Richard Quest: What kind of road warrior forgets their charger?

Something to declare

There should be no surprise about it. I know before I leave home on an overseas trip that I will need chargers and plug adapters. So why is it always at the airport that I remember I have forgotten to pack these vital gizmos? Or worse, why am I struggling with a spaghetti of wires in a foreign hotel room before I realise I have not brought the right bit of kit? Even those which are, supposedly, permanently in my suitcase tend to go missing at the vital moment, left behind on previous trips, lost en route, or loaned to, and never returned by, miscreant colleagues.

I try to carry one of those multi-thingies which can pop out every possible combination of plugs – EU, US, even the Swiss one which is longer and odder. But one is never enough these days: you have to recharge your phone, your iPad, your laptop, the BlackBerry.

Even if I have the right plug adapter, there are different wires for different devices. Thankfully the EU got to grips with this in 2009 and most phones now use micro-USB. Dear Apple is, of course, the exception to the rule, with a new fitting for its iPhone 5. There's no uniformity for computers, which still have a myriad of adapters – some small, some big, some with pins in the middle, and some still resembling a kettle lead.

Planes bring their own problems. I used to travel with an amazing bag of tricks called "the juice bag". It had a cigarette-lighter adapter (which all planes used to require) and a dozen different adapters for just about every type of computer. Often I set up my on-board tech workshop, lending out bits and bobs to other passengers. Today, thankfully, planes tend to use normal plug sockets.

I recall a flight to Egypt that was badly delayed – by 25 hours. Having checked in my charger I was forced to conserve power as if it were rationed. Now I pack the charger in my hand luggage – and hope I have remembered the adapter.

Amid all this technological and communication confusion, I guarantee you two things. First, that you have a drawer, a box, a Tupperware wotsit somewhere at home, where you have loads of charger cables and plugs from devices long since abandoned. You'll have thought: "That might come in handy some day." And like finding that single key that you can't identify, as the years go by you are terrified to throw your leads away, because sod's law says once you do, you will need it.

And secondly, that there is nothing worse than the smug, self-satisfied look on a friend/spouse/colleague's face when you have to ask to borrow their mobile phone charger. "Oh yes. I think I have a spare," they say, as they launch into a lecture on how they never forget.

So, to road warriors and travellers everywhere, wherever you find yourself in 2013, I hope your journey is profitable ... and you don't leave anything behind. (But you will.)

Richard Quest is CNN's international business correspondent and presents Quest Means Business. Follow him on twitter @richardquest

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam