Becoming a plugged-in traveller

There’s a post by Jake McKee on Dell’s new DigitalNomads blog that suggests some great tips for business travellers to think about when planning a trip, especially concerning your baggage.

Don’t check in your bag at the airport, says Jake, but carry it on wherever possible: avoid checking bags at all costs, he stresses.

Sound advice these days especially when some airlines are beginning to charge you for checking bags, especially within the USA.

Jake’s tip on taking a small laptop bag for things you want easy access to during a flight, and which you can easily slide under your seat, is a good one. I’ll apply that on my next trip.

There’s one tip I’d add to Jake’s list – when you’re travelling to foreign countries, take an extension lead or power strip instead of multiple plug adapters.

If you travel internationally, you know that one of the banes of such travel is the different standards that apply in different countries regarding the power outlet in the wall and what type of plug it will take.

No doubt you’ll have some or all of these things that require electrical power – laptop computer, mobile device charger, iPod charger, portable speakers, maybe an AirPort Express, a PSP or other gaming device, video camera, etc.

And no doubt you’ll need to plug two or more of these gizmos into a power outlet at the same time. So you need to carry two or more plug adapters.

Not if you take just one plug adapter and an extension like the one pictured, a funky-looking thing from Ikea which cost me less than £6 for a twin-pack a couple of years ago. Of course, this one’s for British plugs; I’m pretty sure an Ikea store in your country will have the equivalent for the plugs you use.

I first heard this idea – in a truly duh! moment – from my podcasting partner Shel Holtz a couple of years ago writing in his Road Weary blog.

Since then, the last thing I need to worry about is plugging things in when I get to my destination hotel.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Jake McKee

    Thanks for the pointer to the article, Neville.

    I like the surge strip idea. Over the years, I’ve just collected enough individual adapters to use one for each of my devices. But the problem is that I tend to find a massive lack of outlets in most EU rooms I stay in, so this is a better solution!

  2. neville

    Glad you found the tip useful, Jake.

    Good point re lack of outlets. I’ve not had an experience yet where a room has only one outlet. So even more useful to have an extension/power strip in those circumstances!

  3. MicroAngelo

    The way I deal with this is that over the years I have only bought devices that I could charge via USB.

    Now I just use one universal A/C adapter for my laptop, and run everything else off of that. I also have USB out on the adapter and a car adapter->USB, and a hub.

    Some of the things I have that run on USB:

    B-Tube rechargeable bluetooth (A2DP + AVRCP + Handsfree + Headset) speakers

    HTC PDA/phone

    Jabra BT8010 bluetooth headset/phone remote control with stereo A2DP

    Jawbone 2 no-background-noise bluetooth headset

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