If you're travelling abroad, you'll want to charge your phone, camera, tablet, laptop and more while you're away. But it's senseless to buy a different travel adapter for each country you visit, when there are so many 'universal' travel chargers that will support you in over 100 countries worldwide.
We put 'universal' in quote marks for a reason: there's no such thing as a travel adapter that works absolutely everywhere. But all the devices on our list support at least the three major standards of US, UK, and EU plugs, which cover the majority of the world. And most cover Australia too.
If you're traveling in Asia, Central or South America or Africa, though, always check which standards apply. And be warned: these standards may vary between cities and regions within the same country.
One more word of caution. Some devices from countries that use a high voltage (such as the UK, which uses 240 volts) may require a voltage converter to function properly in countries that use a much lower voltage (like the standard 120 volts in the US). This is not usually an issue for things like phones, tablets and laptops, but can be for high-powered devices like hairdryers. The Bestek adaptors are our best choice if you need to convert the voltage.
With all that in mind, read on to discover the best travel adapters on the market today, how they differ, and what specific features each of them has to offer.
The Epicka Universal is the best travel adapter for most people today. It features four different international plugs that covers more than 150 countries, including the US, UK, EU and Australia. With four USB-A ports, one USB-C port and one AC socket, you can potentially power or charge six devices at once. And it's affordably priced, and relatively light and compact.
The only downside is that it's not a voltage converter, so if you're a UK traveler wanting to connect high-voltage products such as hair dryers, we recommend the Bestek 200W Worldwide Travel Adaptor (number 5 on our list, below).
One USB-C port not enough for you? The Zendure Passport III manages to fit in a whopping four, along with a USB-A port and an AC socket. USB-C is becoming more and more widespread nowadays, with even Apple being forced to fit it into future iPhones (opens in new tab), so this travel adapter is nothing if not future-proof.
More broadly, it's compatible with outlets in over 200 countries and regions, including USA, UK, Europe, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Asia, the Middle East, and more. It also has a unique self-resetting fuse, so you don't have to fiddle about replacing it if it blows. When it gets two hot, the two pieces of metal inside it simply separate, killing the power. Then, when the temperature drops, this will reverse and you can carry on using it. Clever stuff.
If you're an Apple user, then it makes sense to use Apple's own travel adapter kit for your iPhone, iPad and/or MacBook. As you'd expect, it's compatible with (and optimised for) Apple USB-C Power Adapters, MagSafe and MagSafe 2 Power Adapters, 10W and 12W USB Power Adapters, and Portable Power Adapters. Seven AC plugs are included, which fit various power points in places including North America, Japan, China, United Kingdom, continental Europe, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong and Brazil.
This travel adapter converts the higher voltage used in places like the UK, so that it can be used safely with 110V US appliances.
Most modern electronic devices, such as laptops and phone chargers, are designed to work with different voltages, so you may not need a voltage converter for these types of devices. However, for items with heating elements, such as hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, kettles and toasters, you probably will. If you are unsure, always consult the manufacturer's instructions or contact the manufacturer directly for advice.
This travel adapter comes with USB ports and three AC outlets, allowing you to charge seven devices simultaneously. You get three international AC adapters for use in over 150 countries. Plus there's a smart power converter feature that automatically detects the fastest charge for your device.
A quick glance at the pictures on this page demonstrates that makers of travel adapters aren't particularly imaginative when it comes to product design. But here's a notable exception. This small tube shape holds three interchangeable adapters, for UK, Europe and North America, made from high impact, durable, VO rated polycarbonate plastic. Measuring a compact 5.6 x 3 x 7.6 inches, it's perfect for slipping into a small bag, and it weighs just 140g. Note, though, there are no USB ports.
The Apark Universal Plug Travel Adapter takes a more conventional approach to design than the Targus above. But it's also very compact, at just 7.6 x 3.8 x 4.8cm, and even lighter, at just 100g. There are two USB-A ports, too, and this adapter is very reasonably priced. On the downside, there are no USB-C ports, and this isn't a voltage converter. It is very cheap, though.
The Hyleton Worldwide Adapter offers four USB-A ports, one USB-C port and an AC plug so you can charge multiple devices at once. You also get four international plugs for use in over 150 countries, including the US, UK, EU and Australia. Otherwise, there's nothing very special about this adapter, but at this low price, it does offer very good value.
Heading to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland or Zimbabwe? Then you'll need to have an adapter that fits the Type M socket in use in these southern African counties. And unfortunately most so-called 'Universal' or 'Worldwide' travel adapters don't.
As the name suggests, the Skross World To South Africa Travel Adapter does, and it's very lightweight and affordable. It works in over 220 countries in total, and it splits into two parts, so you can keep the Europe plug separate from the adapters for the rest of the world. Be aware, though, that there are no USB ports and it's not a voltage converter.
Note that Type M sockets are also found in many other countries, from Israel to Singapore: you can find a full list here (opens in new tab).
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