Holafly eSIM Review: Is It a Reliable eSIM Provider? Here's Our Experience

One day, out of the blue, a friend of mine (who is kind of allergic to technology), surprised me with a question about eSIMs. She was about to travel to Turkey and asked me which eSIM I had purchased when I traveled to Southeast Asia a few months before. I had barely mentioned to her that I had purchased one, yet here she was, asking for eSIM recommendations.

That's when it hit me: with 2-3 billion eSIM smartphone connections expected by 2025, eSIM technology is not considered the future anymore, it's the present.

The thing is, with so many eSIM providers out there, choosing the right eSIM can feel like going through a pile of paperwork. Lucky for you, we've tested a bunch of eSIMs ourselves and we've also scoured the internet for reviews (so you don't have to).

So today, we'll share everything there's to know about Holafly— one of the leading eSIM providers offering unlimited data plans covering over 177 countries around the planet.

We've used Holafly across 7 different countries, so we know the ins and outs of its features, data plans, real-world speeds, pricing, and more. If you're wondering whether Holafly is as reliable as it says it is, stick around for the full review.

What is Holafly eSIM?

When you're in your home country, the first thing you consider when purchasing a SIM card is the amount of data the plan offers. Back in 2015, hearing "5GB per month" seemed like the holy grail. But today, you wouldn't settle for anything less than "unlimited GB", right?

But when you're a full-time traveler or a digital nomad purchasing eSIMs for internet access abroad, your perspective shifts, and those 5GB plans sound like the holy grail again. Let's reshape that perspective with Holafly, a digital marketplace where you can browse eSIM plans that cover over 177 countries around the globe.

Holafly eSIM Homepage

What makes Holafly the go-to eSIM provider for over 1 million travelers is their unlimited data plans. Yup, you read that right: you get to scroll through Instagram and TikTok, send emails, watch Netflix, and more, all without the fear of hitting a data cap.

This is huge. If this is your first time with eSIM technology, you'll soon realize that most eSIM providers put a tight leash on data usage.

If that weren't enough, Holafly also caters to different travel needs by offering a variety of local and regional plans. It's a breath of fresh air for anyone who's felt the pinch of limited data plans while exploring the world.

Holafly eSIM unlimited data plans
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Which eSIMs Do Holafly Offer?

Not only have they made "unlimited" the norm, but Holafly has also rolled out eSIM plans designed for every kind of adventure you're planning—be it a deep dive into one country or a multi-stop tour across continents. Here's the breakdown of the eSIM packages they offer:

1. Local eSIM Data Plans

Holafly local eSIM data plans

Starting with the basics, Holafly's first package type offers local eSIM data plans for straightforward, country-specific connectivity. In other words, this is like picking up a local SIM card, minus the hassle of physically acquiring one.

With coverage in over 177 countries, these plans are tailored to fit any length of stay, ensuring you're connected from the moment you land.

2. Regional eSIM Data Plans

Holafly regional eSIM data plans

For those of us whose travel plans are a bit more ambitious, and looking for several countries in one trip, Holafly's regional eSIM data plans offer a great solution. If your travel plan looks like landing in one country and then another within a specific area, the regional plan will automatically connect your phone to the local network without skipping a beat.

These plans are the go-to for travelers planning on roaming across regions like Europe, Asia, or the Americas, offering uninterrupted connectivity no matter the border you cross. Stating the obvious but FYI: if your trip includes traveling to both Europe and Africa, then you'll have to purchase two different regional plans.

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Pro tip: Double-check that the countries you'll be traveling to are actually part of the regional plan you want to purchase. You don't want any unpleasant surprises once you land.

You may also be interested in:

Holafly Europe eSIM: Every Nomad’s Must-Have? (Review)
Dive into an in-depth review of Holafly’s Europe eSIM. Explore its features, benefits, and how it stands out in the digital nomad world.

One of the top perks of choosing Holafly's local and regional data plans is that most of them are completely unlimited. This is quite something, it gives you the freedom to use maps, look up recommendations, or stay in touch without worrying about running out of data.

