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Perfect gadgets for travelling abroad

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PHOTO: Make travel easier with the right set of gadgets. (photo by Michelle Rae Uy)

When on holiday in far off places, American travelers often face certain challenges.

In most countries, they encounter big cultural differences; in non-English speaking countries, language barriers; even in tropical countries, they must deal with the very uncomfortable weather.

Thankfully, there are ways to lessen the burden. One surefire way is to arm yourself with tools that make vacation less stressful and much more memorable. Here are five tried-and-tested gadgets that will definitely become useful when traveling abroad.

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Pocket Wi-Fi

Of course, travelers may simply walk into a café or a restaurant or even find their carrier’s nearest hotspot for free Wi-Fi. It makes staying connected while traveling easier and definitely a lot cheaper, as cell phone carriers charge an arm and a leg for their international data plans that offer so little data allowance.

However, Wi-Fi is still not a universal perk in every locale.

Travelers who prefer to stay connected anytime, anywhere will certainly appreciate a pocket Wi-Fi, which comes in handy for getting directions, finding a good local spot to eat and even posting photos on social media while on the go.

There are several pocket Wi-Fi services out there. A great one, however, is Vision Global WiFi.

The company offers excellent connectivity in many countries all over the world in affordable, flexible plans that range from one day to long-term. Depending on the destination, Vision Global WiFi’s minimum data allowance is either 300MB or 500MB per day. That definitely beats AT&T’s 200MB total data allowance for their 30-day $40package.

Best of all, once you set it up, you won’t even have to think about it.

READ MORE: 5 Travel Gadgets You Absolutely Need Right Now

Power Bank

Travelers’ smartphones are practically their lifeline when exploring a destination, especially if they’re not traveling with a guide and the locals do not speak English. Smartphones can be one’s map, travel guide, translators, currency calculator and even metro guide.

It won’t do, therefore, if smart phones run out of juice when out and about. And that’s when power banks come in handy. There are a lot of different types in the market, even ones with cute designs sold in clothing shops. But travelers need a reliable one built to last, fast charging and offering several changes and multiple USB ports.

RAVPower has several fantastic options that promise such features including the RAVPower22000 Portable Charger, which at $40 a pop has three USB ports and contains enough juice to charge an iPhone seven times when fully charged.

USB Memory Card Reader

These days, travel is almost synonymous with photography—amateur or otherwise. Whether it’s a cell phone, a point-and-shoot or a DSLR, vacationers are constantly taking snaps of everything. There will always be that well-known landmark, a spectacular sunset or adorable little café to take 20 photos of.

Before you know it, the memory card in your camera has run out of space.

It’s a good reason to always carry around a USB memory card reader when on vacation so that shutter-happy travelers don’t have to hastily delete photos on the spot. Simply transfer photos to a laptop at the end of each day for storage. Plus, memory card readers can be tiny enough that they don’t take up much space.

A good yet cheap one is Insignia’s USB 2.0 SD/MMC Memory Card Reader, which will set jet setters back for less than $10 at BestBuy.

Worldwide Voltage Compatible Wall Plug

Finding a dependable yet compact wall plug that boasts a worldwide voltage compatibility is almost always a tall order. They’re either too bulky or unreliable and not well-made. Or worse, they’re both.

Travelers must really do their research and scour the web to find the best one that best meets their needs.

However, if such needs only include charging mobile devices, then a USB wall charger with dual voltage compatibility will do. Great options for these are easier to find, but travelers should prefer those that are light, easy to carry and offer fast charging.

RAVPower also offers a few brilliant options like its RAVPower 24W Dual USB Wall Charger, which boasts several features including two USB ports with iSmart technology, lightning speed charging, a foldable plug, a weight of only 3.4 oz and LED indicator. Best of all, it’s a bargain at $11.

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Portable Fan

When visiting tropical countries—especially in the summer season and when the crowds are bigger—travelers will most likely sweat half their weight off. It’s even worse in urban destinations that are not close to the beach. It’s not exactly the most comfortable experience when walking around in Bangkok, for example, trying to see attractions with clothes drenched in sweat.

A good way to keep the heat at bay is to carry with you a portable, AA battery-operated fan. Travelers can just pop into one of the souvenir or gift shops for one of those. They won’t cost more than $5.

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