So here’s the deal…Many people have asked me for advice when traveling. My schedule is intense enough that even the smallest piece of advice can help a great deal. Work can take me just about anywhere…from a quick couple days to a longer 12+ day trip. The most common questions people will ask is what do I pack? Any pro-tips? I have a few I’d like to share, and decided to do a weekly series about it. I’d also like to include some of my favorite products that I use on trips hoping that these suggestions will help make your travels easier and more fulfilling. It is always about the journey, not necessarily the destination! Let’s get started…
To kick-off this series, let’s start with my first pro-tip. I travel with a power strip/surge protector, even if I’m staying at somewhere for a couple days. Yep, go on. Laugh. Every time someone sees it in my suitcase, they often say, “Really, Pam?” …I just let them scoff – the reality of it is, it can be a lifesaver, depending on where you go. First, let me explain something to you about hotel living. It is more often than not I have multiple devices that need charging at one time. Laptop, tablet, cell phone, camera battery (Yes, a real camera. I have one and it is awesome (and waterproof.) The outlet options that are in most hotel rooms aren’t always conducive to where I’m at if I’m in the hotel. I will recommend the surge protector over a basic power strip. I find the outlet-only one’s work best. USB’s don’t always charge as fast, and those can be done using a laptop. Any brand will work and you can get them for under $15 bucks, like this one:
They are helpful if you don’t feel like bringing multiple bricks (blocks to plug in with usb port) with you, too.
It is one thing to leave them charging overnight, but If you need to sync anything or just want them all handy, the single outlet provided at the desk or by the night stand doesn’t really work. The outlets are often on the other side of the room, or in an awkward location by the wall nowhere near where you ever go. Additionally, it is often that the only usable outlet in the room is tucked behind a heavy piece of furniture, having the length of the extension cord brings the plug to a place you don’t have to contort yourself to reach.
Call this lazy, call it whatever you want, but sometimes I want to do work in bed or watch Netflix hanging out waiting to leave, it’s a nice feature to have everything right where you need it. This might sound like a first world problem, but for those that travel often, or have been in a hotel recently for work, can you honestly tell me you haven’t thought about wishing you had more outlets near by to charge and use devices? Yeah, thought so.
Power strips are also beneficial to those traveling abroad. International power conversion adapters can get expensive since most will only allow you to charge on device at a time. Good luck getting to your destination and taking four separate adapter plugs with you and then and hunt for available sockets. Why deal with the stress? Bring one international adapter and your power strip. Boom. You’re ready to go and take all the selfies you want.
I use the Targus World Power Adapter…and it works great.
Let’s discuss non-hotel travel next. Power strips are also helpful if you’re traveling with friends or a significant other in your room. On a train? At the airport? Same thing applies, you just need one outlet to charge multiple devices at once with no arguments .I’m pretty sure I have like 5 devices I have to charge, including a 5th generation 30-pin iPod video. Try explaining why you need to charge that over their smartphone. Having your own “extra power” eliminates the need to bother debating with someone over the already limited power available.
If you’re staying at a friend’s house, AirBnB or anywhere you’re unfamiliar, the option for power might be few and far between. Asking for it might also be an issue. Having your own 4-5 outlets to use for your devices without overstepping your welcome can relieve any stress of trying to find a wall plug. Do I think you need an 8-outlet strip? No, the single strip is fine, again, remember you’re traveling so compact is key. Also, this will protect your devices if the power goes out. It rarely happens in hotels, but at someone’s house, surges are more likely to happen. Is it worth the risk of frying your laptop? To me, it isn’t.
Again, these are just suggestions, so you should use whatever you feel works best when you travel. Like my mother always said, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Thursdays have been solid travel days, often the calm before the wild weekend storm, so check back next week for another tip and happy trails!