In this day and age, you need all sorts of gadgets just to get around whether it’s an iPhone, tablet, or any other device.  On top of that, you need to figure out if your plug will work in other countries and if not, what to do.  All countries around the world have their own electrical standards which can make things a little difficult if you are not familiar with them.

The 6 Best Travel Adapters of 2019

Last updated on October 21, 2019 9:30 pm

This Is How You Can Figure Out If You Need An Adapter:

First, find out if you have the right adapter for the outlets for your final destination.

If you need an adapter for the outlet, make sure you get the right one. Someone should be able to help you get the right adapter at the place where you are purchasing it from.  On the other hand, it’s not necessary if you are traveling to a place that has U.S compatible outlets.

Find out what the voltage is for outlets at your destination.

Know the voltage input requirements of each one of your devices.  You can find this information on your device, the plug, or even the cord.

Purchase the right voltage conversion accessory.   You do not need this accessory if you have a dual-voltage device or if your single-voltage device is the same as the voltage at your destination.

Know The Kind Of Plugs Around The World:

You need to find out if you can plug your device into the wall’s outlet.  The upside, over 50 countries around the world have outlets that offer U.S “A” plugs. If that’s not the case where you are traveling to, you need to get an adapter plug with the proper prong configuration for those outlets.

According to the IEC or International Electrotechnical Commission, there are 14 different plugs ranging from Type A to Type N.

Plugs and Electrical Information for Common Destinations

CountryPlug(s)VoltageFrequency
Africa
BotswanaD,G,M230 V50 Hz
EgyptC,F220 V50 Hz
KenyaG240 V50 Hz
NamibiaD,M220V50 Hz
South AfricaC,D,M,N230 V50 Hz
TanzaniaD,G230 V50 Hz
Asia and Southeast Asia
ChinaA,C,I220 V50 Hz
India and NepalC,D,M230 V50 Hz
IndonesiaC,F110 V, 220 V50 Hz
JapanA,B100 V50 Hz, 60 Hz
ThailandA,B,C,F220 V50 Hz
VietnamA,C,F220 V50 Hz
Australia and New Zealand
Both countriesI230 V50 Hz
Europe
Croatia, Germany, GreeceC,F230 V50 Hz
Netherlands, Portugal, SpainC,F230 V50 Hz
FranceC,E230 V50 Hz
ItalyC,F,L230 V50 Hz
Iceland and Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Finland)
DenmarkC,F,E,K230 V50 Hz
Finland, Norway, SwedenC,F230 V50 Hz
Ireland and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales)
All countriesG230 V50 Hz
South America and Central America
ArgentinaC,I220 V50 Hz
BelizeA,B,G110 V, 220 V60 Hz
BrazilC,N127 V, 220 V60 Hz
ChileC,L220 V50 Hz
Costa Rica and EcuadorA,B120 V60 Hz
PeruA,B,C220 V60 Hz

Below are some common plug types:

Today’s Most Common Types Of Plugs:

You might want to check out the IEC World Plugs by Clicking On This Link. IEC has an extensive list that’s broken down by country.  For countries that have more than one kind of plug, I’d suggest you speak with your travel agent or contact the hotel you will be staying in.  They will be able to guide you in the right direction to get the correct plug for your devices. On the other hand, you could purchase adapter plugs for all kinds of plugs in that country.

Some Businesses & Hotels Offer Universal Outlets:

There are some hotels and businesses that do offer Universal Outlets that work with plugs from many different countries. If you are lucky enough to land in a place that offers universal outlets that are compatible with your plug, you will not need to go through the process of getting an adapter.  To stay on the safe side, I’d get an outlet anyway in case you have to go on to another hotel or business that does not have a universal outlet.

Tips For Getting An Adapter Plug:

Purchase Your Adapter Before Leaving Town –

You really do not want to run the risk of getting an adapter when you reach your destination.  You will spend precious time spinning your wheels trying to find an adapter that works for your devices.  Should something happen and you forget to pick up an adapter, most international airports will have what you are looking for though you might pay a little bit more for it.

