Holafly 5% Discount Code: MAPPINGMEGAN
I’m standing in the water in a posh Greece beach club; the water is sparkling, the chocolate brownies they’re serving are divine (like actually divine), and while I’m a big fan of being in the present moment, I kind of want to tell everyone about it.
While I’m in the water.
So I pull out my phone, and spam out the photos (apparently my iphone is waterproof though I don’t feel I need to test this properly).
In this moment I didn’t need to be connected; I didn’t need to brag that I was in Greece to everyone back home (but how fun right!).
But there are plenty of moments while traveling where you do NEED data. Our phones having internet is everything, from bookings, to payments, maps, identification, crucial information, safety, and yes, calls and texts.
Local sim cards will always be a good option, but smart travelers are now using eSIMs. And after 6 weeks traveling through multiple countries in Europe on one eSIM with unlimited data; so should you!
When I landed in London I activated a 30 day Holafly sim card for Europe. It seamlessly kept me connected as I moved through England, France, Spain, and Greece. Here are my Holafly reviews and here’s the link to get a 5% discount.
Smart Travelers are Using eSIMs for Phone Data – Are You? Honest Holafly Review
Researching Holafly eSIM
My fellow travelers in Greece have cocktails in hand; I have my Holafly eSIM on my phone ????
An eSIM is a SIM card that is permanently embedded in your phone, so you can use it without having to swap and change a physical SIM. It’s an electronic chip which lets you switch carriers and plans digitally, without having to remove the back of your phone.
You scan a QR code, change a few settings, and you’re online in another country and ready to go!
The first part of your research should be making sure that your phone is compatible with eSIMs, as only newer phones do. Here is a list of eSIM Supported Phones.
When you’re researching eSIM companies, Holafly is a Spanish company who have been around the longest, and offer unlimited data plans, typically starting at $19 for 5 days.
And while eSIMs across the board are larely for data only, Holafly have just launched a calling feature on their Europe Unlimited Data Plan, which means you can use the eSIM to call within Europe through an Austrian number.
Instead of prying open the back of your phone like you would with a local SIM card, the installation for my iPhone was through a QR code, and instant.
I landed in the UK, switched my phone off flight mode, and had data from the moment I landed at Heathrow.
And as this was my first time using an eSIM, and I wanted to provide a truly honest review, so I headed out of departures with an older phone, and bought a local SIM card so I could compare the two services for you!
Purchasing and Activating Holafly eSIM
For something that sounds technologically advanced and overwhelming, setting up my Holafly eSIM is surprisingly simple. It takes total 5 minutes, and I did it before I left for my trip so the process was done at home.
Pro tip: Once you activate your eSIM, the number of days remaining on your plan start, so I recommend installing it a few hours before you leave for your trip, and activating it once you get to your destination so you get the most value.
Purchase your eSIM on the Holafly website, and they send you an email with everything you need to know for the setup. You need internet to install it, and you won’t have any when you land (airport WiFi can be unreliable), so do this at home.
Here is the link to the eSIM for Europe I bought (30 days, unlimited data through 30 European countries).
Holafly have step by step instructional videos on their website, but here’s the simple install process (for me on my iphone):
- Go to settings
- Tap cellular
- Tap on ‘add eSIM’ and then ‘use QR code’
From here you can install the esim manually, though I chose to activate using the QR code. I scanned the QR code from my email, and it was done! There is a new feature on iOS 17, where you can install your Esim by saving the QR code in your Photos and loading it when you’re adding the Esim.
You can keep your primary number for using Whatsapp and recieving text messages and Facetime etc, while simultaneously using Holafly for your celluar data option.
Pro tip: You need to disable the ‘allow mobile data switching’ option to prevent extra roaming charges on your bill. And you need to have your data roaming on for the eSIM to work. Holafly lock you on the local operator you are supposed to use so there is no risk of unwanted roaming charges.
When you arrive in your destination you activate the eSIM by going into settings > cellular > activating the Holafly line and your data roaming. Back in ‘cellular’, Holafly should be selected as the default for celluar data. If you’re also using their calls feature, Holafly should also be set as your default line here too.
Seamless Connectivity Throughout Europe
I activated my eSIM on landing in London, and didn’t touch anything else on my phone through France, Greece, and Spain, for 30 days.
For 30 days I stayed connected, wasn’t booted off, didn’t run out of data, no roaming charges, and kept my physical SIM card which let me keep Whatsapp and recieving home texts to my phone.
I found the coverage to be incredibly reliable, and was directly comparing it with a local sim in each country on my older phone; both provided similar data, strengths and speed, and Holafly used the networks which were the strongest.
