Travel Technology

Europe Trip? Heed This Advice or Risk Electronic Failure

Beware the bulky adapter.

Pack a bulky adapter for your next trip to Europe and you may, quite literally, find yourself in a round hole-square peg situation.

Some electrical outlets in Europe are set inside recessed circles. Now, I had never thought twice about these, as my go-to adapter is small and fits easily inside the circumference of the socket. But on a recent trip to Spain, I traveled with someone who had a large square adapter that didn’t fit into this common socket type. And that meant she couldn’t charge any of her electronics.

So I made a deal with her: I’d lend her my small, easy-to-carry and easy-to-plug-in Flight 001 4-in-1 adapter, and she’d let me take a photo of her adapter as a cautionary tale for our readers.

Moral of the story: Beware the bulky adapter. Not only does it weigh down baggage but it’s utterly useless if you find yourself someplace with a narrow outlet.

More From Smartertravel:

(Photo: Christine Sarkis)

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *