Travelling is always exciting as it gives us a chance to meet new people, experience different cultures, and create memories that will last for a long time. But just like the cultures and cuisines, you’ll find that electrical plugs and voltages vary from place to place around the world. And in a world where staying connected is simply not optional, it’s important to ensure that you have the right adapter before you even cross the border.
To help you handle this part of travelling efficiently, we’ll run you through how you can ensure that you have the perfect travel adapter.
Understand Your Destination’s Plug Types
In the world we live in today, lots of things have been harmonized around the world. But not travel adapters. Different countries use different plugs and sockets, so the ones you use in the UK will most likely not work in other countries. The UK generally uses a plug known as type G, which has three rectangular prongs, with the huge one being a grounding pin.
But not many other countries use it, so you’ll need to consider where you are going. For example, the US mostly uses Type A and Type B plugs. Type A is made of up two flat parallel pins, while Type B is basically Type A that has an additional grounding pin (usually a round or U-shaped pin).
In Europe, the situation is a bit more complicated as lots of countries have multiple types, some of them not even found elsewhere. However, most countries have Type C among the options. This plug features two round pins, and it is common in the western parts of Europe. You’ll find it in the likes of France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.
Before you travel, ensure that you research the type of plugs used in the various countries you’ll visit. You can then get the right one from a reliable travel adapter supplier such as RS.
Understand Your Destination’s Voltage
Just like plug types, there are different voltages used around the world. And if you use a non-compatible device on a plug that has the wrong voltage, you may end up destroying it completely. Fortunately, these are not as varied as plug types. The two main standards are 110-120 volts and 220-240 volts, and they operate on 50 Hz and 60 Hz frequencies, respectively. The frequency is not much of an issue, as most devices support both.
The 110-120 volts standard is mostly used in North and Central America, Japan, and some parts of South America. The majority of other countries use the 220-240 volts standard. However, most devices today, such as smartphones, laptops, and digital cameras, are designed to support input voltages spanning from 100V to 240V, which eliminates lots of concerns. But for other devices such as hair dryers, it’s important to confirm as you may need a voltage converter.
Look at Quality and Safety
It’s easy to look at a travel adapter as something you are forced to have. However, ensuring that you go for the right quality is still important. After all, it connects to your precious devices. Don’t just look at the price, ensure you go for one that meets international safety standards. Buying from a reputable travel adapter supplier is an easy way to do that.
Size and Portability
We all know how precious suitcase space is, so you’ll also want to ensure that your travel adapter has a compact and lightweight design. However, this should not compromise functionality. Based on the research you did, ensure that the travel adapter you choose serves the purpose. One way to save space is going for a plug with foldable prongs. If you are travelling to multiple countries, you can also go for a universal travel adapter.
USB Ports and Additional Features
There are some travel adapters that go beyond the basics, so you can keep an eye out for those. Some modern ones have USB ports, which make them quite convenient. These can be used to charge multiple devices simultaneously, so they even eliminate the need for carrying multiple adapters. But before considering additional features, you should ensure that your specific needs have been met.