The global shift from traditional SIM cards to eSIMs has massively transformed connectivity for digital nomads. With 2-3 billion eSIM smartphone connections expected by 2025, this technology conveniently removes the hassle of juggling physical SIM cards abroad.
Holafly, a popular eSIM provider offering unlimited data plans covering 160+ countries worldwide, promises to offer the seamless global access travelers need. But is it as reliable as they advertise themselves?
In this in-depth review, we’ll share our hands-on experience testing Holafly across 7 different countries as digital nomads. We'll break down its core features, diverse data plans, real-world speeds, pricing, and more.
If you’re considering Holafly for your remote work and travel needs, read on for the full inside look at how it performed!
What is Holafly eSIM?
Think of Holafly as a huge online store for eSIM plans in 160+ destinations worldwide.
But what makes Holafly stand out? The answer is: their unlimited data plans.
While other popular eSIM providers strictly limit data usage, Holafly allows you to stream, browse, and stay connected without worrying about caps or roaming charges. Which is a huge plus that not many eSIM companies can afford to.
Which eSIMs Do Holafly Offer?
Holafly has designed eSIM plans for every kind of itinerary, whether you're thinking of exploring a single destination or hopping between countries. Here’s a look at what their eSIM packages look like.
1. Local eSIM Data Plans
The first package type Holafly offers is the local eSIM data plans. Buying this type of eSIMs is like buying a local SIM card for each country you visit, but without the trouble of actually getting a physical SIM.
Holafly currently offers local eSIM plans in over 160+ countries and they are perfect for any trip, from shorter to longer stays.
2. Regional eSIM Data Plans
Traveling across multiple countries? Then Holafly’s regional eSIM data plans are the way to go. They provide uninterrupted connectivity across regions like Europe, Asia, or the Americas. As soon as you land in a new country, your Holafly eSIM will connect you automatically in the countries that are part of the regional plan you've picked.
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The best thing about Holafly's local and regional data plans is that most of them are completely unlimited, which is a pretty useful benefit when visiting unfamiliar territory abroad.
However, be aware that fair usage policies apply to curb excessive data use. While technically still unlimited, violating these daily data limits can temporarily throttle and intentionally slow down your speeds.
Can You Make or Take Calls With Holafly?
Holafly allows for up to 60 minutes of calls using an Austrian phone number in European destinations like Spain, Italy, and Portugal. All at no extra cost for you. This, in our opinion, is a great feature for being able to contact local services that prefer traditional phone calls like restaurants or car rentals while traveling.
When it comes to other regions, Holafly's primary focus is more on providing data-driven plans, although in theory you can still make calls via internet-based apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime anyway in those places.
How Much Does Holafly Cost?
Holafly eSIM pricing varies depending on several factors, including the destination and duration of the plan, with most regions offering unlimited data options.
Here's a rough breakdown to give you a general idea by the time of writing:
- Regional eSIM packages for Europe start at $19 for 5 days and can go up to $99 for 90 days, including unlimited data and 60 minutes of calls.
- Local eSIM packages for the USA range from $19 for 5 days to $99 for 90 days, all with unlimited data.
- Regional eSIM packages for Asia, like a 15-day plan with 6GB data, cost around $44, and a 30-day plan with 10GB data is approximately $54.
While their prices may seem higher compared to some providers, Holafly's unlimited data plans will save heavy-data users money over time versus capped plans. This makes Holafly a smart choice for travelers who expect to use a lot of data during their trips.
Will Holafly eSIMs Work With My Phone?
Holafly eSIMs are compatible with many smartphones, but not all. To see if your device works with Holafly's eSIM, check their complete list of compatible devices here.
How Does Holafly Work? A Step-by-Step Guide
We've used a lot of eSIM providers over the years. But Holafly is generally one of our go-to eSIM.
Setting up their eSIM is very straightforward with an easy digital process that will quickly connect you to your data (or calls for some plans).
Below are the steps to set up your Holafly eSIM:
STEP 1: Choose Your eSIM Plan
Get started by going to Holafly's website or downloading their mobile app. Then, decide whether you need a local or regional eSIM based on your travel needs and pick your specific destination country (or countries) and the duration of your eSIM plan.
STEP 2: Purchase Your Chosen Package
Finding the perfect plan for you is the hard part, buying it is always easier. Just enter your payment details, confirm, and you'll receive a swift email confirmation with the next steps.
STEP 3: Install and Activate your eSIM
Use either the QR code or manual information Holafly provides via email or directly through their app, just minutes after your purchase.
We always prefer the QR code method to the manual one as it's definitely faster and less technical.
