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The Best Travel Charger

The Best Travel Charger

Do you ever feel like a Best Buy supplier when you empty your bag at airport security?

What’s the best way to reduce the number of cables, adaptors and converters? Especially when you’re going international?

More and more devices and gadgets are (finally) using standards such as USB. That means that you can often cut down your cables and/or your chargers to maybe just a handful. Careful, check before you go if you’re really cutting down on cables as, for example, my new Lumix DMC TX40 uses a proprietary USB connector to the actual camera. Ugh.

Careful, an iPhone charger is not necessarily the same as an iPad charger. The iPad (or iPhone 5) charger puts out more power.
Check closely to see if it can (fast) charge an iPad.

Check closely to see if it can (fast) charge an iPad.

Philips European Dual USB Charger (iPad)

I recently bought the Philips DLP2207/12 double USB charger at a local electronics shop in Holland. I first asked someone for help and they gave me just a USB adaptor, but I knew that in my experience with iPads charging slowly on the (pre-5) iPhone chargers that you didn’t get the full power you needed. Another clerk knew what I was talking about and showed me the higher power DLS2207/12.

It’s been a great little gadget that I’ve using for weeks now. Love it.


It has "iPad" power, not just iPhone power.

It has “iPad” power, not just iPhone power.

PowerGen USA Dual USB Charger (Apple + non-Apple)

I found this one on Amazon: PowerGen Dual USB 3.1A 15w Travel Wall Charger but I don’t really get why one port says it’s for Apple and the other port is for non-Apple. Isn’t USB just USB? I’ve been plugging in any old USB into the Philips above and they all seem to work. Is there something I should know? Did I miss that section of the USB refresher course?

You can buy a little travel adaptor that clicks on or off for the prongs for other countries.

USB ports and 3 plugs. All you need?

USB ports and 3 plugs. All you need?

SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger

I really like this one from Belkin and the Amazon page says it’s a “travel” adaptor, but I suppose any plug can be “travel” if you just put a small adaptor on it, right? Just make sure you’re using something that has the range on it that can handle it. But frankly, I’m not using that much anymore than requires a real plug.

My list of plugged in items is dwindling:

  • Laptop
  • Prepaid Euro flip phone (old, but works)
  • Uh, was that it?

Here are USB gadgets I have on a regular basis:

  • iPad
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3Gs (with new European SIM card)
  • 2 Kindles
  • Lumix camera
  • Portable iPhone speaker


  1. Dee

    Thanks for this! I was wondering why my ipad mini was charging very slowly when I used my iphone adaptor. When I read this I found my ipad adapter which I hadn’t bothered to use because I thought they were the same, and my ipad charged more quickly.

    • Bradley

      I had the same experience! I just figured they were the same. I want to get an iPad charger for the car–I’ll make sure it’s the more powerful one.


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