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Welcome to the Brightroam Blog. Follow us to stay up-to-date on the latest Brightroam news, announcements and promotions, as well as international travel tips and technology update. For more information regarding our products and services please visit our website.

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How to make best use our of your gadgets while traveling

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How to make the best use out of your gadgets while traveling

Cellphones follow us wherever we go and they deserve a seat on the plane as well. If you are traveling with your cellphone this summer, here are some tips on how you can use them to save time, money and make the most out of your trip!

Whenever you travel, it is always a good idea to pack lightly. If you have a smart phone, you can skip packing the camera, the guidebook, the dictionary, and the GPS. Here’s why:

  • Most smart phones come with cameras that have high megapixels; you can even edit and share your photos with apps such as Instagram!
  • There are many apps out there made specially for traveling. Popular destinations nearby, how to ask locals where the closest train station is, everything is within the reach of your pocket. There’s even an app called “World Lens” that translates foregin signs you find (No more mistaking that “Do Not Enter” sign with “Welcome”.)
  • There is no doubt that everyone needs a map or a GPS while traveling. Instead of packing so many things, using the built-in GPS and map application on your phone can be a lot more convenient.

If you travel with an international SIM card and want to make a phone call back to United States or Canada, use this website to search up what you have to dial to make that call.

Taking photos can help you more than you think.

  • Take a photo of your hotel (with the hotel name in it and the names of the intersection.) This can be useful if you are taking a cab back to your hotel and can’t speak the local language
  • Take a photo of where you parked if you would be driving (e.g. parking lot number and specific landmarks) so that you can easily locate your car later.

Lastly, make sure you have the appropriate charger for your phone because voltage ranges vary around the world. This is a great visual guide for international socket shapes.


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INFOGRAPHIC: How to Avoid Roaming Charges

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INFOGRAPHIC: How to Avoid Roaming Charges

The summer means its traveling season! But don’t let roaming fees ruin your vacation, for more tips on how to avoid these outrageous bills click here.


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4 Actions You Can Take Now to Prevent Jaw-Dropping Roaming Bills

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4 Actions You Can Take Now to Prevent Jaw-Dropping Roaming Bills

With expensive hotel rates, fancy restaurants and transportation expenses, shocking roaming bills have also contributed to the high cost of vacations. Many cell phone users are unaware of the fact that they will be charged more than usual for using their phones outside certain zones.

Here are 4 actions you can take to avoid the outrageous roaming bill:

  1. Enable airplane mode while traveling. The airplane mode prevents any calls and texts to be sent/received. Different phones (iPhone, Samsung) have different settings for example, the iPhone also blocks Location Services while the airplane mode is enabled. This function is useful for preventing any possible charges while traveling to your destination while still having access to music, games, and calendar.
  2. Get an international SIM card before leaving so you can enjoy local rates for calling, texting and data. In the end, this may be cheaper than making that one call using the hotel phone’s outrageous rates.
  3. Turn off data roaming on your phone.
  4. This will prevent your phone from using data on the road while outside the range of your carrier’s cell phone towers.


    Settings → General → Network → Data Roaming → Off


    Manage Connections Icon → Mobile Network Options → While Roaming → Off


    Home → Menu → Settings → Wireless & Networks → Mobile Networks → Data Roaming → Off

  5. Even if you have an international data plan, it is easy to go over any data plan’s limit if you are not careful. Keep in mind that although your phone is tucked away in your pocket, it may still be using a significant amount of data by pushing emails, syncing to your social media, and having automatic application updates. Navigate the settings on your phone to turn off automatic fetching of data.

Here’s an example of how much it could cost you to roam in France:

  • Incoming/Outgoing Calls – $1.39/minute
  • Data – $20/MB
  • Incoming Texts – $0.20/message
  • Outgoing Texts – $0.50/message

Be sure you know your roaming alternatives next time you travel to avoid outrageous roaming bills!

4 Memorable Ways to Spend your London Afternoon

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4 Memorable Ways to Spend your London Afternoon

With the London Games fast approaching, millions of visitors will be watching the game live. Make the most out of your vacation by traveling to some of the most notable places in the UK.

