Electrical Travel Essentials

Be prepared and be honest.

– John Wooden

Hello, Drifters!

Have you ever left your house without your phone charger or, better yet, without your phone? What about driving to the grocery store, getting in line only to find out that you left your wallet at home? I’ve done all three and I am quite sure many of you have, as well. Anyways, after these rough past couple of weeks I wanted to share my experiences on having all of your devices and electrical equipment prepared for a journey, more so traveling to another country. This stemmed from, not just my personal travel experiences, but after having hardware failure after failure after more failures lately. This post will be focusing on European travel.

20000mAh Power Bank by AUKEY. Available at Amazon

When preparing for my study abroad trip, I knew that I was going to be taking a lot of footage with my iPhone X and, more than likely, my backup iPhone 6s Plus ( which I did). This meant that I needed an external battery power bank. This bad boy lasted me for about a week of use and fit nicely into my crossover bag. In fact, I’m using a smaller, more rectangular type of crossover bag now and it still fits that great. There are 2 issues I have with this unit, though: 1) it charges very slowly. If you use it for more than 2 hours you might as well as leave it on the charger overnight. 2) I do not recommend trying to charge this with your laptop or some Universal plugs, like the one I will link below. This meant that I couldn’t rely on it for the rest of my trip as I was able to in the beginning.

If you are the type of person that uses a DSLR camera and don’t use your phone often then no worries there. I’d still have extra batteries or battery packs just in case. I used to use a DSLR camera, but because I like getting into everything it just wasn’t for me. Besides, I greatly want to become a pro iPhone Photographer and I’d love to be featured in National Geographic one day. Fingers crossed!

Travel Adapter by Ailuner. Available at Amazon.

I really love how there multiple areas to charge my devices. The 2 USB ports and regular plug has served me quite well. While this adapter has been great for me at charging my small electronics, I do not recommend it for my power bank or a MacBook, in this case a MacBook Pro (Mid-2010). For my MacBook Pro I used the below item.

The below are items that I do not have experience with, but I am looking into obtaining and thought you might interested in.

Europe MacBook Plug Converter by WOVTE. Available at Amazon.

For the record I placed this in the ” non-experience” section since I do not remember where my friend had purchased this from. I just know that it came in a pack of two. I had a fellow study abroad student graciously let me borrow, and then have, this plug when I found out the hard way that my Universal wall charger was best left to small devices. This is the absolute best! No charging issues whatsoever! Simply slide off your old plug from the Magsafe, slip this on and voila. The longer cable is, also, available.

Universal Wall Charger. Available at Amazon.

For those of you that prefer a smaller, slimmer European usb wall charger take a look at this one. I might get one of these as a backup to my backup, the reason being is due to its dimensions. Something like this would help conserve my power bank energy supply when possible.

Electric Power Converter by ElecLead. Available at Amazon.

This converter seems to be great from electric devices, but not electronic devices-device that have a knob, auto shut-off feature, ect, but it does work great for low wattage devices, like an electric toothbrush. You can check all of the specifics on the website. If all you need is to blow-dry your hair or plug in an iron this will be fine. If you want to use it for a rice cooker, coffee machine or the likes then you might better look into the following below.

Voltage Transformer by Gvolz. Available at Amazon.

I had a similar converter a few years ago and it served me great! It handled everything perfectly, no troubles. I didn’t have to worry about the power going out anywhere. You can step up or down the transformer with a switch on the back.

International Power Strip by Poweradd. Available at Amazon.

This is something that I could’ve used 1 1/2 years ago and will definitely be included to my arsenal. No worrying about converting power, whether my electronics will blow out a fuse, whether I will get enough juice to charge my equipment, etc. I the past I carried an extension cord with about 3 outlets on it. This power strip trumps the old cord.

Now, I mentioned my failing hardware issues. Well, there was even software failures. It seems that it is time for me to purchase a newer laptop, which I am in the process of doing because I cannot update this MacBook anymore and after almost every update last year the laptop seemed to crash. If you are you in this situation I highly recommend that you look into upgrading your laptop if you will be using for school, business or both before going overseas. While you are at, make sure that that new laptop software is up to date and add whatever software you need or that you think you might need in order to make things run smoother.

This is part of the reason why I haven’t been able to upload my videos to YouTube, because of software and hardware issues. I primarily use iMovie to edit my videos. I have looked into Final Cut and Filmora, but things just won’t run smoothly. Since I depend on my laptop for school and work I’d be royally screwed if I was traveling anymore.

Last notes: if you are flying on a plane I highly recommend that you store all of your valuable devices on your carry-on. You never know if your luggage, or something inside of your luggage, will be stolen, thrown around or something else terrible. Rarely do I stuff any device in my checked bag. Good luck on your travels!

What are your thoughts on this article? Do you have any other advice to recommend to other travelers? I’d like to read them.

Thank you for reading this!

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