Holafly unlimited data eSIM packages

But, just a heads up, there are some fair usage policies in place. This means that while you do get unlimited data, using it excessively might lead to a temporary slowdown. So, if you notice a dip in your internet speed, it might be because you've hit that high usage threshold for the day.

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But there's good news: in our experience, throttling only lasts a few hours before lifting. Still, it's something to keep in mind if you work while traveling and you require constant large downloads as part of your job.

Can You Make or Take Calls With Holafly?

Unlike most other providers, Holafly used to take into consideration that you might need to make a quick traditional phone call and used to offer up to 60 minutes of call time using an Austrian number in their European plans at no extra cost.

This was a lifesaver in our opinion, but unfortunately, the company decided in April 2024 to get rid of this feature and replace it with the hotspot feature. Now, on their European plans, you will have 500 MB per day for sharing your connection with other devices.

This was for European plans. Outside of Europe, Holafly still leans heavily on keeping you online with their data plans.

How Much Does Holafly Cost?

Let's talk numbers. Holafly’s eSIM pricing is as varied as your travel destinations, influenced by where you're heading and how long you plan to stay connected. They're big on offering unlimited data for most regions, which is a major plus.

Here's a quick snapshot of what you might spend, as of April 2024:

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Pro tip: buy in bulk to be more cost-effective with your eSIM purchases. If you know you'll be traveling or staying in a place for an extended period, it often pays to get a larger data package with a longer validity. The per-GB price tends to drop significantly!

It's true: Holafly’s price tag might seem a tad higher at first glance compared to others. But for the heavy-data users among us, the unlimited plans are worth every penny, saving you from the dreaded data-capped plans. That said, if you expect to be using a lot of data, Holafly is a smart choice.

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Please note: When we mention this, we're only comparing it to other eSIM providers. And although Holafly eSIMs (and eSIMs in general) may occasionally come at a higher price compared to local physical SIM cards, for us, the ease of skipping the hassle of going to shops, dealing with paperwork, and the convenience of setting up the eSIM immediately usually outweighs the slight difference in cost.

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

Will Holafly eSIMs Work With My Phone?

If you're wondering whether your phone will play nice with Holafly, good question. Holafly eSIMs are pretty flexible and compatible with many smartphones, but not every single one. To save you the headache of compatibility issues, Holafly has a list of compatible devices on their site. A quick check there can tell you if you’re good to go.

How Does Holafly Work? A Step-by-Step Guide

Over the years, we’ve tried and tested loads of eSIM providers, but to be honest, Holafly is generally one of our favorites.

Not only does their name sound cool, but setting up their eSIM is as simple as pie, with an easy digital process that will quickly connect you to your data (and hotspot, if you're in Europe).

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to set up your Holafly eSIM:

3 steps that show how Holafly eSIMs work

STEP 1: Choose Your eSIM Plan

Hop onto Holafly's website or download their mobile app, and take your pick from their local or regional eSIM. Choose where you're headed (is it a country or a region?) and for how long you'll need data. It’s kind of like planning your trip if you think about it!

STEP 2: Purchase Your Chosen Package

The hardest part is always choosing—once you've made your pick, the rest is smooth sailing. Enter your payment information, hit confirm, and a confirmation email will be on its way to you with the next steps.

Holafly checkout process

STEP 3: Install and Activate your eSIM

Now it's time to activate your eSIM. Holafly sends you a QR code or manual setup with details sent via email, and honestly, QR codes are the way to go for both speed and ease.

All it takes is going to "Mobile Data" settings, choosing "Add Data Plan", and a quick scan of the QR code and the eSIM profile will start downloading instantly.

Holafly QR code installation

All that's left to do is select Holafly as the main data source within the mobile data settings, and the eSIM will be immediately active.

Holafly eSIM activation process
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Pro tip: We were initially reluctant to proceed with the QR code setup because we thought we needed two devices to scan the QR code (which, to be honest, isn't the best for a solo traveler). But after updating our iPhone to IOS 17, we noticed there's no need for a second device anymore, you can now add the QR code from your photos, which makes the process so much easier (and faster)!

