A Minor Tech Investment You'll Never Regret

The One Charging Cable I Never Travel Without


I’ve flown across America every other week for over a year now. That’s not a #humblebrag nod to my exotic jet-setting lifestyle. It’s just the reality of a long-distance commuting scenario I frankly wouldn’t wish on anyone. But, the things you do for love, right?

Personal life choice complaints aside, the experience has taught me to scrutinize every packing decision and eliminate inefficiencies wherever possible. Swapping the various Lightning and microUSB cords that came with my noise-canceling headphones, Airpods, portable power bank, iPad Pro and iPhone for “switch tipped” cables is the best hack I’ve learned from the process.

Sometimes I need to charge my Bose QC35s or my Mophie. Sometimes I need to charge my phone. Having just one cable that can accommodate both saves bag space and spares me from the mental exercise of thinking about which wires I need. It’s so damn simple that I forgot what life was like before.

Yes, this change does mean paying extra to replace something you already have, but the expense is trivial, especially amortized over the years of use you’ll get out of them. There are also now tons of suitable cable options for any budget.

Mophie’s USB-C / microUSB ($30) and micro USB to Lightning ($30) cables are high-quality but expensive. Alternatively, these Amazon Choice–approved 2-in-1 options from Charlemain are just ($10). And if you aren’t prone to losing things, Amazon sells its own $10 branded Apple Certified microUSB to Lightning adapter ($11) which adds versatility to any existing microUSB cable you already have.

The dream of having a universal port could materialize one day with USB-C before power cables eventually disappear for good. Until then, any of these options make living with technology much easier.