The steps involve navigating to the 'Mobile Data' settings, choosing 'Add Data Plan', and scanning the QR code. After scanning, the eSIM profile will start downloading instantly.
All that's left is to choose Holafly as the main data source within the mobile data settings, and the eSIM will be immediately active.
If you'd rather visualize this process, watch the instructional video below on how to install your Holafly eSIM on your iOS device:
For those on the Android side of things, the video below will guide you through the process:
STEP 4: Check Usage and Top Up
We must say that Holafly makes monitoring data consumption super straightforward. You can log in anytime on Holafly's website or their mobile app to view your remaining data, as well as top up directly if needed (and if your plan allows it).
Our Experience Using Holafly eSIMs in 7 Countries
So, is Holafly worth it for international travel? As digital nomads using Holafly eSIMs for years now, we’ll review in this section their performance based on our recent trips to Spain, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Greece, and Morocco to give you our honest (and hands-on) take.
Holafly Hands-On Review: Their Top Features
Holafly offers a lot of great features to travelers, digital nomads, expats, and remote workers. Here's what personally stood out to us when testing it:
- Global Coverage: With plans in over 160 countries, Holafly kept us connected no matter where we traveled, from Spain to Malaysia and everywhere in between. Regional data packages are also great if you, like us, find invaluable the chance to spontaneously explore multiple Asian and European countries in one trip.
- Unlimited Data: The fact that we could keep exploring places without worrying about data caps, made travel way less stressful for us. We streamed movies on long bus rides, video-called family back home, and worked remotely in Mexico, Turkey, and beyond without ever paying overage fees.
- Local Phone Calls: The 60 monthly minutes of free calls to Europe came in extremely handy during our trips to Greece and Spain for reserving rental cars or booking restaurants that sometimes preferred voice calls (no Whatsapp in some places, unfortunately).
- Quick and Easy Setup: Despite just getting off long flights, we easily activated our new Holafly eSIMs within minutes using the QR codes and uploading them from our phone every single time. That's true hassle-free connectivity indeed!
- Great Customer Support: Whenever we had the occasional login trouble or billing question, Holafly’s 24/7 customer support came through for us every time with a personalized, thoughtful touch. That's another plus for us.
Our Holafly Performance Review Across 7 Different Countries
We used and tested Holafly across 7 different countries to track its real-world performance and speed while overseas.
The results are interesting:
|42.09 Mbps (download) / 10.56 Mbps (upload)
|Fast speeds for streaming and downloads
|66.64 Mbps (download) / 18.25 Mbps (upload)
|Blazing fast downloads, quick uploads
|25.83 Mbps (download) / 10.50 Mbps (upload)
|Reliable connectivity for everyday needs
|28.53 Mbps (download) / 13.60 Mbps (upload)
|Solid speeds for web browsing, videos may lag
|40.54 Mbps (download) / 12.67 Mbps (upload)
|Capable streaming and downloads
|31.43 Mbps (download) / 8.46 Mbps (upload)
|Good downloads, lighter uploads
|22.90 Mbps (download) / 11.67 Mbps (upload)
|Functional speeds for basics, may buffer
Overall pretty good, right?
Speeds were excellent in urban Spain and Malaysia, with downloads reaching 40+ Mbps. But connectivity understandably dropped in more remote regions, like rural Greece (some less-known islands we visited) or Morocco, as infrastructure got spottier.
But it’s not necessarily Holafly’s fault. It comes down to the quality of network connections in each country, which impacts all carriers.
In multiple countries, we actually found out that Holafly's performance matched local physical SIM card speeds.
So, based on our hands-on experience, we can confidently say Holafly is a reliable choice for international travelers.
Holafly Pros and Cons
So, let's get to the point here and analyze what are the advantages and pitfalls of Holafly eSIMs.
They offer indeed a ton of great features, but that doesn’t meaan they're perfect. Here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide if a Holafly eSIM is right for you.
In our opinion, the pros of choosing Holafly far outweigh the cons. For travelers and remote workers needing reliable worldwide access, we can confidently recommend Holafly as a top choice for international travel.
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What Other Travelers Think of Holafly?
To get the full picture, we think looking at feedback from fellow travelers who used Holafly during their travels is always a useful exercise. We then scouted popular forums like Reddit and TrustPilot for you to see what people say and this is what we found:
Nomads raved about Holafly’s reliable service across diverse destinations, from bustling cities to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Its quick and easy setup was another big perk, offering true convenience for those constantly on the move. In Europe, Holafly stood out for keeping travelers connected affordably, even in remote regions with spotty infrastructure.
One common drawback was the lack of hotspot capabilities on unlimited plans to share data with other devices. A few users also encountered throttled speeds which required contacting customer support to resolve.
