Last year on my trip to NOLA, I wrote about the joys of eSIM. For this year’s trip across the pond, I was more organized, and managed to buy from Airalo before leaving the UK.
There still doesn’t seem to be a way to obtain a US phone number via eSIM as a short term visitor, but I suspect the blocker there is regulatory rather than commercial.
For the rest? I was able to scan the QR code in advance, and a couple of minutes’ poking at the APN settings when we landed got me a working data connection.
Of course, I was travelling to some more rural areas this time, where as expected there was no mobile coverage at all - but in Denver, Billings and Jackson, I had the data connection I needed for maps etc.
Now all we need is for eSIM to become standard across a wider range of handsets and networks, and we can finally say goodbye to the 1990s physical constraints.