so many options, though, how do you pick the right plan to meet your travel needs while keeping costs down?
Follow this guide on what to look for in an eSIM data plan to travel the US seamlessly.
Determine How Much Data You Need
First, estimate how much mobile data you expect to use each day, keeping in mind that you’ll likely use more data than at home if relying heavily on your phone for navigation, looking up attractions, etc.
A 1GB plan could be enough to use essential apps for minimal needs. For moderate usage with some maps, social media, and web searches, 3-5GB is better.
Heavy users—especially those streaming videos/music—should get a large eSIM data plan for the US.
Determine Necessary Speeds
Today’s carrier networks offer 4G speeds of around 5-12 Mbps and 5G reaching over 100 Mbps.
For primary usage, 4G LTE speeds should suffice to browse the web and use most apps without issue.
But if you plan to stream HD video content or do high bandwidth activities, a 5G-enabled plan provides the fastest speeds.
Evaluate Included Extras
Many eSIM plans to throw in extras like free calls/texts, hotspot data, or international calling credits.
Figure out which features matter most for your trip itinerary. Free nationwide talk is helpful if you plan to call US numbers often.
Those travelling onward could benefit from international talk credit. Extra hotspot data connects another device, like a laptop or tablet, to your phone’s data.
Watch Out for Gotchas
Be sure to understand any limitations with an eSIM plan before signing up. Some restrict video streaming quality or throttle speeds after hitting a certain data usage threshold each month.
Make sure to read the fine print so there are no surprises on the go.
Checking user reviews can also uncover potential gotchas that could be more obvious from plan details alone.
Consider Flexible Plans
Your data needs may fluctuate during your trip, so it helps to choose an eSIM plan with the flexibility to change allowances as needed.
Some plans let you top up high-speed data during your billing cycle or upgrade to unlimited data for the remainder of the month.
This comes in handy if you unexpectedly use more data than anticipated initially.
Compare Activation/Expiration Policies
Be aware that the activation duration and expiration rules of the eSIM plan can vary greatly.
Some plans start the countdown timer from the moment you activate.
Others initiate billing only on the first usage or last for set windows like 30-day intervals. Know the policies before purchasing to maximize value for the entire trip.
With the wide range of eSIM offerings to enable connectivity across the US, reviewing these key considerations will help you identify the ideal plan to meet your travel requirements.
An eSIM makes staying connected on the go hassle-free while providing more flexibility to change allowances when needed. Do your research to pick a plan that won’t leave you high and dry mid-vacation!