Overall, travelers, digital nomads and remote workers favored Holafly for its consistent connectivity and fuss-free setup process. Despite some limitations, feedback indicates Holafly has built a strong reputation within the travel and nomad community for dependable worldwide access.
Are There Any Alternatives to Holafly?
Airalo has built an impressive eSIM platform loaded with features. They boast the most extensive network, offering 200+ country coverage. Their polished app and buying process set the standard. But Holafly competes well with their unlimited data plans and valuable extras like free local calls that Airalo lacks.
For more on Airalo, read our in-depth Airalo review:
Nomad is another top player thanks to their superb user experience and enticing local single-country plans. Currently, at 112+ country coverage, Nomad keeps expanding. Yet Holafly holds its own with more available data plans overall and bundles including calls/texts rolled in.
Newer provider Alosim also offers prepaid global eSIMs, with a smooth online/app activation process. But Holafly edges them out by tailoring specifically to unlimited data users. When comparing unlimited plans, Holafly came out more affordable in testing.
So while the competition is stacked, Holafly stands out as a leading eSIM provider worldwide. Its bundles add real value for travelers needing connectivity.
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If you ever face issues getting your Holafly eSIM set up and working abroad, this step-by-step guide is here to help you navigate any bumps in the road:
- Check Compatibility: Make sure your device works with eSIM technology. Also, check you have the latest software update installed. Old hardware/software causes issues sometimes.
- Confirm Activation: Double check that your QR code was scanned properly to activate your plan. If still stuck, contact support to request a fresh activation code.
- Enable Roaming: Confirm settings like international roaming are enabled if traveling outside your home country. Disabled roaming prevents connectivity.
- Try Disabling VPN or Custom Settings: If using a VPN or special network settings, switch them off temporarily to see if it fixes things. They can interfere with eSIM connections.
- Limit Number of eSIMs: Check if you have multiple inactive eSIM profiles installed. Most devices only support a small number simultaneously. Try removing unused profiles as too many can prevent new activations. We once spent hours troubleshooting why a new eSIM wouldn't install. It turned out we simply had too many old ones and after deleting a few, the new one worked perfectly!
Holafly Review Summary
After testing Holafly eSIMs across numerous countries for a few years now, it's clear this provider is a trustworthy pick for travelers and nomads requiring global connectivity.
Holafly’s truly global coverage, straightforward activation, and responsive customer service make it stand out. While missing some capabilities like hotspot tethering, its strengths in offering unlimited international data outweigh these gaps.
For location-independent remote workers and frequent travelers needing reliable connections everywhere, we fully recommend trying Holafly’s eSIM plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Holafly be trusted?
Is Holafly eSIM reliable?
Holafly eSIM is reliable and offers fast and stable internet connection in over 160+ destinations worldwide. Holafly connects to the best networks at your destination and provides unlimited data plans in many countries. Holafly also has a 24/7 customer support team that can assist you with any problems or questions you may have.
Is Holafly fast?
Holafly eSIM offers high-speed internet connection in most countries, depending on the network availability and coverage. Holafly eSIM also supports 5G technology in some destinations.
Should I install Holafly eSIM before or after travel?
You can install Holafly eSIM before or after travel, depending on your preference and convenience. Holafly eSIM can be installed and activated in minutes by scanning a QR code or using the Holafly app. However, it is recommended to install Holafly eSIM just before you leave for your trip or when you arrive at your destination, as the plan will start as soon as you scan the QR code.
Does Holafly work with WhatsApp?
Yes, Holafly eSIM works with WhatsApp and other messaging apps. You can use WhatsApp with your eSIM just like normal, as you will keep your WhatsApp number and all your conversations and contacts. Holafly eSIM also allows you to make and receive calls in select European destinations with a local phone number.
Does Holafly use my phone number?
No, Holafly does not use your phone number. Holafly is an eSIM provider that gives you a data plan and a local phone number in select destinations. You can keep your original SIM card and phone number in your device and use them whenever you want.
Does Holafly offer any customer support or assistance?
Yes, Holafly offers 24/7 chat support to help you with any issues or questions you may have and assist you in 6 different languages. You can contact them through their website, app, or email.
Is there a downside to using eSIM?
eSIM has many advantages, such as convenience, flexibility, and security. However, device compatibility is still limited, as the technology isn't universally supported yet. There are also minor security risks, as eSIM profiles are stored on carriers' servers which could be hacked.
Does eSIM drain the battery?
No, eSIM does not drain the battery more than a physical SIM. eSIM is a small chip embedded in your device that does not consume any extra power. However, using dual SIMs (eSIM and physical SIM) may drain the battery faster than using a single SIM, depending on how you use them.
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