Airalo eSIM Review – Is Airalo Legit?

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Airalo esim review

Airalo eSIM Review – Is Airalo Legit?

Airalo Esim Review: An Authentic Unfiltered Take

You’ve probably come across mentions of Airalo or eSIMs and wondered, “Is this just another tech fad?” or “Is it really worth the switch?”. Well, as a seasoned solo traveler (and certified tech nerd), I dove into this new eSIM wave headfirst and am here to share my experience.

Related: Airalo vs Holafly Comparison
Related: Holafly eSIM Review

Buckle up for an in-depth Airalo eSIM review from the lens of a woman traveling the world solo.

First things first…

eSIMs have completely changed my travel routine. Believe it or not, when I first start my nomadic journey seven years ago, I would queue at a convenience store at the airport for a local SIM every place I landed. It was either this or endure exorbitant roaming charges.

These days, I’ve ordered my Uber before I clear customs. How? eSIMs!

Airalo eSIM Review

eSIMs appear to be a fast-growing category, with new competitors popping up and ferociously competing for market share. Within this wild race, Airalo is one I use regularly.

The Good

Reliable network for digital natives on the go.

The Bad

Pricier than a local data SIM (though much more convenient).

The Ugly

Their customer service leaves quite a bit wanting.

A few years back, my internet perspective shifted drastically. I played a crucial role in shaping the Mysterium Network, turning it from a basic setup to a global censorship-resistant internet layer. It now boasts 22,000 nodes across 135+ countries.  A quick skim through my articles on Hackernoon or the feature on Coindesk about the decentralized VPN’s role in the #EndSARS protests will offer a glimpse into my experience (and PASSION) for the internet.

So without much further ado:

What is an eSIM?

Before I dive into my Airalo experience, let’s get on the same page.

eSIM or ’embedded SIM” is a global specification by the GSMA – the organization representing mobile operators.  

When I first embarked on my internet connectivity journey, the digitized world was only beginning to realize the potential of seamless communication.

Now, in this era of rapid technological evolution, the traditional plastic SIM is yielding its ground to the newer, shinier, and more efficient eSIM.

Unlike traditional plastic SIM cards, eSIMs are small chips inside your smartphone.

They are easy, quick, and involve no tiny pins or risks of losing miniature cards in the depths of your backpack.

However, with the upsurge of eSIM providers flooding the market, choices have become endless and…confusing. In your search, I bet you’ve come across names like Holafly, Ubigi, and Nomad. And then there are giants like Orange eSIM.

How to use Airalo?

So, how does Airalo stand out? Let’s dive deep.

Airalo vs Holafy vs Nomad vs Simify

I compared Airalo against other eSIM providers on factors like ease of use, coverage, and price.






Ease of Use

Simple setup & purchase

Easy to use, simple setup

Standard setup process

User-friendly setup


Global with options for country, regional, & global plans

Wide range with major global telcos

Broad coverage in most countries

Limited but specific to major travel destinations


Moderate with regional discounts like Japan, Italy, & the UK

Premium due to unlimited data but most expensive overall

Competitive with occasional cheaper rates

Value for money especially with call & text bundles


Reliable with connections like Optus, O2, & T-Mobile.

Reliable with major global telcos

Reliable and on par with other top providers

Reliable, stemming from their expertise in physical SIMs

Support & Service

Slow to respond

Excellent customer service

Standard support

Standard support for eSIM and physical SIM

Data offering

Mostly fixed limits like 1GB, 10GB

Mainly unlimited data plans

Both data-limited & unlimited plans

Includes Calls & Texts in specific plans

Special Mention

Great flexibility in geographic coverage

Best for heavy data users who don’t want to monitor usage

Often slightly cheaper than competitors in specific regions

Best for those who also value calls & texts with data

Airalo Review: In a Nutshell

Known for its great coverage and flexibility in terms of geographic coverage, Airalo allows users to choose eSIMs by country, region, or even global plans. It uses major telcos for its connections, such as Optus in Australia, O2 in the UK, and T-Mobile in the US. Pricing is about average, with some countries getting great deals and others not so much. The setup and purchase process is easy and straightforward. However, there may be slow responses in customer support

Holafly Review: In a Nutshell

Distinct from Airalo, Holafly’s main selling point is the unlimited data in most of their eSIM plans. This means users don’t have to estimate their usage, they just pick a plan duration and enjoy. However, this comes at a higher price compared to data-limited plans. For instance, a 30-day unlimited plan in France is priced at US$64 compared to Airalo’s 10GB for US$23. Their customer service is also commendable.

