US travelers are A/B plug types traveling in a world of C, E/F, G and L-type sockets.
If you’re a little confused, today we’re talking plugs, sockets and travel adapters.
There are currently 15 types of plugs and sockets used in countries around the world. Our graphic above lists the seven most common plug and socket types, but you’ll always want to check before you go to make sure what’s available on the other end of your trip.
Unfortunately for many first-time international travelers, forgetting to pack a travel adapter is a standard rooky mistake.
It’s no surprise. Plugs and sockets are something that’s taken for granted no matter where in the world you live. They just are there!
And when you’re traveling, your laptop, tablet, battery charger, smartphones, electric razors and toothbrushes, and hair dryers all need a socket for charging.
We’re here to help you remember to pack a travel adapter, so you’re not wasting time running around a new city trying to find a place that sells adapters for charging your dead smart phone.
What We Carry
While universal travel adapters are an option, we don’t carry them. Instead, we take a power strip with a built-in surge protector and individual C, E/F, G and L-type adapters.
Having enough sockets are a US luxury. In many of the countries we’ve traveled to, wall outlets are few and far in between. So having the power strip is a lifesaver and worth every bit of space it takes up in our packs. We can use one travel adapter and the strip and immediately have several working sockets for charging all our devices. Plus, we have the added benefit of a surge protector.
I mention the surge protector because we don’t carry power converters for handling the 110/125 (US) conversion to 220/240 (most of the rest of the world) electric voltages. It’s not because you don’t need one. You do, and travel adapters don’t have them.
The reason we don’t worry about power converters is that all the electronics and self-care devices we carry are newer models and come with built-in power converters. Now, that being said, power surges can still fry your device, which is why we have and recommend a surge protector.
How to Decide What Types of Travel Adapters to Buy
We made the decision to carry several types of individual travel adapter instead of universal ones for two reasons.
The first because the travel adapters do break and go bad. The individual ones are cheap to replace and small enough to carry easily.
The second reason is that we’re human. We forget things occasionally. We’ve been guilty of leaving an adapter or two still plugged into the wall when we’ve left a place.
Travel adapters range in prices from $0.50 to $30/40 USD or more. More expensive is not always better, especially if you consider the fact you might forget it. There is no right or wrong answer as to what you should carry. It’s completely up to you. The only good thing is that you need the right kind of adapter for the place you’re traveling.
Where to Buy
You can buy your travel adapters at any store that sells travel products and accessories such as the Container Store, REI, Bed Bath & Beyond. You can also find them in airports, train terminals, or large travel hubs. Or purchase them online.
We bought our travel adapters from Amazon and picked up more along from local stores as needed. We prefer buying ours ahead of time if possible, so we don’t waste time searching for them in new places.
And that is the basics of travel adapters. Now you know why you need them, what we carry, how to choose what works for you, and where to buy them. And hopefully, you don’t forget to pack the type of adapter you need on your next journey.
Oh, and remember to grab your travel adapter out of the wall before leaving wherever in the world you’re staying.