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How much data do I need on an eSIM for the entire Camino Frances

CindyA

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2024 Camino Frances
How much data (Gb) will I need on an eSIM to complete the entire Camino Frances. Trying to figure out how much to purchase for my journey.
 
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What are you planning to use your phone for? How much do you typically use at home?

I never use more than 5 GB per month at home or on the Camino. I use it lots for internet browsing, tracking myself on maps, texting, email, WhatsApp, etc., but I wait to use wifi for any major downloading of big files such as maps, videos, etc.
 
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How much data (Gb) will I need on an eSIM to complete the entire Camino Frances. Trying to figure out how much to purchase for my journey.

Totally depends on how long you are walking what you plan to do with your phone.

Social media
Guides
Maps
uploading photos
uploading videos.

I upload a lot of photos and videos and go through about 3-4 GB per day.
So lots of data top ups along the way which is easy to do.
 
I used about 15GB on my recent CF, and would say I use the data quite heavily as post to Instagram stories and was doing a blog with lots of photos/videos each day plus photos and videos to my daily Strava stuff etc. I would try and use WiFi whenever possible though, more for speed than anything as the phone signals not always good in many places.
 
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Over the course of 5 pilgrimages, I never used any mobile phone data at all, I simply relied on the free WIFI provided by my lodging places. I did however specifically choose lodging places that included free WIFI. Not all do.

In a small number of cases the free WIFI was slow or only available in public areas of the lodging place. Minor inconvenience.

The lack of mobile data became problematical only twice. The problem that arose - in two separate cities - was that I could not receive the emailed secret codes required to open the street doors of the un-staffed hostels that I had reserved, and I could not find a source of free WIFI in the surrounding neighbourhoods to gain access to my email. I did have a mobile phone with a Spanish prepaid SIM account that included text message service, but those two hostels would not send the codes by text message, only by email.
 
I listen to speech and video for a few hours most days. For that a reasonable expectation is 1gb a day. Usually less.

I bought and used an orange SIM in Spain for a month and it was 40gb. It lasted throughout. This is the simplest thing to do.

Wait till you get to Spain and see if your current SIM can actually work. If not get a pay as you go Sim.
 
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Totally depends on how long you are walking what you plan to do with your phone.

Social media
Guides
Maps
uploading photos
uploading videos.

I upload a lot of photos and videos and go through about 3-4 GB per day.
So lots of data top ups along the way which is easy to do.
I will wait for a local internet connection to do most of my uploading of pictures, reading emails etc. Mostly I want it for maps, calls, guide info and such when on the walk where I don’t have an internet connection.

I am taking 5 weeks to walk so I think 5g should be enough for the fist 30 days and then I can add more for the remainder. Just my thoughts.
 
I'd roughly figure on using maybe a gb per day, just to be safe. It is easy to add more online if needed, as long as you do add before you use it all up! I used a regional Nomad esim because they seemed to have the best deal at the time. Never had any issues. You can use my Referral Code if you want ... DENN79HQ
 
I used about 2.5 gigs on my last camino and I walked 875K. Just walk that is why we are there.
 
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Really, this is one more "how long is a piece of string ?" question, though I do understand that it's a relative matter between how much hard data allowance you'd need out in the sticks and the ongoing WiFi availability.

How much do you need ? How much do you use ? To what degree will WiFi not cut it for you ?

Only you know the answers to those questions.

Having said that, generally speaking WiFi availability is much better on the Francès, at least during normal pilgrim season, than on any other route -- but still, do anyway plan for more than you might actually need.

There are still times when one's Camino can involve crawling into one's sleeping bag or duvet and seeking to forget the aches and pains of the Way through smartphone activities. Keep this in mind for devising your strategy, but also remember that top-ups along the Way, in the cities especially, can be found.
 
Totally depends on how long you are walking what you plan to do with your phone.

Social media
Guides
Maps
uploading photos
uploading videos.

I upload a lot of photos and videos and go through about 3-4 GB per day.
So lots of data top ups along the way which is easy to do.
3 or 4 G per day ? That’s a lot. I had 2 apps working 100%, plus music at time and google map and photos and I never went over 8G for a month. Almost never used Wifi.
 
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I am taking 5 weeks to walk so I think 5g should be enough for the fist 30 days and then I can add more for the remainder. Just my thoughts.

About 6 months ago, for the first time in my life I added mobile data to my mobile phone account. Obviously I am not an "early adopter."

My mobile phone account only works inside my home country, and it is a pre-paid account.

I am starting to see how convenient mobile data is.

Being aware of the risk of straying onto a slippery slope with a costly pit at the bottom, I check my data usage every day or two using my provider's mobile data meter. The high cost of mobile data in my country (Canada) provides me a large incentive to do so.

Even though I now use mobile data to check my email account several times a day and do a few Google searches and read news sites a few times a day, I only consume about 1.25 GB of data per month, sometimes up to about 1.8 GB, well below my account's monthly upper limit.

I never use mobile data to install apps or watch videos or download maps.

