HelloSIM Blog Archives - HelloSim Travel SIM Card
Barcelona_Lifehacks
29.06.2018

Traveller’s Lifehacks – Barcelona

 

Barcelona is, without any doubt, on the bucket list of hundreds of thousands in people in the world. Barcelona appeals travelers with its beaches, sun, food, nightlife, and cultural heritage. A trip to Barcelona should be perfect, exciting, memorable full of new sensations, emotions, and amazing photos.

Cool! Whoa! Ah and Oh! Yes, you are in Barcelona, and if you’ve got some info about this huge cosmopolitan city beforehand, you are lucky enough not to fall in those numerous tourist traps which are so typical to big cities. Let’s go ahead for Barcelona lifehacks and see what we should and shouldn’t do in Barcelona!

 

Transport

Consider buying an all-inclusive travel pass which will allow you to use all kinds of transport-metro, buses, tram system. Another good option is Barcelona Card which will also give entry to most of Barcelona’s major attractions. The passes can be bought online, which will save you time.

 

Rent a bike

Great news for bike lovers. Bike rental in Barcelona is affordable and easy. Just browse the internet to find a range of companies offering bikes, starting from 6 Euros per day. Usually, bike lockers are included in the price.

 

Walk

This advice is based on the reviews of thousands of tourist. If you want to see the real Barcelona, just walk. Visiting Familia di Sagrada is a must, but when you walk in the city, you can bump into real architectural marvels,  feel the amazing pulse of the city just admire the great Catalonian city.

Barcelona_Lifehacks

 

Water

Unlike many cities in Europe, there are fountains with drinking water in Barcelona, so having a reusable water bottle is a great idea for the traveler, especially when you have decided to go for long walks.

 

Taxis

Try to avoid taxis in Barcelona. Having so many options for public transport, walking, and cycling, expensive taxis are only good when you are short of time.

Barcelona lifehacks

 

Dress-Code for Summer

As you are going to explore the city, to walk a lot and have a perfect trip, you should feel comfy, and as Barcelona offers much to people who look for leisure and luxury, you should be at the same time stylish. So the best outfit for Barcelona is a kind of blend of style and flexibility. And of course, summer accessories like hats, sunglasses, and umbrellas are on the must-have list. Avoid wearing swimsuits or beach shorts in the city, don’t enter churches in beach shorts or scantily dressed.

 

Concerts and Festivals in Barcelona

Barcelona is a unique city, where you can have a rest on the beach, have a cultural tour during the day, spend unforgettable time at nightclubs and attend the best concerts and festivals in the world. Generally, party-loving Barcelona boasts a variety of events during summer months and not only, so our advice is to find your favourite events, book tickets online and immerse in the magnificent world of music, dances, and different colourful shows.

 

Food

To be in Barcelona and have meals in McDonalds, Burger Kings and drink coffee in a Starbucks is a crime. Barcelona offers a palette of the tastiest food to try and enjoy. Have a paella feast, enjoy esqueixada, tapas and bombas, aioli sauce and Bunyols de Bacalla. For sweet teeth, Barcelona offers crema Catalana, Leche fritas, and Menjar blanc. You should know, that most of the restaurants in Barcelona are not open until 8 pm, so eating a late dinner in Barcelona is common.

Barcelona Lifehacks

 

Catalan Language

As Barcelona is the capital and the largest city in Catalonia, most people in Barcelona speak Catalan. Of course, you can speak Spanish and English and Italian and Portuguese, most people will understand you. Anyway,  it will be much appreciated, if you learn a phrase or two before leaving for Barcelona. The locals will be happy to hear their native language from a foreigner.

 

Museums

For all the museums in major cities of Europe, we have a general advice. Book tickets online, or take a guided tour. For entering a museum you have to stand in a queue, and if you have been smart enough to have booked a ticket beforehand, you will at least skip the ticket queue, which is as long as the entrance queues.

Barcelona lifehacks

Must visit museums in Barcelona are: National Museum of Catalonia,  CaixaForum, Picasso Museum, which is famous for the fact that artist himself promoted it. , Joan Miró Foundation-a Miró theme Art center, Modern Art Museum of Barcelona, Contemporary Culture Center of Barcelona

 

Choose the right beach

“Platja”-s, i.e. beaches in Barcelona are major tourist attractions, especially in summer. The beaches located to the south of the city are usually more crowded, as they are closer to the city center and the northern beaches have a better sand and have comparatively fewer visitors. One more reminder here: do not stroll in the city center in beach outfit. The biggest and the most famous beach in Barcelona is Barceloneta Beach, but it is practically overcrowded day and night.

Barcelona lifehacks

An interesting fact: the beaches of Barcelona have been created artificially, in 1992 during the Olympic Games.

 

Nightlife

In Barcelona, nightlife begins late, and it features classy and epic parties, top DJs, thriving dances, drinks and tasty food.  Most nightclubs, beach clubs, pubs, open after 12.  You are in Barcelona, go and enjoy yourself, make friends, dance, drink and eat, Barcelona promises you a warm welcome, you will long remember those crazy days in one of the most vibrant cities in the world!

Barcelona_Lifehacks

Wi-Fi

And last, but not least important Barcelona lifehack: getting internet in Barcelona. Overall, Barcelona has rather a large coverage of Wi-Fi, there is a Barcelona city Wi-Fi in the center. Anyhow, so as to ensure reliable connection and not to hunt for free Wi-Fi, you’d rather get a prepaid SIM card with certain GBs of the internet for the period of your travel. Thus you will avoid both roaming charges and time waste.

travellers_Mistakes
29.05.2018

Common Mistakes of First-time Travellers

If every traveller decided to write about the mistakes made during the trips, we would have tons of funny, scary, amusing and touchy stories. Digital world nowadays gives us the opportunity to share those stories , to share experience, help each other and become a smarter traveler- based on another traveller’s experience. So we decided to share some tips and tricks of a smart traveler, and made a list of travellers’ mistakes, that people usually make on their first trip.

