This is my honest Nomad eSIM Review after using it this past year while traveling!
Every traveler needs a way to stay connected online while on the ground in a new country, and luckily, you don’t have to go hunting far to find the best way to do so.
While using a local SIM card on the ground used to be the best and, really, the only way to get data abroad, that’s all changed. Nowadays eSIMs make it even easier to stay connected while exploring new territory, and it takes just a few minutes to set up too!
As soon as those wheels touch the ground, you can be on the internet in a new country, and usually for even cheaper than whatever plan you’re on right now! Let me show you how…
Nomad eSIM Review
Need Your Nomad eSIM NOW?
Just choose the country you’re going to, and you’ll be on your way! This will be a great way for you to have data abroad without the hassle. Use code NOMADNINA3 for a discount at checkout!
How to Stay Connected Abroad?
When it comes to staying connected while traveling, using your phone can be tricky, but it’s necessary.
Most of us have SIM cards from our home countries, but the catch is they usually work only within our borders, or if they do work abroad, you have to pay a million dollars and maybe even sacrifice your firstborn child to pay off the bill. So, finding a good travel SIM becomes essential!
We don’t want our SIM cards to go on vacation when we do, so luckily, international SIM card providers offer cards for global or regional use (think all of Europe). This is the answer… BUT–which one to use? Is it worth it? Cheap enough?
While I can’t personally make this decision for you, I can at least help break it down and give you my honest Nomad eSIM review so YOU can make the best choice for yourself.
What is Nomad eSIM?
If you haven’t heard of Nomad eSIM—It’s your passport to staying connected while traveling! I’m assuming that’s why you’re even on my blog right now, right? You’re here to learn to travel.
And Nomad is an eSIM service provider with your back in over 165 countries, ensuring you’re never out of touch during your travels—Pretty crucial, right?
So, what’s the scoop on Nomad?
Nomad isn’t just a one-size-fits-all deal. They offer a range of plans to suit your needs, whether pay-as-you-go local data plans or all-inclusive regional plans that keep you linked across borders. And guess what? They’ve even got SMS plans, so you can keep those texts flying while exploring foreign lands.
Nomad’s data plans can cost you less than $2 USD per gigabyte. It’s all about picking your destination (or destinations) and grabbing the data you require. This way, you can stay connected abroad without any hassles. It honestly couldn’t get any easier!
Will Nomad eSIM Work on Your Device?
Before we even move on, let’s ensure your phone is compatible. Luckily, it’s pretty easy, and almost anyone can use the Nomad eSIM.
- Is your phone unlocked? This is needed no matter what! Traveling without an unlocked phone will be very difficult. Most phones purchased directly from a carrier (i.e., T-Mobile, etc.) will be LOCKED. You need an unlocked phone to use any SIM or eSIM worldwide. If you’re not sure, ask your current provider.
- Is your phone eSIM compatible? This is also pretty important as the Nomad eSIM is, well, an eSIM! This means there’s no need to take out your current SIM, but on the other hand, you need to check if your phone is eSIM compatible as you won’t get a physical SIM card. Most newer phones will have this feature, but you can check this list here to see if your phone is compatible.
Nomad eSIM Review: Its Top Features and Perks
So why use Nomad eSIM? What are the true benefits of using this eSIM? Let’s get into it!
Nomad eSIM ensures that you’re seamlessly connected as soon as the pilot switches off the seatbelt sign. You don’t have to rely on finicky airport Wi-Fi (if you’re lucky enough to even have any) or hunt for a local SIM card (pretty much the LAST thing you want to do after a long flight).
With Nomad, you’re instantly linked to the local network, eliminating any “no service” anxiety that you may have. It’s also going to be your trusty and reliable network when the wifi is getting hogged by your dormmates or if the wifi is shoddy at your hotel.
One of the standout features of Nomad eSIM is its extensive global coverage, spanning an impressive 165 countries. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets of the Algarve, surfing the waves in Ecuador, or navigating the bustling markets of Bangkok, Nomad keeps you connected virtually anywhere you roam.
I’m willing to bet your next destination is covered by Nomad, but you can check their full list of countries here.
With that said, if you’re on a world tour, you don’t need to scour for physical cards on the ground with an eSIM, Nomad also offers one eSIM plan that covers, well… Nomads!
The Nomad eSIM Global Plan provides coverage for ALL of their countries, offering unparalleled convenience for those on a world tour. If you’re hopping, skipping, and jumping over borders quickly and don’t want to have to keep track of what data plan you’re on, this is the plan to get.
I won’t lie—This one does come at a higher cost, but it’s a practical choice for fast-paced travelers exploring tons of destinations.
Is the global plan a bit much for you? If you don’t need the flexibility of having data in 165 countries at once at your fingertips, the region plan might be more of your thing. In fact, this is one of the best parts of my Nomad review, as I think this might be the most beneficial to many of you.
For the avid globetrotter hopping between countries within a specific region, Nomad’s regional plans are a game-changer—With these plans, you can purchase once and use data across a predefined group of countries. Say goodbye to the hassle of acquiring a new SIM card every time you cross a border on the same continent!
Perhaps you’ll do something as I did, and work abroad in Australia for a year, save a bunch of money, and then spend it while traveling Southeast Asia? If so, you can simply use the SEA and Oceania plan they offer.
Or maybe you’re slowly traveling through Europe for a few months and need an eSIM that covers you while eating pizza in Italy, basking on beaches in the Algarve, and then road-tripping Spain. Awesome, you’ll only need their Europe eSIM!
Flexible Data Plans:
Nomad offers a wide array of data plans catering to your specific needs and budget. Some country’s plans cost less than $2 USD per gigabyte, making it a pocket-friendly option for staying online while abroad. You should be spending your money on travel, not data—that’s the goal, right?