If you're all about instructional videos, Holafly has a great one for iOS devices that walks you through the installation and activation process step by step.

Holafly has an instructional video for team Android too, the video below will guide you through the process:

STEP 4: Check Usage and Top Up

If your plan doesn't include unlimited data, monitoring your data consumption and topping up is easy peasy with Holafly. Just log into their website or mobile app to check your data or add more. It’s all designed to keep you in control, without any guesswork.

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Pro tip: Make sure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection during the setup, especially when scanning the QR code, to make sure the process goes smoothly!

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

Our Experience Using Holafly eSIMs in 7 Countries

Male digital nomad holding a smartphone with the Holafly app open

Now that you have a general idea of Holafly, it's time to see whether it really lives up to the hype. After years of relying on their eSIMs for our digital nomad lifestyle, we're ready to share our experiences based on our recent trips to Spain, Malaysia, Mexico, Turkey, Thailand, Greece, and Morocco to give you our honest (and hands-on) take on their performance.

Holafly Hands-On Review: Their Top Features

You've probably picked up that we like Holafly. As digital nomads, expats venturing into new beginnings, and remote workers in search of the perfect backdrop for our next video call, we've found Holafly's features to be an indispensable part of our travels. Here are the features that won us over:

  • Global Coverage: The last thing you want is to purchase an eSIM that promises great coverage, only to discover you’re not connected at all. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Holafly. We can confirm their global coverage is legit—from Barcelona to Kuala Lumpur, we always had great coverage during our travels. If you're exploring multiple countries within the same region, regional packages are the way to go. We got one for Asia and were connected both in Thailand and Malaysia, even as we explored the Sarawak rainforest.
  • Unlimited Data: This feature sealed the deal for us. It’s simply too good to pass up. Gone were the days of downloading Netflix movies before long bus rides—we streamed Inventing Anna as we traveled from Kuala Lumpur to Georgetown. We had no problems video-calling our families and were able to work remotely just fine, even when we were exploring Ephesus in Turkey and grabbing our dose of vitamin D in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. All this is done, without having to pay extra fees.
  • Quick and Easy Setup: The ease with which we could get our eSIMs up and running—often minutes after landing—has been nothing short of exceptional. The QR code activation worked wonders, instantly connecting us without needing a second device to scan the QR code. It's user-friendly, fast, and incredibly convenient.
  • Great Customer Support: On the rare occasions we needed assistance, like that evening in Morocco when we couldn’t log in to our account, Holafly’s support team went above and beyond. They were not only helpful but also empathetic, responding promptly and always finding solutions.

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

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Our Holafly Performance Review Across 7 Different Countries

We took Holafly for a spin through 7 countries, keen to see if its real-world performance and speed could actually keep up with our nomadic lifestyle. The results are pretty interesting, see for yourself:

Country Speed Connection details
Spain 42.09 Mbps (download) / 10.56 Mbps (upload) Fast speeds for streaming and downloads
Malaysia 66.64 Mbps (download) / 18.25 Mbps (upload) Blazing fast downloads, quick uploads
Mexico 25.83 Mbps (download) / 10.50 Mbps (upload) Reliable connectivity for everyday needs
Turkey 28.53 Mbps (download) / 13.60 Mbps (upload) Solid speeds for web browsing, videos may lag
Thailand 40.54 Mbps (download) / 12.67 Mbps (upload) Capable streaming and downloads
Greece 31.43 Mbps (download) / 8.46 Mbps (upload) Good downloads, lighter uploads
Morocco 22.90 Mbps (download) / 11.67 Mbps (upload) Functional speeds for basics, may buffer

Not bad, right?

Our travels included a mix of urban and off-the-beaten-path areas. In urban places like the heart of Barcelona and the hawker centers of Kuala Lumpur, Holafly was nothing short of stellar, with downloads reaching 40+ Mbps, delivering speeds that had our social media feeds buzzing with updates in real-time.

