Holafly e-SIM Review 2024: Is it the Best International eSIM?

Last Updated: May 13th, 2024

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When I’ve traveled in the past, I’ve been known to waste a lot of time adding data plans and roaming charges to my account, however, with e-SIMs that’s starting to be a problem of the past.

Holafly is a Spanish e-SIM data plan company that allows you to use your phone abroad without incurring a ton of pesky fees. However, like with all e-SIM data companies, Holafly is not without its faults and there are plenty of competitors out there vying for your money and attention. So, let’s dive in and find out more in our Holafly e-SIM review.

Things To Consider Before Buying an e-SIM Data Package

A-Smartphone-On-The-Hand

Primarily e-SIM packages exist to stop you from racking up hundreds of dollars in roaming charges when you’re abroad. It can be tricky to add roaming packages through your phone provider once you’re already overseas, but with e-SIMs, you can temporarily have access to in-country data allowances.

So, if you travel overseas a lot and want to use your phone to get around, work, or communicate, you might benefit from buying an e-SIM data package. It can also be super handy if you’re backpacking across a few different countries, like through Europe or Southeast Asia. Having an e-SIM means that you can effortlessly switch your packages for different countries.

If you’re heading on a city break in a popular European nation that has an abundance of WiFi like Paris or Tallinn, you might not need to buy an e-SIM data package. Between WiFi in your accommodation and public WiFi networks, you can enjoy free internet access in many city destinations, especially in Europe.

When considering an e-SIM package you need to think about:

  • The countries or regions you’re traveling to
  • How long you’re traveling for
  • The abundance of WiFI at your destination

Presenting The Product

Phone-Nano-Sim-Card

At its core, Holafly is an e-SIM data package where you can pick your destination country and duration, pay for it while you’re still in your home country, and access the internet abroad for normally a cheaper rate than roaming packages (https://esim.holafly.com/about-us/).

Honestly, the Holafly e-SIM packages seem like great value for money, considering that they have unlimited data allowances and the European packages come with up to an hour of local minutes to use while you’re there. This is great if you need to sort out taxis, get in touch with friends or family in the area, or need to contact your accommodation host or tour guide while you’re traveling.

This does stand out versus Airalo, Holafly’s main competitor who doesn’t offer unlimited data packages, but does tend to have better coverage around the world (https://halfdigitalnomad.com/airalo-vs-holafly-which-is-a-better-esim/).

Pros

Cons

  • It doesn’t work in every country yet. Holafly currently has no coverage in Africa (https://esim.holafly.com/shop/)
  • Holafly is one of the more expensive e-SIM data packages on the market.
  • You can’t hotspot on Holafly’s e-SIM packages, so you can’t share your data capabilities with friends or travel companions.

Features & Benefits

So, now we know the basics of Holafly’s offering, let’s find out more about the different features that they have and how useful they actually are on a day-to-day basis. Honestly, sometimes data companies add a ton of features and you never end up using them, so let’s see how Holafly squares up.

Unlimited Data Packages

A-Person-With-Smartphone-At Restaurant-Table

Realistically, I have no idea what apps on my phone rinse my data until I go on holiday and have to pay for it. Google Maps can be a huge culprit and it’s honestly the app I use the most when I’m away.

So, with this in mind, having unlimited data packages is a lifesaver. The amount of times I’d had to refresh my roaming data and hunt down public WiFi to do so is countless at this point. Holafly’s commitment to unlimited data on all of its packages definitely solves this problem and ensures you’re not caught short.

This is also one of Holafly’s biggest selling points. Its main competitors, like Airalo, have limits on their data depending on the package that you buy, so you might still end up not having enough data. On the flip side, Holafly is a lot more expensive than other e-SIM providers because of their unlimited data allowances. You might not need that much data for a weekend away in a popular city, so it may be more cost-effective to go with a cheaper vendor with data-limited packages.

It is worth noting that the unlimited packages are only available in Europe and North America at the moment, and plans in other regions have fixed data plans that are clearly stated when you choose your plan.

Additional Calling Minutes

While making phone calls isn’t high on my priority list on holiday, being able to make calls to tour leaders, the hotel, or even for taxis outside Uber areas can be a pretty big benefit. If anything happens and you need local minutes, Holafly throws in 60 minutes included as part of their European packages.

However, if you have access to WiFi calling or the person you want to call has WhatsApp, you might not even need the calling minutes at all. This is a cool feature in case of emergencies, but honestly, I’m not sure how much you’d actually need it when you’re out and about.

Wide Network Of Countries

A-Woman-Talking-On-Phone

According to the Holafly website, they currently have 110 different countries in their e-SIM network. This is obviously a huge variety of places that you can visit and have access to the internet in. The network of countries spans Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

At the moment, Holafly doesn’t have a presence in Africa at all, so if you’re traveling anywhere on this beautiful continent, you may be out of luck. Interestingly enough though, they do have pretty extensive plans across the Caribbean islands, including territories like Mayotte and Martinique.

I think this is also really handy to know about if you’re planning on backpacking through a couple of different countries, like interrailing in Europe, checking out southeast Asia, or exploring South America. It definitely makes it easier than buying a new temporary SIM card in each country, especially if you’re not going to be in each country for that long.

