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.