Since the invention of mobile phones, travelers have been facing a problem: roaming fees. Luckily the European Union has put measures in place that eliminate these extra costs in other EU countries. But what if you’re traveling outside of Europe? You’ll have to dig deep into your pocket if you want to stay in touch with friends, family, or business partners. At least if you’re going to use your own domestic phone plan.
But some solutions won’t force you to break the bank. You could get a local SIM card in each country that you visit. This might be interesting if you always travel to the same location. And you could use the new SIM card all the time, in case your phone supports dual SIM. But some phone just don’t. In that case, you’ll be forced to exchange the cards physically.
Luckily there is a provider that has an excellent offer for travelers that want to stay online wherever they go. Flexiroam came up with a solution that:
- Gets you affordable and reliable data roaming in 150+ countries
- Works in a way that will save you from using two different SIM cards
How Flexiroams Works & What it Will Cost You
SIM Card Sticker
The system is pretty much straightforward: Flexiroam will provide a microchip that you can just apply on top of your existing SIM card. Re-insert the card into your phone, and you can switch between both cards whenever you need to do so. You will have to turn your phone off and on again. But there is no need to exchange a card anymore.
Not only is it very convenient, compared to the method of physically swapping cards. Flexiroam also offers very affordable data bundles. A starter pack that includes your microchip and 1 GB of data (valid for 15 days) that you can use in 150+ countries is available at only USD 24,99. Shipping to Europe will add another USD 13,50 to your bill.
If 1 GB isn’t enough for you or if you’d like to extend the time period in which your data stay valid, Flexiroam offer packages with up to 11 GB which can be used within 360 days. The most expensive plan includes 20GB of data. However, these are only valid for 24 days.
Once you’ve ordered your starter pack, all you have to do is wait for the mailman to arrive. After a couple of days, you should have received your microchip. Setting up your phone is pretty easy:
- Take your time, and don’t rush. Check the manual before you get going.
- Remove your SIM card from your phone and place it into the slot of the Flexiroam card.
- Slowly remove the yellow tab. Careful to not detach the microchip.
- Now press the microchip onto your SIM card and recover the card from under the transparent plastic film.
- Insert your SIM card into your smartphone.
- Download the Flexiroam App and follow the instructions for installation.
If you own a newer iPhone (XR/XS and 11) or a Google Pixel series 3/4, you can benefit from Flexiroam’s eSIM. While the basics such as coverage and pricing are more or less the same, the eSIM technology will enable you to keep your physical SIM card just where it is and still connect to networks via your new plan.
This takes the convenience of Flexiroam’s offer on step further. Especially since there is no waiting time at all until you can set up your international data plan. There’s nothing that has to be sent to you. The whole set-up can be done online.
We’ve tested the offer on an iPhone XR during a trip to Canada and the USA. Even though the initial installation might seem a little tricky to some people, the eSIM worked perfectly during the two weeks trial.
Compared to the installation of the SIM card sticker, getting started with the eSIM seems really easy. And it is. Flexiroam provides a step-by-step guide for iOS and Android on the website. If you stick to it, you should be fine. Still, we will give you a short overview here, as well.
- Order your starter pack. There are several options you can choose from. We’ve tested the 1GB lite package that gets you 1GB valid for 15 days. Caution! Flexiroam is offering an eSIM profile activation for US$ 5. If you are planning on purchasing a data pack, you won’t need the profile activation!
- Download the Flexiroam app. You actually won’t need it to get your eSIM installed, but it’s the only way to check how much data you’ve already used, and you can also top up using the app.
- Link your account with your plan and add a new carrier. Depending on the device you’re using, this step will differ. Basically, you will go to your data settings and add a new plan. This is done by scanning a QR code that Flexiroam will send you via email.
- Restart your phone and check your status via the app. If everything went as planned, you should now be able to connect to any network that cooperates with Flexiroam.
Costs of Additional Data Packages
Once you’ve ordered your starter pack and set up your SIM card and phone, you can always top up your plan or change to a new plan. Pricing is identical to what you would pay when ordering for the first time. But of course, you don’t have to pay for shipping anymore. At least not if your microchip stays undamaged or if you’re using an eSIM anyways.
If you’re visiting one country for a very limited time, the local data packages might be something you want to have a look into as well. You can buy data plans that are valid for 3- 24 days. Here are some examples:
- USA: 7 GB for 24 days = USD 47,25
- Americas* 1 GB for 15 days = USD 15,75
*USA, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Uruguay
- Thailand: 1 GB for 15 days = USD 7,70
- Singapore: 1 GB for 15 days = USD 8,40
- Greater China*: 1 GB for 24 days = USD 11,20
*Macau, China, Hong Kong
- Oceania*: 2 GB for 14 days = USD 28,00
*Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand
- Japan/Korea/Taiwan: 3 GB for 7 days = USD 14,00
The prices mentioned above include a discount of 30% if you book 90 days ahead. Booking one month ahead will still get you 15% of the retail price. In addition to that, the company often runs promotional sales that can get you an even better deal!
Our Experience With Flexiroam
As passionate travelers, we at Travel Dealz have of course tested Flexiroam and its SIM and eSIM products already. The set-up worked without any problems in both cases:
Applying the microchip to the existing SIM card turned out to be quite easy if you follow all the steps in the instruction. The fact that you have to shut your device off and on again to switch between your local number and the Flexiroam card can be a little annoying. But it is still more comfortable then removing the card from the phone.
Setting up an eSIM is even easier, since there is no mechanical process involved. Flexiroam provides easy-to-follow instructions and you can activate and deactivate the eSIM whenever you want. During our testing period we had to turn the phone off and on again once in order for the device to connect to a different network. We are not sure that it should have been that way. But it didn’t disturb the overall positiv experience.
What turned out to be a big bummer was the fact that Flexiroam activated the plan from the starter pack right after we switched to the microchip the fist time. The same happened when using the eSIM. A complaint with customers services brought us credit that could be used to top up our plan.
If you are using an iPhone, then you should keep an eye on iMessage when you’re using the SIM cardwith microchip. As soon as your phone recognizes a new SIM card, you will have to activate it, which is only possible by sending a text message to a UK number. It could be better just to prevent the activation of iMessage. Although this will mean that you can’t receive Apple’s message through your regular number. WhatsApp and Telegram will work fine and won’t cause any problems.
We’ve tested the Flexiroam SIM card sticker during trips to Singapore and Indonesia and the eSIM during a vacation in Canada and the United States. Both options worked satisfactorily regarding coverage and readiness for use. Switching between countries was no problem at all.
It might still be less expensive to get a local SIM card when traveling. But we can’t imagine a more convenient way than using a service such as Flexiroam. Especially if you have a device that allows you to use an eSIM.
Have you tried to use Flexiroam already? Or do you prefer another service? Let us know about your experience in the comment section!