Plugs & Outlets
Plug adapters are becoming more essential as we travel with our devices. From phones, tablets to laptops and e-readers, many of us travel with at least one device that we want to keep powered. Phones are not just a way to stay in touch, for many of us, it is the camera that will capture memories.
You can purchase adapters at most major airports, but not always – and there will likely be a price mark up. The best option is to buy one (or more) ahead of your journey so that you don’t have to scramble to find one in your destination country. Adapters can vary in price, but you don’t need anything fancy. The lower cost options should work just as well, and you can compare options by looking on a site like Amazon. Search for “travel adapters”.
What Type of Adapters?
For Continental Europe, you need an adapter to fit the local outlets and these have two rounded prongs – these adapters are known as Type E/F. This adapter will work everywhere in Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Gibraltar and Malta.
The Brits (and let’s not leave out the Irish) like to be different so when traveling in the UK & Ireland, you need an adapter to fit the three-pronged outlet. This adapter is called a Type G.
You can buy universal adapters that can be used for multiple countries, not just Europe, and some even have USB ports for cell phones so you don’t need the little box that plugs into your own socket at home. You can expect to pay between $12-$25 for a universal adapter, while a single type adapter can be found online for around $6.
A typical example of a universal adapter can be found on this link at Amazon
The Big Question
Is your device Electronic or Electrical?
Electronic devices almost always have dual power capability so devices like cell phones, tablets, and laptops will work with just a plug adapter. Things become more complicated with electrical devices and that includes electric toothbrushes and most hair dryers. Unless these devices have dual voltage capability, they are expecting 110 Volts, as we use in the US, but the standard in Europe is 220/240 Volts. In a very short time, you’ll fry them. For hair dryers, leave them at home, most good hotels provide one in the room. You can buy power converters, also known as transformers, but these can get bulky and heavy. If you are unsure about your electrical appliance, try reading the device’s power supply label. Some devices have a switch to enable their use with 220 volts in Europe or 110 volts in the United States.
Now tell us about you experiences with adapters. Do you have suggestions or disaster stores? Add a comment below and help your fellow travelers.