Published on July 31st, 2018 | by Sam Rose
Staying Charged on Your Holidays
Whether you’ll be travelling on business or for leisure this summer, you’ll probably have packed away some essential electronics. Shavers, hair dryers, mobile phones, laptops – they all need a power source and it doesn’t help that certain countries use different voltages and plug types! Here’s a simple guide to staying charged on your holidays.
Across the world, countries use a variety of electronic wall outlets and plug types. Plug adapters are the easiest way to be able to use sockets that are different from the ones you might be used to. It’s important to note that international travel adapters don’t convert electricity. Instead, they adjust the shape of your device’s plug to be able to fit into the outlet.
Check the Voltage Rating
Before using a travel adapter, it’s important to always check the voltage rating on your device. Most electronic devices will fall under three categories. These are single voltage, dual voltage and multi voltage. Single voltage devices will usually be one of two types. For older appliances such as curling irons and hair dryers, these use a narrow voltage tolerance of 100 – 120V and require a travel converter. The second type of single voltage device relates to more modern appliances. These will use chips, circuits and electronic motors, meaning they require a travel transformer.
Both dual voltage and multi voltage devices don’t require a travel converter or transformer. Appliances that usually fall under this category are:
- Newer Model Hair Dryers
- Electric Razors
- Curling Irons
- Mobile Phones
- Digital Tablets
- Battery Chargers
In usual circumstances, you can also identify if your electronic device requires a travel converter or transformer by a label that will indicate if you require one. This label will contain information that details the input wattage that it will require. Be aware that this information may not be on the device itself. It could be included on the packaging, on the AC power box at the end of a power cord or in print on the plug for the device.
Flying to America?
If your next summer holiday will be taking you to America, Canada or Mexico, you’ll need your device to fit a Type A, Type B or Type C plug socket. A Type A plug socket uses two pins and is almost always able to suit a voltage between 100 – 127V. The Type B plug socket supports the same amount of voltage but uses three pins instead of just two. Lastly, the Type C plug socket is similar to A as it uses two pins but support a much higher voltage between 220 – 240V.
Travelling Across Europe?
Should you be travelling across Europe however, there is much more variety in the type of plug sockets each country uses. Generally, countries in Europe will use Type C, Type E, Type F, Type K or Type L device sockets. Type E plug sockets are primarily used in France, Belgium and Poland. They use two pins and allow for 220 -240V of power. An identical socket type is Type F, which is mainly used everywhere within Europe and Russia and uses two pins whilst supporting the same amount of voltage. Type K sockets use three pins and are almost exclusively used in Denmark and Greenland. Like Type F and K, they support 220 – 240V. Finally, Type L is a type of voltage socket that is found commonly in Italy. It contains three pins and once again, can provide 220 – 240 volts of power to devices.
Jetting Off Elsewhere?
For other countries and continents, it can be a real mixed bag as to the type of socket you might expect to see. Thankfully, here at the Post Office Shop, we have a great range of Travel Adapters and Chargers that will prepare you for plugging in anywhere in the world! Whether it’s recharging your mobile phone, tablet, camera or hair dryer, our Universal Travel Adapters have it covered.