Whether you're going on a one week vacation to another country or an epic RTW backpacking adventure, don't leave home without an all in one travel adapter. Every country seems to have their own different type of socket, so you need to be prepared! Here's a look at what to look for in the best universal travel adapter and where to get them from.
Why you need a travel adapter
Other than the culture, food, people, weather and probably language there are other noticeable differences among countries that can make or break a trip. One of these is the type of electric plugs and sockets that different countries use.
The difference in the shape and number of holes in the socket can be so great that you cannot plug in any of your adapters or chargers to charge your devices. This is not something you want to happen to you, especially when you're down to just a few percent charge on your mobile phone, or you need to work on your laptop!
Universal Travel Adapters
To solve this problem, some creative innovators have come up with a device called a universal travel adapter. This device has adjustable plug-in pins that allows you to plug them in different types of sockets all over the world.
Not all travel adapters are the same though, so you need to keep your eyes open before buying one. Here's some useful pointers on what to look for in the best universal travel adapter.
Best Universal Travel Adapter Guide
- The number of countries where the adapter can be useful– even though universal travel adapters are designed to be used in different countries, some are still limited as to the number of countries they can be used. For example, some can work in North America and Europe but not in Asian countries. Choose an adapter that can be used in most if not all countries. This way, you will not have to purchase a new one every time you go to a different country.
How many devices can the adapter charge?
- The number of devices that can be charged at the same time – the best worldwide travel adapter will allow you to charge at least four devices at the same time. This will come in handy if you have many devices to charge, or if you are traveling in a group.
Does the travel adapter have USB ports?
- Presence of USB ports – what you want is an all in one travel adapter that allows you to charge your devices using USB cables and also by the usual charger. This is because many people often forget the charger but they always have a USB cable nearby. A universal travel charger with USB ports is also smaller and less bulky than one with just plug-in holes for chargers.
It's NOT a power converter
- Type of devices it can charge – most universal adapters can be used to charge smart phones, iPads, cameras and other similar devices. Some will however not work for hair devices such as blow driers and hail coils. Ensure that the adapter you choose will serve your needs effectively.
Protect your devices
- Surge protection – Nobody wants to fry their devices while traveling around the world. The best universal travel adapter will be equipped with surge protection so that your valuable devices are protected from damage.
Best Universal Travel Adapter from Monoprice
Here's our pick of the best all in one adapter for gadgets as you travel. It's affordable and you can also pick up some other devices at the same time that might be useful on your next trip or vacation.
Other Travel Charger Suggestions
In addition to a travel adapter cube, you might also want to pack another couple of things away for your next trip. The first one, is a travel charger that plus into a cigarette lighter outlet in a car. You might find this useful if you are planning a road trip in a hired vehicle.
Another great suggestion (and an item I take with me as essential gear especially for bike touring) is a powerbank. These handy little items are great not only for travel, but also everyday use such as commuting, conferences, and even time in a cafe. They come in various sizes, but a powerbank that is capable of recharging a phone at least twice is a good choice.
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