Unusual restaurants

Eating in the dark? Traveling through a maze to get to your table? These spots are definitely hard to forget even long after your trip

Dans Le Noir

Eat and drink in the dark. This is the perfect chance to test your taste buds, because you can’t actually see what you’re eating. A rich dining experience with the help of blind guides.

Beach Blanket Babylon

An old Georgian Mansion in Notting Hill. Explore the intriguing tunnels and bridges connecting each room. The restaurant will make you feel like you have traveled back in time, dining in rooms such as the “Crypt” within a giant maze.

Watch the famous Olympic torch relay

On the last day of the relay, July 26, drop by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to cheer on the athletes and philanthropists who will be carrying the torch towards the finish line. Click here for the route to cheer on them on. To access the routes on your phone, you can download the official London 2012 mobile app with a UK data plan.

For the Nature Lovers

From street arts to gardens, discover the beauty of London in its most free form.

Hyde Park

With a slight resemblance of Central Park in Manhattan, Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London. This park is also right next to the Kensington Gardens, which was once a private garden of Kensington Palace.

The Serpentine Lake is situated in the middle of the park where you can take a boating ride on UK’s first solarshuttle. The park is also within a 10-minute drive to the Buckingham Palace, it is definitely one of the Royal Parks that you don’t want to miss.

Regent’s Park

At this Royal Park, there is something to do for all types of travelers. Live performances take place in the park’s outdoor theatre with productions such as “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

The London Zoo is located within “Regent’s Park”. This summer, “Zoo Lates” is hosted every Friday night (In June and July) after hours where visitors can discover numerous animal demonstrations including nocturnal creatures.

Spot the “Giant Olympic Rings” all around UK

To celebrate the Olympics, The Rings ornament cities to welcome visitors. These are three of the many places where you can spot the giant rings.

Birmingham Airport


River Thames


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INFOGRAPHIC: What to Expect at the London 2012 Games

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INFOGRAPHIC: What to Expect at the London 2012 Games

The London Games are coming up fast and there might still be tickets left. For more tips on watching the games click here.


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Five Mistakes You Want to Avoid While Traveling to the Olympics

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Five Mistakes You Want to Avoid While Traveling to the Olympics

With the Olympics coming up in less than a month, everyone is searching for ways to maximize their London experience. For those who will be watching the Olympics on the big screen, there are also some useful advice for you.

Mistake #1: Not doing research on transportation

Prioritize the top venues you want to attend each day and try to arrive a few hours before the start of the event to avoid the rush. To save time, book a hotel close to the venue of the game. However, booking a far hotel can save you money.

Keep in mind that your Olympic ticket will give you free transportation for the day of the event.

Mistake #2: Packing unnecessary items on your trip (A light traveler is a smart traveler)

Try to limit the number of valuables you bring (Anything that you would hate losing). Items such as shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and other toiletries will be provided at the hotel, so you can skip them on your packing list (You can ask for toothbrushes and razors at the hotel service desk when not provided in the rooms).

Mistake #3: Not bringing an international SIM card or not realizing you need one

Most hotels in London charge a hefty price on international calls and Wi-Fi so being prepared is key. Getting international sim cards will provide the convenience of calling family and friends back at home and you can even replace the heavy GPS with your smart phone. With the UK SIM card, you will get greater coverage at every London 2012 Olympic venue. Apps are also great for planning your itinerary by using the “Official London 2012 Mobile Apps”.

Mistake #4: Booking a last-minute hotel

Unfortunately, hotels in London are already starting to get fully booked around the time of the Olympics and they generally charge more for last-minute bookings especially during a global event like the Olympics. If you are unsure about the credibility of how a hotel or hostel appears to you, go on for an official list of trustworthy accommodations.

Mistake #5: Booking a hotel that is over your budget

You probably won’t find it surprising that hotel prices are hiked up during the Olympics. The lowest price of an average hotel room is about $300 a night and this can add up to $1000 if you are only staying for three or four days. Book early and use site such as to get deals on discounted hotel rooms.

Tips for those watching from the big screen:

  • If you’re at the Olympics without a ticket, have no fear! You can watch the Olympics on the big screen for free at various locations throughout the city (Victoria Park, Hyde Park, and Trafalgar Square).

