Important Questions for International Travel with US equipment.
need to know to be able to use your laptop, iPads, iPhones, cell phone chargers,
camera chargers, curling irons, hair dryers, etc. in a foreign country. If you
have questions not answered here please comment and let us know. We will update
this list as necessary.
do I need to be able to use my electrical devices when I travel overseas?
You may just need
some plug adapters (see the
World Plug Adapter Guide) and
perhaps a surge protector or power strip like the
Your electronic devices (laptops, chargers, etc.) are probably multi
voltage (input 100-240 volts) and any hair appliances may be dual voltage (input
If the hair appliances aren’t dual voltage, it is strongly recommend that you
replace them with ones that are from either a retail store near you
or from our
Voltage Appliance Store. If everything you are taking is either dual
or multi voltage, you will just need the plug adapters and not have to mess with
the expense and hassle of a voltage converter. Many hair appliance manufacturers
warn that their product will not work properly with a solid state voltage
need plug adapters when I travel outside the U.S.? Why do some countries have
more than one outlet configuration type?
Once you travel outside of the US and Canada, you will find that most other
countries have completely different looking electrical outlets (receptacles) and
you will need plug adapters. The exceptions are some countries in Central
America and the Caribbean who have similar outlets and voltage as the US. The
World Electric Guide shows the different plug
adapters needed for all countries in the world. It also tells you what the
voltage and frequency is for all of those countries.
Many countries have multiple outlet configuration possibilities for a variety of
reasons: upgrading a previous design or style to more modern standards but
allowing the old design to be "grandfathered"; some areas of some countries use
foreign contractors because of their proximity to their location; and, in some
cases for geopolitical expediency. Regardless of the cause, be aware that you
may run into one or more of the configurations that you find at out
World Electric Guide.
does it mean for an appliance to be "multi voltage" or dual voltage?
Many appliances that you want to take when you travel internationally are often
either multi voltage or dual voltage. If they are, then you usually only need to
bring the appropriate plug adapter for the destination country. You are then
able to avoid the expense and hassle of trying to use a voltage converter not to
mention the weight and space they require.
If an appliance is multi voltage it will usually say "input 100-240 volts, 50-60
Hz, …" someplace on the item itself or a charger. If an appliance is dual
voltage it will usually say something similar "input 125/250 volts, 50-60 Hz,
…." somewhere on the body of the appliance in most cases. Dual voltage
appliance will sometimes have tiny switches that have to be moved or rotated for
the higher voltage but many times they are "self-sensing" with no switch. If you
have any doubts about your appliances, check with the manufacturer.
Most (99%) of electronic devices (laptops, chargers, etc.) are multi voltage and
many hair appliances (curling irons, hair dryers, etc.) are dual voltage. It is
usually more economical to replace a hair appliance that isn’t dual voltage with
one that is. A large selection of
dual voltage appliances can be found at our
Dual Voltage Appliance Store or maybe some retail stores
do the terms grounded and ungrounded mean? What does that mean for me when
Basically, grounded refers to appliances that have 3 pins on its power plug and
ungrounded refers to plugs with only 2 pins. If you are taking only ungrounded
(2 pin) appliances when traveling then you should only need the ungrounded plug
adapters for your destination country. If you are taking some grounded (3 pin)
appliances also, then you would want to get both the grounded and ungrounded
plug adapters. We sell them together in a discounted "bundle" but they cam be
bought individually. We also have some
plug adapter kits for entire regions, continents, and plug type.
need to bring a surge protector with me for the higher voltage found in most
A good rule to follow is, if you use a surge protector when traveling in the US,
then by all means take one with you when traveling in a foreign country but you
will have to use one rated for the higher voltage like these
Surge Protectors that are rated for the higher
voltage. If all you really want is a power strip to allow you to plug in more
than one item at a time the
PS2 Dual Voltage Power Strip is a great choice.
It is dual voltage, so it can be used at home also; it has a USB port for
charging your USB items; and, it is extremely compact saving luggage space.
Please remember that power strips and surge protectors do not change or lower
They do the same thing that is, they change electricity from one voltage to
another, but they are very different in some very important ways.
Solid state voltage converters change the
voltage with electronic components while a
transformer uses induction. The transformer method produces "real" or
full sine wave electricity output while the solid state converter produces a
modified sine wave output.
The modified sine wave electrical output does not work with any electronic
components which means any appliance with any electronic features will probably
malfunction. Typically these solid state converters cannot be used for more than
45 minutes to an hour and can never be left unattended plugged into an outlet.
Transformers do not have any of these same limitations but they are typically
heavier and more expensive than the solid state converters