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If you're preparing to visit Spain and want reliable mobile internet during your stay, opting for an eSIM data plan is a great choice. These convenient virtual SIM cards provide connectivity to local mobile networks at your destination.
Below, I'll outline the advantages of using travel eSIMs. Additionally, I'll provide my top recommendations for the best eSIMs for Spain based on my extensive research.
This guide will explore various eSIM options, cost details, and frequently asked questions. Keep reading for all the details.
Best overall travel eSIM
GlobaleSIM partners with over 400 networks to ensure you stay connected on your travels. This provider is one of the only options offering flexible, customized plans for those who need data and calling abroad.
Here's how it works: pick an individual country (from among the provider's 150+ selection) or a regional plan for areas like Europe, South America, Asia, and more, then add your choice of 0, 100, or 200 voice minutes.
As for your data, you can choose buckets ranging from 1GB to 20GB, running between a week and 30 days. For example, say you want the regional Europe plan. You can get:
- 3GB data
- 100 voice minutes valid from/to any included country in the European group
- 14-day expiration period
- Cost: $20
It's a decent deal, considering that most international eSIMs do not include access to calling. If you include voice minutes in your purchase, you'll receive a phone number via email to use with your plan.
- 1GB - 20GB data
- 100 or 200 voice minutes
- 7 - 30 days validity period
- Prices start at $7
Let's look at GlobaleSIM's pros and cons:
- Customizable data/voice plans
- Extensive variety of coverage areas
- Clean website with abundant self-help resources
- Several data allotment & validity period options
- Data prices are a bit above average
- No support for inbound SMS
Unless you plan to jet-set around the world for several months, GlobaleSIM offers plenty of choices to suit your travel needs at competitive prices.
While this US-based provider has been around since 2015, I consider it up-and-coming because of its recent buzz among travelers looking for simple, affordable international eSIM options. With 194 countries to choose from, great prices, and regional plans like Europe+ and Asia+, Maya Mobile is worth looking at.
Another way Maya Mobile earns the title of best eSIM provider is by aggregating over 400 mobile networks worldwide so that you're always connected to the strongest signal.
This provider is tough to beat, with prices starting under $2 per GB. Of course, any phone plan has pros and cons, so here's what we love about Maya Mobile and a few downsides to help you make the best decision.
- Mexico or South America plans
- 1GB - Unlimited data
- 5 - 30 days validity period
- Prices start at $6
- Affordable prices
- Unlimited data plans
- Mobile hotspot usage
- A wide range of different countries covered (190+)
- Refund if service doesn't work for you
- Business eSIM options
- No phone number is included
- Coverage and signal strength can vary due to multiple networks
- Customer support is only available by message via the app or website
One of the nicest things about them is their customer feedback. The Maya Mobile Trustpilot score is excellent, which, in our industry experience, is no easy feat for a phone plan provider. Travelers like the price, reliability, and ease of use, which we think is almost everything you could ask for!
Holafly is another leading provider of global eSIM plans, catering specifically to international travel needs. With Holafly, you can easily access data and make calls in different countries, all with the convenience of digital eSIM cards.
- 160+ destinations
- Unlimited data
- 5 to 90-day plans
- Prices around $20 for a 5-day plan
- Simple to use app and website
- Easy data and validity period top-ups
- Useful features like validity tracking in the app
- 24/7 customer support
- Must use WhatsApp
- Local number not included
- No voice call or SMS message options
- Doesn't allow data sharing or hotspot usage
Holafly eSIM cards offer unlimited data plans - you can send as many videos and photos with your family without worrying about the data limit. In the few countries where unlimited data isn't an option, it offers higher data limits than most other eSIM providers.
In terms of duration, too, there's great flexibility. You can get plans from 5 to 90 days and everything in between. In short, there will always be a plan close to the number of days you're traveling for in about 160 countries that Holafly caters to.
On the price front, Holafly is a little high-end, but it's worth the unlimited data and stress-free traveling it offers. For example, its 5-day unlimited data plan for the USA costs $19. It also offers regional plans. However, I found it tough to locate these plans on its website, as there's no dedicated "Regional Plans" section as there are on some other websites like Nomad and Airhub.
Brands like Airalo are significantly cheaper than Holafly, but you will have to get top-up plans if you exhaust your data mid-journey, which can be troublesome if you travel alone and don't have anyone to provide you with a hotspot in the meantime.
Installing the eSIM is also a breeze with Holafly. Scan the QR code you receive after purchasing a plan and follow the prompts. You will be guided through each step of the process, and the payment can be made through various portals like a credit card, debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay. You can also use a code for manual installation if you don't want to scan the QR code.
