Travel Adapters Explained
In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about travel adapters, power plugs and outlet styles around the world, like how different countries use different voltages and frequencies, what to look for when you’re buying a travel adapter, and why all that matters when you travel abroad.
This article is brought to you by Ceptics, a number one brand for travel adapters on Amazon.
Here are our top 5 recommendations:
5. CHECK THE TYPE OF PLUG FOR YOUR DESTINATION
The types of plugs aredistinguished by letters:
Type A andtype B are used in North America, some countries in South America, Japan, andPhilippines.
Type C isused in the majority of continental Europe and some parts of Asia, some partsof Africa, and some parts of South America.
Type D isused, for example, in India.
Types Eand F are used in most parts of continental Europe and parts of Asia, and some partsof Africa.
Type G isused in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Arabian Peninsula, parts of AfricaMalaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
SEE THE FULL LIST HERE.
Make sure to alwayscheck what outlet system they use in the countries you are traveling to.
4. CHECK VOLTAGE (V) AND FREQUENCY (Hz)
Another importantthing to know before using your devices abroad is voltage and frequency.
While most countries in the Americas and Japan use between 100 and 127 volts and 60 Hz, almost all other countries use twice the voltage, between 220 and 240 volts and 50 Hz.
Why is that important for you? Your devices must also be compatible with the voltage and frequency of the country you are traveling to or you can risk damage to your device or even fire.
Most devices we bringto our travels, like cell phones, laptops, or cameras are usually set up in away that can be used with different voltages and frequencies.
However, there arestill some appliances that are not. Hair driers, hair straightness or and steamirons are some examples. Many of them are designed for a specific voltage only.
Each device should includeinformation about voltage and frequency compatibility. Here is how you can findit. For example, this phone battery charger is compatible with voltages andfrequencies in all regions.
3. WHEN TO GET A TRAVEL ADAPTER
If your device iscompatible with the voltage and frequency of the country you’re traveling to,but the country uses a different outlet style, you will need a travel adapter.
A travel adapter is basically a device that adapts to fit your power plug with the country’s power outlet.
Adapters can come inall kinds of shapes and forms, and it’s important to distinguish betweengrounded and ungrounded adapters.
Grounded plugs havethree prongs instead of two. The extra prong is used to “ground” or send anyextra power into the ground. Smaller devices suchas cell phones don’t need grounding, while some devices, such as laptops, are designedto be grounded so you should always use a grounded adapter.
2. WHEN TO GET A VOLTAGE CONVERTER
If need to bring adevice that uses one voltage or frequency, like a hair dryer, you shouldconsider using a power converter or transformer instead.
Voltage converters and transformers step up or step down the voltage and make it safe to use your device. Some devices that can be used are, for example, hair dryers, or curling irons. However, voltage converters and transformers are only intended for short-term use, and they are not suitable for larger devices such as microwaves or mixers. Don’t forget to unplug your device after use.
1. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING AN ADAPTER?
If you have already arrived at your destination, buying an adapter can be costly, especially at the airport, or you might not even have a chance to buy one, so we recommend getting one before your travel to make your trip easier.
Additionally, yourhotel room might be equipped with only one power outlet, while you might needto charge multiple devices at the same time so consider buying an adapter withmore than one outlet and additional USB and USB-C slots.
If you travel a lot,consider buying an adapter that comes with multiple outlets styles and you cansimply replace it when you arrive in a different country. You can also buy anall-in-one international adapter. Or a set of individual adapters like this one.
It is important toknow that not all adapters might fit well. Some lower quality adapters might beloose, will have trouble staying in the outlet, or might charge your devicesslower, so be sure to always check the reviews of the adapter you’re buying.
The adapter we use themost is Ceptics Mini Travel Power Strip with multiple attachments. It allows usto charge up to four devices at once, since most hotels only have a fewoutlets. And we can just take the right attachment with us in a pouch.
So what adapter is right for you? It all depends on where you travel, how often, how many devices you need to charge, etc. Keep this in mind when buying one.