Holafly eSIM for USA: Our Honest Review and Setup Guide

The last thing you need when landing in a foreign land is to compare SIM packages with the sea of salespeople in the airport arrivals.

In the early days of my nomadic lifestyle, there was no alternative. We’d arrive in the USA - often horrendously jet lagged - before haggling with several overly enthusiastic SIM card salespeople (often at the same time).

Inevitably, you’d overpay for your data package shortly before spending again to take a taxi. It was a necessary evil that allowed you to focus on the rest of the trip without worrying about finding a SIM in a Walmart or any other local shop. Thankfully, this is now rarely the case. With eSIMs now offered by a range of quality providers - the SIM Card charade is a thing of the past.

There’s a handful of great global providers out there - but it’s Holafly that’s widely regarded as the best. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Holafly and its plans tailored to the USA. We’ll cover the basics of their eSIM offer and discuss our experience using the Holafly USA plan in Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Portland.

Holafly eSIM

Starting from just €6 (for the USA package), Holafly offers fast and reliable internet, no roaming charges, and unlimited data options. There’s coverage of more than 197 destinations across the globe, super-easy installation and you can keep your current SIM installed.

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

Check prices at Holafly

Holafly USA eSIM: What’s in the Offer?

Holafly USA eSIM data plan

Holafly offers a dedicated USA eSIM that’s perfect for digital nomads flying stateside. It helps avoid the pesky data roaming charges, providing an unlimited data-only eSIM in a convenient, cost-effective way.

Connect to 3G/4G/LTE/5G speed in minutes and stay connected with a fast and reliable internet connection. In the USA, Holafly uses AT&T as their primary mobile carrier with users benefiting from unlimited data packages.

Expect great coverage in the major US cities, but more remote mountainous or desert areas (e.g. the Grand Canyon) may result in spotty service or unstable coverage. Assistance, if required, can be found by contacting the customer service team who is available 24/7.

There is just one data option available from Holafly - unlimited. For digital nomads and remote workers - this sounds great, but take care not to “overuse” the unlimited data. The carriers may reserve the right to apply a Fair Usage Policy to each eSIM. Those who cross the daily “Fair Usage” threshold will have their speed throttled until the next day.

The only factors that users must input are their destination (in this case, the USA) and their trip length (number of days). The Holafly algorithm then calculates the best price for their eSIM. A breakdown of some example trip lengths can be found in the table below.

Number of Days Data Allowance Price (EUR)
1 Unlimited €6.00
2 Unlimited €9.00
3 Unlimited €12.00
7 Unlimited €27.00
10 Unlimited €34.00
15 Unlimited €47.00
30 Unlimited €69.00
45 Unlimited €84.00
60 Unlimited €99.00
90 Unlimited €129.00

As one of the top providers in the eSIM market and among the few eSIMs offering unlimited data, we decided to put the eSIM to the test across Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Portland.

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How Does the Holafly eSIM for the USA Work?

We have used the Holafly eSIMs countless times. Whether traveling Europe, the UK or further afield - the Holafly eSIM is among our first choices.

It was, therefore a no-brainer to use, test, and ultimately review the Holafly USA eSIM in our trip across Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Portland.

Holafly USA: eSIM Purchasing Process

How to buy Holafly USA eSIM

Purchasing the eSIM follows much of the same pattern as any quality eSIM.

  1. First, you have to open the Holafly mobile app, and select “USA” among their popular data plans. This opens the USA eSIM page and is packed full of useful information about the product.
  2. Next, you’ll need to select the number of days and number of SIMs required for your trip. In our case, as we were traveling between Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Portland - we selected a total of 90 days.
  3. You continue to the checkout, enter your email address and payment details, and then confirm the order.

The eSIM is then emailed over to the address provided, ready for installation. 

Holafly USA: eSIM Installation and Activation Process

How to install and activate Holafly USA eSIM

Following the purchase, Holafly will email a QR code within minutes to the address provided.

There are three main installation methods used by Holafly: Automatic, QR code, or Manual.

Automatic eSIM Installation

  1. Head to the Holafly app. The app will automatically select the most suitable installation method for your device. If using an iPhone with iOS 17.4 or later, the automatic installation will be available.
  2. Choose “Install and Activate” and select “Continue” to begin the installation.
  3. Confirm the installation by choosing “Continue” once more.

QR Code

If the automatic installation process is unavailable or is not working, the eSIM can be installed with the supplied QR code.

  1. To activate the eSIM with a QR Code, head into the “Mobile Data / Cellular” settings, choose “Add Data Plan”, and scan the QR code provided. Use a printout, another device, or - if using Apple products with iOS 17 or later- a screenshot of the QR code provided.
  2. Once installed, users should follow the on-screen instructions to set preferences and name the eSim. Your device may allow multiple eSIMs to be used at the same time.

Manual eSIM Installation

Although not our favorite method, you can also manually install the eSIM if you’d like. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to “Mobile Data” or “Cellular” settings and choose “Add eSIM”.
  2. Select “Use QR Code” and, instead of scanning a QR code, tap on “Enter the details manually”.
  3. You will need to input the SM-DP+ address and activation code provided by Holafly in the email.
  4. Complete the installation by following the prompts to finish setting up the eSIM on your device.

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iPhone users who would like to learn more about the installation process can use the below video:

Alternatively, for Android users:

Using Holafly eSIM for the USA: Our Experience

Digital nomad holding a phone with Holafly app

We purchased and fully set up our Holafly eSIM the day before heading out on our trip across Miami, Orlando, Houston, and Portland.