Variety Of e-SIM Durations

Sometimes when you buy a data package from your phone company, you can only buy them for weird durations. You can buy for one day or three days, but not two days. With Holafly, all the durations are pretty generous with the shortest duration being five days and going all the way up to 90 days.

While there are still some gaps in the durations – you can’t get a six-day e-SIM duration for instance – there is a lot of flexibility in their plans which I appreciate.

Having up to 90 days is really interesting as this is also the maximum number of days that you can stay in many countries without a visa. For instance, you can only stay in the Schengen areas of Europe for up to 90 days out of a 180-day period without a visa. So, it directly lines up with a lot of longer, visa-free travel adventure timelines!

Multi-lingual Customer Service

Employees-Working-In-Call-Center

English is the default for a lot of app-based customer service, and while Holafly does offer customer service in English, they also have agents who speak Spanish, German, French, and more (https://esim.holafly.com/data-plans/holafly-vs-airalo/).

Honestly, this just makes the app so much more accessible for travelers from all around the world and makes it more inclusive. While English is spoken in a lot of places, it’s by no means a universal language, so having agents who speak multiple languages, who are on-hand 24/7 is a huge benefit for many people.

Multiple Payment Methods And Currencies

Now, let’s be honest, if there’s one thing that always causes hassle overseas, it’s paying by card and figuring out currency. If you use your regular credit or debit card abroad, then a lot of the time the company flags the transaction and often blocks your card, which is super annoying.

That’s why it’s handy that Holafly accepts credit cards, PayPal, EU Bank, Apple Pay, and Google Pay as ways of buying plans and topping them up on the road. It makes it easy to link to your travel cash card through Apple or Google Pay and means that you don’t have to go through all the hassle of ringing your bank and asking them not to flag payments in your target country.

Alternatives to Holafly

A-Man-Talking-On-A-Cell-Phone

So, now we’ve seen what Holafly has to offer, how does it square up to alternative e-SIM data packages on the market? The main alternatives to Holafly are:

  • Airalo
  • Maya Mobile
  • Global YO

Airalo

Probably the most famous e-SIM package provider, Airalo has been promoted by scores of travel influencers over the past few months. However, the reviews aren’t great compared to Holafly.

In terms of features, the main thing that sets Airalo apart is the fact that you can hotspot on it and that they have a loyalty program that rewards you over time. These are great if you’re traveling as a family or group and only want to buy one plan but share the data, or if you travel a lot and want to get some money or rewards back along the way.

Best Features:

  • Loyalty program
  • Hotspot enabled
  • Cheaper than Holafly

You can check out Airalo here https://www.airalo.com/

Maya Mobile

Next up, Maya Mobile might not be as well known but is definitely gaining ground thanks to its money-back guarantee and auto-renewal feature. I particularly like this feature as it can be difficult to buy another short-term data plan once you’re already out of the country and your existing plan runs out. It also helps bridge the gap between short-duration e-SIM packages.

It also has a much bigger network than Holafly with 194 countries in its network versus Holafly’s 110 (https://maya.net/esim). Crucially, they include the majority of African countries, so if you’re heading here, Maya Mobile is going to be a much more viable option than Holafly.

Best Features:

  • Money back guarantee
  • Auto-renewal packages
  • Offered in 194 countries

You can check out Maya Mobile here www.maya.net

Global YO

Relatively unknown in Global YO, which offers country e-SIMs or a really popular Global plan that works across 120 different countries in their network. They have their own reward system that operates slightly differently from Maya Mobile’s one.

They have YOYO$ which are earned per minute spent in the e-SIM app. That’s because there are celebrity-hosted guides and content in the app that they want you to watch. It’s a cool feature where you can learn more about your destination and earn money back at the same time, but really you can find this kind of content on Instagram or TikTok.

Best Features:

  • YOYO$ loyalty program
  • Interactive travel guides and city-based content
  • Affordable global passes

You can check out Global YO here https://www.globalyo.com/

Conclusion

So, e-SIMs are a great product that helps you stay connected while you’re traveling without the inconvenience of having to buy local, physical SIM cards, or paying for expensive roaming charges.

Holafly is a great option for travelers looking for an e-SIM, especially in North America and Europe where you can benefit from unlimited data options for a wide variety of durations. While other options might be cheaper, the high Trustpilot ratings and the multilingual, 24/7 customer support make this a safe and trusted option.

With that in mind, check out Holafly by clicking here www.holafly.com

About The Author

Rebecca Crowe is a freelance content writer who specializes in writing about travel, food, drink, and adventure. She specializes in budget and adventure travel content and can usually be found climbing some rocks, eating some tacos, or waiting around at the nearest airport. Her best budget travel achievement was spending a weekend in Paris with Roland Garros tickets for under £150, although she's always on the lookout for even better adventure and travel deals! If you want to keep up with her next adventure, check out her website at Wandering and Wine.

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Picture of Rebecca Crowe

Rebecca Crowe

Rebecca Crowe is a freelance content writer who specializes in writing about travel, food, drink, and adventure. She specializes in budget and adventure travel content and can usually be found climbing some rocks, eating some tacos, or waiting around at the nearest airport.

Her best budget travel achievement was spending a weekend in Paris with Roland Garros tickets for under £150, although she's always on the lookout for even better adventure and travel deals!

If you want to keep up with her next adventure, check out her website at Wandering and Wine.

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