Since leaving the EU on January 31st 2020, many mobile phone operators have stopped offering UK tourists free EU roaming as standard, unless you subscribe to one of their most expensive packages. This means using your phone abroad can suddenly become very pricey, especially texts and using data, which means constantly searching for WIFI in cafes and corner shops, and desperately scrutinising screenshots of Google maps as you walk through a new city. Stressful!! If you're a non EU traveller, you know all about roaming charges and can appreciate exactly what we're talking about...
If, like us, you want to send holiday photos to your family, facetime your friends from your hotel, update your Instagram or access emails on a business trip, you'll probably be looking for an international travel SIM card to save money while you travel and avoid roaming fees.
We’ve recently been introduced to Orange's all inclusive prepaid e-SIM cards which look like real game changers. They’re fully digital (The ‘E’ stands for embedded SIM), so no more fiddling with swapping SIMs while travelling and they're better for the planet too: by making the switch to eSIM cards, not only do you cut down on plastic waste by not using temporary disposable travel SIMS, but by providing digital products, Orange cuts out the production process, packaging and distribution too! There’s one easy change we can all make while travelling to help the planet.
Orange's all inclusive eSIM cards come in two different bundle sizes:
The Orange Holiday Zen 8GB eSIM (€19.99) includes 8GB of 4G data in Europe and unlimited calls and texts within 50 European destinations including Andorra and Liechtenstein, countries often missed out by roaming data packages, and handily, the UK. This means even though we’re no longer an EU member, UK residents will still be able to phone home using their all inclusive Orange travel allowance, as well as receive texts and calls from friends and family at no extra cost.
Not a UK resident? The Orange Holiday Zen 8GB eSIM also includes 30 minutes of calls and 200 texts from Europe to worldwide destinations, ideal for travellers visiting the EU from say, the USA or Australia.
Working or blogging? If you need lots of data while travelling, take a look at the Orange Holiday Europe 20GB eSIM card (€39.99).
Perfect for those morning facetimes, company zoom calls and uploading photos, this travel SIM plan includes 20GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts in the same 50 European locations as the 8GB eSIM. The allowance for contacting destinations outside of Europe is much larger than the 8GB plan: 120 minutes of calls and 1000 texts.
Both all inclusive plans have no usage limitation: you can use your data for anything - whether you're downloading apps, streaming video, using your device for data tethering or as a hotspot.
How do you use an Orange Travel eSIM card?
After purchasing an all inclusive eSIM, you will be emailed a QR code to scan which will install the eSIM on your device. Once you arrive at your holiday destination and your phone connects to an EU network, the eSIM will automatically activate. Easy! Before travelling, make sure that your device is unlocked and roaming data is activated for the connection to work.
Worried about running out of data? Your initial credit included in the Orange all inclusive plan is valid 14 days after first use and you can easily top up the eSIM with more data, calls and texts by using the Orange Travel app.
A few more important points about using international travel SIM cards:
Travelling in Europe for more than a month? Orange prepaid eSIM cards come with a French phone number so after 30 days you'll need to register your eSIM on the Orange website to keep using it, in line with French law.
You can only download your eSIM once, so if you have any problems with it once you arrive, DO NOT delete it as you won't be able to redownload it. Orange advises contacting their customer service team instead.
Not every smartphone is compatible with eSIMs, so before purchasing one, check Orange's list below to see if yours is there. If not, both all inclusive plans are also available as a physical SIM card:
Iphone Xs, Xs Max and Xr under iOS 12.2 at least
Iphone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
Iphone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 12 Mini & iPhone SE 2020
Iphone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Mini
Samsung Galaxy Fold & Galaxy Fold 2 / Galaxy Z Flip & Z Flip 5G
Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra / Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy $21 5G, $21+ 5G, $21 Ultra 5G
Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4XL, Pixel 4a (4G) and Pixel 5 (5G)
Huawei P40 and P40 Pro & Mate 40 Pro
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