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eSim purchase in Spain

Time of past OR future Camino
St Mary MacKillop Camino
Frances Sept 22
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
Yes, no problems whatsoever. If you’re unsure of the process then buying the eSIM at an actual ‘phone shop (every decent sized town) with actual real staff should sort you out.

With a suitable iPhone (for example); just scan the QR code with your camera and follow the prompts.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
St Mary MacKillop Camino
Frances Sept 22
Thank you for your reply, I have been wanting to have my Australian phone number available while away, obviously being careful with roaming hence use the eSim account.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I used an android Pixel 2 phone with a physical SIM and an eSIM in the autumn of 2019. I put my home number into the eSIM as I didn't see much information about Spanish providers having support for eSIM and this allowed me to just pick up a physical SIM anywhere from anybody. Things have changed but, in general, I think this is still the way I would go. You may want to check Airalo though.

Things were still under development and I don't recall there being a way to setup the phone to indicate what SIM would be used for what. I would just switch to using the Spanish SIM doing the day for local calling and data and in the evening use my home plan on eSIM to call home on wifi.

I had to work around a glitch that you won't have. In the evening I could use software to switch from using SIM to eSIM but in the morning to go the other way I had to get the tray for the SIM card to open just a hair and then push it shut again to switch to the SIM.
 

USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
Hi Lucy, I finished the CF last Wednesday and used Airalo for my ESim provider. I was very pleased with the speed/performance etc. You get data only, so I used WhatsApp for text messaging and phone calls. Only challenge was loading via QR code from a different device or printed. I just opened the QR email from my iPad and hit it with my phone. No problems. Also, their instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I will be using them again!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Amazing technology🤗! So, this app, Airalo, is actually an internet provider? Does this mean you will have WiFi when it is otherwise unavailable, in a town, on the road? Will someone who has used it please comment a little more? @USMC-Pilgrim, should we install it prior to leaving home? Thanks 😊
 

USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Amazing technology🤗! So, this app, Airalo, is actually an internet provider? Does this mean you will have WiFi when it is otherwise unavailable, in a town, on the road? Will someone who has used it please comment a little more? @USMC-Pilgrim, should we install it prior to leaving home? Thanks 😊
Recommendations
1. Create the Airalo account and download the app anytime. www.airalo.com.
2. Purchase the ESIM and activate it once in the country or Region of interest.
3. The ESIM loads as "Unknown Number". Samsung Sim Card Manager permits renaming, so mine is Spain. See below.
4. The ESIM provides data only, so when you have a cell signal, you have access to data/wifi. I found it to be speedy quick whenever I had at least 1 bar of signal.
5. I learned about Airalo from a couple I met randomly on a cruise ship. No association or endorsement beyond it was simple to use and provided good service.

Hope that helps.
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Yes, no problems whatsoever. If you’re unsure of the process then buying the eSIM at an actual ‘phone shop (every decent sized town) with actual real staff should sort you out.

With a suitable iPhone (for example); just scan the QR code with your camera and follow the prompts.
SInce I am a technology moron I am not sure of what an eSIM is as opposed to a regular sim card. When I arrive in Spain my first stop is at a Vodafone office. They have very cheap plans that are either 28 or 30 days. Orange also has good plans). The person helping you does everything. GIves you a new Spanish telephone number and I am off. I pay about 20 Euros. I get more than enough calling minutes for Europe. (I walk in late fall /early winter and call albergues ahead to make sure they are open.) and Spain. I have no one to call in Europe so that is fine. I get a ton of data to use internet. It is no matter if where I am staying has wifi or good wifi, I can call my wife and my two kids in Mexico or New York on Whatsapp or Facetime. I have to call my wife every day to prove I am alive still. I never have run out of minutes or data. I get a text when I have to reload. I also walk long distances so I need two months. I go to the link they send me and I can recharge my phone in about 30 seconds. The link is in a few languages. Even though I speak Spanish OK I still use the English language link. It is really easy.
One final thing. I have walked the VDLP and the Norte all the way. The Norte, after the split from the Primitivo becomes pretty isolated and you are way in the country. The VDLP in many places can be described as desolate. I have ALWAYS had a signal to use my phone whether it was data or to make a call.
 
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pierrenaples

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Sep-Oct Camino Frances
If your phone doesn’t have an e-sim like mine (Samsung A51) and you still need or want to use this technology you can buy a SIM card adapter from esim.me that will allow older phone a way to upgrade their original sim to accept multiple e-sim profiles.

