What’s The Best International Travel Adapter?

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Reader Dylan emailed to ask me what travel adapter I use, and I figured it was worth a separate post, since I really do like the one I have. I mentioned it in my post last year about the nine travel gadgets I always have in my carry-on, as a good adapter really makes international travel a lot easier.

Believe it or not, back in the day I’d entirely rely on hotels and airport lounges to lend me adapters, which was ridiculous. Travel adapters are cheap, and they’re not all created equal.

On the most basic level you’ll want a universal adapter, so that you have a single adapter that can be used everywhere. That’s much better than an adapter that only converts for certain types of plugs.

But there’s more that makes a great travel adapter. I use the Travel Inspira universal power plug. What makes it awesome? First of all, it’s compact, which is of course important. But what makes it really awesome is that in addition to the standard outlet it also has two USB outlets. This means I can charge my laptop, iPhone, and iPad all at once.

Best-Travel-Adapter

This adapter is available for sale on Amazon for $12.99, though they claim it usually sells for $29.99 (I’m not sure if it’s actually on sale right now, or if it has been marked down for a long time).

Regardless, if you are looking for a travel adapter, I highly recommend this one. I’m sure there are other great ones out there, so I guess the main takeaway is that I love having a travel adapter that also has extra USB ports while still being compact, so you can charge multiple things at once. Given how often I find myself in a situation where I have limited access to outlets, it really does make a difference.

Do you have a favorite travel adapter?

Comments

  1. I’m thinking of putting this on my blog also. How much do they pay per click? Or do they only pay if someone buys the product?

  2. Price is history is easy to check on Camel Camel Camel. Looks like this adapted was $8.99 from January 8th until last week, when it went up to $12.99. At any rate, not a bad price. I usually use a small 3-outlet Belkin strip that has 2 USB ports. I plug that into an outlet adapter and I’m usually all set. That said, your adapter looks good, too.

  3. I personally have a universal adapter, but I found that:

    1) None of them convert to South Africa’s giant plugs
    2) 99% of the time I’m in a country that uses either a US, Euro, UK or Australia plug.

    That’s why I usually just carry 1-2 super small US-EU adapters, US-UK, or US-AU adapters. I can charge my phone/tablet from my computer’s USB ports.

    For countries like India and South Africa which use different plugs universal adapters often don’t help so specific adapters are necessary anyway.

  4. Generally, most modern AC adaptors can run with 110 or 220… it’s just the prongs you need to fix. That’s why I am very happy with “Kikkerland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter”, which has no electronics… just a way to turn any plug into something that fits any socket. It’s quite remarkable, and very light and small.

  5. Not saying this adapter is good or bad but it is manufactured in China and resold under a number of brand names, of which Travel Inspira is one.

    I had the same travel adapter but branded differently and it failed after a few months – it felt fairly cheaply built but then I guess you get what you pay for.

  6. Looks like the USB ports only deliver 2.1A combined, which is a bummer. If it were 2.1A each, I’d buy one.

  7. I’ve travelled with a similar multi-prong adaptor as well as one-off ones (i.e. US-UK) as well as having the Apple world plug kit.

    I haven’t found any of the multi-prong ones with dual USBs that feed enough juice for stuff like iPads. One couldn’t even handle an iPad and iPhone both plugged in and would keep bouncing between the two.

    I think my ideal solution would be something that’s half multi-plug adaptor and half power bar with surge protection with at least two US outlets and two powerful USB ports. I wouldn’t mind travelling with it as long as it’s smaller than a laptop charging cable.

  8. @Van Smith They pay you for EVERYTHING ordered during the next 24 hrs after someone clicks on your link. They do not need to order the adapter.

  9. This is my favorite and have been using it for 8+ years although it is far from “the best”
    Kensington K33117 International All-in-One Travel Plug Adapter.

    The issue this one has and would love to find a solution is one that can hold up to a Macbook power brick and not fall out of the wall .

    Any suggestions ???

  10. Ben’s needs differ from those of “normal” travelers, who usually just go to a few countries at a time. Like me.

    If I’m only going to continental Europe, for example, a simple little converter plug works fine and weighs just an ounce or so.

    (As noted several times above, when electronics are involved just the adapter plug is all you need since all modern lelectronics are built to handle 110 or 220 input; an actual voltage “converter” is not needed.)

    In other words, a “one size fits all countries” plug is just a waste of space . . . unless you go everywhere at one go like Ben.

  11. My travel setup is a little ridiculous. I start off with the same travel adapter as Ben. Then I plug one of these (https://amzn.com/B003TXRTNG) into it which gets me 3 outlets and 2 more USB ports. Then I plug in one of these (https://amzn.com/B00P933OJC) for another 6 USB ports rated at 2.4 amps each. That gives me enough to charge everything my wife and I would ever bring on a trip which consists of 2 MacBooks, 3 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 Apple Watches, 2 Kindles, a DSLR camera and a GoPro.

    Yes, we’re a little tech crazy.

  12. What I had done years ago before I traveled as much as I do. I carry only two adapters. One for the bathroom for trimmers and electric toothbrush and a second for the main area. However, with that second adapter, I plug in a surge protector that has 5-6 standard USA plugs. So although a bit clunky, I pack well that I can get away with even for carry on. I’ve done this for Australia, Ireland, England and Iceland.

    Far better than having to worry about every little device when you can plug into American standard plugs.

  13. Can’t be used in Italy though. One I bought about 8 years ago can be used anywhere Asia to Italy, Croatia, Japan, Slovenia, Vietnam, etc. Have not been in a country where I couldn’t use it.

  14. I agree that Ben’s travel needs are different and a universal adapter makes sense for him.

    I and many others will do fine with 2-3 country specific adapters depending on the trip. Those are much lighter and more compact. Also simple, nothing to go wrong. I can lose one, but it will never go bad.

    As others have already said, you need to be careful with USB slots. Most built in (ie. “free”) ones don’t provide enough current for larger devices. Better to get a separate multi-USB charger from a reputable company like Anker.

  15. I have a Mogics power bagel. 5 outlets, extension cord and 2 high power USB in a very compact little package with an extension cord.

  16. I use the normal converts, but I have an 110-230V USB convert like this – though with 6 USB:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/BESTEK-Charger-International-Samsung-Smartphone/dp/B0197VA7TQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1473839238&sr=8-2&keywords=Travel+USB

    And i get a lot of small talk friends when i connect it, as it has 6 ports, downside its kind a big and if you travel DK -> UK -> US you have to bring an power adapter, but then again you get up to 5 short terms friends.

  17. I bought a Mogics Donut travel adapter as part of their Kickstarter campaign. https://www.mogics.com/?page_id=3824 I like how you only have to plug it in once but then you can add numerous devices. If you have devices with a USB charger you also don’t have to bring the actual plug so it cuts down on all the bulky cords I have to pack.

  18. If you want compact – then try the Kirkland UL03-A Universal Travel Adapter: https://amzn.com/B00210MRGC I have used all over the world and works perfectly. One note, do watch the video on Amazon to see hot to convert for UK / HKG. Once you master that, its an incredible tool

  19. @Ed, Christian, Ben – wow..pretty cool and compact. How long have you guys had that and did you experience any problems? Does it get really hot?

  20. @Ben – interesting comment about Italy. I assumed that any Type C plug adapter could be used in Italy, including for Type L outlets. Is that not the case?

  21. Thanks for the review Ben. I’ll give this adapter a try as I only need to recharge camera batteries and my Samsung while travelling which is mostly in EU.

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