A travel adapter and converter come in handy if you’re in need to power up your gadgets after a long flight journey from one place to another. While many travelers would have rely on the hotel for a multi-adaptable socket, but what if things just don’t go accordingly? Hence, it’s always better to be safe to come in prepared for the worst. So, you’re in search of a travel adapter that’s the best bang for the bucks, you’re come to the right place. Here’s our carefully curated travel adapters that are compact, convenient, and absolutely budget-friendly.
Why You Need an Adapter?
A travel adapter allows a device from one country to be plugged into the power outlet hassle-free. It lets you plug your chargers into walls with a different socket without compromising the power voltage and so on. So, let’s say your devices made in Europe will not be able to charge with an American power outlet and vise versa. However, take note that a travel adapter doesn’t convert electricity or voltage. If you need to convert the power voltage to use a device, you will require a power converter instead.
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Why Do You Need a Converter?
Converters change the voltage from one level to another for it to work safely. If you are traveling from Singapore to the U.S., your Singapore manufactured steam iron will need a converter to step down the power voltage. For example, the standard voltage in the U.S. is only at 120V but in Singapore is around 220V/240V, so you need a converter to reduce the voltage to comply with the requirements. Power converters should only be used with appliances like steam irons, hairdryers, and fans. If the appliance is electronic, a converter is not mandatory.
Types of Adapters Around the World
There are about 15 different types of adapters worldwide, all with different prong shapes.
In Europe, the most common type of adapter used are Type C and F. The Type C plug, also known as the Europlug, is a two-wire plug that has two round pins. On the other hand, the Type F plug, also known as the Schuko Plug, is similar to the Type E plug, but it has two earth clips on the sides.
Take note however that the Type C plug isn’t used in European countries like the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta. The Type G plug is exclusively used in the UK and Ireland, a three-pin rectangular blade with a protective fuse. In Italy, the more common type of plug is the Type L, a plug that has two round pins and a round grounding pin arranged in a line.
Like Europe, the Type C plug is commonly used in Asia. In countries like Japan, South Korea, and Thailand, the Type A plug is also used, an ungrounded plug with two parallel pins that are flattened.
There are different types of adapters used in Africa, depending on your destination. In South Africa, the commonly used plug is the Type M plug, with three round prongs that form a triangle. Like the UK, plugs found in Botswana, Kenya, and Malawi are the Type G plugs, although Type M plugs can also be found in Botswana and Malawi.
Countries in North America like the US, Canada, and Mexico commonly use Type A and Type B plugs. Type B plugs have two flat pins that are parallel and a round grounding pin. The grounding pin is typically longer than the flat pins so that it is grounded before the power is connected.
There are almost six types of adapters you can find in South America, but the most common one is the Type C plug. In Brazil, aside from the Type C plug, you can also find Type N plugs. A Type N plug has two round pins with a grounding pin. In Peru, you can find Type F plugs along with the Type C plug.
The Type I plug is mostly used for areas in the South Pacific like Australia and New Zealand. It has two flat pins forming a V-shape and a grounding pin. There is also a Type I version which only has two flat pins.
For a complete list of countries and the common adapters and plugs used, check the list made by World Standards.
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What to Look For in a Travel Adapter and Converter
Before buying a travel adapter or power converter, make sure to check what plugs and sockets are available in the country or city you’ll be visiting. You can also confirm with your hotel what kinds of plugs are available so you can look for a power adapter or converter that is compatible with it.
A power adapter and converter may be considered an investment, but if you’re traveling overseas for a short period of time, there’s no need to splurge on an expensive adapter. There are plenty of budget adapters and converters that are of good quality. On the other hand, if you find yourself traveling most of the time, consider buying an adapter or converter that is more long-lasting (and pricier than most).
Take note that when buying an adapter, refrain from buying it at airports since items are generally more expensive there.
Best Travel Adapter and Converter in 2020
1. Epicka Universal Travel Adapter
The Epicka Universal Travel Adapter is one of the more popular choices of travel adapters. Not only is it compatible with sockets from 150 countries, but it also has four USB ports and a USB Type C port. It also includes an AC socket and can charge up to six devices. To use it, simply move the sliders on the side of the adapter to match the plug you need, although the sliders tend to stick. The Epicka Universal Adapter is also portable and easy to store in your luggage. If you are looking for a straightforward and compact adapter, the Epicka is the best travel adapter for you.
Pros: Compatible with most USB devices
Cons: Does not convert voltage
2. Bestek Universal Travel Adapter and Voltage Converter
If you want a travel adapter and a power converter, the Bestek Universal Travel Adapter and Voltage Converter should be your best bet. It can simultaneously charge up to 7 devices, but it shouldn’t be used with hairdryers, coffee machines, and other high-power appliances. The Bestek adapter and converter come with 4 USB charging ports, 3 AC sockets, and a combined 6A output. It is also one of the more travel-friendly adapters, with its five-foot power cable and compact design. On top of that, it comes with a 24-month warranty to guarantee its quality.
Pros: Can charge up to seven devices
Cons: Not built to handle personal care appliance
3. Syncwire USB Wall Charger
The Syncwire USB Wall Charger can charge up to four devices and is made with a sturdy polycarbonate shell. Although it doesn’t support Samsung’s fast charging feature, its Smart IC technology automatically detects and delivers the most ideal charge for the devices. The Syncwire USB charger comes with a built-in US (Type A) charger and detachable UK (Type G) and EU (Type C) adapters perfect for your travels. At around 20 USD, it is an affordable travel adapter. If you are looking for an effective and moderately-priced adapter, the Syncwire USB Wall Charger should be part of your travel essentials.
Pros: Good value, compact design
Cons: Not compatible with Samsung’s Fast Charging feature
4. Foval Power Step-Down Travel Converter / Adapter Combo
The Foval Power converter/adapter combo is a two-in-one adapter and converter that can charge smartphones and power devices like laptops. It comes with two US (Type A) plugs and four USB ports, letting you charge up to six devices with ease. The Foval adapter and converter combo’s built-in fuse system offers adequate protection so you don’t have to worry about your gadgets overheating. This handy device comes with four adapters (for EU, UK, US, and AU) and an EU power cable and weighs just one pound. While it is more on the expensive side at 35 USD, its function as both a travel adapter and a power converter makes it worth its price tag.
Pros: All-in-one adapter and converter
Cons: Slightly expensive
5. Flight 001 5-In-1 Adapter
The Flight 001 5-in-1 Adapter is easy to use and compact, making it the best travel adapter for travelers who want a simple yet powerful charger. It breaks apart into four pieces made up of four adapters and a block with 2 USB ports and fits into sockets in over 150 countries. The adapter also comes with a color-coded map so it’s easier for you to find out which block you need. On top of its ease of use, the Flight 001 travel adapter is lightweight so you can easily pop it in your luggage. It doesn’t come with a carrying case, so be careful not to lose any of the blocks.
Pros: Compact, lightweight
6. Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set
If you are traveling to India or Brazil where there are unusual sockets, the Ceptics Adapter Set is the best travel adapter for you. The Ceptics World Travel Adapter Set comes with 12 different adapters with built-in surge protection to avoid voltage surges and spikes. It also provides a direct connection to the wall outlet from your device to prevent short circuits. The downside to the Ceptics travel adapter kit is that it doesn’t come with a travel bag and having 12 adapters can be bulky.
Cons: Doesn’t come with a bag
7. Bonazza All-in-One World Travel Plug
The Bonazza All-in-One travel plug is a convenient adapter-converter combo for high-powered devices. Aside from tablets and laptops, it can also power hairdryers and steam irons. It comes with a helpful LED power indicator that lets you know if the adapter is working or not. The power converter and travel adapter combo also have a built-in surge protection system to ensure the safety of your gadgets. It also comes in a minimalist design and is one of the most portable and efficient converters you can carry with you. If you are looking for an all-in-one adapter and converter, it’s best that you choose the Bonazza All-in-One Travel Plug.
Pros: Can convert voltage
Cons: May have difficulty fitting in some outlets
8. Pac2Go Universal Travel Adapter
The Pac2Go Universal Travel Adapter features compact integrated pl ugs, a universal AC socket, and four USB ports. The plugs (US, EU, AU, and the UK) eliminate the need for carrying multiple adapters and can simultaneously charge up to five devices. While it is safe for phones and laptops, the universal adapter is also ideal for curling irons, flat irons, and dual voltage appliances with less than 1,600 watts. It also has a black rubberized surface that prevents short circuits and external shocks. This is also the best travel adapter for organized travelers since it comes with a handy nylon travel case for easy storing. At 20 USD, the Pac2Go universal adapter is one of the affordable yet high-quality adapters in the market.
Pros: Has fast-charging USB ports
Cons: May not fit wall plugs in Australia and New Zealand
9. Conair Travel Smart All-In-One Adapter
The Conair Travel Smart All-In-One Adapter is perfect for families and groups traveling together. This universal adapter has three outlets and one USB port and can charge up to four devices simultaneously. Its outlets work in most parts of Asia, Europe, North and South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The Conair All-in-One Adapter also comes with built-in surge protection so rest assured that your phones, tablets, and other gadgets are safe. It also comes with a power light to indicate if the adapter is working and a convenient travel pouch. Although it lies on the bulkier side, it can also power dual-voltage appliances.
Pros: Compatible with appliances with dual voltage
10. OREI MATE M8+ Travel Companion Plug Adapter
For a safer operation of travel adapters, the OREI MATE M8+ is the best travel adapter. You can use this adapter in more than 150 countries. Its slide-out power plugs make it easier to use and you are guaranteed that you won’t lose any pieces. The plug adapter also features a safety release button and built-in fuse so you can safely charge your devices. Take note however that the OREI MATE power adapter does not convert or reduce voltage. This also isn’t designed to be used with hairdryers, irons, and other high-watt devices.
Pros: Has a built-in fuse and safety release button
Cons: Does not convert voltage
11. ElecLead 2000W World Travel Adapter and Converter
The ElecLead 2000W World Travel Adapter and Converter is a simple yet high-powered adapter-converter combo. It features universal adapters for the US, UK, EU, and Australia and fits outlets in more than 150 countries. While it doesn’t have USB ports, it can power heavy-duty appliances like hairdryers and electric kettles. It is light and compact, unlike most converters, and comes with an adapter-to-converter switch for easy operation. Compact and straightforward, the Eleclead 2000W is the best travel adapter and converter combo for travelers who would like to use heavy-duty devices.
Pros: Compact and light
Cons: No USB ports
12. HYTED Travel Converter
At just 0.29 lbs., the HYTED Travel Converter is one of the most lightweight converters on the market. This adapter-converter combo is portable and easy to use. As an adapter, charge your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. As a converter, you may use hair dryers, steam irons, electric kettles, and more. Although it doesn’t work on low-voltage appliances, it can handle most personal care appliances. The HYTED Travel Converter comes with a travel pouch for easy storage, perfect for your travel bag must-haves.
Pros: Lightweight, can handle personal care appliances
Cons: Doesn’t work with appliances with low wattage
When traveling, it is important to keep in touch and have your gadgets powered. Always remember to research your destination and find out what plugs and sockets they use so you don’t risk buying the wrong adapter or converter. The last thing you want during your travel is to buy an adapter or converter that doesn’t match the socket of your hotel or accommodation. Using certain appliances and having your smartphones charged should be the least of your worries with the best travel adapter and converter.