Nomad Review: In a Nutshell

Similar to both Airalo and Holafly, Nomad offers good coverage and has plans in most countries. It offers both data-limited and unlimited plans, allowing users to compare options. Prices might be a tad cheaper, depending on the country. For instance, in Greece, a 30-day 10GB plan costs US$19 with Nomad, as opposed to Airalo’s US$25.

Simify Review: In a Nutshell

Unlike others primarily focused on eSIMs, Simify’s forte is physical SIM cards for travelers. Their range in eSIMs isn’t as vast, but they provide plans that include phone call and text, which could be a significant consideration for some users. For instance, their Europe & UK eSIM offers 15GB for 30 days with unlimited local calls for US$40, compared to Airalo’s 10GB (without calls) for US$37.

Is Airalo Worth It?

Is Airalo good? Is it safe? After my extensive experience, I can vouch for its efficiency and security. However, like all services, it’s not without competitors.

What is an esim

However, I can report from various remote islands spotted across the globe that Airalo ranks high in terms of reliability.

There have been some really off-grid places I’ve been where the area is only serviced by a specific local network. If that network isn’t a partner of whichever bandwidth aggregator you’re using, well you’re shit outta luck. In saying that this has only happened once, in the rural villages in the Philippines.

Airalo’s pricing is competitive. And if you’re unhappy, the Airalo refund policy is transparent, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Airalo Pricing

The very foundation of Airalo’s price model is its pay-as-you-go system. This meant that I only paid for what I consumed. No hidden costs, no fine print, just straightforward, transparent pricing.

How to activate Airalo esim

I’ve dabbled with various eSIM providers in a quest for the perfect fit.

For instance, with Holafly, I once paid approximately $30 for a package that offered data I couldn’t exhaust during a brief weekend trip to Berlin (which is a sneaky little jig baked into their commercial model).

On another occasion, while using Orange eSIM for a month-long adventure in Southeast Asia, I shelled out $60, only to find myself rationing my data by the third week.

This is why I like Airalo’s pay-as-you-go approach. It’s very 2030.

For short weekend city breaks in popular destinations like Paris or London, Airalo has packages roughly around $15, offering more than enough data.

For those week-long escapades exploring the beaches of Bali or the streets of Tokyo, plans are priced at around $25 to $35.

And for travelers on extended sabbaticals or remote work stints? Airalo offers comprehensive packages, where for about $50 to $70, you can be online without constantly watching your data consumption.

And as much as I like my numbers, it isn’t always just about them. Airalo’s products feel like they were built with real travelers in mind.

The cherry on top? Airalo’s referral code system. By simply recommending this game-changer to fellow travelers, I could earn discounts on future purchases. It’s a win-win. I share a tool that genuinely enhanced my travel experience and in return, made tangible savings.

Airalo Benefits

Navigating the world as a female traveler represents a brave new era.

Airalo eSIM Review for solo female travelers

We seek enriching experiences, embrace the present, and vividly capture our explorations on digital platforms for all to see.

Our expectations are defined by a world that lives at our fingertips. In this dynamic setting, Airalo has emerged as a keen listener, designing benefits that align perfectly with the unique desires and concerns of today’s female traveler:

Safety First

Imagine the horror of being in an unfamiliar alley, the evening shadows creeping in, and realizing your data has run out.

If there’s one thing that’s always at the back of a solo traveler’s mind, especially for women, it’s safety. I remember a time when I wandered a little too far off the beaten path in Prague and, as dusk settled, felt that familiar pang of anxiety.

In moments like these, our phones aren’t just devices; they’re lifelines.
It’s not just about making a call; it’s about accessing maps, ride-hailing apps, or even sending out a quick location share to a trusted friend. 

