Buy International Sim Card In India
So in this India travel blog, let me help you work out which prepaid India sim card is best for you, what the best sim card in India for tourists is, and how to get a sim card in India in 3 easy ways!
buy international sim card in india
Getting an India sim card for tourists this way will cost you a bit extra as they have to add on a commission for the hostel and you literally have someone from Vodafone Sim Card India or Airtel visit the hostel to complete the paperwork with you.
I asked for a sim, he gave me a card of the options. He copied my passport, I gave a passport photo, I filled in the contract, handed over the money (which was a much better price than my first time), put my sim in 1 day later, called the number he gave me to verify it was me using my passport number, and I had internet!
However, this is still a more difficult option than the ones above as these stores are used to Indian people buying sim cards rather than foreign tourists looking for a mobile sim card in India.
I just went to an Airtel office in Mumbai and got a SIM card with my passport and a copy of my visa. They took a digital picture, so there is no need to have one. The big hang-up was they needed to be able to send a one-time text to someone who already has an Indian number and get the code back to complete the process.
E-sim Problem. Before entering India I knew excactly what to do, what to bring and what to pay for a simcard. The airport counter was crowded and singlehanded and the Airtel shop in town was situated next to my hotel. So for the shop I went.After 2 hours in the shop with 4 guys helping me, pasport photo's are not needed anymore, they make digital ones themselves, they send me off to the opposite streetvendor , and it took him 1,5 hrs. The problem in the shop was due to ignorance and later to the fact that I needed an E-sim. Prepaid esim doesn't excist for foreigners!! So first buy a prepaid simcard and later change it to E-sim!!My advice will be... stick to the airports if possible, they have dealt with this before.
Any idea how long it takes if you wait in the line? Someone told me it takes them 20min to serve a single person? Also do you know the cost of the SIM card they sell at Delhi airport? I want to make sure I have enough rupees.
Traveling overseas soon? Avoid high roaming costs and get yourself a travel sim card, an international sim card with data that works all over the world! Does that exist? Yes! And good news for my 2023 comparison I included e-sim cards as well.
Let me first explain the differences between a local prepaid sim card and a global travel sim card. Then I give you a comparison of the best international sim cards available for traveling abroad in 2023 including all the pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself if you think it is worth buying an international sim card or go for a local prepaid sim card on arrival in your destination.
Sim cards are tiny plastic cards comparable with a microSD card that you put in your phone and allows you to connect to a mobile network. Slowly though these physical sim cards will be replaced by e-sim cards, the easiest way to stay connected when traveling. Prepaid sim cards that you buy in a store are generally just valid in the country you it in.
Since I am on a journey to travel to every country in the world I get to a new country regularly. Everywhere I go I buy a new local prepaid sim card, since it is the best and cheapest way to stay connected. In my bag I have a collection of about 200 little prepaid sim cards from all over the world. As of March 2023 I have visited more than 150 countries.
But before buying an international sim card for your trip abroad I want to make you aware of the existence of local prepaid sim cards. Because the main reason I am writing this blog post is to save you on high roaming costs when traveling and in most cases local prepaid sim cards are the cheapest way to get data on your phone.
An exception is a European sim card. There are international sim cards created just for Europe, but also a lot of local prepaid sim cards in Europe allow FREE roaming within the EU. Click here for more information about buying a local prepaid sim card in Europe in 2023 or check my list of the best sim cards for Europe travel in 2023.
For example all the below listed international sim cards claim to cover Africa. Yes, they are not lying, but the rates per MB are averaging around $0.10, that means 100 MB will cost you $10. That can be as little as using Instagram for about 5 minutes! Comparing this to a local prepaid sim card in Uganda for example where the same $10 gives you more than 12 GB data for 1 month, you can understand why Traveltomtom recommends a local prepaid sim card over a global sim card.
A local prepaid sim card is in 95/100 times cheaper than an international sim card. Therefore in the beginning of this article I told you that you will have to decide whether you want to buy an international sim card for traveling or buying a local sim card on arrival.
Because I am aiming to travel to every country in the world I wrote already more than 200 guides for buying local sim cards: London, Paris, Tanzania, Lebanon, Rome, USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Turkey, Israel, Dubai, Thailand, Kenya, Indonesia, Sydney, Singapore, Vietnam, UK, Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Georgia, Colombia, Dominican Republic and many more.
Local prepaid sim cards are often pretty cheap and come with big value data bundles. Most countries and operators have special tourist sim cards. Downside is that you can only buy them on arrival, so you have to visit a phone store during your holiday or get one from the airport.
Buying an international sim card can only be done online through a third party. In this article I will show you the best available offers for buying a global sim card for world travelers and I will link directly to the companies website so that may you be interested you can have a look for more details on their homepages.
Great resources for buying international sim cards and e-sim cards are: SimOptions for physical sim cards as well as e-sim cards and Airalo for e-sim cards. Personally I use SimOptions more than Airalo.
Keep in mind that buying a local prepaid sim card on an international airport is mostly more expensive. You can get much better prepaid sim card deals from official retail stores in city centers, shopping malls or from random mobile phone shops.
In some countries you will also find local prepaid sim cards in convenience stores, gas stations or supermarkets. Keep in mind when buying a local prepaid sim card in any of these shops that you will mostly have to activate the sim card yourself. That means it is not like plug and play.
When you have time and want the cheapest option you should consider buying a prepaid sim card on arrival in your destination. But if you are looking for the most convenient way to stay connected and want to arrive prepared at your holiday destination then order an international sim card or an e-sim card.
Traveltomtom recommends an Orange Holiday World sim card, a Three UK AIO20 sim card or a Discover Global e-sim card for traveling the world in 2023. Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card for 180 days with 20 GB data installed on my phone and then mostly I buy a prepaid sim card in the destination as well. But keep in mind that I travel 365 days a year. In 2022 for example I visited a total of 62 countries!
In the following section, I will review and compare the top international sim cards. Read through the list carefully and only pick that travel sim that works for you. As promised I listed the best travel sim cards on top!
All the international sim cards below can be ordered directly online and will be shipped to your home address. They come in a 3-in-1 sim sizes which makes the fit into any smart(phone), tablet or portable WiFi device.
Only down side of this international sim card is that you can NOT make or receive calls, it is a pure data sim card only. The Orange Holiday World sim card comes with credit included which is valid for 14 days. After these 14 days you can easily top up online.
The Orange Holiday World sim card allows you to use 5 GB data in Zone 2: Albania, Argentina, Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Polynesia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iraq, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, Dominican Republic, Uruguay.
Lots of travelers from different parts of the world opt for Orange Holiday World because they are generous with data and very cheap compared to other international sim cards. Therefore I call Orange Holiday World the best prepaid data sim card worldwide.
The Orange Holiday World sim card is the best prepaid sim card for Africa as it covers a wide range of countries with 10 GB data roaming included, especially in Central and West Africa. For East Africa check my prepaid sim card guides per country: Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia.
The easiest and most convenient way to get internet when traveling abroad in 2023 is an e-sim card! The way e-sim cards work is that through software on your phone (just settings, nothing fancy) you are able to switch to another network. On this network you are able to use the data allowance according to which package you activated.
Mind you this is an e-sim card and NOT a physical sim card. Therefore it does NOT come with a phone number and calling is NOT supported. However, when looking for a data-only international sim card this is the perfect match.
I am very overwhelmed with the amount of countries and especially the exact countries. Almost all the countries above are well known tourist destinations around the world. Fact is that the Discover Global E-sim card is NOT good for traveling in Africa. But it is by far the best for traveling in South America and Asia. It literally covers almost all countries!
Personally I have a Discover Global e-sim card activated on my phone as well. I bought the 20 GB for 6 months and using it a lot when I go to countries for just a couple days like when I was in Qatar, visiting family in Netherlands for 3 days, a couple days in Turkey, etc. To me this international e-sim card is a game changer! I am loving it! 041b061a72