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Why we lowered our SIM card prices

Two reasons.

First, we do everything we can to save you money and provide the best value for travelers who want to use their cell phone – or tablet – without roaming charges. 

Second, there are costs to keeping a SIM card active, but talking to our customers we’ve discovered that everyone – from the occasional tourist to the heaviest business traveler – occasionally wants to enjoy a week or two in an exotic hotspot.  We’ve lowered our purchase price by 86%, so you can use a Brightroam SIM card on a short vacation for just $4.95.  Enjoy.   And keep us posted. We’d love to start sharing your travel stories with our blog readers.

Destination Unknown – Portland, Oregon

Ok, so Portland is actually fairly well known city in the USA – lately, thanks to this:

But aside from being America’s home of hipsters, what’s there to do in Portland?

1) Indulge at the Portland Seafood and Wine Festival

The west coast of the USA is renowned for its divine wines, and during this weekend festival in February, visitors to the Oregon Conventional Center will have the chance to sample from dozens of wineries, restaurants and more.

2) Head over to the Hat Museum

Featuring hats from contemporary designers like Phillip Treacy (a favourite of the British Royals) and noted icons like surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Portland’s Hat Museum is the largest in America and boasts a collection dating back to 1845.

3) Get beamed up at the UFO Festival

Sci-fi enthusiasts are sure to get a kick out of this annual event in May. Take in live music, movie screenings and of course, a costume parade, and embrace your inner alien for a weekend.

4) Stop and smell the roses

Portland is home to the International Rose Test Garden, a lush space with over 8,000 roses (thus giving credit to Portland’s nickname, The City of Roses).

5) Get to The Grotto

Even if you don’t have any religious affiliation, this 62-acre Catholic shrine and botanical gardens is one of Portland’s most peaceful (and popular) attractions.

If you’re thinking of planning a trip to Portland, don’t forget to order your Brightroam USA SIM Card – it’s free until December 31st, 2011!

Free World SIM Card – limited time offer!

Traveling this holiday season?

From now until December 31st, 2011, Brightroam makes communicating while you’re away a cinch with a free World SIM card offer (that would please even the Grinch!).

Save $29 and have peace of mind – you’ll be able to talk, text and surf the web in over 200 countries. Order your card today to ensure fast delivery!

Destination Unknown – Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Florida

How do you compete with the bustle of Miami or the attractions of Orlando? Offer a more serene outlook! Sanibel and Captiva Islands are stone’s throw from Fort Meyers, Florida and its airport, and offer all the natural beauty and recreational fun of the state but at a laid-back pace.

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Things to do in Sanibel & Captiva

1) Bird watch at the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society

Founded in 1945, this refuge is home to approximately 400 species of bird, mammal, fish and amphibian. There are several types of endangered animal who live on this 6,000-plus acre sanctuary, and a day spent there will allow you to appreciate the wonders of nature in an impressive setting.

2) Get your shell on

The islands are known for their abundance of beautiful shells, freshly delivered from the ocean to be uncovered and treasured. The Sanibel “Stoop”, as its known, boasts a varied selection of conch, junonia and cockle shells (to name but a few). But visitors are urged not to take too many, in order to preserve the balance of the islands’ biodiversity. Locals love their shells so much, there’s even a shell museum!

3) Take a dive

There are many man-made reefs and wrecks located near the islands, making for great snorkeling and scuba diving adventures!

4) Visit the Estates of Ford and Edison

Tour the winter homes of two of America’s national heroes – Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Whether you’re interested in the lush lanscaping or the Lab & Museum tour, there’s something for everyone at every age.

5) Call Fore!

Sanibel and Captiva are home to several beautiful golf courses; the Sanctuary Golf Club features an Arthur Hills-designed course, plus a pool, fitness centre and tennis courts.

Capture every moment of your trip with Brightroam’s USA Sim Card – it allows you to talk, text and surf the net, all at a super-low cost!

Destination Unknown – Cleveland, Ohio, USA

In honour of our newly launched USA SIM Card & Cell Phone Bundle, we’d like to explore a few American destinations that are the perfect place to visit this fall!

