If you are planning on traveling internationally, you will need more than a passport if you plan to pack items that require electricity – which means most everybody in today’s digital age.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting to a country only to discover your plug will not work, which of course means your computer, mobile phone, electric shaver, hair dryer, camera, tablet, etc. could become useless weights. Buying an adapter in other countries is possible but can be expensive and demand you spend valuable holiday time finding and getting to the right store.

Best is to consult our traveler’s worldwide travel plug and voltage guide before you travel to ensure you are prepared to plug in and stay connected.

HITT Tip: Be very careful since some worldwide travel plugs look very similar. We were caught with a typical two-prong European adapter once that had a housing that wouldn’t fit into an older outlet in France. Taking two adaptors is always a good safety net.

Electrical products for North America are designed to operate at 110-120V. Most of the world, however, operates on 220-240V. The good news is most portable products manufactured today are either dual-voltage (most hair dryers, portable irons, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes, etc.) or multi-voltage (such as laptops, tablets, e-readers, mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras, and battery chargers). In this case, you only need to bring along the correct adapter plug, as indicated in our infographic below, for the country or countries you are visiting on your travels

If your electrical item is powered and rated with only with a single voltage (some small appliances such as shavers), you will however also need a voltage converter or transformer. To find out the rating of your device, just read its power supply label – located on the back, bottom or handle of the item, or look in the specifications section of the appliance’s owner’s manual.

Look for information that looks something like the following:

  • INPUT: 120V 60Hz 6W — Indicates single voltage device
  • INPUT: 100V-240V AC 50-60Hz 7VA(100V)-12VA(240V) – Dual voltage device or multi-voltage device (denoted by the hyphen noting a range of voltage or amps).

You MUST know the input voltage and wattage requirements of your appliance before plugging into an outlet because an incorrect assumption could mean irreparable damage to your device.

The HI Travel Tales team makes a point of traveling only with electrical devices that can handle dual or multi-voltages requiring only an adapter plug, often carrying several adapters, including some that have both a plug and a USB attachment so you can literally piggyback two devices in one plug with one adapter.

HITT Tip: Be sure you carry all the worldwide travel plugs you will need for every country you are traveling in — or just transiting through. We learned the hard way a few years ago when an afternoon in a country’s airport from point A to point B meant no power or recharging since we had forgotten to pack along the adapter plug we needed for that afternoon.

Thank you to our friends at Cheapflights.co.uk for the incredible traveler’s worldwide travel plug and voltage guide infographic below!

 

Worldwide Travel Plug Guide infographic

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Michael Hodgson

Traveler at HI Travel Tales
Born to British parents in Canada, Michael Hodgson had been schlepped back and forth across the pond since he was a toddler. In college, he took the big leap and spent a few months in Kenya – and never looked back. His biology major somehow led him into a writing career, focusing on the outdoors, hiking and gear testing. Building on his lifetime of travel with travel writing was a natural, although he still loves to seek out the wilder side of a mountain – or a city -- for a good story. Michael also is a partner in a consulting business (www.NewNormalConsulting.com) built on a passion to help specialty businesses and brands succeed both domestically and internationally.
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