The 10 Best Travel Plug Adapters

Updated February 23, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Travel Plug Adapters
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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're planning on taking all your mobile devices with you on your next international travel adventure, you're going to need one of these universal plug adapters for the trip, too. Offering compatibility with almost every country's electrical system, they'll let you set up a virtual office or entertainment center -- or simply charge your phone -- wherever you go. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best travel plug adapter on Amazon.

10. Kensington International

The Kensington International incorporates three retractable prongs that make it easier to store and carry around with you. It's also built with your devices' safety in mind, as it has a grounding prong and an internal fuse that protects against power surges.
  • includes two usb ports
  • backed by 2-year warranty
  • bulky and may cover other outlets
Brand Kensington
Model K38238WW
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Skross Pro Plus

With plug combinations that work in over 150 countries around the globe, the Skross Pro Plus is a highly versatile option. It's packed with different features, including a USB port extension and the ability to be used in grounded or non-grounded outlets.
  • 2500 watt max power output
  • designed in switzerland
  • no surge protection
Brand Skross
Model 1.302500
Weight 8.5 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Travel Inspira

The Travel Inspira is built like a brick, allowing it to get dropped or knocked about in transit without breaking. And while it is a little bulkier than other models, it has everything you need to stay powered up and ready in one body, with no loose parts.
  • switch and prongs work smoothly
  • very affordably priced
  • doesn't charge very quickly
Brand travel inspira
Model TITA02BW
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Bonazza Universal

The Bonazza Universal is a highly useful tool that comes in at an affordable price. Aside from the standard US, UK, European, and Australian prongs, it also features two different charging modes, including for single voltage appliances, like hair dryers.
  • accepts 100 to 240 volts
  • feels very high quality
  • lifetime warranty
Brand Bonazza
Model FC-4U
Weight 7.5 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Bestek Voltage Converter

A versatile power strip with four international adapters, the Bestek Voltage Converter also has two 2.4-amp USB ports for charging tablets, and two 1-amp ports for smartphones and other devices, meaning you can set up a virtual office anywhere you go.
  • converts to standard us voltage
  • comes with a 5-foot power cable
  • cooling fan can be loud
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Kikkerland UL03-A

Perfect for the minimalist traveler, the Kikkerland UL03-A is a super-compact unit that folds and twists into whatever plug shape you need. It slips into almost any backpack or pocket book, though some users find its puzzle-like design needlessly challenging.
  • made of sturdy abs plastic
  • folds flat for storage
  • does not accept grounding prong
Brand Kikkerland
Model UL03-A
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Pac2Go All-In-One

The Pac2Go All-In-One has options for compatibility in 150 countries, and has been tested to ensure safety with up to eight hours of continuous usage, so it's perfect for the busy international jet-setter. It boasts a durable housing, and its extensions feel sturdy.
  • comes with a zippered carrying case
  • includes a spare fuse
  • unobtrusive blue led indicator light
Brand Pac2Go
Model P2GUTA-01
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Bestek Smart Charge

Not only does the Bestek Smart Charge include enough interchangeable plugs to work in virtually any country, but it also ensures protection against overloading and unpredictable outlets, thanks to its advanced technology. A Qualcomm 3.0 port offers fast power-ups.
  • has a type-c port too
  • sturdy plastic and metal build
  • charges 5 devices at once
Model FBA_MRJ0009-MX
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Loop World 3.0

The Loop World 3.0 contains a smart chip that can power up almost any USB-compatible device at its optimal speed, with no risk of overcharging. It's hands-down one of the most reliably efficient options for keeping your electronics going while traveling overseas.
  • charges 3 devices simultaneously
  • comes in a few bright colors
  • fcc and ce certified
Brand Loop World 3.0
Model LE-TA01
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Poweradd 2-Outlet International

The Poweradd 2-Outlet International allows for the connection of up to five devices at once, making it just as good for working at your local cafe as it is for trips around the globe. It includes five interchangeable plates for worldwide compatibility.
  • convenient snap-in design
  • built-in wraparound micro usb cord
  • works with 2- and 3-prong us outlets
Brand Poweradd
Model S9P2240020A0F
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

How To Be A Powerful Traveler

Long before I ever traveled overseas, I received my fair share of warnings regarding the differences between electrical power supplies in the US and those abroad. If you so much as mention the desire to travel to another country to someone who’s been literally anywhere outside your country of origin, you’re probably going to get your fair share of advice as well.