The ceremonial Olympic torch fire is currently being carried by 8000 torchbearers (philanthropists to athletes) over a span of a 70-day Torch Relay. To see how inspirational each torchbearer is, find today’s torchbearers here.


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What you need to know before traveling to Italy

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A country with an abundance of art, food, history and a fiery team in the 2012 Euro Cup, Italy is a travel destination that promises not to disappoint. Maximize your experience by planning ahead, learning some Italian food phrases and getting an Italian SIM card.

Buon Appetito

One of the many delicious Italian dishes can be found while feasting on a plate of antipasto. It is generally the first course of a meal consisting of cheese, vegetables and pickled meat. This is the best time to chat with friends over prosciutto (cured ham), marinated olives, and even figs on mozzarella. Finishing up the meal with an espresso or cappuccino is perfect preparation for a late-night snack of pistachio flavoured gelato.

Gelato (Italian ice cream) is a famous dessert not only recognized in Italy but also worldwide. In Italy, many people come on the streets late at night to have gelato with family and friends. Next time, why not try the pistachio flavour?

Affogato is an Italian beverage usually consisting of vanilla gelato topped with a shot of espresso. The ultimate two-in-one coffee and dessert!

Exploring the Past

When visiting Italy, make sure to add the lost city of Pompeii to your itinerary. Almost 2000 years after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the city still acts as a reminder to the great forces nature holds over humans.

While the gondolas were traditionally used as a means of transportation, today it is a great way to explore the city and sometimes used for rowing races. For about 40 minutes, you will be serenaded while enjoying the view of the Grand Canal.

Other places that you cannot miss:

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Took about 200 years to build).
  • The Coliseum of Rome (Built in 70 AD).
  • The Amalfi Coast (Beaches, mountains and fjords).
  • The fashion capital – Milan (Make sure to shop on Via Monte Napoleone – this street houses some of the top designers).


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Holiday in Spain

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Summer of 2012 means another shot at picking the perfect vacation. This year, what’s more perfect than immersing yourself in Spain’s culture and food?

There are many tapas bars scattered in the streets of Madrid. After tasting the pickle skewers, deep-fried chili peppers and Iberian ham, you may find yourself at the hotel with no internet and outrageous rates for calling back to your loved ones in North America. So much for emailing them the pictures you took today or even giving them a five-minute greeting from the capital of bullfighting.

Don’t waste time searching for an internet café. Before leaving home, find a Spain SIM card with a data plan. Sharing your real time vacation photos with your Facebook friends will become easy and affordable. (99% cheaper than your carrier’s roaming rates.)

Things to do in Spain (and some fabulous photos):

  • The Canary Islands is a must-see when you visit Spain. Whether it is exploring the volcanoes, underwater diving, or stargazing under one of the most cloudless skies in the world, the Canary Islands definitely has a niche for every type of traveler.
  • La Tomatina is an annual food fight festival in Spain that has been around for about 70 years. Join in this summer for the biggest tomato food fight you’ll have in your life.
  • Drop by Madrid for one of the best bullfighting spectacles at the Las Ventas stadium on Plaza de Torros.
  • The list goes on and on…Happy vacationing!


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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.

    Feelin’ Blue

    This morning, the LA Times advised Beyonce & Jay-Z’s newly born daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, of a few places she should travel to given her namesake.

    While the list was pretty cool (the Blue Hole of Belize looks tropically tempting right about now…), there’s one “blue” spot they missed – Blue Mountain in Ontario, Canada!

    We’re sure little Blue Ivy would adore a little outdoor action, whether it be downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, golfing…the list goes on!

    With all there is to do and see, it’s quite a different “blue mountain” than those in Australia (which did make the list, by the way).

    The most intriguing spots on the list, though, were the Blue Zones – areas around the globe where explorer, educator and public speaker Dan Buettner discovered his keys to happiness through lifestyle; a few of the locations include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California.

    Why are these spots so great? According to the Blue Zones website, they are “verifiable parts of the world where people live the longest and report the highest levels of well-being.”

    Sounds pretty good, right? What would make a trip to these lifestyle-improving locales even better? The peace of mind that you could stay in touch with loved ones during your trip, and a Brightroam SIM card is your ticket to fearless roaming world-wide!

    After all, why should little Blue Ivy have all the happiness to herself?