There are many ways to exploit the best of what an eSIM offers. One of those ways is to use an eSIM for internet and phone access when traveling outside your carrier’s domestic zone. For a crash course on the basics, tap or click to read our guide on staying connected with an international phone plan abroad. Read on to learn everything you need to know about using an eSIM when traveling out of the country.

Can I use an eSIM card with my phone?

The list of eSIM-capable phones is constantly growing. If you have an iPhone, a Google Pixel, or one of several high-end Samsung phones, you’re likely cleared for takeoff. RELATED: Traveling soon? Five smart tech steps to take before you hit the road With an eSIM phone, you’ll be able to purchase a foreign data plan to use when overseas. After activating your travel plan, you’ll be able to use your phone just as you did before, anywhere in the world. Which phones are eSIM-compatible? The list is long. Yours is likely to be on it.

iPhones with eSIM access

Apple provides this quick guide on using dual SIM support for any of the following iPhone models:

iPhone 13 Pro MaxiPhone 13 ProiPhone 13iPhone 13 mini

If you use any of the following older iPhones, you can also use a physical nano-SIM card to stay connected:

All iPhone 12 modelsAll iPhone 11 modelsiPhone XSiPhone XS MaxiPhone XR

For 5G compatibility, you’ll also need to use iOS 14.5 or later. After following the instructions listed on the linked page above, you’ll be free to use your phone anywhere you buy an eSIM phone plan.

Pixel phones with eSIM access

All Pixel phones 3a and later offer dual SIM support, called dual SIM dual standby, DSDS. For 5G access globally, however, you’ll need at least a Pixel 4a. Here are the Pixel models that offer dual SIM support:

Google Pixel 3aGoogle Pixel 3a XLGoogle Pixel 4Google Pixel 4aGoogle Pixel 4 XLGoogle Pixel 5Google Pixel 5aGoogle Pixel 6Google Pixel 6 Pro

With Google Fi, you can also use a Google Pixel 2 or 2 XL for eSIM access and an old-school Pixel 3 or 3 XL. The current guide linked above is only for users working off of Android 11 or later. Be sure to make the upgrade before leaving the country.

Samsung phones with eSIM capabilities

Most Samsung Galaxy phones offer eSIM access, except for the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 4G or 5G. Beyond that, any of these Galaxy devices can be used to communicate while traveling:

Samsung Galaxy S20Samsung Galaxy S20+Samsung Galaxy S20 UltraSamsung Galaxy S21Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5GSamsung Galaxy S21+ Ultra 5GSamsung Galaxy S22Samsung Galaxy S22+Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraSamsung Galaxy Note 20Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G Samsung Galaxy FoldSamsung Galaxy Fold 3Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5GSamsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5GSamsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5GSamsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G FoldSamsung Galaxy Z FlipSamsung Watch (via Samsung Wearable application)

Which phones aren’t eSIM-compatible?

Those who have phones purchased in or from China, Hong Kong, or elsewhere in Southeast Asia may not be able to use eSIMs. Many models offer dual-SIM support, but neither of these slots is compatible with eSIM cards for travel. Japanese Pixels are also limited, as they can’t support two different SIM cards simultaneously. You may also like: Handy and compact electronics organizers for travel – organize wires, chargers and more