I was sitting in the Delta SkyClub in Seattle making sure all of my electronic devices were 100% charged for my European trip when I realized, this is a hot mess of devices, chargers, and adapters.
First, what am I traveling with today? Here’s a breakdown of what gets packed into my Tom Bihn Travel Tray.
My ThinkPad isn’t pictured here, but it’s my work device and since I’m on a work trip, I obviously need to bring it. If I’m traveling for fun, I leave this one at home.
I burn through my phone’s battery (especially the GS5) so fast, so I always like to have a little extra power. I like this charger. It wasn’t too expensive, it charges two devices at once, and has an indicator to tell you when it’s running out of juice. Also, it’s fairly lightweight.
The battery grip for my 1020 is an added accessory, which not only adds battery power but makes my Lumia 1020 feel more like a camera.
Because I’m traveling to Europe, I’ll need to convert my power source. This all in one adapter is pretty decent, it has a dual USB attachment or a single prong (you can’t charge both at the same time). It also has a surge protector on it.
This is another adapter that has two universal outlets for adapting to EU power sources. It was under $10 and does the job.
This is my work phone (yeah, I like to separate work and personal phones).
The Surface Pro 3 charger has a USB charger built in. This comes in very handy, especially when I need to charge my phone and Surface at the same time.
This is my main personal phone (until I upgrade). I do like this phone (and it’s water resistant which has come in handy twice now) but I do manage to run the battery down very quickly.
I still rock the FitBit Flex, and while the charge will last almost 5 days, the charger is small enough to easily throw in my bag. The downside is that I have lost a few of these while traveling.
10. Nokia Lumia 1020
This phone is a few years old, but I love it. It’s not hooked up to cell service, but I use it via wifi only. Why do I do this one might ask? Well, two reasons. One, if I want to get a local Sim, I can use it in this phone. Two, it takes amazing photos – way better than my Samsung or iPhone – and sometimes when you’re active you can’t take your real camera.
Sometimes I do bring my actual camera while traveling, including on this trip (I actually took the pic above with my camera). I keep two batteries and one charger on me which can get me through a day of shooting.
Also not pictured is my Kindle, because I couldn’t find it before I left for this trip (it’s in my apartment somewhere – I hope).
I wondered why every country has a different type of electrical set up. I could try explaining it, or you could just check out Gizmodo’s awesome explanation of the history behind this.
The part that gets me is – why does everything have a different charger? My Poweradd, Lumia 1020, Kindle, and FitBit use a micro USB. Everything else has a different type of charger, so I’m always carrying a ton of cords with me. There has to be a better way (and maybe wireless charging will be universal soon??), and if you know what it is, please share with me!
Also, one pro tip, my hotel TV has two USB plug ins. This is pretty common for most newer TVs, so you can charge your devices there, too! There are phone charging solutions in the form of public lockers by KIOSK that are rolling out in cities. See https://kiosk.com/ for information.
Is your travel bag a tangled mess of wires? Share your woes with me by leaving a comment below, send me a Tweet, or comment on Facebook.
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