One of the most confusing aspects of traveling to another country is picking the right plug adapters to ensure that you will be able to use your electronics and not blow a fuse in the process. Countries around the world have various systems for accessing electrical power via outlets. Although some hotels offer American style outlets, it’s never safe to bet on this, so a power adapter is a key item to pack whenever you are traveling abroad.
Here are my tips for making sure you have the right adapter so that you can concentrate on enjoying your vacation hassle free:
Know the difference between adapters and converters
Although sometimes spoken about interchangeably, power adapters and converters are very different things. Adapters are small, pronged tools that go on the end of a device’s plug, changing the shape so that it can fit in different style outlets. Meanwhile, power converters change the amount of voltage that gets to a device. Converters are needed because in the US currents at 110 voltage are the norm, while in many other countries 220 voltage is what you can expect. Many modern devices have built-in power transformers, that can adapt from 110v to 220v themselves. Make sure to check if each of the electronic items you plan to bring on a trip have this feature, and if they do not invest in a converter along with the adapters you need.
Get a power adapter for every country you will pass through
As mentioned above, the shape of outlets varies depending on the country you are in. This is particularly important when it comes to European travel, as many of these trips involve stops in many countries. Make sure to check on what adapter is necessary for every country you are stopping in, and get an adapter that will work there even if you will only be staying one night – power adapters are cheap and you don’t want to run the risk of losing power on an important device without having a way to charge it.
Make sure you don’t leave you adapter behind
Bring some electrical or duct tape with you on your trip to secure your plug to your adapter. This will ensure that you won’t accidentally leave your adapter behind when you move on to the next hotel. Even if you won’t need that adapter again during your trip, you may need it again on a different vacation!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Figuring out the right power adapters you need for a trip can be complicated, especially if you will be visiting multiple countries. If you find yourself without the right adapter, don’t be afraid to ask the front desk for help. They might have an adapter they can lend you and will be able to point you towards the best place to purchase what you need for yourself. Even better, make sure this situation doesn’t happen by asking me what adapters you will need! As an expert on travel around the world, it would be my pleasure to help you out.
You can also find all the information you need on the World Plugs Chart to ensure that you have the right converter. Just copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.iec.ch/world-plugs
This tool allows you to search for the country you will be visiting and then tells you what type of plug is used there. Or, you can look up a type of plug, and the tool will tell all the different countries where that one is used – it’s that easy!
I hope that this was a helpful tool for you to make sure you are prepared for your next international trip! Let me know if you need any help with getting ready to head abroad!
Kira Gartner is the owner of Blue Sky Destinations, a boutique travel agency specializing in river cruises, luxury expedition cruises and customized European vacations. For years she has helped curious travelers plan vacations that allow them to unwind, reconnect, and immerse themselves fully in a destination. Reach out to her for a free consultation - and let her start designing your dream vacation!