The Best Voltage Converters For Globetrotters

Keep your devices energized by remembering the right adapters for your plugs.

There's a lot that's different when you come to a new place, but one thing that can take many travelers by surprise is the outlets. Finding yourself without a converter can be a serious problem, so before you book that ticket, make sure you'll be able to keep your phone charged.

Port Perfection

Think about how many ports you'll need, and which ones. Many voltage converters come in port-packed versions, with USB charging points and US-standard three-prong plugs. That's ideal if you've got a whole family with gadgets that need to charge, but if you're flying solo, that may be a bit of overkill. Bringing the ports you need will make for a more relaxing trip.

Palm of Your Hand

Look for converters with the lowest number of parts. While most will have at least a few loose pieces, the fewer the better when traveling. Nothing is quite as bad as having the converter, but not the proper plug for it, so the more compact the unit is, the better. Consider bringing just the correct plug if you won't be ranging far outside the country you're visiting or springing for multiple self-contained converters.

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Don't forget about safety. Think of these as sort of electron pumps; they either step down or step up the current flowing out of the outlet to the proper level, and that requires some real work on the part of the device. Look for features like automatic shut-off, power buttons, and overheat warnings, so your vacation doesn't involve learning how to say "fire department."