#1 Overpacking

You pull out the things from your drawers, put them into the suitcases, and that single thought in your head whispers all the time, have I left anything? Is there anything I should take with me? Did I put enough T-shirts? Stop!

overpacking

First of all check the weather for the destination country, so as to avoid taking whole your wardrobe. Then, make a list of all the necessary things and double, then triple check it. Do you really, really need all those things? After all, if you have decided to go shopping while travelling, your luggage is going to get bigger and heavier.

#2 Thinking that Wi-Fi is everywhere

No, my dear first-time travellers, this is not the case. You will get free Wi-Fi in most parks, airports, stations, museums, or just in the streets. But You ARE going to need internet while travelling, so our advice is: take an international data SIM card with you, so as to stay connected, be able to use social media, make video calls and lives.

travellers'_mistakes

 

Getting a local SIM card is also a good idea, just be careful to choose the right tariff and not to overpay. In some countries you will need to sign a contract and use postpaid data plans, which are not the best option for the travellers. Well, international data SIM card wins, better safe than sorry!

#3 Booking a hotel in the outskirts of the city

If you are on budget, this is of course acceptable. But the thing is, in most cases you spend so much time and money on transport and on the roads, that the difference becomes insignificant.

Travellers'_mistakes

Instead of this, you could start the booking process long before the trip, search for the best hotel deals, look for coupons on the relevant websites. Anyway, if you could not book a hotel near to the city center, try to book a hotel near some metro station. Buy a 3 or 7 days metro pass, because they are always cheaper, than one time tickets.

#4 Not buying insurance

One of the most common mistakes that novice travellers make, is not buying a travel insurance before the trip. Of course, in many countries it is compulsory, but there are ones which do not demand travel insurance.

travellers'_mistakes

We do not want to speak about this point in details; just we would like to say that it is really, really very important. You will never know what will happen with you, especially when you are kilometers away from home. By the way, travel insurance is usually rather affordable, so go ahead and get it before your travel.

#5 Having all your money in a single place

Always divide your cash and credit cards into several parts and keep them in safe parts of your suitcase, bag, backpack or whatever it is. Do not carry a lot of cash with you, just have some to spend, because there are ATMs in all over the world. Most hotel rooms have safe cabinets, so it is a good option to leave some of your money and valuables inside it.

traveller's_mistakes

#6 Disrespecting a foreign culture

This is one of the common travellers’ mistakes, that people even don’t know about. Before the trip, try to find time and read about the culture, habits and traditions of the visited country. In some countries haggling is common, in others you will look weird if you start negotiating over the price. In certain cultures tipping is quite Ok, in others it is offensive. There are countries where you cannot approach a woman to ask guidance, and there are countries where kissing in public is the most common sight.

travellers'_mistakes

#7 Avoiding local food

Travelling means getting to know other cultures, their history, architecture, geography, habits and of course food. Food in foreign countries is sometimes one of the most interesting and amazing ritual that travellers should not avoid. Of course, our advice is always to ask for the ingredients of the unknown dish, especially if you have some sort of allergy. Trying new food can become a real adventure, you taste  new, unknown flavours and texture and have a unique opportunity to show it on, let’s say, Instagram. Very often local food and eating habits tells a lot about that special country, go ahead and order that strange looking dish right now!

travellers'_mistakes

SIM Cards
16.05.2018

The Evolution of SIM Cards

Since 1991 when Giesecke and Devrient supplied the first commercial SIM card to a Finish Network Operator, these cards have evolved from simple mobile phone cards to IoT devices. Today over 7 billion devices connect to cellular networks around the world. The rise of IoT and 5G network is predicted to drive the growth from $6.5 billion in revenue to $20 billion by 2020. Embedded SIM (eSIM) and Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) is increasingly disrupting the traditional market of SIM cards.

IoT SIM Cards now power a variety of different technologies. People tend to use various international and travel cards replacing them with outmoded local SIMs.

The traditional SIM card

The traditional SIM card is a piece of hardware which is removable. The SIM card stores an operator’s profile, which enables identification and authentication of the SIM card with the selected mobile networks.

The physical SIM card has significantly reduced in size. Figure 1 illustrated the physical evolution of the SIM card.

 

evolution_sim_cards

Figure 1

 

Embedded SIM and Remote Provisioning

With the introduction of embedded SIM and remote provisions, the idea of traditional SIM cards has become outmoded. Embedded SIMs, also eSIM or eUICC, are designed to remotely manage multiple network operator connections. They are compliant with GSMA specifications. These cards are physically embedded into the device, which means it cannot be removed.

Remote Provisioning can work on multiple operator networks. It is the ability to remotely change the SIM profile without the need to physically change the SIM card itself. This SIM has extra memory and can hold more than one operator’s profile.

When a consumer purchases a service package, the operator profile is downloaded and saved on the SIM memory. When the same consumer purchases a second operator’s package, the new operator’s profile is downloaded and saved on the same SIM, and the consumer can swap between the two operator’s profiles.

With the ability to work on multiple operator networks, the embedded SIM and remote provision disrupt the specific, fixed profiles which were pre-provisioned into the SIMs during manufacture.

SIM Cards for IoT or M2M SIMs

With technological advancement, SIM cards have penetrated into the field of IoT. IoT SIM cards are also known as M2M SIMs. They provide the connectivity for automated processes. The standard cellular mobile SIM does not offer the same functionalities as IoT SIM cards do.

Smart SIMs integrate well with many devices providing a means to identify and authenticate users and store their data. They can be used in ATM cards and building security access cards.

 

Smart SIMs deliver multi-operator coverage and superior data service quality. They also provide for resilience to outages irrespective of whether the application is global, regional or local.

To differentiate between IoT and M2M we can think of the network of everyday devices that are connected to the internet, which is IoT. IoT drives M2M. It is the process by which two “things” traverse data between them. It means that processes are automated, and there is no need for human interaction.

Why would someone use M2M rather than a standard mobile SIM card? It’s clear that you can’t always rely on fixed Internet connection and that cellular connection can be far more beneficial.

