Whine Wednesdays: Not Enough Power Sockets!


The downside of the digital world is that we all curry multiple devices that are constantly consuming power.

Whine Wednesdays Power Sockets

I have two laptops, cell phone, external speaker set, power bank and then some even when traveling just by myself. It is difficult to get all the devices charged because many of the hotels simply don’t have enough power sockets around the work desk.

Sometimes you see a work desk in a brand new hotel that comes with three power sockets but only one of them is actually free! Table lamp and the wireless router also need energy leaving only one socket for the guest.

It is sometimes a challenge to get the guest services to understand what power strip means. Sometimes they merely bring an extension cable and other times a converter.

You would think that at this day and age hotels would make sure that there are enough power sockets everywhere? This doesn’t only apply to hotel rooms but hotel and airline lounges too.

The club lounge could be brand new and beautiful but few power sockets hidden. Then you need the extension cable and people sometimes almost fall when walking over them.


Hotels really should ensure that they have enough power sockets around the work desk and I would prefer those that you can plug in US, UK and European devices. I do carry all the converters in multiples just in case….

It is not a beautiful sight when you have power strip and all the various adapters out in otherwise well designed room or suite.

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  • AB3

    I bring one of these ( http://a.co/8Vgd5rb ) when I travel, especially when I take overnight Amtrak trains as most of their sleeping compartments have only one AC outlet. Works well for me and includes both three-prong sockets as well as USB ports.

    • I have actually had this exact model in the past but threw it away. Wasn’t satisfied with it.

  • Hans

    When going to places where you may expect insufficient power sockets simply carry an extension cord with at least 3 or 4 sockets for the plugs that are standard for your devices. You will only need one adapter. Modern extension cords often have a couple of USB ports as well so that you need less sockets.

  • Filip

    Something that I hate even more is newly renovated room with no outlets at the bed.

    • alwweb

      That is my biggest complaint. Or one hidden behind the night stand only on one side. Hampton Inn has the right idea with their mini-charge stations typically on both sides of the bed. I really like Marriott, but their designers have NOT figured out that we need power by the bed. I use my phone for my alarm because I don’t trust hotel alarms.

  • Gary

    Even more challenging on cruises! Power strip cords are a must pack item.

    • alwweb

      And, I just learned that supposedly surge protectors are dangerous on cruise ships due to how they electricity is wired in the metal ships, so you should bring a power strip that is not a surge protector. Some cruise lines are started to ban surge protectors due to the possibility of fires.

      • rdrago43

        Can you explain further? I’m a computer/electrical engineer and am curious what the reason is…

        • alwweb

          Sorry, I just saw this reply. It has something to do with how most surge protectors trip and how the wiring on many ships is different than land because it is a metal bucket surrounded by water. It is a combination of the grounding system used on ships and the way that most surge protectors handle what happens in the case of a short. One of the best answers I saw was from Capt B.J. which was repeated here: https://cruiseline.com/forum/post/power-outlets . I couldn’t find his original post that I read.

  • Joe S

    I know this is a “whine” subject, but there are easy workarounds. I always travel with a mini power strip – good for both the airport as well a hotel desk. I can get 4 things plugged in at once. My USB power plug has two openings so a phone and one other item (another phone, power bank, etc.) can be used. So this gives me up to 5 working outlets out of one. If you have so many plug in items why no portable power strip?

    Why the portable speakers? Why not use wired headphones? One less thing to charge/carry.

    Plus I usually have the phone plugged in at bedside (use my phone for alarm instead of figuring out the non-standard clock). This frees up the bedside outlet if all are used.

    I do agree that bedside outlets are sometimes hard to find and/or free up.

    • disqus_M4GjYh0zWA

      I agree with all of this. This is just pure disorganisation. Instead of whinging, maybe J.O. should do a little research? As Joe points out, there are plenty of multiport charge plugs out there which you could get. Why are you carrying two laptops? One for work and one for personal? Get an ultrabook and a tablet if you can’t put everything on one device. The former can charge the latter and both will have excellent battery life. A good laptop will have decent speakers negating the needs for external speakers. Or use headphones and be more considerate of fellow guests. This really is quite a nonsense article! Too much time on your hands, J.O?!

      The bedside outlets issue I do agree with – and in fact bought a 3m charge cable from Amazon because you often have outlets too far away from the bed. Again, the use of initiative, rather than sitting and moaning, is more productive.

      • I have one PC and one Mac. Used to carry tablet too but didn’t replace it when someone stole it.

        • disqus_M4GjYh0zWA

          Unless you have a compliance/policy reason which forbids you, you should take just your mac and run Windows under Parallels. Lighten your load.

          • I actually prefer working on my PC and use MAC mainly to stream content such as the Bloomberg news + monitoring the website.

            And having two laptops ensures that I can continue working even if one breaks down. I destroyed one PC the other year when I was trying to clean the keyboard….

  • Ian

    I wish all hotels/ airline lounges would use universal sockets that take all plugs from different countries…..some hotels does this and its so much more convenient, or you potentially would need to bring more than one travel adaptor for your needs