Traveling in Europe is an exciting and enriching experience that many people dream of. That’s why over 585 million people visited Europe in 2022. However, as with any trip, planning is essential to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. One aspect of travel planning that has become increasingly important in recent years is the amount of data one needs to stay connected with their loved ones while abroad.
As more rely on their phones for social media and travel apps, accessing the internet on the go has become essential for many travelers. However, it can be confusing to determine the amount of data needed for the different apps used on a phone. In this article, we will share all the details of how much data you might need for traveling in Europe and offer tips on how to stay connected without breaking the bank.
We will also provide a breakdown of the most common question, “how much data do I need?” for common apps most travelers use, making it easier for you to determine the total amount of data you need for your trip.
What are Megabytes (MBs) and Gigabytes (GBs)?
To know the amount of data you need for your trip, you first need to understand these two terms: Megabytes and Gigabytes. Megabytes (MB) and Gigabytes (GB) are units of digital information commonly used to measure the size of files or the amount of data used for internet browsing or app usage on mobile devices. One gigabyte is equivalent to 1,000 megabytes.
With this article, we will refer to these two terms (GB and MB), so it is important to know what they mean and the difference between the two. Most of the data plans you subscribe to will usually be measured in GBs or MBs.
How to monitor data usage on the phone while traveling abroad?
Monitoring the amount of data your phone is using will help you know the apps that are consuming your data. With this information, you may choose to disable internet connection for non-essential apps that might be consuming more data than you expect them to. It also eases the process of knowing the data you may need for the remaining days of your trip.
The good news is that both iOS and Android have built-in data tracking tools that you can use to know how much data the different apps are using within a given period. Here is how you can check data usage on iOS and Android.
Checking data usage on iPhone
If you are using an iPhone with a recent version of iOS, here is how you can check your data usage.
- Open the [Settings] on your iPhone
- Tap on [Cellular Data]
- Scroll down to the section labeled “Cellular Data Usage” This section will show you how much data (the total data) you have used in the current billing cycle
· For a complete breakdown of the data usage by app, scroll down further, and you will see all the apps that have used your mobile data. The number next to each app shows how much data it has used.
· If you want to reset your data usage statistics to zero, scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap on “Reset Statistics.” We recommend resetting states as soon as you start your trip, as it will make it easier to know the amount of data you have used during the trip.
Checking data usage on Android
If you are using a Samsung, Google Pixel, or any other android device, here is how you can check your data usage.
- Open the [Settings] on your phone
- Tap on [Network & Internet] or [Connections], depending on your device
- Tap on “Data usage” or “Mobile data usage”
· While in Data Usage, you should see a graph of your data usage over the current billing cycle. The graph will show how much data you have used on a daily or monthly basis.
· To view a breakdown of data usage by app, scroll down to the “App usage” or “Mobile data usage” section. You should now see all the apps that have used mobile data, along with the amount of data used by each app.
· To set a data usage warning or limit, tap on “Data warning” or “Data limit.” You can set a warning to alert you when you’ve reached a certain amount of data usage, or you can set a limit to automatically disable mobile data when you’ve reached a certain amount of usage.
· You may reset your data usage statistics to zero if you want to start measuring afresh. Simply tap on the three-dot menu icon in the top-right of your phone’s screen and select “Reset data usage” or “Reset statistics.”
Data usage for popular activities with mobile phone
To know the total amount of data you need, you must first understand the data some of the most common activities use. In this section, we will share estimates of data usage for all the common apps you will likely use during your travel to Europe.
How much data do I need to send emails, browse the web, or search for places on google maps?
Sending and receiving emails with no attachments requires about 10KB to 50KB per email, depending on the number of words included. If you add an attachment, the data needed will increase based on the size of the attachment.
- Browsing the web
Browsing the web for one hour takes about 20MB to 100MB, depending on the amount of multimedia content on the page. If you are viewing plain text web pages, you will need less data than someone browsing web pages with many images or videos.
- Searching on Google Maps
The amount of data you need to search on Google Maps is about 5MB to 25MB. If you enable street view or 3D view, the data needed may increase to over 150MB.
How much data do I need for streaming music / video?
Streaming audio music on Apple Music or Spotify requires about 50MB to 100MB per hour for standard quality.
Streaming videos on YouTube requires around 250MB per hour for standard definition (SD) videos and 1.5GB per hour for high definition (HD) videos.
How much data do I need for social media and uploading photos?
Using social media apps, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., requires around 30MB to 150MB per hour, depending on the amount of multimedia content on the app. Uploading images can increase your data usage by 1 to 2 MB per image.
How much data do I need for video calling?
The amount of data you need for video calls is about 500MB per hour for SD video calling (the default for most video calling apps) and over 1.5GB per hour for HD video calling.
How much data do I need for tethering?
The amount of data you need for tethering will vary depending on the tasks you perform on the tethered device. If you tether your laptop, below is a breakdown of the data you will use.