A standards mobile SIM card does not offer the same functionalities. M2M SIM cards are able to provide you with GPRS, 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity. You can also aggregate data across your SIM estate, which means that you can share data across all of your connected devices.

With M2M SIM cards you can have remote access to your devices. You can also use multi-network M2M SIM. With multi-network SIMs you can roam networks on a steered or non-steered basis.

Travel SIM Cards and International SIM Cards

In line with M2Ms, the world is enjoying now cheap travel SIM cards and international SIM cards. They automatically connect to the best signal available on the network. It is a small electronic chip which inserts into a compatible GSM device.

Today many travelers prefer international SIM cards to local cards due to their cost-effectiveness. If you are traveling internationally, your telephone bill may be as much as your airplane ticket cost. With Travel SIM Cards and International SIM cards, you can save a lot as low as  $0.03/MB.

Using your existing SIM card is not a good idea when traveling worldwide. You will spend a fortune on roaming charges. Rather than pay too high roaming charges you can grab an international SIM card.

HelloSIM_Travel_SIM_Card

Most international cards guarantee connectivity in more than 200 countries (HelloSIM). The travelers can enjoy free incoming calls in selected countries and cheaper outgoing calls across the globe. You can save a lot of money since the international card data roaming charges are only a fraction of regular SIM card data services. Standard roaming charges are approximately ten times higher compared with international cards. You can access the Internet from a range of different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Buying an international SIM card is not the best idea if you’re on a long-term trip, but if you are always on the road, it is not worth investing in a new SIM card every time you land.

 

Summary

Keeping up with the developments of digitalization has become a requirement of the day.

We witness the evolution of SIM cards from traditional hardware to IoT devices. Now smart SIM cards provide a new form of digitalization and easy access to connectivity.

In today’s world, international SIM cards are considered a better option for local or regular SIM cards. They are a cheaper alternative to traditional SIM cards.

As technology advances, we predict to see more developments with increased revenue and growth. SIM card as we know it to eventually come to an end. The new SIM will make switching telecom providers a lot easier for everyone.

cooperation-
07.05.2018

PortaSwitch Gives G-Mobile Flexibility to Become a Cross-Border MVNE

G-Mobile creates one-of-a-kind bespoke MVNE infrastructure with PortaBilling® B/OSS at its core

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 2, 2018, /PRNewswire/ — With the increase in global travel, the need for international SIM cards — those small, swappable cards that allow smartphones and other mobile devices to operate properly outside of their home countries — is growing exponentially around the world. When G-Mobile decided to enter that market and become a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) by marketing its own line of travel SIM cards and related services, it believed it could succeed in this very competitive field. A critical prerequisite for the operator, however, was a back-end infrastructure that could be flexible in terms of integration and the delivery of new services — and at the same time, one with low operating costs.

“Because of our unique requirements, we could not use off-the-shelf mobile core components such as HLR, MSC or SMSC, so we went ahead with developing them in-house,” said Armenak Khachatryan, co-founder and chief technology officer of G-Mobile. “We needed a very flexible billing system with open architecture so we could use its existing functionality and then develop further integrations or enhancements on top of that.”

With scalability, reliability, open architecture and cost-effectiveness as its main considerations, G-Mobile found its answer in PortaBilling®, the B/OSS (Business and Operation Support System) and the OCS (Online Charging System) from PortaOne. It is a convergent real-time system for a variety of telecom billing services, including voice, SMS, and data. And what’s unique about PortaBilling® is that its license owner has access to its database, middleware API and even the product’s source code. So this provided unmatched opportunities for integration and platform enhancement, which G-Mobile was eager to utilize.

The development of full mobile core and integration was done in only 14 months and then HelloSIM’s MVNOs went live. Its subscribers now use the service while traveling to more than 200 countries — for incoming calls, outgoing calls (direct and callback), incoming and outgoing SMSs and GPRS mobile data services. This flexible logic that PortaBilling® offers also allows HelloSIM to bill under different scenarios for competitive advantage: customers can be offered promotional or discounted rates such as limited free data, free calls for a pre-defined number of minutes, or rates that vary by time of day or length of the call.

As a part of the network design, HelloSIM implemented an SS7-SIP gateway that allowed them to bring every (incoming or outgoing) subscriber call to PortaSIP® – VoIP softswitch provided by PortaOne.

This expanded the suite available to subscribers with features like “follow-me” to multiple numbers — something that regular mobile subscribers do not have access to. Outgoing calls to international destinations are now routed via the advanced PortaSIP® LCR (least-cost-routing) engine directly to VoIP carriers, thus minimizing operating costs. And following the “open architecture” approach, HelloSIM can implement any custom call handling scenarios directly in PortaSIP®.

After that, another MVNO opportunity opened up in the neighboring country of Georgia. The requirements there mandated a “thin” deployment, whereupon MNO (Mobile Network Operator, the host) provides the full network core and the only thing the MVNO owns is a system for subscriber management (to activate/deactivate SIM cards) and the OCS (for charging subscribers for their activity). Using the “virtual environment” feature of the PortaBilling® platform, this new GeoSIM MVNO was physically deployed on the same platform as the HelloSIM operations. G-Mobile was able to use the existing physical servers and the existing PortaBilling® licenses — the only new component was its integration with the MNO network. Thus G-Mobile became a real MVNE, delivering service to various MVNOs.

Now G-Mobile is in the process of onboarding more MVNOs — since, with the platform ready, each project will require only a small amount of integration work. Another strength that PortaBilling® has, stated Khachatryan, is its ability to integrate with third-party applications such as CRM solutions, portals, and payment processes. “The API is very easy to use, which saves us development time and cost,” he said.

For more information about PortaOne and its PortaSwitch® unified B/OSS and softswitch platform, email PortaOne at contact@portaone.com, or call 866 SIP VOIP (866 747 8647) or +1 604 628 2508 outside North America. To learn more about HelloSIM, visit www.hellosim.com, email at info@hellosim.com or call +995550000111.

