Newest Review: ... his chin and exclaim that he had no spare plugs and no spare rooms and no, he wasn't prepared to do what I suggested and go and steal th... more
I'm not entirely plugging this product
Life Venture Travel Bath or Sink Plug
Member Name: koshkha
Life Venture Travel Bath or Sink Plug
Advantages: When you need a plug you'll be glad of anything that roughly does the job
Disadvantages: It's unlikely to be as good as a properly fitted plug
My guess would be that if I asked you whether you pack a travel plug when you go on holiday you'd say "Yes" but you'd assume I meant a travel adaptor - one of those things you use to get your three pin English plugs stuck into a two pin or two slot local socket. That's NOT what I mean. When I say 'plug' think water, not electricity and you'll see what I mean.
A travel plug is what you'll be desperately wishing you packed when you get to a hotel in the back of beyond with a suitcase full of dirty undies that you're desperate to wash in the sink but there's no plug. Or the hotel with a bath that you REALLY want to use but you can't because someone has stolen or lost the plug. These may sound like fantasy scenarios that you cannot for all your life imagine but then you possibly don't go to the sort of hotels I do. There is scarcely a budget or mid-range hotel in the whole of India that has proper plugs but it's not just the less developed parts of the world that are plug-challenged. I once sat on my hotel bed in a 4-star in Vienna and literally cried because I'd been out and got freezing cold and wanted nothing more than a good long soak in the bath. That's the bath that had NO BLOODY plug. Even the receptionist that I summoned to solve my problem could only scratch his chin and exclaim that he had no spare plugs and no spare rooms and no, he wasn't prepared to do what I suggested and go and steal the plug from another room just for the duration of my soak. He knocked 20 Euros off my bill but it didn't make up for my chilled misery.
A friend who travelled the Eastern Block in the early post-Communist era confirmed that Russia had no plugs and neither did most of the hotels in the surrounding ex-Soviet countries. He claimed to be an expert at fashioning plugs out of slightly softened bars of soap but I've never managed to master that art. My husband recently managed to block a plug in an Indian hotel using a hot water bottle but my guess is that you're even less likely to have one of those in your bag than a Lifeventure Travel Bath/Sink Plug. Yes, that's the point of all this; your prayers are answered. The product you need exists, and it's going to set you back no more than a couple of quid.
I've had my Lifeventure travel plug for years - probably about ten in total. Sadly I have to confess that I have NEVER actually used it for its intended purpose because it's never gone on holiday with me. Why? Because it lives in my kitchen Belfast sink and we hardly ever remember to pack the stupid thing. Our original plug was brass and all the bleach we used on the sink made it go really nasty and so we got shot of it and replaced it with this rubbery little beauty. If it were sold as a rubbery Belfast sink surrogate plug I'd have to give it five stars.
When you buy one of these plugs it comes in a nice neat little black fabric pouch. This black pouch ensures that on the rare occasions when I remember to put it in my suitcase I can be almost guaranteed not be able to find it amongst all the other black stuff in there.
I've also discovered that every bathroom in every Indian hotel (except possibly the really posh ones) comes with a very large bucket - about half the size of a dustbin. Hundreds of millions of Indians wash with a bucket every day so when I need to wash my clothes during my travels, it doesn't actually matter that there's no plug in the sink. In Europe, on the rare occasions when my plug has gone missing from a hotel bathroom, you can almost guarantee that it's going to be a weird pop up plug that doesn't work properly with rubber plug.
The good news about the plug is that it's not going to waste a lot of your precious luggage space. It weighs in at less than 30 g and is just 6.5 cm in diameter. It's so tiny you can definitely find somewhere to put it - ideally somewhere you can remember or you'll never find it again. It's made of a white rubbery material - I'd say a silicone rubber of some kind and it won't rot, crack or get damaged even after many years. The profile is bigger above than below which means that once it's in the bath you need to take care not to knock it out of position. There's a metal loop to help you get it out of the hole once it's in but it can be a touch tricky, especially if we've got it in a sink full of bleach - then use a fork or a spoon to tug it out.
The plug is designed to fit a wide range of plug holes but it's generally not the tightest of fits and a bit of leakage can be expected though a lot less than if you try to improvise a plug from what you can find in your hotel room. If you're trying to wash things in your hotel sink it's very easy to knock the plug out of position but it's still better than trying to wash under running water. The best approach seems to be to push down on the plug until there's a good few inches of water on top to hold it in place.
A Lifeventure plug will set you back £2.99 on Amazon with postage included. It's not a lot of money and it's quite likely that once you've got one you'll find something you want to do with it - but based on the reviews I've seen on Amazon, the vast majority of buyers are using theirs for their sinks or baths at home and not on their travels. I recommend getting one and sticking it in your back. You may travel a hundred times without needing it but the one time you do, it could make a very big difference.
Summary: A travel favourite that tends to find its way into people's home bathrooms and kitchens