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Charging and gadget essentials for international travel

No matter how much a seasoned traveler you may be, having a checklist of essential gears to bring with you provides assurance and security that you will be able to pack everything you need for your long flight.

Unless the trip’s purpose is to actually unplug and savor the solitude of being totally on your own in a far-flung place, you would certainly want to make sure that your loved ones know where you are and how you are doing. In such case, you need an assortment of gadgets to keep you connected and powered up for the entire duration of your trip.

Travel Adapters

First thing first — always double-check the international voltage requirement in your destination country to avoid the risk of frying your chargers, cords, and gadgets. It is worth noting that most gadgets these days are already autovolt, which means they can be practically used everywhere, whether in countries that use 110v or those that use 220v. In some special cases, you may be better off bringing a light transformer to keep you covered. But in most cases, modern gadgets including laptops, mobile phones, and cameras can already handle both 110v and 220v.

It is always a necessity to confirm the plug configuration in the country where you’re heading so you know which type to bring. Yet, nothing beats having a set of international plug adapters to serve as your universal travel companion practically everywhere. Frequent travelers know how some flights can get not just delayed but also suddenly diverted to certain countries not included in their original itineraries — often due to a weather disturbance, need to refuel, air traffic issue, or a certain type of emergency.

While carrying multiple adapters is always an option, eliminating the need to bring too many adapters while traveling is the best way to go. For portability, having at least two pieces of ultra-compact universal plug adapters with detachable parts allows you to simultaneously charge at least two gadgets at once. You need this even more if traveling to different countries with different power socket requirements. Get the ones with prongs that fold up when not in use to maximize space. You may certainly opt to bring just one universal adapter, especially if you are bringing an extension cord to keep you covered for your multiple charging needs.

Travel Chargers

A good number of products out there already work both as a travel adapter and universal charger. It would be great if each travel adapter-and-charger product offers a USB port option so you can just easily plug any power cord to it. It is ideal to look for products that provide at least two AC outlets, a USB port and AC outlet combo, or a USB port, AC outlet, and portable dock combo.

To minimize charge time and enjoy more travel adventures with the peace of mind of being all juiced up, consider buying an ultra-fast charger so your electronics get powered up in a matter of minutes. A solar charger may be an option to consider, although the most efficient solar chargers in the market today are still on the more pricey side.

If your camera requires AA or AAA batteries, instead of bringing lots of them, which may also turn out as a red flag at airports, especially when bringing too many that are not packaged properly, save time, space, and money by using rechargeable batteries, alongside a compact battery charger.

Bring a portable charger, also called a powerbank, so that you can conveniently juice up your gizmos even while hiking, swimming, or strolling in the middle of a busy city. Consider having a shockproof and/or waterproof one for extra peace of mind. Most of these can be used as a keychain or worn like a bracelet. Some powerbanks designed for mobile phones can also be worn like a phone casing. Others boast additional features that allow them to function as LED lights and/or storage devices as well. Solar options are also becoming more widely available in the market these days.

Gadget Cords and Cable Shorteners

Of course, you know which power cords to bring — just make sure you have backup ones in case of emergency. However, it is quite annoying to have a tornado of tangled cables in your bag. To avoid wrangling your variety of connectors, earphones, and charging cables, use velcro or wire twist ties to roll them neatly. If you want to save money, instead of buying dandy and stylish wrappers and tiers, simply use rubber bands, binder clips, or even an empty toilet paper roll to keep your cables organized. You can also save yourself from the tangled-wire hassle by bringing mini cables that are only a few inches long. An investment on cables with adjustable length is definitely a good idea, too.

Use labels (with texts or colorcoding) for easier cable identification, especially if you have cable-sensitive gadgets and you have lots of wires of the same color and length to bring with you.

A portable extension cord is a must-have travel accessory, especially when staying a couple of feet away from the electric outlet and you’re sharing outlets with other people. This also means you will only need one outlet to power up two or more of your gizmos at a time. Alternatively, you can use a power splitter, or better yet, a mini surge protector so you have extra ports to simultaneously charge multiple devices.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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