About PortaOne:

Based in Canada, PortaOne is a leading developer of global software for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs), and other modern telecoms. PortaSwitch, the company’s integrated billing (B/OSS & OCS) and switching (SBC & Class 4/5) platform, enables MVNOs to offer a broad line of retail and wholesale services. It also allows MVNEs to market telecom service to smaller MVNOs all on a single integrated software platform. PortaSwitch and its PortaBilling and PortaSIP components are fundamental parts of the business infrastructure for over 400 telcos in 85 countries worldwide. Over two-thirds of 300 PortaOne staff are support engineers providing the best-in-industry 24/7 technical support services. To learn more, visit https://www.portaone.com.

About GMobile:

HelloSIM is one of the products presented by GMobile. It is a travel SIM card that provides access to telecom services all over the world. HelloSIM is focused on both business and leisure travelers, giving them a way to stay connected on the go. Our 24/7 customer care service is available to our clients wherever they are. HelloSIM is an opportunity to save up to 85 percent on roaming charges, providing high-quality data, call and SMS services.

Read the original article here:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/portaswitch-gives-g-mobile-flexibility-to-become-a-cross-border-mvne-300640931.html

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
14.04.2018

Places on Planet Earth, which You Should Visit Before Dying

Life is a summary of memories, experiences, and impressions. The man collects the puzzle of his life, putting the particles one by one. The brighter the memories, the more beautiful the picture is. Well, why did we start our article in philosophy mood? This is because we want to show you some places on our planet Earth, which can become the brightest particles for our life-puzzle.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Visit_Macchu_Pichu

Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan city, located high in the Andes mountains was founded in the 15th century.

This mysterious and spectacular archeological site attracts millions of tourists every year. The huge blocks of stones form temples,  walls, and terraces, and no mortar was used to build them. The “lost city” is built in the refined style of Incan architecture, with amazing precise lines and it seems as though no human hand touched those buildings.

 Zhangye Danxia Landform, Gansu, China

Zhangye-Danxia-china

One of the most stunning views in the world is Zhangye Danxia Landform in Gansu, China. The multi-colored sandstone makes the hills an artwork, a piece of unreal beauty. Red, blue, green and yellow stripes of sand look different depending on weather, and each time unbelievably beautiful.  The place was listed as World Heritage Site in 2010.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni

No, no, it is not a Photoshop effect, this is a huge natural mirror! This is the largest salt flat in the world, located in southern Bolivia. Once a prehistoric salt lake, it occupies 10,582 square kilometers.  Covered with glittering salt particles, Salar de Uyuni reflects even the clouds above. A tour to this amazing spot will ensure not only unforgettable emotion but also heavenly beautiful photos. Make sure you have data SIM card with you to share this amazing views with the entire world!

Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan

Hitachi park japan

Are you a photographer? Do you crave for new, striking, unreal photos? Well, book a flight ticket to Japan, start packing and get your travel SIM card ready. You are going to visit Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan. All year round the park is covered with a sea of flowers, which provide a spectacular view especially from above. The most extravagant part of the park is formed with lines of Kochias, which change their color from emerald green to purplish red depending on the season.

Sagano Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan

Sagano Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan

As you are already in Japan, don’t hurry to leave this amazing country, we have one more fairytale place for you: Sagano Bamboo Forest, a tranquil, alien place where you feel yourself in an adventure movie. The feelings you have standing amidst this up to 30 meters high bamboo plants cannot be described in words, and no picture can show those sensations. This is a fantasy world full of alien sounds of swaying stalks, governmentally recognized as one of the hundred protected sights of Japan.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Great Barrier Reef

Next destination is a unique natural wonder, as it is the largest living structure on the planet Earth. Great Barrier Reef stretches for more than  2000 km down the coast of Queensland. It’s home to the world’s most diverse coral reef ecosystem. Swimming with multicolored fishes, turtles and admiring the mesmerizing colors of the underwater world is an experience to be long remembered and cherished. A helicopter ride above the islands and crystal clear waters is another breathtaking experience.

Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon in the state of Arizona is one of the most photographed places in the entire world. The amazing rock curves, lit by sunbeams at special hours of the day attract photographers from all over the world. The Canyon has two parts: The Cork, which is the upper part and is easy accessible and the Corkscrew, which is even more amazing, yet hard to access. Antelope Canyon is included in wallpaper images gallery nearly in every gadget, due to its unsurpassed and almost unreal beauty.

 

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Close your eyes and imagine a paradise. What do you see? Emerald green meadows and forests, numerous cascading waterfalls and iconic caves covered with moss, tranquil hiking trails and turquoise ponds? This is not the Garden of Eden, this is Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.

The best season to visit the park is Spring when the water level is high and waterfalls are rapid, though autumn is also magical here with an array of colors.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Glass Igloo Finland

Located in Kakslauttanen forest, this glass igloo resort is like a settlement for Santa’s elves. This fairylike resort is an ideal place to observe Northern lights, enjoy arctic nature and have a unique, magnificent Spending the night in a glass igloo is awesome, as it is warm inside, but transparent glass allows to admire all the miracles of the winter forest.

Naica Mine, Mexico

Naica_mine_mexico

The greatest architect of all times, Mother Nature, has created a natural wonder: a cave with giant crystals of selenite. Some of the beams are 1.5 meters long. You should be brave to visit the mine, as it is a working, active mine of lead, silver, and zinc, and the temperature inside is changing rapidly. It is not very easy to get an entrance to the mine, as it’s not generally open to the public. If you are a tourist, keep your telephone ready in Naica, and have an international SIM card inserted and connected, so as to be able to a make a call in case of emergency. Anyhow, once in a mine, and seeing these breathtaking huge crystals you understand it was worth it.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor_Wat_Cambodia

The most iconic temple in Cambodia, Angkor Wat, has become one of the wonders of the modern world, due to its otherworldly splendor and grandeur. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman the Second, Angkor Wat is one of the biggest religious monuments in the world with the most detailed carvings and decorations. It is the best-preserved sample of Khmer architecture. It is believed, more than 300 thousand workers and 6000 elephants were used for constructing the temple.

 

 

bermuda
31.03.2018

Where to Go for Easter Holidays?