Social Media Ready

Thanks to Airalo, your social media ventures remain uninterrupted. This means your followers, whether they’re your close friends or a global audience, are right there with you, experiencing the magic as it unfolds.

🔥 Hot Tip:
When traveling solo ladies, make sure you’re not posting in real time. Always stagger your posts so you’re not telling your followers where you are at that given point. Creeps be creepin’

Reduced Language Barriers

If I had a dollar for every time I played a frantic game of charades with a local vendor, trying to convey my need for a SIM card or data plan, I’d probably have enough to fund another solo trip!

Google Translate is a handy companion, but that’s assuming you have data, or the foresight to download the dictionary beforehand. And this is why, Airalo.

Adaptable to Device Variations

Airalo’s compatibility range is noteworthy. Whether you’re an iPhone 13 enthusiast, swear by your Samsung S21, or cherish the smooth functioning of your Pixel 7, Airalo’s got you covered. Each device, with its unique set of features, is enhanced with Airalo’s consistent connectivity.

Easy(ish) Troubleshooting

While Airalo offers a convenient solution, I have occasionally faced challenges such as the Airalo eSIM not activating or the package not being activated.

Ideally, their customer service would swiftly address these issues.

However, this is one space that the company has room for improvement: responsiveness. While Airalo has a comprehensive FAQ section that provides initial guidance, getting a hold of a person isn’t that easy…

Get set up in advance, so your travel experience remains as smooth as possible.

Airalo Downsides

 Despite its overwhelmingly positive impact on my travels, I did come across certain aspects of Airalo that could be refined for an even better experience.

Network Switch Delays

One of the main promises of eSIM technology is the seamless transition from one network to another. However, there were instances with Airalo when the network switch took longer than expected. It was still generally done in 3 – 5 minutes.

Customer Service Experiences

Frankly, Airalo’s customer service can be hit or miss. When I encountered problems like the Airalo eSIM not activating during my Bangkok trip, I expected prompt and effective assistance.

Instead, I was met with delayed responses and generic “one-size-fits-all” troubleshooting guides.

It wasn’t a single interaction fix; it took back-and-forths to finally resolve my specific issue. For a service catering to travelers who often need real-time solutions, Airalo has significant room for improvement in the customer support department.

Refund Policy

It’s essential to understand Airalo’s refund policy. I once opted for a plan but later changed my travel itinerary. When I tried to swap it for a different country’s package, the process wasn’t as straightforward as I’d assumed. While the hiccup got sorted, it did emphasize the importance of reading the fine print and understanding the terms.

The Airalo Verdict

I LOVE tools that keep pace with our rapid, interconnected lives.

Is Airalo good?

For a traveler, connectivity isn’t just for sharing pictures – it’s a tool for safety, navigation, and staying in touch.

I put Airalo to the test across various remote spots in Southeast Asia, the US, and Europe. Here’s what I found.

  • Global data coverage in one app
  • Travel centric packages
  • Convenient set up
  • Easy-to-understand interface
  • Stable network service
  • Restrictions on hot-spotting in specific regions
  • Not-so-great customer service

The world of eSIM is still in its nascent stages, with much room for growth and innovation. Services like Airalo are leading the charge, redefining how we perceive and experience connectivity during our travels.

As technology continues to evolve, and as more devices come equipped with eSIM capabilities, I’m excited to see how companies like Airalo will adapt, innovate, and set new benchmarks in this space.

Solving Common Airalo Queries

Does Airalo allow hot-spot?

One frequently asked question is, “Can I use Airalo as a hotspot?”.

This depends on the specific package you purchase. In Thailand for example, I can purchase “unlimited data” for $16.99, but don’t have the hotspot function. 

Is the Airalo hotspot feature usable on transit modes, like a train?

Absolutely. If your plan allows for hotspot features, it doesn’t matter if you are transiting as long as you have network connectivity. If there is no network connectivity for the underlying network Airalo is using, then you will see the dreaded buffering wheel.

The Airalo hotspot feature is particularly handy during longer rides, allowing me to connect multiple devices and get some work done. The connectivity remained stable, except of course when we hit reaaaaal countryside.

How does Airalo handle data roaming settings?