The most obvious problem you’ll encounter when trying to use international outlets with a domestic plug is a stark difference in shape. In the US, for example, ungrounded outlets contain two vertically oriented, rectangular slots that correspond to an American plug’s two vertically oriented rectangular prongs. Tab A goes in to slot B with no problem.

In most of Europe, however, those two vertically oriented rectangles become two circles, and there’s an entire lexicon of insults around trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, so we know that’s not going to work.

What a travel plug adapter does, quite simply, is to take whatever plug you need to insert into an outlet and receive it on one end. On the other end are prongs outfitted for one or more different styles of international outlet, allowing you to take an American plug and insert it into a European outlet, or a British plug and insert it into an Australian outlet.

Some adapters are country specific, meaning that they’re built to receive one specific kind of plug and convert it to fit another specific kind of outlet. Others are more interchangeable or universal, depending largely on how much you want to spend. The whole affair can get a little confusing, however, so here's an equally confusing map.

Transform Your Devices

Before you go and buy a travel adapter for every single one of your electronic devices and electrical appliances, it’s important to understand some of the more volatile differences between your country’s power supply and those where you intend to travel.

Let’s use an American piece of equipment traveling overseas to paint the picture, and let’s make it an iPhone because they’re so ubiquitous. And iPhone is something that we should consider an electronic device as opposed to an electrical device. The difference is subtle but the distinction is important. Electronic devices contain computer chips; electrical devices do not.

In America, all of the standard outlets across the nation deliver 110-120 volts of alternating current. In most of the rest of the world, outlets deliver 220-240 volts of the same. It wouldn’t make a lot of financial sense for a company like Apple to create different iPhones for different markets, so they go with the international standard of 220.

In order for an iPhone bought in America to charge safely and properly overseas (and vice versa), one only needs a travel adapter and the charging block supplied by Apple. That block acts as a regulator, standardizing the voltage delivered to your phone no matter where you plug it in. Your computers have these as well, usually located about half way down the charging cable.

Any electronic device without a clear transformer in its power supply risks significant damage when plugged in overseas using only an adapter. For such devices, you’d do well to get yourself a voltage converter for optimal safety.

Electronic devices, on the other hand, the ones without computer chips, only need a converter if they pull a majority of the amps coming through an outlet. High wattage devices like hair dryers and curling irons (things that get hot, usually) operate at maximum efficiency and a much higher degree of safety when used with a converter, and not just an adapter.

Now that you have an idea as to what you’re going to need to make all of your devices work overseas, you can start to look at the options on our list with an eye for efficiency and style. The specific adaptations you need will guide your hand, for the most part, but you should also keep an eye out for outlet count, internal transformers, and other features that might make your traveling experience run that much more smoothly.

Setting Standards

By the turn of the 20th century, the debate over whether electrical standards should follow Thomas Edison’s 60Hz, 110-volt, direct current model or Nikola Tesla’s 50Hz, 220-volt, alternating current model had more or less settled out.

In the US, the frequency and voltage of Edison’s system became the standard, but the country made the switch to alternating current for its capability to send higher voltages across greater distances without much power loss. America is pretty big, so that came in handy. In Europe, the delivery method for alternating current followed Tesla’s instructions.

At the time, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of travel among the continents, and individuals didn’t travel with any electrical devices, so the thought to make plugs and sockets to a universal standard never entered the picture. While in the US, Harvey Hubbell’s design for a plug to safely connect electrical devices to a home’s power supply gained popularity, nearly a dozen other styles of plug and socket entered the global marketplace.

If a nation had itself an empire to speak of, the countries in its empire inevitably adapted the plugs and sockets of its motherland. That’s why a bunch of countries in Africa and Asia use plugs and sockets like those you might find in Britain or France.

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Last updated on February 23, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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