- Basic web browsing: 20-50MB per hour
- Email and messaging: 5-10MB per hour
- Video conferencing (standard quality): 150-300MB per hour
- Video streaming (SD quality): 250-500MB per hour
- Video streaming (HD quality): 1-2GB per hour
- Online gaming: 50-100MB per hour
Summary chart of major apps’ data usage
|App||1 hour||1 week |
(1 hour of usage per day)
|1 month |
(1 hour of usage per day)
|100KB (with no attachments)||700KB||3 MB|
|Social media||30MB to 150MB||210MB to 1.05GB||900MB to 4.5GB|
|YouTube||250MB to 1.5GB||1.75GB to 10.5GB||7.5GB to 45GB|
|FaceTime||500MB to 1.5GB||3.5GB to 10.5GB||15GB to 45GB|
|Apple Music / Spotify||50MB to 100MB||350MB to 700MB||1.5GB to 3GB|
|Google Maps||15MB to 25MB||105MB to 175MB||450MB to 750MB|
|Web browsing||20MB to 100MB||140MB to 700MB||600MB to 3GB|
How much is a certain data amount?
Now that we know the different amounts of data you need for different apps, let’s share what one can do with different data configurations.
How much is 1GB of data?
With 1GB of data, you can stream YouTube for 30 minutes, FaceTime for 30 minutes, use Google Maps for one hour, browse the web for one hour, stream audio music for one hour, and still have some data left to spare. 1GB of data is ideal for light users who only want to use their data for important tasks.
If you fall under the category of lighter users, the following eSIM Europe plans will be good enough for you.
· eSIM Europe Unlimited Lite
Offers 500MB/day LTE speeds and unlimited data at 3g speeds. This costs $7.99 for 7 days, $12.99 for 15 days, and $20.99 for 30 days.
· eSIM Europe Unlimited Basic
Offers 1GB/day LTE speeds and unlimited data at 3g speeds. This costs $11.99 for 7 days, $18.99 for 15 days, and $30.99 for 30 days.
· eSIM Europe Fixed 500MB
Offers 500MB, valid for one day at $3.99. Recommended for people who want to give it a try for a day.
How much is 3GB of data?
With 3GB data, you can find 7,500 routes with Google Maps, listen to 6000 songs on Spotify, and watch 3.6hrs videos on YouTube. A 3GB data plan is ideal for “above-average” users who need slightly more data per day than light users.
Here are some eSIM Europe plans you can check out if you fall under this category of users.
· eSIM Europe Unlimited Pro
Offers 2GB per day at full LTE speeds and unlimited data at 3GB speeds. This plan costs $16.99 for 7 days, $27.99 for 15 days, and $45.99 for 30 days.
· eSIM Europe Fixed 3GB
You will get 3GB of data valid for 30 days. This plan costs $12.99.
How much is 10GB of data?
With 10GB of data, you can find 25,000 routes, listen to 2,000 songs, and watch 12hrs videos on YouTube. Or you can stream YouTube for 5 hours, FaceTime for 5 hours, use Google Maps for 10 hours, browse the web for 10 hours, stream audio music for 10 hours, and still have some data left.
For those who want to use a lot of data during your trip, here is a recommended eSIM Europe plan.
· eSIM Europe Fixed 10GB
A 10GB per day plan is ideal for heavy users who intend to use their phones for several hours each day. For light users, 10GB can be enough for the whole month. If you fall under this category, consider checking out the Fixed 10GB plan that eSIM Europe offers. You will get 10GB, valid for a month, at $29.99.
How much is 50GB of data?
With 50GB, you can find 125,000 routes with Google Maps, listen to 10,000 songs on Spotify, and watch 60hrs videos on YouTube. Or you can stream YouTube for 25 hours, FaceTime for 25 hours, use Google Maps for 50 hours, browse the web for 50 hours, stream audio music for 50 hours, and still have some data left.
If you need a heavy amount of data while business travel, this eSIM Europe plan might suit you.
· eSIM Europe Fixed 50GB
50GB of data per month is enough for most heavy users. If you are a heavy user, consider checking out the Fixed 50GB plan that eSIM Europe offers. With this plan, you will get 50GB, valid for a month, at $99.99.
The average amount of data travelers use
The amount of data travelers need may vary depending on the tasks they do and the length of their trip. For most travelers, 500MB to 1GB per day is good enough to do the core tasks. It should be noted that travelers usually use their data for essential tasks, unlike domestic carrier users, who may want to do way too much on the internet since they have a lot of time on them.
But before you choose, which plan to subscribe to, first determine the apps you intend to use. You should then refer to the table we shared to determine how much data is needed to ensure the core apps you need always have internet access whenever you want to use them.
Hoping that this guide will assist you in determining the amount of data you require and the best plan to subscribe to. As we mentioned earlier, different users have varying data needs. Therefore, begin by evaluating your data requirements and then choose the data plan that best suits your needs.
If you are still uncertain about which data plan to subscribe to, please do not hesitate to contact eSIM Europe for more precise recommendations.