But in more remote areas, like in rural Greece (some less-known islands we visited) or Morocco, the connection grew faint. To be fair, it wasn’t a shortcoming of Holafly, it's the quality of network connections that vary in each country, impacting all carriers.

What surprised us was how Holafly stood toe-to-toe with local SIM cards, even in places where we least expected it. And after thousands of kilometers traveled and countless connections made, we can say it: we’re all in on Holafly. It’s proven itself as a reliable choice for international travelers.

Holafly Pros and Cons

Holafly mobile app

Every rose has its thorn, and while Holafly eSIMs have been mostly roses for us, it's only fair to address both sides. The features we mentioned above really did it for us, but, just like everything, it isn't perfect, and improvements can be made down the line.

To get a full overview of their service, we've put together a list of pros and cons, so you have everything you need to figure out if Holafly eSIM is the provider for your next adventure.

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • Connected in over 177 countries for a truly global reach
  • eSIM plans offer flexibility with various duration options to suit any trip
  • Enjoy the freedom of unlimited data plans
  • Easy peasy installation and activation process
  • Access to excellent 24/7 customer support in 6 languages
  • The app is intuitive and user-friendly, making management easy
Cons
  • Lacks the option for data sharing and hotspot tethering
  • High data usage might lead to throttled speeds
  • Pricing may not be as competitive for those who use less data

From a numerical point of view, you can see for yourself that the pros of choosing Holafly really outweigh the cons. And in general, since we're all travelers and remote workers here, we can agree that those cons aren't our priorities. Unlimited data plans, straightforward installation, and great customer support are way more important. So, for digital nomads on the hunt for reliable worldwide access, we can confidently recommend Holafly as a top choice for international travel.

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

You may also be interested in:

How to Use eSIMs While Traveling (iPhone + Android Guide)
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What Other Travelers Think of Holafly?

Curiosity got the better of us, so we decided to dig into what other digital nomads had to say about their experiences with Holafly. We scrolled through countless discussions on Reddit and TrustPilot, looking for those unfiltered opinions of people who've walked the walk. Here's what we found:

Holafly review by a digital nomad on Trustpilot
Holafly review by a digital nomad on Trustpilot
Holafly review by a digital nomad on Trustpilot
Holafly review by a digital nomad on Reddit
Holafly review by a digital nomad on Reddit
Holafly review by a digital nomad on Reddit

Nomads went on and on about Holafly’s reliable service across all destinations, keeping them online no matter if they were in a European capital or exploring beyond the tourist trail. The ease with which they could get their service up and running was a highlight for many—even in remote regions with spotty infrastructure.

When talking about Europe, they all said the plans offered reliable access at reasonable prices.

Some users also pointed out the thorns among the roses: the absence of hotspot functionality on unlimited plans was a hiccup for those needing to connect multiple devices. There was also some talk about throttled speeds, which we had to contact customer support to resolve.

Apart from a few hitches, the consensus leaned heavily in favor of Holafly. The consistent coverage, coupled with the easy setup process, painted a picture of a service that’s earned its stripes in the travel community. Based on their feedback and our experience, it seems that when it comes to dependable worldwide internet access, Holafly has built a strong reputation within the travel and nomad community.

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

Are There Any Alternatives to Holafly?

In the vast arena of eSIM providers, standing out takes something special. We took a deep dive into how Holafly stacks up against some of the other big names out there:

Airalo

Airalo eSIM Homepage

With Airalo's unmatched extensive network, you get a promise of connectivity in over 200+ countries, making it a heavyweight in the world of eSIM providers. Their app is user-friendly, streamlining the buying and activation process beautifully. But Holafly defends itself with its unlimited data plans (that Airalo doesn't offer), giving it an interesting edge.

