Travel Multi-plug Solutions
In some of my previous articles, I mention many of the challenges I have encountered while on my travels and one I have defiantly spoken about it the lack of consistency in the power industry in that there are just so many types of wall sockets.
Whether this is a mobile phone, tablet or camera, you will be confronted with this challenge that more than likely, the plugs you brought with you, will not be compatible with the one in your hotel. So I have put a list together of some of the common plugs used all over the world and where they are commonly used.
Design and Distribution:
|Type||Picture||Geography||Pins / Earthing||Current (A)||Voltage (V)|
|A||Mainly USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan||2 / No||15 A||100 – 127 V|
|B||Mainly USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan||3 / Yes||15 A||100 – 127 V|
|C||Europe, South America and Asia||2 / No||2.5 A||220 – 240 V|
|D||India||3 / Yes||5 A||220 – 240 V|
|E||France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, Czech||2 / Yes||16 A||220 – 240 V|
|F||Majority of Europe & Russia. Does not include UK or Ireland||2 / Yes||16 A||220 – 240 V|
|G||UK, Malta, Ireland, Malaysia and Singapore||3 / Yes||13 A||220 – 240 V|
|H||Israel, The West bank and Gaza Strip||3 / Yes||16 A||220 – 240 V|
|I||Australia, New Zealand, China and Argentina||2 / No
3 / Yes
|10 A||220 – 240 V|
|J||Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Rwanda||3 / Yes||10 A||220 – 240 V|
|K||Denmark & Greenland||3 / Yes||16 A||220 – 240 V|
|L||Italy & Chilé||3 / Yes||10 A & 16 A||220 – 240 V|
|M||South Africa||3 / Yes||15 A||220 – 240 V|
|N||Brazil||3 / Yes||10A & 20 A||100 – 240 V|
|O||Thailand||3 / Yes||16 A||220 – 240 V|
If you are looking to research a specific country and what their plug specifications are, I found a really great website that has every country in the world listed in it and provides information as to what to expect there. World Standards Link
From my experience, there are 2 main type of multi plug adapters that are available to travellers to solve the compatibility issues while in a foreign country.
1. Solid State Adapter
Firstly there is the hard or fixed plug that is an adapter to the existing plug. The advantage of this type of plug is that there are no moving parts so to say, that will wear out over time and this makes a bit more of a solid connection however, the drawback is that it has a number of separate attachments that can make it a bit bulky and cumbersome to travel with. This model has made things a little easier to travel with and keep it all together by including a handy travel case which I loved.
I used this while travelling to London and some of the bulk or amount of attachments was reduced by researching the plugs used at the destination and the ones that are not relevant, were left behind.
2.All-in-one Travel Plug
I must say from the beginning that I like gadgets that incorporate a number of items into a near compact solution. Many of the electronic charges manufactured today have standard USB cables for them and this plug has 3 different types of USB ports plus a type C port that covers a wide range of different plug requirements.
What I also liked was that the cube had retractable pins and the whole solution is manufactured into a single item, which I prefer to have instead of a number of separate items to travel with. The one downside to this is the sliding mechanism. As can be seen from the photo, the sliding mechanism is activated by the small nodes on the side and this can feel a little fragile at times.
Both types will stand up to the rigours of multiple destination travel but the all-in-one was definitely better if you are looking for a compact solution that can charge multiple devices without the need of another multi plug. If cost however is a primary over-riding consideration, then the solid state adaper is the right choice for you, costing half of what the all-in-one costs.
Nugget of Gold:
If you are really in a bind, power running low and have only the plug brought with you from home, don’t stress, help is at hand. Most hotel rooms have TV’s in them that are equipped with USB ports for external storage devices to be played on the TV.
Separate the plug and cable from your standard charger and plug the cable into the USB port at the back or side of the TV. While the charging process might take longer than a normal charger would on account of the reduced current capabilities, this will provide a charge that if left overnight, will leave your mobile phone charged and ready to use the following day.
In emergencies and where other options are not available, this is a good solution however when you have access to other solutions, these should be used to reduce the charge time of the device. One of the drawbacks of this type of charging can be that the TV needs to be on for the USB port to have power to charge your mobile device which can be a real hassle if you want to sleep.
There are multiple ways to solve the challenges of the power industry but until such time as the world decides to roll out 1 simple plug design, it will be left to each one of us to solve these issues and to accept that this is the world we live in.
Thanks very much for reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave it in the comments section below and I will be happy to respond.