Easter holiday colors the entire Christian world into bright, vivid colors, announces the arrival of Spring, brings hope and light. Even though Easter is considered a family holiday, many families prefer to spend it abroad, get to know traditions and customs of other nations, and take part in Easter observances. We have compiled a list of countries, where Easter traditions are so amazingly beautiful, bright, and of course different. Travel with us, let’s start.

Brazil, Rio De Janeiro

Brazilians are masters of celebrations and Easter is no exception. In Brazil, the holy week starts the Easter observances and marks the resurrection of Christ and the end of the lent. Easter is one of the most important holidays in Brazil, as Brazil hosts one of the largest Catholic populations in the world.

The holy week starts with the waving of palm branches in the shape of crosses, letters and other various objects, and continues to Lava-pés – Washing of the Feet, Good Friday, The descent of the Cross, Canto da Verônica, a very important passage. The holy week is finished up with Festive Easter Sunday Procession and Mass.

Brazil_Eater

The whole nation celebrates, visits church ceremonies, stays at home with friends and family or takes part in Easter processions.  Traditional Easter food includes salt cod- bacalhau, pacoca, a sweet dish made from ground peanuts, and Easter chocolate eggs.  The spirit of Easter hovers over this magical land, where extreme religiosity and love for wildest carnival shows go hand in hand.

 

 

Corfu, Greece

Easter celebration is a wonderful reason to choose Corfu as Easter holiday destination. Being the most important time of the year, Easter holiday is celebrated with unbelievable splendor. During the holy week, the Greek celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, starting from Palm Monday. This is a family day when people gather to make cakes from almond and honey. On Good Friday, in the morning the island is filled with the ringing of the town’s church bells, and several hours later the Easter processions begin.

CorfuEasterThe statues of Virgin Mary and  St. Spiridon are borne along the streets by the heads of the church, other clergymen, town officials, music bands and most of the population of the city. When at 11:00 am the resurrection of Christ is announced, the crowd begins shouting Christós Anésti, which means Christ has risen, and just at that time people from the balconies drop down clay pots. If you are planning to be in Corfu at that time, be sure to keep a safe distance. The sound of the smashing of pots adds up to the tolling of bells and crowds shouts and makes an extraordinary, joyous atmosphere to be long remembered.

At midnight, the resurrection mass gathers the faithful at one of the squares of the town, Pano Platia, and the night sky is lit up with the light of thousands of candles.

Easter Sunday is a family reunion day, it is the time to gather, and have various previously prepared Easter dishes.

 

Washington D.C., USA

Have you ever heard of White House Easter Egg Roll? No? If your children are 12 years old and under, book the tickets, which are given out as lottery and if you are lucky, you will take part in fun activities which are held on the South Lawn of the White House from 8 am to 9 pm.

egg_rolling_washington_DC

The tradition of Easter Egg Roll started its history from 1878 when President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife opened the South Lawn for children and their families and founded one of the oldest annual traditions in US history.  Ester activities once included egg croquet, picking of eggs, egg ball, toss and catch, which are no longer popular now, but egg rolling is still one of the most important activity.  On this very colorful day families enjoy playing with a huge Easter Bunny, storytelling, Easter egg hunt, musical events and egg-decorating. In the end, each participant is presented with a special wooden egg with the signatures of the president and first lady.

 

Bermuda

According to legend, a teacher in Bermuda used a kite to demonstrate the students the resurrection of Christ, and since then, on Good Friday, thousands of colorful kites float in the sky of Bermuda. Kite competitions are usual for this holiday; there is even a category for the ugliest kite.

bermuda_kits_Easter

Thousands of families gather on the Horseshoe Bay Beach to take part in kite competition, colorful activities and enjoy music. The island is decorated with Easter lilies, a flower most often associated with Bermuda.  On Easter Sunday,  Bermudians and island visitors attend sunrise services iconic St. Peter’s Church in the town of George.  St. Peter’s Church the oldest Anglican church, and is listed as UNESCO world heritage site.

After church service, families gather for Easter brunch and enjoy codfish cakes and hot cross buns.

Seville, Spain

Easter is a favorite celebration throughout Europe, and Seville is one of the best European Easter destinations. Easter in Spain lasts for a whole week – Semana Santa. The whole country is transformed into a religious festive party, with streets full of locals and tourists. This solemn holiday in Seville stands out for its spectacular processions. The statues of Virgin Mary and Jesus are carried on floats, decorated with hundreds of candles, flowers, jewels, accompanied with The Nazarenos – the members of the cofradías, under the sounds of brass music. Black-dressed women, called penitents, follow the floats and carry a long candle and rosary beads.

seville_Eater SPAIN_SemanaSanta

Seville’s 60 brotherhoods and their 2000 members thoroughly prepare for this grand holiday, and the visitors will, by all means, get the holiday vibes.  Many people avoid visiting Seville at this time of the year for security reasons, but if you know how to get prepared, you will just enjoy the splendor of rituals and Easter traditions coming from the 14th century.

Tips: Carefully study the schedule of processions and have connected mobile phone preferably with the active internet, to use navigation, so as to feel safe and secure.

 

SIM Cards
25.03.2018

What is a Travel SIM Card and Why Do You Need It?

Travel SIM card is also called “travel SIM” “data SIM card”, “roaming card” “international SIM card” or sometimes a “global SIM card”. They are either prepaid SIM cards or cards with pay as you go plans, they can be for a specific country or have a wide coverage of different countries. In any case, they are what savvy travelers need for reducing the roaming charges and getting a bunch of benefits. For those, who still haven’t used a travel SIM card while traveling, or for those, who have bought a “wrong” travel SIM, we have written this blog article about all the features and benefits of a real international SIM card.

Well, what is a travel sim card and why do you need it?

Reason #1. You save up to 90% on international roaming

Everyone knows that international roaming charges are awfully high. You have probably heard stories about people who have been charged huge bills as a result of accidentally turned on roaming option in the mobile phone. Maybe you were badly in need of internet while traveling and there was no Wi-Fi around?