Check the full Airalo eSIM review here:

Airalo eSIM Review: Is It Really Worth It for Travel?
Exploring Airalo’s eSIM services for digital nomads. Dive into our in-depth review to see if it’s really the best eSIM in the market.
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Special Discount: As a thank you for being our reader, you can use our Discount Code 'FN10' and get 10% OFF on all Airalo plans!

Nomad

Nomad eSIM Homepage

Nomad catch our eye with its clean user experience and tempting single-country plans. With coverage in 112+ countries and growing, they're definitely in the race. But Holafly, with its broader range of data plans and inclusion of unlimited data, feels like a more rounded package for our globe-trotting needs.

Check the full Nomad eSIM review here:

Nomad eSIM Hands-On Review: Is It a Good eSIM?
Discover the pros and cons of Nomad eSIM in our hands-on review. Find out if it’s the right eSIM solution for your international travel needs.

Alosim

Alosim Homepage

Alosim may be newer to the scene, but they’re making waves with their global prepaid eSIMs and smooth setup process. Yet, when it came to value for the unlimited data seekers among us, Holafly wins out in affordability and practicality.

While there are great alternatives to Holafly, as digital nomads who care about unlimited data and reliable connectivity, Holafly beats the competition and takes home the title of one of the leading eSIM providers worldwide.

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Special Discount: Use the coupon code FREAKINGNOMADS at the checkout to get 5% OFF on all AloSIM's eSIM plans and top-ups!

You may also be interested in:

The 7 Best eSIMs For International Travel
Explore the top eSIM providers for global travel. Reliable, flexible, and cost-effective solutions for international travelers worldwide.

Holafly Troubleshooting

Getting your Holafly eSIM up and running should be smooth, but sometimes, tech has its own plans. Here's how to tackle common setup issues with a bit more detail:

  1. Ensuring Your Phone's Compatibility: Not all smartphones are created equal, especially when it comes to new tech like eSIMs. Before you dive into the setup process, take a moment to confirm your device is on the list of those that welcome eSIM technology. Make sure your device's software is up to date, too—older software versions can prevent your eSIM from working as it should.
  2. Confirm Activation: Double-check that your QR code was scanned properly to activate your plan. If this doesn't go as planned, try the scan again. If the issue persists, reach out to Holafly's support team.
  3. Enable Roaming: Make sure international roaming is enabled when traveling outside your home country. It's a simple toggle within your phone's settings that unlocks the ability to connect to networks far from home. Forgetting this step is common, but if it's disabled, it will effectively leave you offline.
  4. Try Disabling VPN or Custom Settings: We know that VPNs and custom network settings are great for privacy and accessing home services while abroad, but they can sometimes interfere with eSIM connectivity. If you're experiencing connection issues, consider temporarily disabling these settings.
  5. 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!
  6. Managing eSIM Profiles: If you're switching between eSIMs frequently, you might unknowingly hit a device's limit on active eSIM profiles. This is a practical limit imposed by hardware manufacturers. The remedy involves removing old or unused eSIM profiles. 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!

If you've walked through the above steps and still find yourself at a standstill, Holafly's customer support team is your next best ally. Available around the clock via WhatsApp or live chat. They'll guide you through troubleshooting steps or issue new QR activation codes.

Holafly Review Summary

Having taken Holafly eSIMs with us across different countries over a few years now, we've seen firsthand how dependable they are for people constantly on the move. What stands out is Holafly's extensive coverage, ensuring we're connected almost anywhere we go, from city centers to more remote locations. Setting it up is refreshingly straightforward, no hassle involved, and if there's ever a glitch, their support team is on it.

It's true, Holafly doesn’t have everything—like hotspot tethering, which we missed on a few occasions. But, considering the big picture, the unlimited data access across borders more than makes up for these small shortcomings. For anyone working remotely or bitten by the travel bug, Holafly’s eSIM plans are definitely worth checking out.

Get 5% Off on All Holafly eSIMs

Use Code 'FREAKINGNOMADS' and Save on New eSIMs and Top Ups

Grab Your Discount Now!

Ready To Try Holafly Yourself?

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We'll see you there, Freaking Nomads!

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