Collection of Plugs

What to Consider When Buying a Universal Travel Adapter

If you frequently travel to different countries, you may need to take a universal travel adapter with you rather than one that’s country specific.

That’s because these adapters allow you to connect your device to the different types of plugs you’ll encounter when travelling.

And since plug types usually change from country to country or region to region, you’ll avoid carrying different types of travel adapters.

However, universal travel adapters are more complicated than region-specific adapters.

As such, it’s important to know what you are looking for.

This will help ensure you have a smooth experience outside the country and get the most value for your money.

Plug Compatibility

SKROSS Travel Adapter
SKROSS Travel Adapter

It’s easy to assume that universal adapters can fit anywhere and fail to consider the actual plug types it works with.

This is a common mistake as there are lots of plug types around the world, and most universal adapters only cover the major ones or particular regions.

As such, it’s important to consider the region where you are heading vis a vis the plug types that your adapter supports.

You can then get one from a reliable travel adapter supplier such as RS.

Of course, this means you will need to familiarize yourself with the various plug types used around the world.

The UK uses Type G, which features three rectangular prongs arranged in a triangular shape.

Most of Europe uses Type C and Type D, while the US uses Type A and Type B.

These plugs are quite varied, and they range from Type A to Type I.

The best thing about universal adapters is that they support multiple socket types, but you still need to ensure the specific plug types you want are provided by the adapter you buy.

For example, if you’re heading to Italy, consider a universal travel adapter that offers Type L compatibility. 

Number of Outlets

You can find yourself in a situation where your smartphone needs a top up charge, your camera battery is running low, and your laptop is asking for a direct power connection.

If your universal adapter has a single outlet, you’ll end up getting frustrated.

It’s therefore important to opt for a travel adapter that comes with multiple outlets.

This will allow you to charge your devices simultaneously and eliminate the need to carry multiple adapters. 

However, ensure that you also consider the number of outlets that the adapter offers, in relation to the devices that you have.

In some cases, you may need to have two multi-outlet adapters.

Compatibility with Grounded Devices

Another crucial consideration is whether your universal travel adapter is compatible with grounded devices, also referred to as earthed.

This is important as most of them aim to maximize space, so they can often ignore the grounding pin.

While many gadgets operate normally with a standard plug, some, particularly those with a grounding feature, require an adapter that can accommodate this type of connection.

This is important as most regions offer grounding alternatives, even where they are not very common.

You may therefore need a plug with a grounding pin to be able to use the few extra ports, for example, at the airport.

If you have a grounding pin device, it’s also good to use a wall socket that offers grounding. 

USB Charging Ports

Smartphones are a major part of daily life, and we often find ourselves with multiple mobile devices in addition to tablets.

As such, it’s important to consider going for a universal travel adapter that offers USB ports.

These ports allow you to charge your devices directly from the adapter using your USB cable, which frees up your power outlets for other gadgets.

These ports can also come in handy if you have other gadgets, such as wireless headphones.

You will eliminate the need to carry lots of plugs and adapters, making your travels even easier.