Travel SIM Card

So you used the internet while being abroad and you were shocked by the bills? Most of travel SIM cards offer affordable internet bundles, so having a card and activating a bundle is the first and most important thing you should consider before traveling.As a rule, calling and SMS rates are also several times cheaper, and staying in touch with friends and family becomes easier and more affordable.

 

Reason #2. You save time

 

Sometimes people say. “Why should I buy a travel SIM card, if I can buy a local SIM card, which is cheaper?

When you take off the plane and appear in an unknown airport, not everything is as easy as it seemed when you were still in your home country. You begin asking where you can buy a local sim card if you find someone who understands your language. Very few airports sell cards inside, most often you should find mobile care centers outside the airport. You can’t use a navigation app as you don’t have internet.

Even if you have found one, you should present documentation and sign a contract for buying a card. Then you will read the leaflets and ask some questions so as to pick the best available tariff for you. Buy the way, not all local sim cards are cheap, and not all data tariffs are affordable. Very often tariffs offered by international SIM cards, like HelloSIM travel Sim card are more affordable and easy to use. Well, you have spent pretty much time on buying a local SIM card, which is not the best option if you are short on time.

 

Reason #3. With travel SIM card you feel secure

 

 If you are smart enough to have bought a travel SIM card beforehand, you don’t have the feeling of anxiety after landing. You already know that you have a secure connection. Already landed? Call your mom, then use, say, UBER app to order a taxi, maybe you will need navigation to find the hotel or a shopping center? Have an important e-mail to read and answer? You have internet from the moment of landing, so feel free to enjoy it!  Oh, we know, you want to make a selfie just in front of the airplane and upload to say Instagram? That’s a really crazy good idea, go on, you have the internet on your card. Maybe all this sounds like a good advertisement, but the truth is that it’s really worth trying.

 

Reason #4. Not all Wi-Fi that shines is good Wi-Fi

 

 Most travelers hope to find Wi-Fi connection here and there. We are here to disappoint you. Public Wi-Fi is far from being secure. So if you are going to log in to your accounts, to your e-mail or use a credit card for online operations, keep in mind that your sensitive data are highly at risk. and there is also the threat of a fake Wi-Fi connection, especially in open-air locations.

Public_WiFi

We have already spoken about this in another article here. Besides, Wi-Fi connections at hotels are often very unstable and speed is rather low. Don’t take our word for it, check other travelers reviews on any forum or hotel website.

Reason #5. One SIM Card – Suitable for different countries

 

Most international sim cards can be used in different countries. There are also travel SIM card intended to use only in one country, like a US travel SIM card or a UK travel SIM card, anyway, cards with global coverage and with more countries are a better option, especially for frequent travelers. It is just comfortable, you don’t have to browse the internet in hope finding an appropriate and reliable card for that specific country. HelloSIM travel SIM card has a coverage in more than 207 countries.

Travel SIM Card

This means you buy a card once, get your own number, keep the card, and use it in any corner of the world. You can top up your balance online, call the 24/7 support, activate internet bundles, make calls and write SMS.  More detailed information about the card and coverage can be found here. So it’s simply comfortable: you know you have a card for traveling, one that can be refilled, used in different countries, and save your time, money and become a number one travel accessory.

 

 

 

cancun_1
15.03.2018

March Destinations: Celebrate Spring!

March is not usually considered a holiday month but, there are destinations on the globe that are attractive for tourists, and March is a perfect month to head for those alluring locations. After snowy and cold winter, when spring blooms, travelers start packing for sun and leisure. Many festivals and major events and take place at the beginning of the Spring, to celebrate the awakening of nature and new life.
To help our readers to find absolutely perfect places for March travels, we’ve listed some of the most vibrant and warm places, so go ahead and choose yours!

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Imagine a vibrant city, blue-blue sky, captivating beaches and a lot of sunshine. Is it what you crave for? If yes, book your flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico! San Juan boasts of colonial architecture, historic forts, epic mountains and waterfalls, mesmerizing sunsets and active nightlife.

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For those who want high-adrenaline activities, Puerto Rico travel agencies offer unforgettable tours with best adventures. Here you will have a chance to enjoy waterfall slides, hiking, climbing, cliff jumping, rope swings, snorkeling and scuba diving Add breathtaking zip lines and largest Arialpark in the world!  Are you already breathless! Lie on the beach, sipping one of those phenomenal cocktails and enjoy the tranquility of the ocean.Bwindi

Impenetrable Forest Reserve, Uganda, South Africa

March is a nice month to plan a safari, and what we have picked for you, is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve in Uganda, South Africa. Lush rainforests blanket the high mountains and are also home to most of the endangered mountain gorillas left in the world.

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The air habitats of the forests are more than 360 species of birds and more than 200 species of butterflies. The Reserve boasts of more than 120 species of mammals. Here travelers can have one of the most dramatic and unforgettable adventures ever: Gorilla trekking, like in a famous Tarzan movie! Only 8 persons in a day are allowed to see gorillas’ families. Be sure to have at least $1000 for this magical experience, as it is worth it!

Phuket, Tailand

 

The largest Tai island is all year favorite, so choosing this destination for March is a good choice. Once a secret paradise, now Phuket attracts millions of tourist from any corner of the world each year.  The surrounding  famous islands are easily accessible from Phucket . The vacation in this paradise-like region  is one to combine fresh, amazingly delicious food, good weather, dramatic views, luxurious accommodations , lively nightlife and warm, soul-healing waters of Indian Ocean. The must-dos in Phuket include a visit to Phi Phi islands and sunrise tour, Kayaking Tour of Hong &Panak Islands, Similan Islands Snorkel & Swim Trip, Snorkeling & Dolphin Spotting in MaitonIsland , watching a performance at Siam Niramit Show and Simon Cabaret Show.
Well, what else the travelers need for complete happiness?

Phuket_tailand

Hurghada, Egypt

Once a simple fishing village, Hurghada has turned into a luxurious resort on the Red Sea coast, attracting tourists from all over the world. Hurghada is believed to be one of the best places for snorkeling, scuba-diving and kite surfing.

