One Thing I ALWAYS Take When Traveling Internationally

eLago Tripshell International Power Adapter.
This is the power adapter that I use everyday. I am using it in Chile right now!

One International Power Adapter To Rule Them All

Gary at View From The Wing had a post today about international power adapters and whether or not you need a converter or not. It got me thinking about just how long it took for me to find an international power adapter which perfectly suits my needs. I figure that I may as well share it with you.

Adapter vs. Converter

An interntational power adapter simply takes your plug on one side and has a version of the local plug on the other. It doesn’t do anything to the electricity running through it. Usually adapters do have a fuse to prevent your electronics from getting fried, but that is it.

An international power converter takes the electricity coming out of the outlet and converts it to a safe level that your electronics can use. For example, if you are in a country that uses 220V and your charger can only do 110V like in the United States.

Power ratings. If it is 100-240V then you only need an international power adapter.
If your charger says something like this then it will work without a currency converter.

You may be wondering why a mere adapter will work when some countries are 110V and some are 220V. The reason is that almost all chargers made in the last 10 years are able to handle the conversion themselves. Simply look at the charger and it will usually show 100-240V which means it will work anywhere without a converter. (You only need an adapter.)

My Favorite International Power Adapter

Since I usually only travel with a backpack, it is important that I maximize every bit of space. Back when I started traveling heavily in 2007, I didn’t carry a cell phone and the only real pieces of electronics I had were my laptop and a battery charger for my camera. Back then I used a bulky Belkin international power adapter that only had one plug. It sucked.

Nowadays when we travel there are Kindles, tablets, phones, a laptop & battery chargers. In short, we need a lot of plugs and carrying around multiple international power adapters isn’t really a good solution. Luckily I found something that works great for us.

Since most of our new electronics are charged via USB, I found this amazing adapter called the eLago Tripshell which has a normal plug along with two USB outlets. This way we can charge three devices at a time. While it still takes a little planning in order to make sure everyone’s devices get charged, it works and doesn’t take up too much space.

If you are looking to cheap out, I also have a secondary adapter imported from China. It is bulky and not a great solution. It does work well though, but due to space issues I usually only take it on shorter trips for the added convenience of having a second one. While some people prefer to carry separate adapters for each country, I don’t have time for that and like knowing that my adapter will work just about everywhere. (Both of these have adapters for every country built in.)


While something like a international power adapter doesn’t seem like a big deal, if you travel often it can be. Finding the right adapter to meet your needs is important and I am going on strong for two years with the eLago Tripshell and I highly recommend it.

Do you have an adapter that you recommend? Let me know in the comments!


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