Holafly's customer support is one of the best in the market. You can expect a reply from them within less than a minute of entering your query. With language support in English, German, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish, you can easily access the 24/7 support via WhatsApp or chat. On top of that, there's a frequently asked questions section that will solve most of your queries regarding the installation of the eSIM.
However, if you plan to buy a single Holafly eSIM for your family, thinking that the unlimited data plan will do the trick, beware. Holafly eSIM doesn't allow data sharing with other devices as of now.
While Holafly has great data plans, it doesn't include calls with all plans or SMS service. Currently, you can make calls for up to 60 minutes and receive calls for up to 60 minutes in Europe, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany. However, I didn't find this off-putting due to the sheer non-functionality of SMS and calls these days. You can always make calls or send texts through Holafly's unlimited Internet (WhatsApp, Skype, or other apps).
What is a travel eSIM?
A travel eSIM, also known as an embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that allows you to access mobile data plans specific to the country or region you visit. One of the best things about this convenient option is that it eliminates the need to search for a local SIM card while traveling.
The majority of the latest phone models are compatible with eSIM technology. These include the iPhone 13 and newer models, as well as various Samsung smartphones, Google Pixels, and other Android devices.
While the best eSIM for Spain varies depending on your needs, I've highlighted providers offering affordable prices, flexible plan choices, and essential features for travelers.
Important note: To make use of a travel eSIM, it's necessary for your phone to be unlocked. I recommend contacting your current carrier to determine whether your device is locked.
How travel eSIMs work
You'll typically just scan a QR code to download your eSIM, and the QR code will direct you to the activation procedure.
Once activated, your device will automatically connect to nearby networks, ensuring a reliable internet connection and phone service without the hassle of searching for a local prepaid SIM card.
When it comes time to actually use your eSIM, most international eSIM providers offer an app for monitoring your data usage, managing your top-ups, and contacting customer service if needed.
Why should I get an eSIM for international travel?
- Convenience: Managing your plan on your mobile phone makes traveling to different countries more convenient. Who wants to waste time hunting down a retailer to buy a physical SIM card? Jump into your vacation or work trip as soon as you land.
- Cost-effectiveness: eSIMs enable you to subscribe to local data plans, which are more affordable than international data roaming offered by your home carrier. The presence of multiple international carriers vying for customers results in competitive pricing, which means lower costs for you.
- Versatile: Effortlessly handle multiple plans simultaneously and easily switch between your primary plan and local or regional travel plans without the hassle of changing SIM cards.
- Safety & security: By utilizing eSIM technology, the risk of losing personal data and internet connection is significantly reduced in instances such as misplacement, damage, or phone theft.
How to choose the best eSIM for Spain
When choosing the best eSIM for Spain, first, you should consider your specific requirements and usage patterns, as there are several options, each with its unique benefits.
Where is your destination?
Are you planning to visit other European countries, or will you be devoting your trip to the sights of Madrid and Barcelona? If you're going to be crossing some borders into other parts of Europe, choose a regional eSIM. This will allow you to move about seamlessly without losing connection.
Spain is unique in that it includes parts of the European Union and others that aren't. For example, if you're visiting the Canary Islands, you'll want to go with an eSIM specific to Spain, as some European regional plans don't include this destination. Sometimes, you may need an entirely separate eSIM for these locations.
How much data do you need?
Do you intend to post every pic and video you take to your social media? A plan with a healthy chunk of data included is the best choice.
On the other hand, maybe you want this trip to be a retreat from constant connection, or you'll use hotel Wi-Fi most of the time. If so, you'll save money by choosing a smaller data limit. That means a bigger budget for exotic meals and souvenirs!
How long will you be abroad?
Various providers offer a range of plans, allowing you the flexibility to select data plans that can last from a few days to a year or longer. If you are globe-trotting for an extended period, you'll want one of the providers with a longer validity period, like Eskimo or Holafly.
For shorter vacations, you can go with one of the many providers that offer validity periods of two weeks or less, like Airalo or Maya Mobile.
Do you need international calling?
In terms of calling and texting, there are a couple of options you can use during your trip to Spain. Some travel eSIM providers give you a local number that allows you to make calls within the country or to other countries in the region you plan to visit. Some, like Holiday, give you a set number of international calling minutes with your plan.
Many providers only offer data eSIMs. All is not lost, though; you can use your data plan for things like WhatsApp and Wi-Fi calls. If you do purchase voice minutes, carefully review the terms and conditions to ensure that you can make calls to the specific country you require.
Best eSIM for Spain FAQs
Recap - What's the best travel eSIM for Spain?
The best eSIM for Spain depends on your specific wants and needs. Whether budget is your primary consideration, or you need a lot of data or unlimited calls, rest assured there's an eSIM for Spain that fits your specific requirements.
If Spain is just the tip of the iceberg on your big adventure, I've got your back with the best eSIM for international travel.