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The place also provides tourists with all necessary conditions for having relaxing vacation and ideal suntan. Hurghada is also ideal for budget travelers, as you get high-class service and perfect vacation at affordable prices. Along with Sharm-El-Sheikh, it is also the safest destination for Egypt travelers, as it is far away from country’s political life. The other benefit of Hurghada is that it has direct flights from nearly all the major airports of the world.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is one of the top destinations of the Caribbean. It is embraced by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Large tourist areas offer sun-kissed beaches, luxury hotels, various tours and exotic trips.

Carnival_Dominican_Republic

The average yearly temperature is 25°C. The sun-kissed beaches of Punta Cana are simply majestic: calm, warm waters wash the white sandy stretches. This is the real picture of leisure; this is where you really feel the spirit of the ocean. But don’t stick to the beaches alone: Climb to the summit of Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central mountain range or watch crocodiles and iguanas at Enriquillo Lake.  Take a horseback ride to the epic waterfalls of Jarabacoa. 6 International airports on the island will make the traveling from one side of the island to another an easy task.

 

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun has a reputation of a party and nightlife town, but actually, it has more to offer. Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, where Maya culture emerges at every corner.  Cancun is a true piece of paradise on the earth. A travel to Cancun promises to be unforgettable, full of vivid memories and absolutely amazing photos. Cancun boasts of dramatic beaches washed by the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, epic sunsets and dramatic views. Here, tourists have the chance to see the historic wonders – ruins which date back to the era of Mayan civilization, and feel as if you are a time traveler. The must visit list should include a 100-feet high stone pyramid with a temple on top, where sacred rituals took place, the remnants of a mysterious Mayan city Chichen Itza, considered to be one of the seven modern wonders of the world and the ancient city El Rey. This is surely not the complete list of historic sites in Cancun, and if you have more time, make sure to spend more time on exploring Historical Cancun. Now let’s return to snorkeling, stunning beaches, boat tours and water shows, fishing and golf courses. Time to enjoy what Cancun offers, and it will fill every moment of your holiday with something amazing and extraordinary.

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Kyoto, Japan

A travel to Japan is always a memorable and outsdanding experience, but we listed it in March destinations for one reason: Sakura. Sakura, meaning “cherry blossom” in Japan, announces a welcome to Spring. When these tender, aromatic flowers blossom all over the country, Japan starts celebrating the “Cherry Blossom Festival”. People organize gatherings, eat, drink together, enjoy outdoor picnics and barbeques and call this tradition Hanami, which means “watching blossom” in Japanese. This is also the time to make new acquaintances and get friends. Most Japanese schools begin the new academic year in April when sakura trees are in blossom in front of every building. In 2018, Sakura is expected to blossom earlier, starting from 22 March in Kotyo.

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Whatever destination you choose, don’t forget to take HelloSIM travel SIM card with you, so as to be able to share all those scenic views with your loved ones.

 

heart_reef_Australia
13.02.2018

Celebrate Love: 7 Getaways for Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air, shops burst in plush hearts, teddies, balloons, chocolates and love cards. Couples book romantic dinners in restaurants, prepare proposal speeches, buy rings and make traveling plans. Which is the most romantic city in the world? Paris? Venice? New York? Check our list of love cities, choose your destination and may love always be with you!

1. Bali

Are you looking for a candlelit dinner with scenic ocean views? A place very different, unique and stunningly beautiful? Welcome to Bali, Indonesia. Bali is by far one of the most romantic destinations in the world, which attracts more and more honeymooners. Bali hosts the most luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Bali_Valentine

Accommodations are mainly tailored for couples and offer exceptional service of sensual massages, open-air spas, fitness centers and lagoon-style pools.

Vacation_Bali_Valentine

 

Sun-kissed beaches, magical volcanoes, tranquil lakes and dense jungles make Bali a real heaven for travelers, and St.Valentine’s day in Bali promise to make the love vacation one you should never forget.

 

2. Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps is a scenic alpine ski resort with luxurious hotels, shopping centers, and spa facilities. Valentine’s Day in this panoramic resort is for the couples who want to combine winter activities with relaxing evenings, gourmet dinners and luxury shopping.  Besides skiing, Crans Montana offers a large specter of winter activities, like tobogganing and snow-tubing, ice skating, winter walking, and snowshoeing.

Valentine_Crans_Montana

3. Santorini, Greece

If you truly want to impress your best half, arrange a trip to Santorini, the island of breathtaking sunsets in Greece. The air is chilly in February, but the views remain amazing, and it’s no wonder that Santorini ranks as one of the most romantic getaways in the world. Arrange a romantic candlelit open-air dinner and get immersed in the true magic of sunset colors, beaches, and the sparkling wine glasses. Santorini turns into a big Valentine island on the 14th of February, and you think you already see flying cupids singing love songs everywhere.

Valentine_SAntorini

4. Nuremberg, Germany

Can You think of anything more romantic than spending the Valentine’s Day in a cozy medieval town? If this is what you pictured to yourself, than Nurnberg-Bavaria’s second largest city, is the place you should head to. As Martin Luther King once said, “Nuremberg shines throughout Germany like a sun among the moon and stars”.

Valentine_in_Nuremberg

You and your better half will get immersed in a real adventure in this wonderful city. Don’t miss the chance to visit Kaiserburg Castle, the German National Museum, St. Sebaldus Church, German National Railways Museum, Albrecht Dürer’s House, which is now a museum and Nuremberg Toy Museum.

One of the miracles of medieval architecture is  Schöner Brunnen, a nineteen meters fountain in Gothic style, located in the main market square. Go for a walk in Nurnberg, try Lebkuchens, famous Valentine cookies, and Nürnberger Bratwurst, sausages protected by EU law and made only in Nurnberg feel the special atmosphere of the city!

5. Seville, Spain

Seville is a charming city for lovebirds, with picturesque cobblestone streets, scenic bridges, beautiful parks and very good restaurants. Seville is a great city for outdoorsy couples, as strolling in the streets is by itself an incredibly romantic experience.

