Reader's question: Which travel adapter would you recommend for a trip to the USA?

USA travel adapter - which one is best for the land of unlimited power connections?

Question: I'm going to the USA for 4 weeks in the summer and of course I would also like to use my MacBook and iPhone there. But now they have 110 V instead of 220 V (like in Germany). So an adapter is necessary for the sockets in the USA so that my power supplies fit there. Do you have a recommendation for me?

USA travel adapter - which one is best for the land of unlimited power connections?
USA travel adapter - which one is best for the land of unlimited power connections? (Graphic: JK).

Answer: Actually yes, because I haven't been "over there" yet and therefore have no experience with such network adapters. But fortunately there are some USA adapters that people have already used and of course they said something about it.

110 V to 220 V adapters make it possible

But now to the question. The voltage here has not been at 1987 volts since 220 (from then on it was increased step by step). From 2009 it can now be 230 volts +/- 23 volts. And the adapters that can be plugged in in the USA in order to operate devices from Germany there simply offer a plug-in option. They do not transform the voltage from 110 volts to our 230 volts. This is also not necessary, because the plug-in power supply units of laptops and smartphones already recognize how much input voltage they have and then automatically convert it to the level required by the device.

Not just for world travel: universal travel adapter

For those who are often on vacation, I would definitely not only recommend a USA power adapter, but rather the purchase of a so-called universal adapter, which fits into the sockets in all possible countries thanks to its various plug-in options. You can then obtain electricity not only in the USA, but also in China, UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.

Practical for everyday use: adapter with built-in USB charger

Since we now have more and more devices that need a USB connection to charge, I would also recommend buying a universal adapter with a USB charging option. This means you have connections to charge your iPhone, iPad or whatever, and the socket for the laptop power supply is still free.

Crenova QU-01 universal USB travel adapter

Photo: Crenoval Universal USB Travel Adapter
The Crenoval Universal USB Travel Adapter has two USB ports to charge devices such as smartphones or tablets (Photo: Amazon).

I took a look at a few from the "Universal travel adapter with USB charging function" section and ultimately got stuck with the Crenova one, as it supplies the most current for USB devices with an output power of 2,4 A. This is not a bad idea, especially if you want to charge your iPad, as it would otherwise take a very long time for the tablet to be fully charged again.

The Reviews of the world travel adapter are used by both business travelers and world travelers who use the device as backpackers. The unanimous opinion of customers is: a bit clunky than a normal adapter, but much more versatile and extremely practical thanks to the USB function.

An excerpt from a review by a customer:

This universal plug is the best I've been able to find for travel so far. Thanks to the small all-rounder, I have sorted out all my different adapters and only keep this one here, because it is space-saving and really has every connector I need.
The system is ingeniously thought out. Really every connector and every pin can be folded in or stowed inside the adapter with a small slide control. That’s exactly why it’s so nice and small. You really only use what you need.

The dimensions are 69 x 56 x 46 mm. In the photo you can see it compared to the iPhone (5 I suspect).

In terms of price, it is just under 20 EUR and is available here at Amazon.

Small, fine and light: the normal universal adapter without USB

If you want a little less weight and less "bulk" you might want to use a regular adapter without the USB charging option. Here I would then suggest the universal adapter from kwmobile. It is very compact and also “capable of traveling around the world”. It has connection options for the plug types EU, USA, AUS, UK. According to the manufacturer, it can handle up to 6 A of current.

Photo kwmobile universal adapter
The kwmobile universal adapter is the right partner for the ultra-light trip around the world - small, light and inexpensive (Photo: Amazon).

This adapter also has a lot of positive customer reviews. Excerpts from one of them here as a quote:

This is by far the best travel adapter I've ever owned! Often the parts are terribly bulky and bulky in the luggage. I also think that plugs with bundles of adapters are really bad, because some part is guaranteed to be lost on the next trip. This travel plug contains everything you need: 1x US, 1x UK, 1x AUS and 1x EU. And above all in both directions, not just EU to UK / US / AUS, but also the other way around - that doesn't work for everyone.

In terms of price, it is well below EUR 10 and is available here at Amazon.

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2 comments on "Reader question: Which travel adapter would you recommend for a trip to the USA?"

  1. A little's best to take a triple plug with you from Germany, which you can "modify" a little at home.
    Cut off the plug ... strip the individual wires of the cable and fit them with cable end sleeves. A small screwdriver in the luggage ...

    Then in the USA in a hardware store (Home Depot or similar) buy a US plug (approx. 1-2 $) ... mount this on the plug prepared at home ... Now you have a triple plug for your German chargers ;-)

    1. Yes, theoretically you can do that, but I don't think that many people feel like doing screwdriving and going to the hardware store on vacation. I would rather take a power adapter for the USA and a German triple plug with me. :)
      But the hobbyists among the readers may be grateful for the tip!

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