Located about five hours driving distance from Toronto, Cleveland is often overshadowed by other close-by trip favourites like New York City and Chicago; it’s really too bad, because Cleveland has just as much culture, cusine and as many fun attractions as any other major US city!

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Things to do in Cleveland

1) Rock out at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Probably the biggest tourist attraction in the city, there’s good reason why – boasting permenant exhibitions about The Beatles, Films at the Rock Hall, and Treasures from the Vault (including artifacts from legends like Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin and The Bee Gees), plus a cool roster of visiting exhibitions like Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power, there’s something for every music fan.

2) Take part in a Taste Cleveland Food Tour

If you’re passionate about food, this is the sightseeing tour for you! There are several tour types to choose from – our pick is the Westside Food Market, for its array of treats from artisenal cheeses to an olive oil tasting, plus the city’s best falafel is said to be there.

3) Thrill seek at Cedar Point

With all there is to do in and around Cedar Point park and resort, it’s no wonder it’s a top-rated attraction in the USA. From rollercoasters to Challenge Park (which has activities ranging from go-karting to RipCord), you can indulge your fear factor – and maybe even conquor it – with a trip to Sandusky Island.

4) Treat your ears to the Cleveland Institute of Music‘s student orchestra

Every year, the renowned CIM Orchestra performs (usually at no cost) at the gorgeous Severence Hall. The repetoire ranges from symphonic works to concertos, and spans generations of compositional talent.

5) Behold the Holden Arboretum

You can imagine how beautiful this 3,500 acre outdoor museum is in the fall! There are several tours to take part in (including a tram tour), and until late October, their Leaf Trail is out of this world. It’s also the only place in the Arboretum where leaf collecting is permitted!

Stay connected in Cleveland with Brightroam’s USA SIM Card or Cell Phone Bundle, which include wireless data services.

Plan A Stress-Free Business Trip

Traveling on business can be a great job perk, but it doesn’t come without its share of stress. From last-minute arrangements to getting lost (and being late for a meeting), there are many variables that could account for a snag in your plans. Here are some foolpoof tips to help you prepare for and enjoy your next business trip!

1) Travel Early In The Day

Early flights are less likely to be delayed, and you’ll end up at your destination with time to tackle whatever job lies ahead.

2) Be Prepared

Give yourself ample time to prepare for your day; remember, you’re in an unfamiliar place with its own unique pace. Arrange for a cab or car service to meetings the previous day so there’s no last minute planning to be done. Familiarize yourself with your hotel’s location, with attention paid to any meeting areas you’ll be visiting, as well as places to dine with and entertain clients.

3) Take Care

Nothing derails your daily schedule like a cold. Be pro-active – stay hydrated, get some exercise, and wash your hands regularly.

4) Use Your Free Time Wisely

Enjoy your down time by sightseeing; business trips can be taxing on your nerves, and the best way to unwind is by taking a long walk and taking in the sights. Book a massage at your hotel to clear your head, or purchase tickets to a show for an evening of relaxation.

5) Don’t Overconsume

Wining and dining is usually part of a business traveler’s itinerary, but too much revelry can leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive. Getting a good night’s sleep and delivering a professional, memorable presentation will be more impressive to your host than going overboard on a night out.

6) Stay In Touch During Your Travels

Brightroam recently launched its new USA SIM Card and USA Cell Phone Bundle, making it easier for you to call, text or surf the net from anywhere in America. Save up to 87% on voice and 97% on data every time you use your Brightroam SIM or Cell Phone!

Unique Fall Festivals in the USA

Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean the fun is! Fall is a beautiful time to get away with family and friends, and where better to start than with our neighbours to the south in the USA!

Don’t just settle for an ordinary vacation – check out these unusual festivals throughout October & November to help you start planning.

California Avocado Festival (Carpinteria, California)

From October 7th through the 9th, celebrate that nutritious, delicious fruit that goes great with Mexican food. Santa Barbara County is the third largest avocado prouducer in North America, and Avofest is now in its 25th year. Expect plenty to eat, drink and listen to during this tribute to the heart-smart avocado. As organizers say, it’s three days of Peace, Love and Guacamole!

