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These Three Simple Gadgets Really Improved My Trip

Consumer advocate Ed Perkins is traveling in Europe this week, sending tips and tales from the road. Follow along here.

I don’t usually write about travel gadgets, but on this trip I took three that have really helped.

One was an all-purpose adapter that lets you use your U.S. plug to get juice almost anywhere: a Jumbl. Its best feature: Jumbl has a USB socket that you can use to charge stuff even when you have something else connected. It’s $9.99 at Amazon.

The second is a Kinivo Wi-Fi dongle that connects your laptop to wireless networks. It allows your computer to link up to 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. It’s really useful if you have an older computer with only the 2.4 GHz bandwidth internally, and would like to improve your signal and range. When I tried to get online with the free Wi-Fi at Stansted Airport, my notebook’s internal Wi-Fi couldn’t find the airport signal at all. But once I plugged in the dongle, the device detected more than twice as many signals, including the airport’s free Wi-Fi. It’s $17.99 at Amazon.

Number three: a very small no-name USB port with four connections. It requires a powered USB port on your computer. I paid $5.99.

What are your must-pack travel gadgets?

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(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

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