That along with esim.me app and the QR codes from your providers (orange, vodofone, airalo, ext) you can easily switch between them without having to change chips each time.

I haven’t decided on which one I’m going with yet because I am also going to be in Germany, France, and Portugal, but I’m leaning towards Airalo and Orange so far.
 
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USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
SInce I am a technology moron I am not sure of what an eSIM is as opposed to a regular sim card. When I arrive in Spain my first stop is at a Vodafone office. They have very cheap plans that are either 28 or 30 days. Orange also has good plans). The person helping you does everything. GIves you a new Spanish telephone number and I am off. I pay about 20 Euros. I get more than enough calling minutes for Europe. (I walk in late fall /early winter and call albergues ahead to make sure they are open.) and Spain. I have no one to call in Europe so that is fine. I get a ton of data to use internet. It is no matter if where I am staying has wifi or good wifi, I can call my wife and my two kids in Mexico or New York on Whatsapp or Facetime. I have to call my wife every day to prove I am alive still. I never have run out of minutes or data. I get a text when I have to reload. I also walk long distances so I need two months. I go to the link they send me and I can recharge my phone in about 30 seconds. The link is in a few languages. Even though I speak Spanish OK I still use the English language link. It is really easy.
One final thing. I have walked the VDLP and the Norte all the way. The Norte, after the split from the Primitivo becomes pretty isolated and you are way in the country. The VDLP in many places can be described as desolate. I have ALWAYS had a signal to use my phone whether it was data or to make a call.
Henry, one of the folks that I walked with did exactly as you describe. She was very pleased with the service and cost.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept. 2022 El Salvador, Oct. 2022 Tui Portugués
Recommendations
1. Create the Airalo account and download the app anytime. www.airalo.com.
2. Purchase the ESIM and activate it once in the country or Region of interest.
3. The ESIM loads as "Unknown Number". Samsung Sim Card Manager permits renaming, so mine is Spain. See below.
4. The ESIM provides data only, so when you have a cell signal, you have access to data/wifi. I found it to be speedy quick whenever I had at least 1 bar of signal.
5. I learned about Airalo from a couple I met randomly on a cruise ship. No association or endorsement beyond it was simple to use and provided good service.

Hope that helps.
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Very helpful! Thanks so much! I think it will be perfect when I walk El Salvador to have internet availability.
The next obvious questions in order to use this, will you need to on phone
1) inactive airplane mode
2) if you inactivate airplane mode, then will you receive calls on physical SIM card on your phone
3) is there a way to bypass physical SIM card on phone to use e SIM preferentially
Also a tech moron.
 
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pierrenaples

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Sep-Oct Camino Frances
Hi Lucy, I finished the CF last Wednesday and used Airalo for my ESim provider. I was very pleased with the speed/performance etc. You get data only, so I used WhatsApp for text messaging and phone calls. Only challenge was loading via QR code from a different device or printed. I just opened the QR email from my iPad and hit it with my phone. No problems. Also, their instructions are very clear and easy to follow. I will be using them again!
Can you tell me how much date you used a month? I’m looking at their Eurolink plans for 30 days 5gb is $20, and 10gb is $37. We plan to use it only for GPS and WhatsApp and WiFi for everything else when we can. I don’t want to spend extra $$ for two months on two phones if I don’t need to.
 

pierrenaples

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Sep-Oct Camino Frances
One warning I got from watching videos online about e-sims is once you install a QR code, don’t delete it thinking you can reinstall. If you do that it is gone and not retrievable. If you can’t get it to work, call tech support or go into a store to have them get it activated.
 
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Dennis Pack

Member since 2017
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago Norte 2018
Can you tell me how much date you used a month? I’m looking at their Eurolink plans for 30 days 5gb is $20, and 10gb is $37. We plan to use it only for GPS and WhatsApp and WiFi for everything else when we can. I don’t want to spend extra $$ for two months on two phones if I don’t need to.
There is a lot of free WiFi in Spain, you just have to search for a signal. I found WiFi available in most squares, and it was good quality, as well.
 

pierrenaples

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Sep-Oct Camino Frances
There is a lot of free WiFi in Spain, you just have to search for a signal. I found WiFi available in most squares, and it was good quality, as well.
I figured as much but trying to figure out how much data I need while there. We will only be using Google maps and whatsapp.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I am not sure of what an eSIM is as opposed to a regular sim card.
From the user's perspective, an eSIM does the same thing as a physical SIM. The reason to have both, is so you can have access to both your home phone number and a second Spanish number, on your phone without having to physically extract and change SIM cards in your phone. Instead you switch between phone plans by changing settings. (Of course you still need to pay whatever charges your home plan might have for roaming while you use your home SIM in Spain.)