The Chocolate Show (New York, New York)

Few words incite such delirious excitement as “chocolate” – indulge your sweet tooth at the boothes of over 30 exhibitors from around the world.

Big Pig Jig (Vienna, Georgia)

Barbecue in November? You bet! Check out Georgia’s oldest festival tribute to the tradition of sweet grilled meat. On November 4th & 5th, treat yourself to the whole hog with contests, arts & crafts, and a livestock show.

Boston Book Festival (Boston, Mass.)

Fans of the cult television show The Wire will want to attend the opening event of this year’s BBF; The Art of The Wire is a panel discussion featuring cast members and writer/producer George Pelecanos.

No matter where the spirit of adventure takes you, Brightroam’s USA SIM Card or USA Cell Phone Bundle lets you talk, text and surf the net for much, much less!

Talk Freely When You Travel To The USA

With so much talk about high roaming rates from service providers, Brightroam puts it in plain sight! Check out the comparison chart for our new USA SIM Card vs. the rates provided by Rogers.

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Learn more about our new USA SIM Card & USA Cell Phone Bundle, and how you can save big when you go anywhere in the States.

Destination Unknown – Leipzig, Germany

It may not have Berlin’s notorious nightlife or Munich’s museums, but Leipzig is known for its historical happenings and famous past residents (including Bach and Geothe).

Just a few hours south of the bustle of Berlin, this fast-growing city has it’s own cultural cache, including the Thomaskirche (the church where Bach played organ), and Spinnerei Gallery. The gallery used to be an old cotton manufacturing plant, and its tagline, From Cotton To Culture, demonstrates the shift in Leipzig from industrial town to up-and-coming metropolis.

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5 Things To Do in Leipzig

1) Attend Bachfest

Indulge in some high culture at the city’s renowned festival to honour perhaps their most famous resident, Johann Sebastian Bach. Not just for hardcore classical music lovers, the festival also includes programming for children and families – a great way for everyone to enjoy the day!

2) Visit the Church of St. Nicholas

Visually stunning, the Church is not just an iconic religious symbol; it holds great significance in the 1989 demonstrations against Communism that began in East Germany and lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their motto is now “Open To All”.

3) Take in the Leipzig Festival Of Lights

Another mesmerizing emblem of the peaceful revolution in Leipzig, the day-long project illuminates the route taken by protesters in 1989, and includes concerts and art installations.

4) Experience Amazonia

As if the beauty of Leipzig weren’t enough, the Asisi Panometer will surely astound you! The world’s largest 360 degree panorama, Amazonia is Yadegar Asisi’s “magical picture of nature”. At a scale of 1:1, the representation of Brazil’s rainforest is unique and quite unbelievable.

5) Spend the day at the Belantis Theme Park

With roller coasters, water rides, and a castle to boot, Belantis is a huge attraction ready to receive guests from children to the young at heart. Get your Segway driver’s license for an added sense of adventure!

Stay connected in Germany with Brightroam’s Germany SIM card, which includes wireless data services.

Be Prepared For Back-To-School Abroad

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Now that the Labour Day long weekend is over, all parents’ thoughts have returned to back-to-school mode. Some of us have kids who will be studying abroad this year for homestay programs, exchanges and more. How can you prepare them for a successful year of studying? With a cool care package!

1) An international outlet plug will aleviate the stress of replacing current electronic items.

2) A subscription to their favourite magazine, sent to their new address, is always a nice surprise (who doesn’t like receiving mail?).

3) Find out what the hottest boutique in town is, and purchase a gift certificate for your child to indulge in a little retail therapy.

4) A variety pack of teas is a greaty way to help your child de-stress or re-energize. Green tea is full of antioxidents, and peppermint calms an upset stomach.

5) Buy “airline safe” clear bottles and package up some of your child’s favourite products to bring with them.

6) Brightroam’s World SIM card can be used in over 200 countries, and will keep you and your child connected while they’re away.

It’s never easy seeing your kids off to school, whether it’s just down the street or halfway across the world. Just remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder!