You can buy travel adapters for AC power plugs, but do powerstrips exist that accommodate different international power plugs in one unit? When travelling and collaborating in an international environment, power cords turn into a spaghetti of cords.

It would be so convenient if powerstrips exist that accommodate for example a US, a British, French/German power cord on one unit, but I have not found one and I have searched extensively.

Do they exist at all, or do international laws prohibit such a device?

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    Such a device would be handy even for those of us who need to charge a laptop, a camera, and a mobile phone while travelling. Especially if one or more of those was purchased (or replaced) while abroad. Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 16:42
  • Hi - there already seem to be several answers on here which answer your question, but you've added a bounty, which presumably means they aren't answering your original problem. Would you mind clarifying what you're missing? Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 14:23
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    @AndrewFerrier I intend to give bounties to all those answers that proved to be practical over time. Unfortunately I have to wait 24h to give the bounty, otherwise I would have already awarded the bounty
    – user141
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 14:30
  • @Andra, OK, got it. Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 15:02
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    @AndrewFerrier, but now I am in doubt, since your recent addition deserves a bounty as well. Maybe it is a good thing afterall this 24h thinking time.
    – user141
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 15:06

12 Answers 12


In India, a lot of plug sockets look like this:

enter image description here

They seem to accept plug types from most countries. It's a shame you can't find these everywhere.

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    I'm not sure how widespread these are in stores around the world, but try looking online (in the US, a search for "universal power strip" did the trick). You may need an adapter for the power strip's plug, depending on where it ships from, but that shouldn't be a big deal. I know Amazon US, at least, has several varieties, including this one: amazon.com/WONPRO-UNIVERSAL-POWER-STRIP-OUTLETS/dp/B000WG069C/…
    – Laura
    Commented Dec 12, 2011 at 16:40
  • I use adapter strips like this. They are quite common in China and almost any hotel will lend you one when asked. Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 15:14
  • I came across one of these "in the wild" at a conference in Sydney: facebook.com/Kate.Gregory.Public#!/… Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 1:19
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    I got something that kind of looks like this at home and it's a disaster, plugs might be "accepted" in some technical sense but they aren't well-seated in and the slightest bump breaks continuity and/or knocks them out...
    – Thomas
    Commented May 28, 2016 at 13:41
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    You have to look out with those plugins, the one you pictured does does include earthing for all plug types, giving you a HUGE electrocution risk if something goes wrong with the devices you are using
    – Ferrybig
    Commented Mar 11, 2019 at 19:57

It's very hard to make a universal socket that's compliant with all the safety standards that would apply. Eg in the UK BS 1363 sockets must have shutters over the L and N holes and plugs must be fused.

The simple answer, if you are travelling to many countries, is often to take your domestic power strip but change the plug on it to a IEC 60320 inlet. This will work with C-13 and C-15 plugs, and almost everywhere will have a kettle lead or a computer lead you can borrow.

If you are expecting foreign visitors, provide a IEC 60320 multi-way strip with C13-C14 leads for most appliances and C-5 plugs for laptops.

  • Using a power strip with an IEC C-14 plug is a clever idea, but I've never seen one of those for sale (although, apparently, they do exist). You could make one yourself, either with a rewirable C-14 plug or by replacing the entire cord of a normal power strip, but I wouldn't advise it unless you have at least a bit of experience working with mains wiring. (Pro tip: the yellow-green wire is the ground; always make sure it's correctly and securely wired, and has more slack than the others.) Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 19:11
  • Since it's a power strip, you could imagine one with several different types of sockets on it, maybe overlapping each other when possible. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 11:33

I think they're more common in countries with poor safety regulation of electric devices.

This adaptor strip/board was at my hostel in Tbilisi, Georgia at the time the question was first asked: Georgia powerboard/adaptor combo
It seems to be made by a company called "Veto" with model number 606F, but I couldn't find anything by Googling.