I don't have an e-sim because my phone doesn't allow it, but I look forward to this feature when I get a new phone.

P.S. I don't understand most of the technology, either, but it is because I haven't bothered (and don't intend) to learn those details. I do wish people would stop calling themselves tech morons/idiots as if there were two camps of people. We all need to learn these new developments, and we pick and choose which ones matter to us enough to bother with.

- Not-a-moron, just learning
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
My background is in IT and I struggle sometimes to get this straight.

I just looked at Airalo as an alternative to buying my usual Orange Sim for my Canadian phone. But I struggled with understanding it all and decided I didn’t want to struggle with it on arrival in Spain.

Sooooo, I just installed the Airalo app and bought a cheap 7 day plan for Canada (I’m in Canada now). Now I can turn off my normal Canada provider and muck around with this new fangled eSim at my leisure with no stress, no jet lag, and see how it all works. I have 7 days to play around and switch back at anytime.

One concern is Airalo is DATA only! You will not have Euro phone number. So people cannot phone you and you cannot phone them as with a regular land line phone. So the question is will every Albergue be available by WhatsApp?

The second concern is the nefarious 2 factor authentication used by many banks. Disabling your normal sim and using your new eSim means you cannot receive that critical text message with the code. My work around is to include a trusted 2nd person’s number to send the code to and them email me.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
From the user's perspective, an eSIM does the same thing as a physical SIM. The reason to have both, is so you can have access to both your home phone number and a second Spanish number, on your phone without having to physically extract and change SIM cards in your phone. Instead you switch between phone plans by changing settings. (Of course you still need to pay whatever charges your home plan might have for roaming while you use your home SIM in Spain.)

I don't have an e-sim because my phone doesn't allow it, but I look forward to this feature when I get a new phone.

P.S. I don't understand most of the technology, either, but it is because I haven't bothered (and don't intend) to learn those details. I do wish people would stop calling themselves tech morons/idiots as if there were two camps of people. We all need to learn these new developments, and we pick and choose which ones matter to us enough to bother with.

- Not-a-moron, just learning
I only call myself a tech idiot because I have had to depend on my kids for years and years to explain everything to me. You know how sensitive they can be with parents haha. When I get my new sim card installed most of my contacts are still in my phone. I do not know why but they are. The ones that aren't are not anyone I would call anyway. In this way also I do not have to pay for the additional costs that you speak of. I also send a quick email before I go that if anyone needs to call me because of some type of emergency and they can't reach me they can call my wife or kids and they can get in touch with me. Anything else can wait until after I get back home. Like I said for me at least, just going to Vodafone makes it so, so much simpler for me.
PS I intend to stay an ignoramus about tech as it gives me another reason to call my kids!! I love hearing their voices and giving me s*&t because it reminds me of when they were kids and used to yell at me that I needed to get with the program. I always have a smile. I can't wait until the end of the conversation when they will both inevitable say something like or exactly "Daddy, what am I going to do with you"??? Music to this dad's ears.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
One concern is Airalo is DATA only! You will not have Euro phone number. So people cannot phone you and you cannot phone them as with a regular land line phone.
That seems to be a huge drawback to me. I thought that one of the most important reasons to get a local Sim would be to have a local phone number to call businesses, and to give them to call you back.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
So I wanted to make sure you saw this reply Bill but I didn't want to quote too much.

Check the settings on your phone. I believe that you will find that you can make the eSIM handle all your data needs while having your SIM card handle the phone and texts all at the same time.

For two factor you would use your bank app which would use the eSIM then your bank sends a text message to the SIM card which gets sent to you over in Spain and you enter the code into the bank app. Of course you have to pay for for that incoming call and it could be expensive especially if a daily international access charge is involved but it could be done.

Also, your phone could still be used to make and receive calls while data is handled by the eSIM but again at a cost (and what albergue is going to call back to a Canadian number?)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Do you mean that you would first need to set your 2-factors in the bank app, to include the Spain SIM number instead of your home number?
I was writing assuming that the home (Canadian) SIM was still installed in the phone.

