Selecting the Right Travel Adaptor for You

A travel adaptor changes only the number and arrangement of the pins on the plug so it fits any socket at the traveler’s place of destination. However, it doesn’t convert electricity to fit an appliance with a power input of 120 volts to a socket that outputs 220 volts. Travelers needed a power converter for this. Thus, choosing the right travel adapter for your needs during a trip abroad involves two considerations: the country of destination and the type of appliances to bring along.

Travel Adapters for North and South America

In North America and in many countries in South America, the standard socket requires two flat prongs placed parallel to each other. The type of travel plug to bring along to the United States, Canada, Guatemala, and Venezuela must have the same flat-pronged structure. Another type of plus used in these countries have the same parallel prongs, but has a grounding pin at the bottom. Most sockets in these countries produce 100 to 120 volts of electricity. And so, you can only plug hair dryers, chargers, and flat irons with the corresponding voltage as these sockets.

Travel Adapters for Great Britain

Plugs in Great Britain generally have three prongs: one flat and two round pins. They form a triangle on the plug with the flat prong serving as grounding pin. They need a corresponding socket that outputs anywhere between 200 and 250 volts of power. Most appliances around the world are attached to power outlets with 220 to 240 volts. Moreover, many hotels and inns in England also offer dual-voltage power sockets for their international guests.

Travel Adaptor Units for Other Countries in Europe

Most countries in Europe need travel plugs with two round parallel pins. Some earthed types have a grounding pin at the bottom. In France and Belgium, the grounding pin is already built into the socket and the plug must have a female contact slot to accept the pin. In Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, the travel plugs follow the Schuko style wherein two grounding clips frame the sides of the plug with two rounded pins. Meanwhile, countries like Switzerland, Denmark and Italy used variations of the three-pin travel plugs.

Travel Adaptor Plugs in Australia

For travelers coming into Australia and New Zealand, they should take note of the position of the prongs or pins on their plugs. The power sockets in these regions may produce 200 to 250 volts of power and need plugs with diagonal or V-shaped prongs. Although hotels and inns may already offer international power plugs and dual-voltage outlets, households still use the standard adapters for Australian appliances.

Bring Travel Adaptors for Europe to Enjoy European Holidays

When you are on your first visit to Europe, you might be puzzled by the unfamiliar electrical system in the country you visit. You might even be astounded by the size of the wall outlets as you attempt to plug-in your cell phone charger or laptop. This can be a problem especially if you are not prepared. You will need a travel adaptor to be able to connect your appliance to the country’s electrical system.

Another possible problem you might encounter when you visit European countries is the incompatibility of the power input of your appliance with the power supplied by the wall outlet. The voltage used in most European countries is 220 volts. If your camera, cell phone, or laptop charger uses 110 volts to make it work, you have an even bigger problem.

What’s the use of a travel adaptor?

You need a power or travel adaptor to be able to get power from the outlet. Travel adaptors contain the input plugs with the right shape and number of prongs to be able to connect to the wall outlet. It also contains the exact shape and number of holes where you can connect the power cord of your appliance and get power from the power supply.

But adaptors could only allow you to connect your power cord to a ‘foreign’ outlet. It cannot convert electricity from 220 volts to 110 volts. If the power supply of the place is different from the power input of your appliance, don’t ever attempt to connect it to the power source even if you have an adaptor. It will surely get busted. If you do, your appliance will get busted, and it’s more difficult for you to retrieve information from them.

With this in mind, you should be able to prepare what you need on your visit to any European country. Here are a few things that you need to consider when planning to visit Europe:

1. Identify the country you will be visiting.

You should identify the country that you are going to visit in order to know the type of electrical outlets it uses as well as the type of voltage it supplies. You will know these by making a simple research on the Internet. Once you have the idea of your target country’s electrical system, you should buy the proper adaptor or transformer you will need to make your appliances work.

Most electronic gadgets now have multi-voltage capabilities. But you still need to check the voltage requirement of your appliances so that you will be able to buy the right power gadget for them in your destination.

2. Determine if you need just a travel adapter or a power transformer.

Remember, if the voltage of your target country is the same as the power input of your appliances, and only the type of electrical outlet is not compatible, you only need to use a travel adapter. But if the voltage is different, you should use a voltage transformer or converter to prevent your gadgets from getting damaged.

Travel adaptors and power transformers are available in hardware, electrical and electronic supplies stores. They are also available online for your convenience. Electrical adapters are not expensive. The cost of portable appliances is a bit higher, but they are very affordable.