Best Prepaid eSIM For France | Data Plan Buyer’s Guide

0
40

Having reliable mobile data on your phone is essentially required these days when traveling to France. Many travelers spend a fortune (and get slow/inconsistent service) to use their home plan’s international data service but buying a French eSIM data plan is a much cheaper option.

In this guide, I’ll cover how to find the best eSIM for France so you can get fast high-speed mobile data at a fair price.


Using A French eSIM Data Plan Vs Your Plan’s International Data Plan

In most cases, your current mobile phone provider will have an international data plan option but these plans are typically wildly expensive and the service is often both slow, inconsistent, and have limited data allowances.

Many TMobile plans come with free unlimited international data plans but you’re only guaranteed 2g data speeds… which will struggle to load Google Maps or even email.

Or the AT&T International Day Pass costs $10/day. They also have their AT&T Passport plan which is a monthly plan that comes in two options—$70/month for 2GB of data or $140/month for 6GB of data. And then they charge a crazy high overage of $30 per GB.

This is a crazy price.

But you can buy an eSIM from companies like Orange or Holafly and you’ll get plenty of high-speed data for around $2-$3/day.

For more in-depth information, check out The Savvy Backpacker’s guide on How To Use Smartphones and Data Plans In Europe and The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide To Using eSIM data plans in Europe.


Comparing The Best eSIM Data Plans for France

There are a handful of different eSIM mobile providers that specialize in data plans for visitors to France.

Each plan will vary slightly so it’s important to pay attention to the specific details of each plan. But here are the main things to consider:

  • Data Allowance: Most plans give you a set amount of mobile data (i.e. 5GB, 10GB, 30GB, etc) but others give you unlimited data over a set amount of time (5 days, 15 days, 30 days, etc).
  • Plan Length: eSIM data plans can be valid anywhere from about 5 days to 90 days. It depends on your plan so it’s something you’ll want to consider when picking a plan.
  • Mobile Hot Spot Tethering: Most eSIM plans don’t allow you to use your phone as a mobile hot spot.
  • Voice Calls and SMS Texting: Most eSIM plans are data only—which means the plan doesn’t include voice calls or SMS texting. This isn’t much of an issue since you’re probably not going to be calling people anyways.
    • NOTE: You can still use iMessage to “text” between iPhones but you can’t send messages between iPhones and Android phones. Or you can download WhatsApp to send messages over data (which is what most Europeans do).

ORANGE HOLIDAY EUROPE ESIM: $49.90

  • Price: $49.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 20GB (they sometimes give you 30GB of data)
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 120 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 1000 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM plan comes with a French phone number
  • Service works everywhere in the EU

The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM data plan is the “Cadillac” of eSIM plans because it comes with many features you don’t find with other plans—including international voice calling and texts (it gives you an actual French phone number as well). The Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan also allows you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

You’ll get 20GB of data with this plan but they often run specials where they give you an extra 10GB. But even 20GB should be plenty of data for most users.

Orange is also one of the largest mobile companies in France so you’ll always get great coverage and high data speeds.

The potential downside to the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan is that it’s only valid for 14 days once activated so it’s not great for longer visits (but you can always buy a second plan).

I’ve personally used the Orange Holiday Europe plan on a trip to France and it worked super well. Read my Orange Holiday Europe review to hear more.


ORANGE HOLIDAY ZEN ESIM: $29.90

  • Price: $29.90 (Check SimOptions for details)
  • Data: 8GB (they sometimes give you 15GB of data)
  • Service Speed: 4G/LTE
  • Calls: Unlimited within Europe and 30 min outside of Europe.
  • Texts/SMS: Unlimited within Europe and 200 outside of Europe.
  • Credit validity: 14 day
  • Data Tethering: Allowed
  • Usable on any device (phones, tablets, hotspots…)
  • This eSIM plan comes with a French phone number
  • Service works everywhere in the EU

The Orange Holiday Zen eSIM is the budget version of the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan. It comes with 8GB of data and has fewer voice minutes and texts but otherwise it’s the same as the Orange Holiday Europe eSIM plan.

Personally, I’d probably use more than 8GB of data but light data users could easily use less than 8GB of data during a typical 10-14 day trip.

HOLAFLY ESIM: STARTING AT $34.00

Holafly is a new data-only eSIM provider that I’ve previously used on a trip to Europe—the service was great and I got very fast data speeds (read my Holafly eSIM Review to get a more in-depth look). Holafly sells both country-specific French plans and Europe-wide data plans. Holafly isn’t an actual mobile carrier but they rent bandwidth from a local French provider (SFR) so you’re more likely to get less priority on the SFR network during peak usage times.

Unlike other companies, Holafly gives you unlimited data and their plans run from 5 to 90 days. However, Holafly/SFR will throttle your data if you use excessive data but shouldn’t be an issue with most typical data users.

  • Prices For Unlimited Data (Check Holafly for details)
    • 10 Days: $34
    • 15 Days: $47
    • 20 Days: $54
    • 30 Days: $64
    • 60 Days: $84
    • 90 Days: $99
  • Service Speed: 5G/4G/LTE
  • Calls: None
  • Texts/SMS: None
  • Tethering: No

Holafly eSIMs are data only so you don’t get any voice calls or texting with these plans. Holafly doesn’t allow data teathering in most cases so you won’t be able to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.

But I do like how Holafly offers multiple plan options so it fits various trip lengths so you don’t have to over/underbuy for your particular trip.


More France Travel Tips From The Savvy Backpacker

Here are some more of my favorite articles to help you plan your trip to France (and beyond):

James Feess is the creator of The Savvy Backpacker and the author of the book “The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide To Europe On A Budget”. He’s been blogging about budget travel in Europe since 2010.

James FeessJames Feess
Latest posts by James Feess (see all)

No Funny Business

The Savvy Backpacker is reader-supported. That means when you buy product/services through links on the site, I may earn an affiliate commission — it doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps support the site.

Thanks For Reading! — James

Questions? Learn more about our Strict Advertising Policy and How To Support Us.

This article was originally published by Thesavvybackpacker.com. Read the original article here.