Otherwise you have to notify the bank (etc) that codes be sent to a new international number (and then back again once home). And the bank might not allow international calls for two factor ID.

I use Google FI for my home plan (US residents only, sorry). With it texts also are logged to my account in the cloud so I can login there with the data connection to get the code that my bank app (also running with the data connection) is expecting.

For help with two factor authentication see this thread
 
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A two-part workshop that guides you into creating a credencial and shares it online
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
OMG!!

This is so important and yet, soooo complicated!!

Does anyone else feel like their head is going to explode?

There is a 12-hour time zone difference between my DH and I, currently, and he has just figured out the magic of FB Messenger! Almost everyone I encountered on the CF used WhatsApp so I'll probably stick with what I know and install that one for my next journey. I have old SIM cards from several Caminos, and no desire to add to that collection.

I'm intrigued by eSim but really don't need any more complications on my phone. This is kind of diminishing the simplicity of walking in the first place.

Nevertheless, I totally recognize the importance of being able to communicate quickly in an emergency. What do you think I am, some kind of Luddite??!!
 

USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Very helpful! Thanks so much! I think it will be perfect when I walk El Salvador to have internet availability.
The next obvious questions in order to use this, will you need to on phone
1) inactive airplane mode
2) if you inactivate airplane mode, then will you receive calls on physical SIM card on your phone
3) is there a way to bypass physical SIM card on phone to use e SIM preferentially
Also a tech moron.
(1) I only used airplane mode when on wifi at a known location with secure wifi.
(2) & (3) Not if you turn off the physical SIM. See the photo on my response above. Most phones with ESIM capability allow setting a primary and secondary for the phone to use. I turned off my US T-Mobile SIM and used the Airalo ESIM exclusively most of the time (T-Mobile does have a nice international capability albeit at slower speeds.)
 

USMC-Pilgrim

I learned, the hard way!
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPDP to Santiago) May-Jun 2022
Can you tell me how much date you used a month? I’m looking at their Eurolink plans for 30 days 5gb is $20, and 10gb is $37. We plan to use it only for GPS and WhatsApp and WiFi for everything else when we can. I don’t want to spend extra $$ for two months on two phones if I don’t need to.
I got
Luddite - Schmuddite! I'm getting a new phone. Bells and whistles here I come!
extra points for using the term Luddite!
I got the 20g plan and still have 9.4g left.
 
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Charlie Davenport

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 20- June 20, 2017
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
There's more to an eSim than that... I don't know what it is but 3 months ago researching it a regular Vodafone 20€ sim card with 10 GB and calling everywhere (I'm in the US today having just got back and it works fine here...) I used my sim card "wide open" meaning I didn't go thru any extra effort searching out wifi, I posted to FB during the day, used Whatsapp a lot and traveled after doing the Camino to Spain, Portugal and France.... Never a glitch, never exceeded 5 GB ... I'm not a video watcher and as a Camino traveler, you won't be watching much either 😎😁.
Read the fine print... ESim is too good to be true....
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I figured as much but trying to figure out how much data I need while there. We will only be using Google maps and whatsapp.
You can cut down the amount of data used by Google Maps, possibly all of it, if you download maps ahead of time when you have WiFi. The attached video shows how but I noticed a difference between it and the version I use. For me I have to get to the menu with the Offline maps option by clicking my avatar on the top right of my phone's screen. Also, the presenter doesn't comment on the fact that each name in the list of maps has a menu accessed by the three vertical dots to the right of the map name to Update, View, Rename or Delete. I suggest having a map for each stage incorporating an area a bit larger than the stage you plan on walking. Have maybe five downloaded. Delete the one walked that day and download the next one you don't have if you have WiFi. If you don't have WiFi you still have a few days to try to download again. Rename the maps to something like Stage01 (I'd add the 0 for days 1-9 so numeric order and alphabetical order give you the same list order).