Seville_Valentine_Trip

If the weather is fine, you will meet local musician playing hot flamenco on the guitar, you will cross through peaceful squares with gorgeous historic monuments mainly in Gothic and Baroque styles, with some influence of Moorish architecture. One of the must-see sights of the city is La Giralda, the most iconic sight in Seville. From the top of it, you can admire the panoramic view of the city, breathtaking sunset view and make really amazing photos!

Valentine_Seville_Ttrip

La Alcázar of Seville is another gorgeous building. Once a Moorish fort, it is now one of the rare palaces in Europe, which is still used by the royal family.

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Seville is actually packed with architectural masterpieces, and spending love day here will not be enough, consider at least a love week!

6. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, so romantic and gorgeous, with snowy rooftops and fairy-tale buildings! Prague hosts the gorgeous historic buildings, famous museums and exclusive galleries that are home to great cultural and historical masterpieces. The city of hundred spires welcomes couples and promises the most memorable trip ever.

horse_carriage_Prague

Can you imagine anything more romantic than taking a cruise on a river, with a candlelit table and music of live band? The charm of Prague sights around will indeed add a special spice to all the romance.

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Or maybe you would like just to stroll in the idyllic streets of the city, to take lovely photos on the Charles Bridge, under the astronomical clock, and near the Prague Castle? Eat A traditional Bohemian dinner in one of the amazing restaurants of the city? In any case, you are the winner, and you will surely woo your sweetheart!

7. Whitsundays, Heart Reef, Australia

Mother Earth celebrates Valentine day here, join the celebration! Corals that naturally shaped a heart, can be viewed and admired during one of the helicopter tours from above. This is an ultimate romantic trip, so hurry to impress your loved one, and become the unique and best Valentine. If you previously purchased an internet SIM card, and have an internet connection, share this unique sight with the whole world!

heart_reef_Australia

Impress your special someone with one of the unbelievably gorgeous lodges on the Great Barrier Reef, relax, relax and relax… Enjoy sun, sand, and surf, taste exclusive dishes at intimate cozy restaurants, attend spas, try cocktails and go snorkeling in the Australian magical underwater life.

Great_Barrier_Reef

 

February_destination
11.02.2018

5 Most Visited February Destinations

Longing for a vacation in February? We have compiled a list of February destinations worth visiting. Some of them boast with sunshine and sandy beaches, the others offer enchanting snowfall and winter magic.

Rio de Janeiro

When we search the web for February events, Rio de Janeiro Carnival tops the list. Rio de Janeiro is, without any doubt, the most mesmerizing city in South America, and if you have managed to visit Rio in February, especially for Carnival, you’ve hit the jackpot.

Rio_Carnival
Though Rio de Janeiro is a dream destination for millions of people, and it has become much safer now, than it was ten years ago, the festival attracts not only tourists, but also criminals, robbers, and tricksters.
Tip: Always have charged and functioning phone with you, activate your roaming to be able to call at any time, or, which is even better, get a travel SIM card beforehand so as always to be connected with friends, family, and call the police if necessary.
This year the great show officially started on 9th of February with the Rio’s outstanding samba schools in the Sambadrome stadium.
It is hard to describe Rio’s biggest party; we’d better show some memorable moments.

Rio_Carnival Rio_Carnival Rio_Carnival Rio_Carnival

Maui, Hawaii
Travelers granted Maui the title of “the best island in the world”, and it is truly considered one of the top destinations for especially honeymooners as one of the best places in the world to get married. Maui wedding planners and coordinators offer amazing wedding ideas and plan the big day in all details.
The valley island hosts luxurious resorts and stunning beaches, recreation and entertainment centers. Well, the destination is chosen: Maui, and the next step is to find out what to do in Maui?

Maui Hawai

Best way to explore and admire Maui and Hawaii, in general, is to take a helicopter tour, as there are places of unbelievable beauty, which are inaccessible and can be viewed from above.
Another memorable experience is the whale watching cruise. The cruise usually takes two hours and becomes one of the brightest memories from Maui vacation. Visit Haleakala Crater for breathtaking views and epic sunrise, have an outstanding experience snorkeling with extraordinary fishes and turtles, visit museums, churches, and cathedrals. If only it was possible to bring a piece of Hawaiian sunshine with us….

Maui Hawaii

 

Curaçao

Another February destination for sunshine seekers is Curacao, the hidden gem of the Caribbean.
Curacao is a mosaic of many-faced culture: African, Latin, European, Caribbean.
Being a Dutch colony once, Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao boasts a number of candy-colored buildings.

Curacao
Museum Kura Hulanda in Willemstad exhibits the history of slavery and is without any doubt one of the most intriguing museums in the world.
Cruising in the crystal-clear waters of Curaçao, sunbathing on white powder-like sands of Curacao beaches, strolling in the old town of Willemstad, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, taking helicopter tours… this is not the complete list of must-dos in Curaçao.

Curacao_beach
Park City
Situated high in the Wasatch Mountains, once mining town – Park City, in the state of Utah, differs from any other skiing resort in the world. This epic mountain town is 35-minutes away from Salt Lake City International Airport.
In 2002, Park City hosted winter Olympic Games. Here skiing lovers will find from gentle slopes for beginners to world-class terrains for professionals.

Park_City_Utah
Park City offers a number of fun activities for families, like a zip line, amazing Adventure Zone and one of the longest alpine slides of the world. Another great experience is hot –air balloon ride.

Park_City_Utah

Beijing, China
China celebrated Spring Festival in February, so if you are eager to feel authentic Chinese culture and traditions, consider China as one of the best February destinations. Activate your China internet bundle from HelloSIM to be able to capture and share all the beauty of this great Asian event.

Beijing_China
The Festival is the biggest event in country’s life, it is a time for family reunions and shiny festivities.
According to Chinese lunar calendar, Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, begins with the New Moon and ends on the Full Moon- the day of Lantern Festival.
The Spring Festival carnivals take place at this time of the year. Holiday atmosphere is everywhere, the country is shining and glittering in lights, tables are full of traditional food, people celebrate the end of winter and old year, and greet spring, the new year.

Spring_Festival_China Beijing_China