Travel Power Adapter: Plug Me In and Power Up

The humble travel power adapter is the answer to one of life’s annoying inconveniences (albeit very little); it gives you sweeping superpowers to plug in anything you have into any power socket that exists out in the world. Wow.

I have a selection of fairly worn-out travel plugs bought in various Asian countries and India. All were cheap and nasty; plugs don’t stay in them, they fall out of sockets, they make melting plastic smells and generally endanger life and limb. And to be honest, they’re usually the thing I forget to pack. The last one I bought was in Mysore, India. It was just as disappointing as the one it replaced; its Hanoi purchased predecessor!

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Fansy-pants Skross adapter (left) and keeping it simple on the (right)

So for my next adventure I’m spending more than 20 Rupee on something that will do the job properly. Adapters come in a number of forms; either as a universal power adapter with a selection of plugs and pins that can be used in most countries or as a singular travel adaptor designed for a specific country.

Universal power adapters are slightly bulker than a singular adapter, but you obviously get the flexibility to plug-in in most countries. If you’re serious about light-weight travel and have one destination in mind, then a good singular adapter might do. I have one that covers most western European countries.

Modern travel power adapters are now catering to devices charged via USB, such as Ipods, mobile phones and some cameras. In my view, Swiss company Skross leads the way with their range of adapters with great design and build quality. Many of their products integrate two USB charging plugs, meaning you can leave all those extra chargers at home and take one adapter away; less electrical backpack clutter and less weight to haul around. A great way to simplify things.

A good thing to check is whether the adapter has a replaceable fuse and required power rating for the countries you’ll be travelling in. So avoid suspicious electrical smells and spend a little extra on you travel power adapter. I’m going to for my next bout of adventure travel.

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