 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
To Lucy 3095,
Here is my totally worthless 2 cents worth of advice.
First, I understand you are from Oz and all the advice you are getting is from the US and Canada. So the first thing I would do is talk to your current provider and ask them for advice. The Forum is not really a place for authoritative technology information.
Second, I am in the same boat as It56ny and C clearly, I am a total tech nerd and really don't want to spend my time learning all about some new technology that is going to change before my next visit to Spain.
For many years when I traveled I would buy an Orange simcard with data and a French or Spanish number and inform my family regarding my new number.
I recently purchased an iPhone13 from T-Mobile with a US eSim including International service for about $75USD/month, there was no need to to buy a new simcard when I travel to the Euro Zone in May to change my phone service. I could call and receive any form of communication from friend in Europe and the US and access data up to a point and that glitch was quickly resolved by one phone call back to the US.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
Hi @trecile and @Rick of Rick and Peg ,

I think the difficulty is figuring this out is that we all have different needs and have different cell providers.

So when I covey my arrangements it’s not always understandable to someone with different needs and a different home cell company.

So if I turn off my home cell ( Canada) and go with a data eSim the advantages are:

No roaming charges from my Canadian provider (very $$$$) and cheap data in Europe. As well no fooling around with Apple, WhatsApp and other apps which don’t like it when you have 2 numbers. This can be onerous for those not comfortable with messing with IT.

The disadvantages are: no Euro phone # so you cannot call / receive calls in the way of the previous century. You cannot receive a 2 factor authentication text to your disabled normal number.

I can deal with the 2 factor thing by turning on my Canadian number in an emergency and paying the charges.

Let me reiterate again that this is only what works in my situation. There are many alternatives and tweaks that are available to solve your own dilemmas.

I have been playing with Airalo all day and my initial opinion is that it’s pretty good. Easy to buy and install.

I may still switch my Canadian physical sim to an eSim and buy an Orange physical sim for the advantage of having a Euro phone #.

So there you have it, everyone even more confused?

PS never mind all the above if you just don’t want to deal with easily misplaced little SIM cards. Convert your regular sim to eSim just for the convenience.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
To Lucy 3095,
Here is my totally worthless 2 cents worth of advice.
First, I understand you are from Oz and all the advice you are getting is from the US and Canada. So the first thing I would do is talk to your current provider and ask them for advice. The Forum is not really a place for authoritative technology information.
Second, I am in the same boat as It56ny and C clearly, I am a total tech nerd and really don't want to spend my time learning all about some new technology that is going to change before my next visit to Spain.
For many years when I traveled I would buy an Orange simcard with data and a French or Spanish number and inform my family regarding my new number.
I recently purchased an iPhone13 from T-Mobile with a US eSim including International service for about $75USD/month, there was no need to to buy a new simcard when I travel to the Euro Zone in May to change my phone service. I could call and receive any form of communication from friend in Europe and the US and access data up to a point and that glitch was quickly resolved by one phone call back to the US.
Well, I too, finally puchased a T-mobile plan and an Iphone. No need to worry about siim cards. Thanks to a post a while ago by Trecile, I explored T-Mobile as a provider. So far so good! Much simpler!
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
Well OK one last thing, as Steve Jobs loved to say -

After some cogitation I think I've figured out why I struggled understanding the whole eSim thing. I was conflating the sim/eSim idea with a buying a Euro plan.

Eliminate the whole travel conundrum for a moment and say to yourself "a sim is a sim e or otherwise. How do I want my phone to work? With a tiny card or with a code I can enter into my phone?” That's it that's all.

Then say to yourself "Do I want a second plan? What do I want from that plan? Data or data and phone?" once you made that choice and found a provider say " How will I enable this second plan? By switching the tiny little cards back and forth or by having 1 card and 1 code or by having 2 codes in my phone".

Now I've got that straight in my head I've realized I like eSims because I don't like poking at my sim drawer with a pin while struggling with a economy class tray table. As well when you choose the eSim method (I believe Orange provides it as well) payment, delivery, and installation is instantaneous.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
I just looked at the Orange site. You can purchase an eSim from them and activate it immediately before you leave. You will get data and a Euro French phone number valid for 14 days. This can be extended by registering your identity. The cost of the Orange eSim is comparable to Airalo with the added advantage of receiving a phone number. see https://travel.orange.com/en/offers/europe/
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I just looked at the Orange site. You can purchase an eSim from them and activate it immediately before you leave. You will get data and a Euro French phone number valid for 14 days. This can be extended by registering your identity. The cost of the Orange eSim is comparable to Airalo with the added advantage of receiving a phone number. see https://travel.orange.com/en/offers/europe/
They normally ask to see you passport
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2022 Norte Primitivo
They normally ask to see you passport
Yes I remember that in the past. But last year it seems I did it online. I filled out some stuff and sent a picture of my passport et voila it was done.

