Archives for Australia travel

The Biggest Expense Travellers Pay For (Besides Credit Card Bills)

About a month ago, I packed my bags and set off on my summer vacation to Australia. Aside from the gorgeous sightseeing, awesome shopping and the great time I had, I also managed to save big time on my phone bill! It was a total win-win…win? I’m no stranger to that all to familiar story of a friend or family member going on vacation and coming back to a phone bill stretching over hundreds of dollars. And I can thankfully say I wasn’t another one of the victims thanks to a little help from Brightroam.

Since I was taking my phone (Galaxy S4, carrier locked) I considered adding an international/roaming plan to my existing plan with Bell. Before I got the chance to call, my best friend came over to help me pack and enlightened me upon the awesome deal her parents managed to find. She said at first her parents were going to do the same thing as me with the whole add-on plan, but then they did some shopping around and stumbled across an organization called Brightroam. Turns out Brightroam is quite infamous for their low, and I mean LOW, travel phone rates to US, UK, Europe, Australia, Mexico, Caribbean, India and many more countries. It seemed promising so they decided to give it a shot.

When they got to the Terminal 3 departures lounge at Pearson International Airport they stopped by the kiosk and picked up a SIM card, saving themselves a lot of hassle and money. So I took her and her parents’ advice and stopped by the kiosk after security check to see what they had in-store and boy was I glad I did! Turns out everyone was right. With the Brightroam SIM plans, I got myself:

- free incoming calls and texts (Brightroam rates: outgoing calls – $0.35/min, outgoing texts – $0.30/text; Bell rates: outgoing calls – $2.00/min and $0.75/text)

- a bucket load of savings on a data plan! ($34.95/month for 1GB of data which is roughly 75% savings)

- no roaming data charges (that many people would otherwise be charged hundreds of $$$s for by their service provider if they don’t opt for an add-on)

- 90 days of activation (with the option to extend the activation as needed)

- no commitments/contracts… a simple pay-per-use international SIM card with a free local number included

I was also able to snag a compatible international phone since mine was locked. With everything said and done, I ended up spending roughly $250 on the phone + SIM. usage  Of course the next month I would only pay for my usage which wound up to be around $50/month for my usage (talk/text and data)! … And of course not everyone sees that number as a huge bundle of savings, but there are more cost effective deals that can fit everyone’s needs.

All-in-all, my experience with Brightroam was entirely positive. The salesperson was very informative and helpful, the service was great and I was able to use it the very next day (major advantage of getting your services at the airport is on-site activation). And of course, it goes without saying that the next time I travel, I am definitely paying Brightroam a visit before I board! So, don’t get ripped off and pay extra! Be wise and make the right decisions when it comes to your hard-earned money! Try Brightroam (and compare any rates in case of doubt) if you’re looking to save. Think of it this way, the more money you save on your phone bill, the more spending money you have on your vacation! Go ahead and buy that cute dress you saw at that store or indulge in a few extra drinks at the bar because you can! Savings are good aren’t they?

And so, to all my fellow travellers around the world, Bon Voyage on your next trip, and remember, less is more!