They have flexible packages that can accommodate short-term and long-term travel too. As for me, I’m abroad MOST of the year, but I also want the option to shut off my international eSIM when I’m home visiting my family.
OK, so we already know it’s convenient to use a Nomad’s eSIM in terms of being able to have data as soon as you land in another country, but there are some other convenient perks!
Navigating Nomad is a breeze, thanks to their user-friendly app. The app streamlines your eSIM experience, including seamless data activation, real-time data plan usage tracking, easy personal details updates, and hassle-free plan top-ups.
When I lived in Thailand, before eSIMs even existed, I remember having to go to the 711 to top up my data often. I sometimes found myself without data randomly because there wasn’t a convenient way to check. Luckily, I never have to suffer through that again!
With Nomad app, you have complete control over your connectivity right at your fingertips—woo!
Other Things to Consider When Choosing Nomad eSIM
This isn’t a list of negatives by any means, but I do want to go over a few more things that you should just think about and understand before choosing Nomad.
Costs for Nomad eSIM
This is where you’ll have to do your research a bit more. If you truly want an eSIM for a particular country, you will need to weigh the benefit and ease of having an eSIM with the cost of getting a SIM on the ground.
What I found when comparing some of the costs of Nomad’s eSIM with the costs of getting one on the ground is that Nomad had some pretty great and competitive pricing, mostly in Europe, North America, and around Asia.
However, when comparing data in some other locations, like for countries around Latin America, there were some price differences that might make you rethink the convenience and just grabbing an eSIM on the ground!
Although… If you do just get a SIM on the ground—Depending on where you are, you might have to commit to a couple of months, foot the cost of the physical SIM, not get data right away, oh and the worst one—switching out your SIM cards unless you have a dual port—just to save a few bucks… This is just something to think about.
This is often not an issue but could be for some—most of the plans with Nomad are really just for data, which means you’ll be able to access the internet and all your apps. But you don’t get a phone number!
You can purchase some SMS plans for some countries if you want to text, but otherwise, you don’t get a number when using Nomad.
I will say I RARELY need a number, and I’ve been on the road for over a decade. I really just need to be able to text, and I get that included in my basic GoogleFi plan (no data). You should have the ability to call emergency services and get two-factor code texts, but otherwise, it’s doubtful you’ll use your number.
I simply use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to call everyone, and I only call on wifi.
You can simply have your carrier from back home still active in case you need to use your phone for an emergency, but other than that, you’ll just use Nomad for all data needs.
When getting your eSIM with Nomad, you should know that you have to choose the amount of data you need. For example, you’ll often be given the option of purchasing 3, 5, or 10 GB of data for a 30-day period.
If you don’t plan to use data much, you can go for the 3GB plan, and you can add on later, or if you know you’ll use a lot, maybe just go for the 10GB right off the bat!
They don’t offer an unlimited data plan at this time.
How to Set Up The Nomad App
It could not be any easier! It took me just a few minutes…
- Begin by downloading the Nomad app.
- Take a moment to create your Nomad account and confirm your identity.
- Seal the deal by choosing your preferred plan and making the payment securely.
- Now, it’s time to bring your eSIM to life. Simply scan the provided QR code, and you’re well on your way to connectivity.
- Head over to “My eSIMs” to activate your newly installed eSIM, making it ready to keep you connected.
- Should you need more data during your adventures, just click “Add on,” and you’re back in the digital game.
You’re well guided by Nomad during your setup, but this is the gist of how easy it is, and you’ll be connected abroad in no time.
My Personal Nomad eSIM Review
I’ve used the Nomad eSIM in Mexico so far, and I will be using it across Asia next year. Here’s my review of Nomad, along with how I kept my phone number and saved on data!
Keeping My Number
I have an eSIM-compatible and unlocked iPhone, so I simply went down to the cheapest plan on my main phone carrier, which is GoogleFi right now, and use Nomad as my data plan.
I can still get my texts and can use my phone number, but it’s really just for emergencies because it costs more! For calls, I use other apps on wifi like I mentioned above.
This all means I can keep my number and my carrier but pay less for data!
Saving Money on Data
Whether you’re going on a quick getaway or are a digital nomad, like me, around the world, you can actually save some cash by using an eSIM!
I’m personally saving about $30 a month simply by using my Nomad eSIM in Mexico instead of using the data I’d be getting on my GoogleFi plan (not to mention they also don’t like me being abroad for a long time, but that’s another story!)
Here’s my personal breakdown:
- GoogleFi: $10 for 1GB of data
- Nomad: $20 for 5GB of data
Yeah, there’s no competition here. I’m obviously going to use some data while traveling around Mexico, and 1GB can go fast. Before I know it, I’m spending more than $20 to get less data! During my time here in Mexico, I won’t be using my main carriers’ data at all and just rely on my cheaper Nomad data—Easy!
Here’s my data as of right now…
My Final Thoughts on Reviewing Nomad eSIM
When it comes to Nomad eSIM, it’s mostly advantages and only a few small drawbacks for a few certain places and situations.
Overall, my Nomad eSIM review is: IT’S WORTH IT!
It offers efficiency and convenience with access to data packages spanning tons of countries. The ability to preload a package before your trip means instant connectivity—a lifesaver when you land late.
Overall using an eSIM so you can more freely travel is going to make life on the road a hell of a lot easier.
With Nomad eSIM’s easy-to-use app, overall competitive prices, convenience, and 2-minute setup—I’ll definitely be using them again!
I hope this Nomad eSIM review helped you decide if this is the right choice for you! Check out my post on the best International SIMs for more.
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!