Business travellers are packing more electronic devices than ever -- and the cords, wires and power adapters to go with them.
With no common charging connection yet for BlackBerrys, iPhones, iPads, Kindles, eReaders, the wide range of Android phones and tablets, laptops, travel projectors and everything else a business traveller needs with them, keeping everything charged up is increasingly tricky.
That's especially true if your business hotel was built before the gadget revolution. Just about every business traveller has sighed to find a single power point underneath the desk in a room that's supposedly a business-level offering. That's not much use if you have five devices to charge -- one of which you use as an alarm clock on the bedside table across the room.
While some housekeeping departments keep a stock of power boards on hand for this kind of situation, if you're abroad it's unlikely they'll be the Australian style of plug.
So save luggage weight, packing space -- and the faff of trying to find an adapter for your plugs while abroad on business -- by bringing along a single universal plug adapter and an Australian power board.
Select the plug type you need on your universal adapter, plug the power board into it, then charge away.
But when it comes time to pick the power board to bring with you, some are better than others for travelling. Here are a few things to look for:
Well-spaced power points
Take a look at the plugs on your electronics. Are you likely to be carrying any of the bulkier AC adapters that plug directly in to the power point, like this one?
If so, make sure you pick a power board with well-spaced power points, otherwise a single big adapter will take up two or three spaces on your power board.
Somewhere between 1.5 and 2 metres should be ample. You won't want to be scrabbling around under the desk or behind the bedside table to plug everything in, but at the same time a longer lead will get tangled up in your luggage.
Only you can decide whether you want to take the luggage weight hit of a larger power board with a built-in fuse for surge protection.
Modern electronics are more resistant to small power spikes than they used to be, but there are still areas of the world where a good jolt will fry your laptop adaptor (and perhaps your laptop).
There's really no need to go overboard on cost. Pick up a power point in a homewares or hardware store rather than at an electronics or computer shop and you'll save the "made for computers" markup.