After touching down in Miami, the airplane mode was turned off and we had data almost instantly. But just how fast was our eSIM during the trip? The results speak for themselves:

Location Speed Connection details
Miami 48.34 Mbps (download) / 12.86 Mbps (upload) Speeds are generally good but can slow down during peak hours
Orlando 64.22 Mbps (download) / 10.11 Mbps (upload) Reliable connection with occasional fluctuations in certain areas
Houston 96.44 Mbps (download) / 11.98 Mbps (upload) Strong and consistent speeds across most neighborhoods
Portland 28.44 Mbps (download) / 10.33 Mbps (upload) Speeds can be slower, especially in suburban and rural areas

Throughout the trip, the eSIM performed faultlessly. Unlimited data is always a real treat, although we did notice some slowing during peak hours.

Although we predominantly stayed in the larger cities and built-up areas, we didn’t notice too much spotty signal or unreliable service. The internet connection remained strong and stable throughout the length of our trip, with the usual fluctuations in some areas.

We never needed to contact the customer support team, but knowing that they were available 24/7 is a comforting bonus. Overall, we would highly recommend the eSIM for digital nomads.

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

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Pros and Cons of Holafly eSIM for the USA

We’ve looked at the details of the Holafly eSIM for the USA - but should you purchase one for an upcoming trip?

Below we’ve listed both the pros and the cons of the Holafly eSIM from our personal experience in the USA.

Pros:

  • Unlimited data
  • Fast and reliable internet
  • No more roaming charges
  • Customizable plans
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Hotspot and share up to 500MB of data daily

Cons: 

  • No local phone number
  • Pricier than local eSIM providers
  • Fair Usage Policy (Data throttled after hitting daily limits)

No eSIM provider is perfect and Holafly is no exception. Sure, there are a small number of things that fall on the negative side, but the pros far outweigh the cons. For us, it is absolutely one of the best eSIM providers for US travel.

Are There Any Alternatives to Holafly for the USA?

Holafly is the only eSIM brand on the market that offers exclusively unlimited data packages, but there are a handful of other quality providers that are also valid options for a US trip. Airalo, Jetpac, and Gigsky, all offer fantastic solutions.

Airalo

Airalo eSIM website

Airalo is Holafly’s biggest competitor and one of the top choices for digital nomad eSIMs both globally and in the USA. The Airalo USA eSIMs are offered in packages of different sizes/durations. Although Airalo is certainly cheaper than Holafly, it only offers a few unlimited data packages, so if data is a concern for you (like it’s usually for us as digital nomads ourselves), then Holafly is a better choice.

🎁
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!

If you want to learn more about Airalo, read our full Airalo review below:

Airalo eSIM: Is It Legit? Our Honest Review
In-depth review of Airalo’s eSIM for international travelers. We look at the pros, cons, pricing and more to see if it’s really a good eSIM for you.

Jetpac

Jetpac eSIM website

Jetpac is an eSIM company produced by Circles, a Singapore-based tech giant, offering one SIM with the power to tackle 100+ countries including the United States.

There is a variety of eSIM packages offered. Users can choose a global, regional, or single-country data plan to best fit their needs. Plans start at just $1 and there are plenty of additional benefits, including complimentary airport lounge access. However, they are still the new kids on the block, so Holafly would be a slightly better choice if you are going for a well-recognized eSIM brand that you can trust.

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If you want to learn more about Jetpac, read our full Jetpac review below:

Jetpac eSIM Review: Is It a Good eSIM for Travel?
We put Jetpac’s global travel eSIM to the test. Read our hands-on review to see how it performed in terms of reliability, pricing, and features.

Gigsky

GigSky eSIM website

Gigsky offers another great alternative for data-only eSIMs that are perfect for digital nomads. A range of different plans can be found for specific countries and regions - but there’s also the option to purchase packages for cruises, offshore/north sea, and inflight scenarios, which is something that we really appreciate about this eSIM provider.

Gigsky is also the first Apple eSIM partner, so they represent a good alternative to Holafly although Holafly wins in terms of pricing here.

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Special Discount: Use the Code 'Freaking15' to get 15% Off on all GigSky eSIMs for land and inflight data!

If you want to learn more about Gigsky, read our full Gigsky review below:

GigSky eSIM Review: Are Their eSIMs Worth It?
Discover the pros and cons of GigSky eSIM in our detailed review. Find out if this eSIM provider meets your travel connectivity needs efficiently.

Holafly USA eSIM Review: The Bottom Line

The Holafly USA eSIM is a fantastic option for those searching for an unlimited data eSIM with ultra-reliability. Holafly is a hugely trustworthy company with a fantastic reputation, 24/7 customer support, and a great product that you can rely on as a digital nomad.

But their eSIMs aren’t for everyone. At €69.00 for a 30-day unlimited data SIM, those who rarely surpass their data caps will find the Holafly overkill. Additionally, as mobile numbers are not offered with Holafly anymore, those relying on their eSIM to make calls may be disappointed with the service. If you’re a light data user or require a mobile number, the Holafly eSIM might not be the eSIM for you.

If you’re regularly using your data for remote work (like us), streaming, socials, and more - the unlimited package will be well worth the price tag.

Ready To Stay Connected on Your Next Trip to the USA with Holafly?

Get 5% Off on Holafly USA eSIMs

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

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