Travel Tip: Transformers

If you travel frequently and you have a lot of electrical stuff with US-style 2-pin plugs, I have a great little gadget to help negotiate the myriad of plug shapes found worldwide:


I don't know if it's available anywhere else, but I picked up a couple of these in Japan. They're light in weight, not too big (they fit in the palm of my hand.), and more importantly, these adapters morph into every plug-shape configuration possible, reminiscent of the Transformer robots.

The adapter pulls apart into two pieces, with a bunch of appendages that fold out, fold in and fit together in various permutations. It takes a bit of assembly to get the shape you want, but it's not all that difficult (actually, if you need a good laugh, hand one of these to someone who's gadget-challenged and watch them try to figure it out).

The smaller piece works for Aussie-style two-pin sockets and a three-pin variation:

electrical plug shapes

While both pieces together combine to tackle the main shapes I encounter in Southeast Asia:

electrical plug shapes

Together, these shapes work for every situation I've encountered so far (of course, it'd be far easier if everyone just used a standard plug-shape, but let's not get into that again).

The only drawback is that some of the appendages stick out to the side, sometimes blocking access to other electrical outlets, thereby pissing off the person sitting next to you in the airport lounge.