Look Carefully At The Back Of The Adapter –

You must be able to plug your device into the back of the adapter plug.  Some adapters are designed with outlets that accept a few different kinds of plugs.  In some cases, there are adapters that have USB Ports.

Always Examine The Adapter Plug Sets And Universal Adapters Very Carefully –

Don’t run the risk that a set of adapter plugs or a universal adapter will work for you everywhere you go.  Recheck they your specific plug or the setting will work where you are headed off to.

Approaches For Multi Devices –

If you are planning on plugging in more than one device at the same time, make sure you buy an adapter plug for each one and plug them into separate outlets.  You can also opt to purchase a single adapter plug and a power strip that has multiple outlets. It’s highly advisable you purchase a power strip that has a surge protector.  You will get a higher level of protection for places that do not have stable electrical grids.

Information About World Voltages:

Around the world, there are only two voltage ranges – 110-127V and 220-240V. If your device falls into one of these ranges, you will be fine for a short period of time. As an example, if the local power is 110V and your device’s input is 125V, it will work just fine.  If you plan on remaining in the country for an extended period of time, such as several months, you might want to purchase another device there that has the exact same voltage.

Check The Voltage At Your Destination:

Again, you can get the information you need on the IEC World Plugs List by Clicking Here. You can find the information you are looking for under Electric Potential.

Check The Voltage Requirements For All Your Devices:

Read the input voltage that will be in small print on the plug or power cord, it might possibly be on your device. You might want to read through your device’s manual for this information as well.  Most devices such as tablets, cellphone chargers, and laptops are designed to run within these two ranges.  If your device states your input is 110-240V, your device has dual-voltage so no voltage conversion will be necessary.

Accessories For Voltage Conversion:

If your device is single-voltage and your destination’s voltage is different, you will need a voltage conversion accessory.  Unfortunately, this can be a little difficult to understand so you probably will need additional information for the terminology.

About Electronic Devices:

Most devices fall into this category. They operate on circuits, electronic motors, or chips.  These devices include digital cameras, laptops, and cellphones or iPhones. To change the voltage for an electronic device, you need a voltage converter that is known as a transformer. The transformer will convert the voltage so an electronic device can handle it.  A non-transformer will not do the trick.

About High-Wattage Devices:

Now let’s talk about high-wattage devices.  Wattage is a measure of electric power but shouldn’t be a problem unless you have a high-wattage device such as a coffee pot or a hairdryer. To read this wattage rating, look for the tiny print that should be in the same place as the voltage rating, such as on the plug, or the power cord.  In some cases, it might appear on the device.  You should read the device’s manual to get further information.  If worse comes to worst, calculate the watts by multiplying the voltage by the amp rating as most devices list amps. High-wattage devices usually 1200W or even higher.

In order to convert the voltage for a high-wattage device, you must use a voltage converter that has a wattage rating that is greater than the wattage rating of your device. If the transformer or converter is a dual-watt accessory, it will probably be able to handle the load but I would recheck the high-wattage setting to be safe.

About Low-Wattage Circuits:

In some countries, the bathroom circuits are limited to 5-10W at tops. If your travel agent or the people at your hotel have informed you that your destination is in one of those countries, you should inquire if they provide hair dryers or other devices during your stay. If they don’t, either forget the device or buy another in the country.

Power Questions You Might Have:

What are Hertz Ratings?

Hertz ratings measure the frequency at which electric current alternates.  The world runs on one of the two electricity frequencies that are 50Hz or 60Hz  In most cases, the device is designed to accommodate a range of frequencies.  The power label will probably say 50-60Hz.  The only problem you might run into is the functioning of a clock.

What about outlets that are grounded with 3 holes or polarized with 2 different sized holes?

Regulations regarding the safety features that protect against electrical shocks differ from country to country.  It’s advisable you always use an adapter plug that exactly matches your device’s plug on the back and the other country’s outlet on the front. You want to ensure that you and your device will run properly and remain safe at all times.