There are all sorts of ways to power your phone, tablet, laptop and other gadgets when you're on the road. Anthony Caruana shares his tips.
I travel quite a bit. Over the last month, I've been interstate weekly and I'm writing this from a hotel room in San Francisco - a long way from my home. Aside from the obvious need to reduce luggage weight one of the things I've learned to do is only buy stuff that's easy to recharge.
Here are a few things I do:
1. USB all the way
Aside from my laptop, almost every other device I carry when I travel can be recharged from a USB port. So, while my laptop is charging I can top up the juice in my phone, tablet and other accessories.
2. Reduce the cable clutter
If you use and iPod, iPhone and/or iPad, then you can use the same cable to charge all three devices. That means all I need is one cable and I can recharge all my small devices.
Many people don't use Apple's gear but that doesn't mean you can't share cables. The micro-USB connector has become the standard for connectivity and charging. However, we've found that not all cables are created equally. Some will happily carry data but won't charge all devices. If you're planning to take one USB cable to share among all your devices, make sure you test it before you go.
3. In the car
There are two options we'd consider for the car.
If all you need to do is give your mobile phone a power boost then a cigarette lighter adapter will do the trick.
A Power Inverter will allow to charge a laptop from your car. Inverters take the 12 volt DC current from your car and convert it to 240 volt AC.
Inverters come in differing capacities. We'd suggest taking the power supplies for the devices you plan on connecting to an inverter so that the reseller can calculate what you need.
One of the first things we pack when going overseas is our Kensington International Travel Plug. This is a universal supply that can take just about any plug and connect to any other outlet. We received ours as a gift but would happily pay the $20 to replace it if it was lost.
5. One for the Apple fans
Apple sells, at a pretty high price in my view, an Apple World Travel Adaptor Kit. This provides a set of removable heads so that you can easily covert your Australian power supplies for use in just about every country on the planet. If you're an Apple user then this is an easy way to ensure maximum international compatibility.