Airalo’s interface offers clear instructions for data roaming settings.

Make sure you have the correct settings to ensure continuous connectivity, especially in areas where network fluctuations might occur.

And, as for the Airalo data roaming on or off debate, always ensure it’s turned on for seamless connectivity.

How to use Airalo eSIM on iPhone or Android?

It’s crucial to note that not all devices are eSIM-ready.

While the newer models like the iPhone 13, iPhone 12, and Samsung S21 are equipped, older versions like iPhone XR might have limitations.

The Airalo IOS app simplifies the process for Apple users.

On the Android side, Airalo Pixel 7, Airalo OnePlus, and other modern models support the eSIM functionality. If you encounter the dreaded “Airalo your device doesn’t support eSIM” message, it’s time for a gadget upgrade.

Are there specific devices that are highly compatible with Airalo’s eSIM?

From interactions with fellow travelers, devices like the Airalo iPhone XR and Airalo Samsung S21 were highlighted as highly compatible. However, Airalo boasts a comprehensive list of supported devices, catering to a wide range of users.

What should users know about device compatibility with Airalo’s eSIM

While Airalo supports many devices, it’s pivotal to verify compatibility before purchase. Some devices might have limitations, so referring to Airalo’s official compatibility list is always a good idea.

Airalo eSIM not activating, or Airalo package not activated?

Activating Airalo is straightforward. But like all tech, glitches can arise.

Here’s a tip: Install the Airalo eSIM before traveling to avoid last-minute hiccups.

And if you’re wondering about the Airalo eSIM phone number, it’s dedicated to ensuring a smooth user experience. You can keep yours as your main number while using the mobile data capabilities of the eSIM.

Can I make calls with Airalo?

Airalo primarily focuses on data, but using VoIP services like WhatsApp is seamless. As for the Airalo eSIM WhatsApp integration, it functions smoothly, ensuring you’re always a message or call away from loved ones.

How user-friendly is the setup process for Airalo on an iPhone?

Setting up Airalo on my iPhone 13 was an almost effortless experience. Traditional SIMs often involve tedious processes, from visiting stores to grappling with paperwork. Airalo’s online setup bypasses these hurdles, providing step-by-step digital prompts that guide users throughout.

How does Airalo fare against other eSIM providers?

Comparing eSIM providers, Airalo stands out in several domains. Beyond competitive pricing, they offer transparency in their policies, extensive device support, and reliable connectivity. For instance, while discussing with a fellow traveler, the pros of Airalo over providers like Nomad and Orange eSIM became evident.

Can users benefit from introducing others to Airalo?

Yes, Airalo encourages users to spread the word with a referral system. You can give your friends US$3 off their first purchase and earn US$3 Airmoney credit for every referred friend that purchases an Airalo eSIM. This not only allows new users to discover Airalo’s benefits but also provides perks to those who refer friends.

Other Cool Tech Gadgets

Alright savvy traveler, if you’re looking at eSIMs you’re waaaaay ahead of the curve. Here are some other cool picks from my rucksack.

Related: 16 Crossbody Bags for Handsfree, STRESS FREE Travel
Related: Travel Accessories for the Modern Woman

Smartphone Lens Kit

Favorite amongst professionals and travelers, the Moment Wide 18mm Lens Kit enhances your smartphone photography capabilities.

Foldable Travel Yoga Mat

With Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat you can unroll, unwind, and zen out, no matter the destination.

Foldable Travel Yoga Mat

Can’t live without your coffee? The Wacaco Minipresso GR is a hit among coffee aficionados who can’t bear to miss their daily brew.

Travel Insurance for Your Beloved Gadgets

We all like a bit of reckless abandon during our travel adventures.

Related: 19 Unique Travel Accessories for Solo Female Travelers
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But there’s nothing I hate more than losing my phone, and not being covered for it. It’s like being punched in the gut twice.

Travel insurance in budapest

Consider purchasing insurance from reputable providers like World Nomads, SafetyWing, or Allianz.

Photo of author

The Sharmini

Sharmini has built technology projects across the world. Angel investor, truth speaker, self proclaimed guru – she is currently working on a her novel on the cliffs of a tropical island.