Why local SIMs can be an inconvenience on your international trips

By Charlotte Miller

International travel is an enriching experience, offering the opportunity to explore new cultures, taste exotic cuisines, and create lasting memories. Staying connected during these journeys is crucial, but relying solely on local SIM cards can sometimes prove to be more of a hassle than a convenience. In this blog, we’ll delve into the potential inconveniences of using local SIM cards during international trips.

 1. Complicated Activation Processes:

Acquiring and activating a local SIM card in a foreign country can be a time-consuming and intricate process. Language barriers, unfamiliar procedures, and different documentation requirements can lead to unnecessary stress, especially after a long flight.

 2. Limited Coverage:

Local SIM cards often come with coverage limitations, especially in more remote or less touristy areas. This can be a significant inconvenience, particularly if you find yourself in need of connectivity in areas where local networks are sparse or unreliable.

 3. Incompatibility Issues:

Not all phones are compatible with local networks, and unlocking your device may be necessary. This process might involve contacting your home carrier, paying additional fees, or dealing with technical challenges, making it an inconvenience for travellers who simply want a seamless and immediate solution. For example, if you have an eSIM on your phone, then a local SIM might not be an option for you.

 4. Short Validity Periods:

Local SIM cards typically have limited validity periods, ranging from a few days to a month. Constantly monitoring your usage and ensuring that your SIM card remains active can be bothersome, especially if your travels extend beyond the initial validity period.

 5. Security Concerns:

Using local SIM cards might expose travellers to potential security risks. With unfamiliar networks, there is a heightened risk of falling victim to scams, unauthorised access, or unsecured connections. This is particularly crucial for business travellers who need to prioritise data security.

 6. Cumbersome Number Change:

Switching to a local number means informing all your contacts of the change. This can be inconvenient for both personal and professional reasons, as it may lead to missed calls or messages from those who are not aware of your temporary local number.

 7. Roaming Charges for Calls Back Home:

If you choose to use your local SIM card while traveling, making international calls back to your home country can incur steep roaming charges. This defeats the purpose of opting for a local SIM for cost savings.

If the question ‘how to keep my SIM active in abroad’ has been on your mind then, all you have to do is choose an international roaming pack with your telecom operator.


While local SIM cards can be a viable option for some travellers, the inconveniences associated with their acquisition, activation, and usage make them a less-than-ideal choice for many. To enjoy a hassle-free and reliable means of staying connected during international travels, opting for an international SIM card might be a more convenient solution. By choosing an Airtel roaming pack for international trips, you can be stress free.