Travel Power

Whether you’re a seasoned road warrior, or a once a year holidaymaker, I’m sure you have experienced the frustration of dealing with adapters required to connect to the varied electrical wall sockets at your destination(s). The result is typically a collection of strange-looking gadgets that receive the plugs at the end of cords for electrical and electronic devices and allow them to be plugged into a wall socket in your destination country. It’s not only frustrating, it can be expensive to buy and carry a bag full of adapters.
May 27 2021

The consultants at Leading Resolutions have been very frequent travellers to various parts of the world for many years. We would like to share a couple of relatively easy and inexpensive solutions to the adapter issue. Most appliances and charging devices these days have built-in transformers which allow them to accept and process voltages ranging from 100-240 volts without blowing a circuit breaker or burning up the device.

Before you follow our suggestion, make sure you check the manufacturers’ labels on your devices to ensure they say that each device will accept voltages ranging from 100-240 (some may say 110 or 115 to 220 or 240). That information is required by law to be labelled or stamped into the plastic or housing of the device. If your device says 110 or 115 volts only, do NOT attempt to plug it into a 200+volt circuit!  The result could be shocking.

Once you have determined that your devices are able to handle the correct voltage range at your destination, the solution is pretty straight forward.

Before leaving home for your trip, acquire a 4-6 plug power strip with the female receptacles matching your wall outlets at your home or office.

Then purchase ONE adapter to connect the power strip to a wall plug at your destination.

Attach the adapter to the plug at the end of the wire coming out of the power strip and plug it into the wall.

You now have used only one adapter and you have four to six receptacles that match the plugs of the devices you use at home or in your office. One power strip and one adaptor are easily packed and difficult to lose or leave behind. Many power strips come with an “on/off” switch, built-in surge protection, and two to four USB sockets. If you require multiple USB sockets, you can purchase a four to six-port USB powered hub, or a two to four-port USB adapter, that will plug into one of the sockets on your power strip. This eliminates the need for yet more adapters for USB connections.

One more word of commonsense caution. If you purchase a power strip without a built-in circuit breaker or surge protector, be very careful not to overload the power strip with too many high wattage devices (multiple hair dryers and curling irons come to mind).  The wires in the strip can only handle so much resistance and will get very hot, trip a circuit breaker in the building, or potentially cause a fire if overloaded. If you do not plug multiple high wattage devices into a single circuit at home, do not do it with your plug strip either!! It is definitely best to purchase a plug strip that has a circuit breaker, surge protector, and an on/off switch. They are available in a wide variety of stores. We also caution against plugging an extension cord into a power strip or using an extension cord between the plug strip and the wall.  They are not designed to carry that extended load.

I hope this has been helpful, reduces some of the stress and cost of travelling, and gives you more time to enjoy your trip.

Bon Voyage!

The Author

Bob Hecht