Electronics are a necessity for many travellers these days, but you can lighten your load considerably if you cut down on the electronics you’re carrying. One way to do that is to get an all-in-one power adapter like the one we review in this post.
After getting an email from Kevin Monaghan asking us to recommend a worldwide power adapter, we considered the solution we use, which is a Swiss Travel MPC-N1 World Power Adapter and USB ChargerThat’s a lot of names, but there are a lot of similar products on the market that seem to do the same thing.
They’re plastic adapters that accept appliances with British, European, US and Australia/New Zealand-style plugs, and which can be plugged into the wall in any of these places. In fact, in over 150 countries. There are four styles of prongs that extend and retract into the adapter, so while it’s quite bulky it takes up a lot less space than four separate adapters. Measurements are 4.0 x 2.5 x 2.0 inches.
If you’re travelling with a lot of appliances, having just one adapter can be enough if you also take a power board with three or four sockets. We had one when we first started travelling, but then we started buying new appliances which don’t fit the New Zealand plugs on the power board. So we threw that away and just have two Swiss Travel adapters – or we did until we left one in Paris.
You can also get these adapters with a special attachment that has a USB socket, allowing you to charge your iPod or any other device that charges via USB. Very useful.
In addition to just having one power adapter, some ways you can cut down on electronics include:
1. Think carefully about what you need. Do you really need that laptop or will an hour in an internet cafe once a week do just as well.
2. Leave one thing behind. Losing one piece of electronics can save you heaps of weight when you think about cables et al.
3. Buy stuff that uses the same connections (mini USB and SD cards are common ways of plugging things in.)
4. Consider downsizing. Can a PDA or smartphone replace your laptop?
5. Investigate travel chargers for your phone. If you’re travelling with someone, make sure both your phones use the same charger and just take one.
Don’t forget to enter the Pikeo competition, and to check out the articles at indietravelpodcast.com/articles. One of our authors, Sherry Ott, has just updated her site – check it out at ottsworld.com.
We’ve spent the last six weeks in Hastings, England and have had some interesting day-trips out to Dover and London in the last week. The highlight has been catching up with friends from home.