I use mapping/navigation software on my mobile device quite a lot. The app that I use (OsmAnd[+]) stores all of the required maps and points of interest and etc. on the device, so as long as I have downloaded that data over WIFI beforehand, it uses zero mobile data when in use.

BTW I pay for infinite high-speed WIFI in my residence; provided by a different company. I use that to satiate my daily data needs.
 
Never bought a sim card or used a data package of any kind in my seven walks. I've just used free wi-fi which is everywhere.
If you need to stay in touch with home or a business I guess I can see the need.
Personally a Camino goal each time is to minimize the use of any tech as much as possible.
Taking a break from tech is very satisfying.
 
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I purchased an Orange Sim for my unlocked phone for 28 days and it came with 100gb data for 25 euros. Never used half of the data, walked the Frances in May 2022.
Good point. And you can most likely get the same deal for an eSIM. Then you can have your home phone number and a Spanish one as well. About 90% of Portuguese and Spanish mobile numbers have Whatsapp installed installed and so can be reached if you have WiFi or cellular data but the ability to make or receive a call through phone service could be useful.
 
1) What ever option that you choose, it is likely that you will need to renew your service contract during your trip as most contracts are for 28 days. So, my advice is to choose an option that is easy for you to renew.

2) I personally prefer to purchase a Spanish SIM or eSIM so that I get a Spanish phone number (my phone allows for multiple SIMs). This way if someone in Spain wants to contact me for some reason (rare but it has happened when something changed) then they have the option of phoning a local number rather than an International phone number. Of course, I also keep my home phone number active in case someone from home needs to contact me in an emergency.

3) What ever option that you choose, make sure that your phone settings allow Data roaming. If you start in St. Jean then you start in France and then (obviously) as you cross the border you and your phone will switch to Spain.
 
1) What ever option that you choose, it is likely that you will need to renew your service contract during your trip as most contracts are for 28 days. So, my advice is to choose an option that is easy for you to renew.

2) I personally prefer to purchase a Spanish SIM or eSIM so that I get a Spanish phone number (my phone allows for multiple SIMs). This way if someone in Spain wants to contact me for some reason (rare but it has happened when something changed) then they have the option of phoning a local number rather than an International phone number. Of course, I also keep my home phone number active in case someone from home needs to contact me in an emergency.

3) What ever option that you choose, make sure that your phone settings allow Data roaming. If you start in St. Jean then you start in France and then (obviously) as you cross the border you and your phone will switch to Spain.
That’s a very good point about the different countries. We are also going to Portugal after the Camino so an EU plan maybe a better option.
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

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Never bought a sim card or used a data package of any kind in my seven walks. I've just used free wi-fi which is everywhere.
If you need to stay in touch with home or a business I guess I can see the need.
Personally a Camino goal each time is to minimize the use of any tech as much as possible.
Taking a break from tech is very satisfying.
It’s more for emergencies or if I stay somewhere that does not have WiFi as a female solo traveler.
 
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I walked for about 5 weeks last spring on fairly solitary caminos (madrid, olvidado, invierno) and needed to use data quite a bit. There was not always wifi available in the albergues -- and there were not always cafes. I used an esim from Airalo. It was only good for 30 days. I think I bought 10 GB and then topped it up, which was very easy to do. I can't remember how much I used altogether but I had quite a bit left over at the end of my trip. But the difference between topping up with 5gb or 10 gb was negligible. I found it easier just to get more and not have to worry about running out. I wanted to know that if I needed to download a map or find the next day's accommodation I could! I also used data to make skype phone calls to confirm accommodation.

This was the first time I had used data on a camino, and I was happy to have it! As a woman walking alone and often being the only person staying in an albergue, and going for days at a time without seeing other walkers, it seemed like a good measure!
 
It’s more for emergencies or if I stay somewhere that does not have WiFi as a female solo traveler.
It's often easier to use cellular data than to get the password to connect to a WiFi network which may not be very fast. Also, if you are using a public WiFi network you shouldn't do anything financial on your phone, or use a VPN if you do.
 
if you are using a public WiFi network you shouldn't do anything financial on your phone, or use a VPN if you do.
Be careful but don't panic. Your banking apps are most likely encrypted end to end and if your browser is using the HTTPS protocol (with the S) traffic is also encrypted.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
It seems that data is pretty cheap on eSIMs. I would get more than you think that you'll need.
My experience (a month ago) is that physical sims are much, much cheaper in Spain. For some reason you can get 50 or even 100G for 15Euros. Right now Airalo has 10G on sale for $12US. You can also make calls with a physical sim; most esims do not allow for calling.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
3 or 4 G per day ? That’s a lot. I had 2 apps working 100%, plus music at time and google map and photos and I never went over 8G for a month. Almost never used Wifi.

As @JabbaPapa said above. How long is a piece of string?
I take lots of photos and videos and easily chew trough 3-4 GB / day.
I prefer not to use the free wifi, as (1) it's generally too slow and (2) I would slow it down too much for others uploading all my stuff.

In addition to uploading videos/photos, which takes up most of my data, I also run a few apps during the day.

How much data you need, depends on how much you plan to use......... :rolleyes:

For light use, maybe 5GB for a month?
 

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