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The 11 Best Travel Adapters, According to Frequent International Travelers

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Let’s face it: Though you may dream of going off the grid for your next international trip, traveling without your phone, camera, or tablet isn’t particularly practical. And if you bring them, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to plug in and charge them at some point.

That’s why a trusty travel adapter is such an essential part of your packing list. While there are many options that can fit American plugs into international outlets, the right adapter should also fit your itinerary and the tech you’re bringing along. In addition to my own testing, I’ve tapped the expertise of world-touring travelers, creators, and influencers for whom staying powered up is as essential to their journeys as a passport. Whether you want to top up your phone battery in a Parisian café or need to charge seven devices from a single outlet, let their wisdom guide you to the adapter that most adeptly satisfies your travel needs.

A note: Unless explicitly mentioned here, it’s worth observing that typical travel adapters don’t convert power voltage, which can vary between countries. Though most smartphones and tablets are dual-voltage these days, you’ll want to double-check the specifications of your devices before leaving on your trip — especially if you’re bringing something like an electric shaver or a hair dryer.

Best “just the plug” travel adapters

“These are dirt cheap and fit in the palm of your hand,” says Going.com founder Scott Keyes of this low-cost, no-frills option fit for European (but not U.K.) travel. Small enough for even the tiniest, trickiest outlets, Keyes also lauds the flexibility that comes with this four-pack of adapters.

You both “don’t have to take turns charging your electronics” and don’t have to charge all of them in the same outlet, as you would with a bulkier (and pricier) all-in-one alternative. Plus, there’s something to be said for not letting a single missing adapter ruin your trip: “If I lose one, which, let’s be honest, happens not infrequently on the road, they’re cheap and easy to replace,” Keyes says.

For short trips that only involve a laptop and a phone, Arthur Wei, the well-traveled co-founder of Brooklyn Camper Vans, turns to this clever adapter. Truly living up to its “universal” billing, its ingenious design consists of interlocking pieces which snap into place to fit into European, British, Indian, Brazilian, and American outlets. Wei loves that Road Warrior’s adapter “packs light” and notes that its $12 price point means that your trip isn’t ruined if it goes missing.

Best travel adapters with built-in USB ports

I recently tested Epicka’s travel adapter on a two-week excursion around Portugal, and loved its ability to connect as many as six devices to power from a single outlet. It boasts three USB-C ports (plus two USB-A ports), all of which make it easy to charge smartphones, tablets, and other tech without even plugging a power block into the adapter itself.

If I have one complaint, it’s that it took a little extra finesse to fit it into the occasional oddly-angled European outlet. But double-checking that it’s plugged in properly is a small price to pay for this adapter’s charging capabilities. Overall, Epicka’s carry-on-friendly adapter offered solid value and performance, whether I needed to top up my camera battery or quickly charge my iPhone, iPad, and Nintendo Switch Lite while waiting for a transatlantic flight home.

When it comes to charging everything from her AirPods to her drone, Wendy Hu, photographer, creative director, and video host for Travel+Leisure, relies on this versatile option from Ceptics. Featuring two U.S. outlets, 2 USB-A slots (another version features an additional two USB-C slots), and six interchangeable international adapters, Hu describes it as “sturdy and well-made” despite weighing in at just five ounces.

In addition to built-in surge protection to guard against voltage spikes and an attached micro USB cable (handy for charging smaller devices like Bluetooth headphones), it also offers quick-charging support for compatible devices — making it ideal for use in that brief window between daytime excursions and dinner plans, or during a brief pit stop in a café.

$40

“For an adapter to work for me, it needs to be an all-in-one universal adapter with an AC outlet, USB-C, and USB-A outlets” says former Googler and current travel-content creator Catarina Mello, who recommends this one by Momax. “It also needs to have an overload dual fuse for safety and support for up to 2500 watts,” She says that’s a must in order to use devices like hair dryers, curlers, and steamers. “If your adapter can’t handle a larger surge current, it’ll get damaged or burn out.”

In addition to handling high-powered items, this universal adapter has space to power up to six devices from a single outlet across more than 150 countries. Three of those slots are quick charging USB-C ports, one of which pumps out 65 watts, delivering enough power to charge a laptop without bringing a separate adapter.

Matthew Kepnes, founder of Nomadic Matt and author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, is loyal to Joomfeen’s efficient universal adapter, which nestles input plugs for European, U.K., U.S., and Australian outlets into a single, streamlined adapter weighing just over three ounces. With two USB-A ports, it maxes out on charging three devices at a time, making it a little less versatile than other, more powerful options. But if you’re looking for an adapter that can get the job done without eating into your travel fund, this option is hard to beat.

Best travel adapters with multiple AC outlets

$39

For travelers who prioritize power over portability (or those who need an adapter that can safely convert voltage), multiple experts recommend Bestek’s Universal Travel Adapter, including former NFL player and current travel creator Jeremy Cash, who loves its “all-in-one design.” With a three-AC-outlet power strip and four USB-A ports, it includes support for charging up to seven devices at once “no matter what country I’m in,” he says.

In addition to that plethora of charging ports, travel blogger and mom Kiersten Rich lauds its ability to convert voltage, which she says is “better for protecting expensive electronics” and “critical” for any hair tools you’re bringing along for the trip.

With a profile of 7.8-by-6.5 inches and a weight of one pound, it’s far from the most minimalist option, but the inclusion of a five-foot detachable power cable means that this adapter can transform a single hard-to-reach outlet into a convenient charging station. That’s why director, producer, and photographer Kathryn Sheldon has relied on it through years of overseas trips with cameras in tow. She says, “I don’t bring it if I’m trying to be super lightweight and carry-on only, but otherwise it’s an amazing tool.”

On a recent trip to Thailand, Pack Hacker editor Lauren Maternowski says her team loved the utility of this mighty adapter from Mogics, which can charge seven devices simultaneously thanks to a unique circular power strip ringing the outlet adapter. It also makes use of a retractable extension cable that she says makes it “handy if your accommodations are short on accessible plugs.”

Maternowski says that you can also remove the titular bagel and leave it behind if packing space is at a premium: “The adapter itself is one of the smallest we’ve seen, so it won’t take up much room in your bag.”

If you aren’t worried about converting voltage but still find that you’re “always charging a million things,” travel blogger Rich recommends this 110-volt option from Foval for use with European outlets. Similar to Bestek’s adapter, it offers three AC outlets, four USB-A ports, and an extension cord. But it has the added advantage of a USB-C port — not to mention a slimmer, lighter design that can plug directly into a wall socket while taking up about half as much space in your luggage.

Best travel adapter accessories

Boasting a full complement of mesh and zippered pockets plus velcro cord holders, former NFL player Cash argues that this ProCase product “is essential for anyone who carries a ton of cords when they travel.” But it’s not just about cables: With a padded bottom compartment featuring removable dividers, its water-resistant design can safely store everything from external hard drives and MacBook chargers to AirPods and SD cards. As the pro athlete turned seasoned traveler puts it: “Trust me when I say you need this case.”

Former Googler Mello doesn’t travel without this five-foot, triple-pronged braid that functions as a USB-A to USB-C, lightning, and micro-USB cable. Though she usually treats these cables as her backup option, they’re viable as a primary cable if you’re looking to minimize clutter, and Mello admits they’ve “come in handy more times than I can count.” In welcome news for those who regularly misplace cables, these are sold in packs of three.

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The 11 Best Travel Adapters, According to Frequent Travelers