Travel adapters and converters are necessary while travelling internationally with electronic devices. However, voltage and outlet type vary from destination to destination and the differences between the various converters, transformers, and adapters can confuse even the most seasoned international travelers.
This guide to travel adapters will help you determine which types you need for your next trip abroad:
What is a travel adapter?
Countries across the world use different outlets and exact configurations of these outlets vary by country. If you are traveling abroad, chances are high that you’ll need an adapter to plug in your electronic devices.
However, these travel adapters often do not convert the power supply coming from the outlet; they simply allow you to plug your device into the configuration of that specific foreign electrical outlet.
What are Voltage Converters and Transformers?
Just like outlets, different countries use different voltages and many of our electrical devices cannot withstand these different voltages. Eg: in the United States electricity runs on 110-120 volts, while in some countries it is 220-240 volts. If your device is not dual voltage or multi voltage, it either needs a travel converter or transformer.
To determine if you need a converter, first check your device for the voltage mentioned on it. Old hair dryers are generally single voltage, whereas, newer hair dryers are generally dual voltage. For dual voltage devices, you may only need to flip a switch to a higher or lower voltage. Multi voltage items like new laptop computers and smartphones automatically detect and switch voltages.
Dual voltage and multi voltage devices do not require a converter. However, single voltage items do require a converter or transformer to function. If you plug on one of these items to a simple travel adapter, it might cause the device to break or even worse.
To complicate things more, different single voltage devices require either a converter or transformer. Electric devices that use heating elements, like a hair dryer or curling iron, require a converter. Electronic devices that use circuits, chips, or a motor based transformer.
If you want to simplify things then there are travel adapters that convert voltages. Just check the adapter for various voltages it can safely handle.
Simple power outlet:
Currently there are 15 different electrical outlet configurations useful around the world. Some plug tropes are useful throughout the entire continent whereas others are limited to a single country. There are many universal adapters available that are compatible with multiple outlet configurations.
But, they often leave multiple plug types. There are various types of power plug adapters like c13, c14 power plug and many more.
Here, we are going to talk about the first three types of the most common outlet types abroad. You can find the most common socket types with common universal adapters:
- Outlet Type A:It is mainly useful in North America, Central America, Venezuela, Caribbean, and Japan. Type A is a typical flat, two pronged, ungrounded outlet. It mostly works on 110 – 127V. However, two pronged American and Japanese devices slightly vary.
The American version has one prong which is a bit higher than the parallel prongs. These two prongs of Japanese plugs are of the same size. Therefore, Japanese devices work in American outlets, but American devices often don’t work with Japanese outlets.
- Outlet Type B:Like Type A outlet type B is mainly useful in North America, Central America, Caribbean, and Japan. This outlet is the grounded version of Type A and includes a third round prong below the two flat parallel prongs. Most American outlets are Type B, whereas American devices have either Type A or B plugins. Type A devices work in both Type A and B outlets, but Type B works only with the same type of outlets. Type B outlets are almost 110-127V.
- Outlet Type C:Type C outlets are common throughout Europe, with the exception of Ireland, United Kingdom, Malta, and Cyprus. They are widely useful in South America. These outlets feature two round openings for prongs. Type C outlets generally run on 220 to 240 V and are only usable for devices that use 2.5 amps or less. However the devices with Type C plug-ins also work in type E, F, J, K, and N outlets.
power plug adapters, different types of cables are some of the most common types of things you require while travelling abroad. You need to make sure that you know you are carrying the right cable while travelling.