And a few days ago I found a "bin" full of these in one of the very few supermarkets here in Vientiane, Laos:
Laos powerboard/adaptor combo
Chinese labelled imports.

Now that I've spent a month travelling through China I can say without doubt that it is the golden country for these devices. There are a myriad variety of them on sale everywhere. These photos are from a supermarket, not an electricial or electronics store, and it's in a city most Chinese haven't even heard of:

range of powerboards in China Typical range in a typical supermerket anywhere in mainland China.

the powerboard I purchased in China The one I chose was compact and seemed to be a decent quality. It has two sockets for two- or three-prong plugs and one for only two-prong plugs. The three-prong sockets accept Australian style plugs and Europe/India style plugs. They also accept a style with two flat prongs that works in Taiwan and probably other places. The plug on the other end of the adaptor is Australian and Chinese-style three-prong.

Yet I don't think I've ever seen something like this in Australia. We have no shortage of supermarkets and electronics shops with tons of adaptors and powerboards but we have quite stringent safety standards on electrical products.

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    The board in the last photo looks a bit dubious... the AU grounding pin is between two hot/neutral pins, which makes me wonder if it's even connected to anything.
    – Bob
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 17:11
  • @Bob: I haven't looked inside it but I've brought that one back to Australia and have things plugged into each AU outlet right now. It seems like a quality item to me. I've only used it with computer/phone/camera/chargers though. Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 0:29
  • @Bob: I'm still happily using this same one now 4.5 years later. I've taken on all my travels since. It has a hologram on it, which would seem to indicate it's either a brand so trusted that it subject to knockoffs. Or it is a knockoff of the trusted brand. Either way it has never let me down. Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 15:45

One of the most important things when buying power strips is safety! I do not see anyone mention this. There are two different safety issues here:

  1. Safety of the place, for example overloading. Last thing you want to do is burn the hotel room or so. Make sure it can provide power for more devices and in case of any abnormality it should be equipped with circuit breakers.
  2. Safety of your devices, in many countries power is not as stable as in EU or USA. A power strip with Surge Protector to protect your devices is very important.

In addition to above, it is universal and can handle UK, EU and USA and almost all Asian and African plugs. It also has two USB outlets to make it easier for you to charge.


From Amazon.


I do see your point about the collaboration among people of different power types:

enter image description here

(Yes, the rightmost plug is going through three adaptors. It's from 5 years ago, but I believe that one is mine. The picture was taken in South Africa: SA to UK adapters and UK to US adapters were plentiful, other combinations not so much. After that trip I started carrying the mini power strips.)

But surely when you're in your hotel room, all the things you want to plug in are the same kind of plug? I take a small power strip (my smallest is a cube that accomodates 5 plugs; my airport friendmaker) and plug it, using the adapter, into the wall. Then I can plug everything else into the power strip.

I never bother taking a stepdown transformer with me because the only things that I charge (eg my laptop; battery recharger; phone) on the road are happy at both 220 and 110 (and certainly within 10% of each of those.) But if you did then you might want two small strips. Something like this won't take up much room at all:

enter image description here


Multi-plug sockets exist (I've sometimes seen them in hotels), but you still have to be careful what you plug into them, as there's also a difference in voltages.

While many power units, especially those found in travel-related gear such as laptop computers, accept 110V as well 230V, not all do. A 110V device plugged into a 230V socket is not going to live long.

Maybe multi-plug sockets are not common because makers (and venues that might deploy them) fear getting complaints/lawsuits when this happens.


Any multi standard socket is unlikely to properly comply with the standards for most of the plug types it accepts. In particular it's unlikely to comply with the standards of the country it's sold in for their own plugs (being noncompliant with a countries own standards is far more likely to be a legal problem than being noncompliant with some random foriegn standard).

There seems to be an acceptance that travel adaptors will have lower safety standards than normal plugs and sockets. Most of the ones I see sold in reputable outlets in the UK have a warning on them along the lines of "not for long term use". The ones sold for people travelling from the UK typically have a warning along the lines of "not for use in the UK" while the ones sold for visitors to the UK will typically not accept UK plugs. I suspect safety regulators regard travel adapters as a "nessacery evil".

As others have pointed out multi-standard power strips do exist but they are mostly sold in countries with weak electrical safety regulations. In the UK they are only available from dubious sellers. Typically via marketplace sites where the legal seller is seperate from the site operator.

Things I would consider if running an event.

  1. Provide multiple types of power strip. In the UK for example I would consider providing schuko power strips with british plugs. I would be more reluctant to provide "wrong voltage" strips though.
  2. Provide power cords. Most laptops have cloverleaf inlets, most of the remainder will have IEC or figure eight ones. Would a bucket of each type of lead really break the bank?

Yes, I have one which I use at home, bought from Amazon (UK). It accommodates UK, N. American, continental European, and possibly others too. I find the sockets were a bit tight to start with for UK plugs, but now I've used it for a while, I find it invaluable.

travellers' powerstrip

  • Nice addition! So this daisy chain contains all the securities the UK requires?
    – user141
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 14:32
  • @Andra, how do you mean by "securities"? The plug is fused, if that's what you mean - which I think it has to be by UK law. I assume the earth pins are also connected through - but I'm not an electricians, so expertise is limited here :) Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 15:03
  • That is what I mean. The UK law is quite strict on that topic, which I think is a good thing. The solutions mentioned above might not adhere to the UK law on that matter
    – user141
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 15:09
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    @Andra, that sucks. Although as you'll notice, it has a UK plug on it, so ironically, you'd need an adapter anyway :) Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 17:29
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    @AndrewFerrier it's not sold by Amazon, just a small company using Amazon as their online storefront. Many such don't ship international because of the extra overhead.
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 13, 2013 at 5:40
  1. None of the above addresses the problem of Schuko sockets: Schuko Socket

This is recessed and as such, doesn't work with the above. Skross for example has a series, any of these combined with the multisocket power strips above solves the problem http://www.skross.com/en/category/18/europe-input.html . Alternatively you can get a ground collar which passes the two pins of the Schuko plug into the multisocket and changes the recessed ground into a protruding ground leg:

Schuko ground collar

Finally, Wonpro seems to have a universal power strip which also allows for Schuko plugs but I've only found it on Chinese wholesale sites:

Wonpro really universal power strip

  • Only the grounding wouldn't work with the adapters above. The electric part should work fine.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 15:19
  • @JonathanReez I do not quite understand, almost everything I see on this page seems to be grounded.
    – user4188
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 15:21
  • I'm referring to the adapters posted in other answers.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 15:23
  • What I'm trying to say is you don't need the grounding for the device to work, although it does make using it quite a bit safer.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 18:17

If you do not need grounding to work then currently nothing beats the MOGICS Bagel. You get 4 universal sockets, 1 US socket and 2 USB in a small package and the sockets do not block each other. The third legs of grounded plugs are not blocked but they are not connected to anything.

The universal plug adapter you get for this one is so small it fits inside the Schuko socket (be careful not to lose it, the routine scan I do every time I leave will NOT catch it inside a black socket like the one in the Amsterdam KLM Lounge where I left mine) and yet it's EU/UK(!)/AU. There are hidden surprises in there: the bottom of the Bagel has a little notch so even if you engaged the third UK leg you can still put the adapter back in the middle and plug the whole shebang in. MOGICS Bagel


Wonpro makes a bunch. Here's one I have -- a 3-prong one as resold by Ceptics. (There's a really cool version with a standard C13/C14 plug in the back, but I haven't managed to find a reseller yet.)


If you're in a country that doesn't allow for unlicensed power adapters, you can order some from China's AliExpress:

enter image description here

Most options are under $20 with shipping and include several USB connectors.

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