Found this on Orange-


This SIM eSIM card comes with a French phone number

Please note you will need to register your SIM eSIM on our website to keep using it after the first 30 days as per French law”.

Thank goodness as I think the only time I’ve ever been spoken to rudely in France was in an Orange store trying to register my passport.
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc.
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A two-part workshop that guides you into creating a credencial and shares it online
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I should have sorted my quotes first! I would put @BombayBill s quote about a SIM is a SIM is an eSIM up front.

The only real difference between an eSIM and a SIM is that an eSIM doesn't take up physical space on your phone.

My phone takes two physical SIMs and I routinely use two SIMs and it is not complicated.

It is possible to set up each SIM and its associated services as you want without (usually) swapping backwards and forwards or in or out of Airplane mode.

When in Spain I buy a (Vodafone) local SIM for data, local calls and local SMS. I keep my ANZ SIM active for SMS two factor texts from my bank and I allow calls to my ANZ phone number for possible personal emergencies from my family. This is how I do it.

Firstly, only one SIM can be active for data at any one time and so I activate my Spanish SIM for data and I leave it on continuously. I have never yet run out of data and I use Google Maps extensively. If I want to make a "data" call then I make sure that I am within WiFi range as my app (Signal) will always prefer WiFi over cellular data. If I receive a "data" call while out of WiFi range then before answering I look at who is calling. If I recognize the caller and want to take the call and the hit to my data then I do. If I don't then I cancel the call but immediately message the number saying that I can't take the call now and to try later.

Second, I set my default SIM for voice calls and SMS to my Spanish SIM. That way I don't accidentally phone or text an albergue from my international number and incur roaming charges.

If I receive a call on my Spanish SIM then I take it.

If I receive a call on my ANZ SIM then I look to see who is calling. If it is my family then I take the call because I have previously told them to only call me in an emergency. If they forgot then I remind them.

For all other calls on my ANZ SIM I don't take the call but note the number. If I know that number or it is in my contacts then I message the number to say that I am currently in Spain and unable to take calls but happy to respond to emails or messages. I also change the message on my ANZ SIM that someone gets when I don't answer to say that I am in Spain and please don't call unless it is urgent and giving my email address.

Lastly, I make sure that I have my Do Not Disturb settings set so that the only calls or texts that I get at night when I am asleep are (emergency) calls from one of three ANZ numbers.

1) inactive airplane mode
2) if you inactivate airplane mode, then will you receive calls on physical SIM card on your phone
3) is there a way to bypass physical SIM card on phone to use e SIM preferentially
See above
The second concern is the nefarious 2 factor authentication used by many banks. Disabling your normal sim and using your new eSim means you cannot receive that critical text message with the code.
See above
This is so important and yet, soooo complicated!!
Not really
a sim is a sim e or otherwise
Thank you
How will I enable this second plan? By switching the tiny little cards back and forth or by having 2 codes in my phone and choosing how each works".
No need
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2019
Norte September (2022)
Recommendations
1. Create the Airalo account and download the app anytime. www.airalo.com.
2. Purchase the ESIM and activate it once in the country or Region of interest.
3. The ESIM loads as "Unknown Number". Samsung Sim Card Manager permits renaming, so mine is Spain. See below.
4. The ESIM provides data only, so when you have a cell signal, you have access to data/wifi. I found it to be speedy quick whenever I had at least 1 bar of signal.
5. I learned about Airalo from a couple I met randomly on a cruise ship. No association or endorsement beyond it was simple to use and provided good service.

Hope that helps.
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View attachment 128722
Hi once I have loaded the Airald esim onto my phone in Australia. When I arrive in Spain what number will be used in Spain to make local calls from my phone to find accomodation etc.. Will it be my Australian number?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I recently purchased an iPhone13 from T-Mobile with a US eSim including International service for about $75USD/month, there was no need to to buy a new simcard when I travel to the Euro Zone in May to change my phone service. I could call and receive any form of communication from friend in Europe and the US and access data up to a point and that glitch was quickly resolved by one phone call back to the US.
May I ask, please, @biarritzdon if there was a technical problem with T-mobile phone, or plan, which required you to call back to USA We will be using this plan in September and I wanted toknow if I should expect a glitch when we use T-Mobile in Spain.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
May I ask, please, @biarritzdon if there was a technical problem with T-mobile phone, or plan, which required you to call back to USA We will be using this plan in September and I wanted toknow if I should expect a glitch when we use T-Mobile in Spain.
I've been using t-mobile on trips abroad, including 6 Caminos for many years and haven't had any problems.
If I need to make phone calls I use apps like WhatsApp and Viber that work on wifi or my free cellular data rather than pay t-mobile's 25¢ a minute.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
May I ask, please, @biarritzdon if there was a technical problem with T-mobile phone, or plan, which required you to call back to USA We will be using this plan in September and I wanted toknow if I should expect a glitch when we use T-Mobile in Spain.
Marbe2,
The problem I had was a result of a misunderstanding by the salesperson from whom I purchased my new phone and plan. I explained that I travel often and also want to talk to friend in France and Spain from the US and vica versa. It tuned out that the plan they sold me did not have sufficient data to do what I normally do every day in the US, i.e. free wifi from anywhere 24/7. I had to buy extra data several times during the time I was there in April/May. When I returned to the US I asked T-Mobile for an explanation and a refund, and all I got a lot of mumble-jumble about the plan I had was not able to do this or that like I had explained to the salesperson. Bottom line, for few dollars more per month I was able to add more data availability to my plan and failed getting a credit for "my" supposed misunderstanding about what I thought I had purchased.
My advice is to talk to T-Mobile and explain to them exactly what you expect your phone to do for you while you are overseas.
Unfortunately for me after all this BS, I have found out I can no longer travel overseas due to health issues but at least I can still call friends in France.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I've been using t-mobile on trips abroad, including 6 Caminos for many years and haven't had any problems.
If I need to make phone calls I use apps like WhatsApp and Viber that work on wifi or my free cellular data rather than pay t-mobile's 25¢ a minute.

We use mostly use facetme to contact family (relative is in management) and data will be free so a couple of calls @ 25 cents won’t be an issue. I will look at what’s app as well.. Thanks!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Marbe2,
The problem I had was a result of a misunderstanding by the salesperson from whom I purchased my new phone and plan. I explained that I travel often and also want to talk to friend in France and Spain from the US and vica versa. It tuned out that the plan they sold me did not have sufficient data to do what I normally do every day in the US, i.e. free wifi from anywhere 24/7. I had to buy extra data several times during the time I was there in April/May. When I returned to the US I asked T-Mobile for an explanation and a refund, and all I got a lot of mumble-jumble about the plan I had was not able to do this or that like I had explained to the salesperson. Bottom line, for few dollars more per month I was able to add more data availability to my plan and failed getting a credit for "my" supposed misunderstanding about what I thought I had purchased.
My advice is to talk to T-Mobile and explain to them exactly what you expect your phone to do for you while you are overseas.
Unfortunately for me after all this BS, I have found out I can no longer travel overseas due to health issues but at least I can still call friends in France.
Sorry to hear about your health issues! Be well and thanks for your explanation.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I have not read all of these many responses, but I was recently in the UK with a friend and hubby downloaded many offline maps for me. Also, back home, I was in Wisconsin a couple of days ago with a friend to hike; he downloaded maps for me before I left...they worked great as occasionally my cell coverage was unavailable in the boonies.
 
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camino.ninja

RIP 2022
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
Hi has anyone purchased an eSim for your phone (in Spain) and used this separately to your home country sim? Providing your phone is eSim compatible, you won’t have to remove your home numbers physical sim. Just wondering if anyone has done this and the benefits/problems. Thanks
If you are not a Spanish resident you can only get prepaid subscriptions. And I haven't seen those in Spain as an eSIM. The way to work around this could be to convert your current subscription at home into an eSIM and then buy a regular SIM card on a prepaid subscription in Spain.
 

Lowtide

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fall 2022
I am not certain but, I will leave my phone on flight mode and o ly use it to take pictures during the day. At night I plan to stay where there is wifi so I can email messages home. I do not have a data plan, and hope to not have to buy a new Sim or pay for a plan in Europe. I own my phone and it is unlocked. Any one see a problem for me?
 

Lowtide

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fall 2022
No problem as long as you don't want to make phone calls to make reservations. If you use more than a day or two of roaming from your Canadian plan, you will pay the cost of a Spanish plan for a month.
Thanks for your reply. My plan is not to roam or use my phone for any calls, I'm hoping in October there won't be a need to reserve accommodations.
 

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