If you've ever traveled abroad, you know: the outlets we use here in the United States are different from those in other countries. That means if you plan to pack your hair dryer or charge your smartphone, you’ll also need to pack one the best travel adapters.
How do you know which adapter is right for the region you're traveling to? You'll need to consider prong configuration, voltage, and wattage.
In total, there are 15 different electrical outlets used worldwide. So, before you go, check to see what outlet is used in the country or region you will be traveling to. The most popular travel adapters today will be "universal" adapters, or will be able to accommodate many or most of the different electrical outlets in the world.
If you're traveling outside the United States, you may also need an adapter that has a voltage converter. This is because electronics in the United States use a 120 voltage system whereas Europe and other regions use 240 voltage. While electronics today clearly label whether they are equip for both voltage systems, if you're not sure if your device needs a converter, there is plenty of helpful information on dual voltage devices online. A quick Google search should do the trick.
Also keep in mind, if you're purchasing an adapter that converts voltage, that they're usually designed to handle either high-watt or low-watt (under 200 watt) devices, but can rarely handle both. You'll want to determine the wattage of the electronics you'll plug in before choosing a voltage-converting adapter.
Phew, that is a lot to think about. To make your search that much easier, I've put together a list of the best travel adapters for each type of device and purpose.