Wouldn’t it be great to travel abroad without lugging around an adapter for your various electrical appliances? This unthinkable dream has now become a reality in many Chinese hotels that have introduced a universal plug socket.

America has two pins, Europe has two round pins, Britain has three pins—it can honestly be too much to handle (and remember) when it comes to bringing an adapter on a trip. Even when you do pack the correct adapter, plugging all of your accessories into one outlet isn’t the safest thing to do. When BBC Global Business Correspondent Peter Day checked into two hotels in China, however, he was not greeted with these problems.

“I found in my bedrooms in two new hotels in China a simple all-purpose wall socket that took the plugs of many nations – including those of the UK,” reports Day. “It is wonderful not to have to struggle any longer with those converters that never exactly fit, or fail to have a vital hole or pin. It is normally discovered only when a shave is vital or a flat battery urgently needs a recharge to enable recordings to continue.”

As impressive as this is, the question arises, “why is this now possible?” After Hong Kong was declared a part of China in 1997, Hong Kongers needed a way to use their three-pin plugs, acquired from British rule. The socket was created originally to fit both the Chinese two or three flat prong plugs as well as the plugs used in Hong Kong. Now this idea has been adapted to fit plugs from nations all over the world.

With about a billion people travelling around the globe each year, hotels need to start putting this universal plug design to work. We can finally say goodbye to the days of missed shaves, dead camera batteries and wet hair, and hello to much smoother vacations.

Author: Corrie Purvis
Corrie Purvis is a guest writer for the Healthy Travel Blog. She is currently a rising sophomore at Virginia Tech where she is majoring in both communication and international studies. Post-graduation, she hopes to work and live abroad while pursuing a career involving writing.

Photo by yuankuei.

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