Local SIM cards will always be the strongest choice for data in principle, though I didn’t notice any difference using Holafly, and was happy with the reliability and speed of the connection.
For picking up local SIM cards, I spent an hour in line at Heathrow Airport at the 3Store in arrivals. And in Athens I arrived at 11.30 pm after the airport shops were closed, so spent probably an hour walking into the city to find a local phone store the next day.
Local SIM cards are cheap, but they’re not convenient. And they are certainly not seamless. Using Holafly Europe, it took me a total of 5 minutes, and worked seamlessly across countries without doing anything but clicking a few buttons.
Sharing Experiences and Staying Connected
However you use your phone on your travels, I guarentee that it relies on an internet connection. Some reasons for staying connected are essential, like safety, payments, and work. Others may be non essential, but enhance your travel experience.
Like being able to FaceTime your bestie while at a Mykonos Beach Club, or put up Instagram stories right then in the moment (let’s be honest – if you wait until you get home you probably won’t do it).
Holafly kept me online the whole time in Europe, so I was able to tap and go on my Apple Wallet using the Revolut VISA card on my phone.
I paid for everything using Revolut, from shopping in Greece and Spain, to cash out, and an incredibly expensive strawberry tart at the airport gate (so worth it though!)
While you won’t be able to hotspot your eSIM data to your laptop, being constantly connected meant I was able to work from my phone.
However the Holafly North America Esim does include an unlimited data hotspot which is a fantastic feature I’ll use when I’m next there.
I answered emails while on the train in Spain, moderated our Facebook Group from the White Cliffs of Dover, and created articles from a ship cabin in the Greek Cyclades Islands.
Real time directions are a game changer, and I used my unlimited data for Google maps, which helped me drive throughout the UK, and actually lead my group of Solo Female Travelers through a labyrinth of Greek streets.
It’s one thing to take a wrong turn when you’re on you’re own, no stress.
But it’s completely another when you’re actually being followed by a group of people who are relying on your with confidence that you know the way.
I was in Greece to host our Solo Female Travelers Greek Islands Cruise, and our itinerary stops at stunning lesser known gems, though the streets of each city are a maze!
As the trip host, when half of the group loses the other half on the way back to the ship, all I can say is THANKYOU Holafly for keeping me connected in even the most remote Greek Islands, so I could pull out Google Maps and confidently say ‘it’s this way!’
It’s well known that I am an advocate for women traveling on their own, and that I actively speak out against the guilt society place on women for taking time away from their family, specifically their children. You can read this post. And this post.
For me to go to Greece, I left my 2 year old with my parents. He flew with me to Europe, and I put him on the Eurostar with Poppy & Grandma to tear it up in Paris.
While updating social media or messaging friends may not be critical to survival when you’re abroad, it’s still important for mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Being online meant I could Facetime and message to check in on my son, even though I knew he was in incredibly good hands, and having the time of his life in France.
This also means being able to call home if you’re away on birthdays or special occasions, keep your family updated if they’re concerned about your safety (there were recent earthquakes in Morocco and Tuscany for example), and chat with friends if you ever feel homesick.
The emotional support by social ties is massively important for psychological well-being, and messaging apps allow you to maintain those connections even when you’re not in the country.
Overall Satisfaction and Recommendation
I’m extremely happy that I chose a Holafly eSIM, and have bookmarked their site to buy a plan again on my next trip.
And they are the most trusted eSIM company if you jump to their Trustpilot reviews, so it’s great to know that my experience is shared by thousands of other users. When I researched eSIM options, other companies had very different perceptions and reviews compared to Holafly.
Local SIM cards will always be cheaper than any eSIM on the market, but having directly compared the two options on this 6 week Europe trip, I literally saved hours using a Holafly eSIM, for the convenience of a 5 minute installation which worked seamlessly as I moved throughout Europe.
Their strength, speed, and reliability of data directly compared to the service I got from the local SIMs I picked up in each country (Three in UK / Cosmote in Greece / Orange in Spain), and there was no difference in actual service.
Local SIM cards have previously been the only option for having a local number, but now Holafly offers this on their European sim cards (for regions outside of Europe you’ll still need a local SIM for calls).
And on an unlimited plan, I never ran out of data, despite heavy use of apps like Google maps, video calling apps, email, social media use, and constant payments through Apple Wallet.
Smart travelers are using eSIMs now when they travel, and with unlimited plans, and calling options in Europe, Holafly is the smartest choice on the market.
Use this link and discount code for a 5% discount on Holafly: MappingMEGAN – the Holafly discount will work regardless of whether you’re buying for Europe or another region of the world.
If You Liked This Post You May Also Like: