Blog 13 Tips for Traveling Light on an International Vacation When you are thousands of miles away from home in another country, the last thing you want to do is drag around multiple suitcases. Not only is it inconvenient, it can also lead to higher baggage fees at the airport. International travelers need to pack smart by including only items they need, such as limited clothing and handy gadgets like step down voltage converters to better enjoy their trip and to avoid being hit with higher fees. Airline fees, including baggage fees, have been increasing, in recent years, as airlines have raised these fees to maximize profits. Between 2009 and 2014, three airlines increased baggage fees by 67 percent, according to a congressional report cited in Fortune Magazine. According to Time, in 2015, airlines made more than $40 billion in ancillary fees – fees other than ticket sales charged to customers. United Airlines posted the largest revenues from fees, earning $6.2 billion. Spirit Airlines is the company most dependent on ancillary fees, deriving 43 percent of its 2015 revenue from them. Baggage fees made up a nice chunk of airlines ancillary fees, accounting for nearly $4 billion in revenues in 2015. Carrying excessive luggage doesn’t just hurt your wallet, it can also be detrimental to your health. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 72,000 people suffered injuries that resulted from handling luggage. Handling heavy luggage puts men and women at high risk of back, neck, and shoulder injuries. Traveling Light International travelers can avoid excessive baggage fees and injury by packing light. If possible, you want to travel only with your carry-on luggage and one checked bag. For travelers going on an extended trip, this may seem like a challenge, but, with some creativity and adaptability on your part, it’s an achievable goal. Start with a list – Begin planning your trip by creating a list of everything you think you need to bring. Once you’ve finished that list, go through it item by item, re-evaluate, and find things to eliminate. By creating a list and winnowing down your packing choices to the bare necessities, you’ll be more organized when you pack and less likely to take along unnecessary items. Get a reasonably sized 220 to 110 converter – International travelers need voltage converters to safely charge their American-made electronic devices. International travelers should search for the smallest, lightest-weight converter possible to take up minimal space in their luggage. Converters are very important, as higher voltage electrical outlets are incompatible with most American electronics without them. With a converter, you’ll be able to safely power up your cell phone or laptop. Ensure clothes are compatible – You can maximize your wardrobe selections and minimize the number of clothes you must take with you by picking neutral shades. Neutral shaded clothes can be mixed and matched with a variety of other clothes, providing you with greater options. Business travelers should choose white, black, and blue shirts, pants, and blazers that work well together. Use packing accessories – There are a number of packing accessories that can help travelers make optimal use of the available space in their luggage. Compression bags allow travelers to shrivel their clothes into tiny, vacuum-sealed bundles that take up minimal space in luggage. Storage cubes can also help travelers better organize their luggage. Layer your clothing – If you’re traveling to Norway, Iceland, or another cold climate, you’re going to need layers of clothing to stay warm. You can reduce the number of clothes in your luggage by wearing your bulkiest outerwear item on the plane. If you get hot on the flight, you can always remove your heavy coat and keep it in your lap or in the overhead storage bin. Limit your shoes – Shoes can take up a lot of room in your luggage and add significantly to its weight. When traveling abroad, take only two pairs of shoes along – a pair of tennis shoes and a pair of more formal shoes. By following tip No. 3 and packing neutral-toned clothes, you can ensure that your shoes will match your outfit. Ditch the wheeled luggage – Wheels make your bags heavier and more awkwardly shaped. Also, if you’re traveling to Europe, they’re entirely impractical because many streets and public spaces are paved with cobblestones. The luxury of wheeled luggage also makes us more likely to pack extra, unnecessary items. Take advantage of hotel laundry – Most hotels you visit will have laundry stations or services. Even if they don’t, laundromats are likely nearby. Reduce the number of clothes you take with you by carving a few hours out of your vacation to do laundry in the places you’re visiting. Laundry detergent and other essentials should be easy to buy from the hotel or a nearby store. Avoid last-minute packing – Be sure to finish packing a full 24 hours before you leave for your trip. When we pack at the last minute, we tend to throw items willy-nilly into our luggage, resulting in unnecessary items being added. By taking the time to pack early, the process is more orderly, and you make your choices more deliberately. Choose multi-functional items – If items can do more than one job, they’re golden because, instead of packing two items, you can get away with just packing one. For example, if you have a towel that can also serve as a blanket, it’s a great item to take along on your trip. Pack vertically – You should pack all of your items vertically so that the inside of your luggage looks like a filing cabinet. This will allow you to arrange the items within more logically and also provide you with more convenient access to your items. Packing vertically also makes it easier for you to inspect your luggage to find unneeded items you can take out of the suitcase. Pack your lightest items last – When filling your suitcase, save your toiletries and personal care items for last. These items, which typically include liquids such as shampoo and conditioner, need to be packed toward the top of your luggage for easy access during safety inspections at airports. Remember that the Transportation Security Administration restricts travelers to three ounces, and pack accordingly. Make sure you know your airline’s baggage policies – Various airlines have differing policies regarding baggage. Some have high fees for checked luggage and may even charge fees for carry-on luggage. For example, Spirit Airlines can charge as much as $100 for carry-on luggage. Knowing your airline’s luggage policy lets you know exactly what to expect and how much space you have to work with when packing. By packing light and only taking necessary items abroad, you can ensure that your baggage fees are kept to a minimum and that you don’t have to haul ungainly luggage around foreign airports and cities. According to ValuePenguin, the average daily cost of an international trip is $271 per day. By lightening your load while you travel, you can shave off some of the cost of your international vacation or business trip and use the money on more enjoyable expenses like dining and sight-seeing. You can find other great international travel tips by using your smartphone or other device to shop for coupons and deals. 110220Volts carries a wide range of consumer electronic products, including 220 to 110 converters, multisystem TVs, code free DVD players, personal care items, GSM cell phones, and more. Customers can shop 110220Volts with confidence, as the company strives to provide the highest quality, most reliable electronic products. Sources http://time.com/money/4501949/airlines-41-billion-fees/ http://fortune.com/2016/03/10/airline-fees-crackdown-senate/ http://www.virginiaorthopaedicspecialists.com/2015/12/traveling-tips-to-avoid-back-injury-while-moving-heavy-luggage/ Essentials for a Move to Asia When you plan a move to Asia, you may find that you need to stay in a hostel or travel before you secure work and lodging. Because of this possibility, planning a move to this faraway land should always include packing a backpack with necessities. There’s nothing worse than planning a stay at a hostel only to discover that you have no way to charge your cell phone because you don’t have a voltage converter, or even suddenly realizing that you’ve forgotten medication back home. These essentials should always be high on your list when traveling to areas like Asia or other international countries. Importance of Travel Locks Whether you take advantage of a locker or safe deposit box at a hostel, or you simply want to secure your bag at the airport, it is important to keep several thin travel locks on your person at all times. Securing your belongings is very important in a hostel community with a lot of people coming and going. This also means that a locking backpack or bag is going to be important. No matter how many pockets and zippers a bag has, if you can’t lock it then it’s not a good choice for traveling through Asia. Headlamp A battery-operated or rechargeable headlamp is an excellent companion when staying in a hostel, and it can be of benefit while riding a train or flying, too. They enable you to see what you’re doing without using a large light or disturbing other travelers. This also comes in handy when you have to read a map or locate something outdoors after dark. More importantly, some hostels have outdoor bathrooms, and your headlamp will help you find your way. Toiletry Bag and Towel A good toiletry bag with a handle will keep your most important supplies dry. Fill it with items like extra toilet paper, feminine supplies (if applicable), soap, shampoo, and baby wipes for a quick and portable hygiene kit. This also makes hostel showers quick and convenient. Always carry your own towel, too; many places don’t provide them. Even if they do, the cleanliness of said towels may be questionable (towels are particularly high-risk for bedbugs). Flip-flops are also an essential item for showering hygiene and will ward off Plantar warts. Avoiding germs is very important. The more of your own items you have on hand, the less chance you have of encountering germs and other unsavory bugs along the way. Don’t Leave Home Without Your Travel Sheet Also known as a sleeping liner, a microfiber travel sheet is ideal for helping you feel comfortable. Sometimes just knowing that you’re sleeping on a clean sheet is enough to help you relax. Most come in the form of a lightweight, airy sheet that folds up small enough to pack into a purse, bag, or backpack. Wrap it securely around your body while flying, at the hostel, or even while taking public transit to keep warm and snug. Alarm Clock Sure, it would be less hassle to just use your cell phone, but some hostels don’t have outlets near the bed, while others don’t have outlets at all. A foldable travel alarm clock is the best bet if you’re concerned about getting up at a specific time. Resting in a hostel is kind of a gamble, anyway, as they can be quite noisy, and travel is exhausting, so, when you finally do sleep, you could potentially miss a quiet smartphone alarm. Travel Adapter Whether your hostel provides an outlet close to your bed or not, eventually you are going to need to charge your electronics. If you purchase an international voltage adapter, look for a device with a built-in surge protector. This will keep you from having to buy new electronics before you even get settled in Asia. Visit 110220Volts today to find the best travel adaptors for your big move. Overseas Wedding Must-Have Items! Planning a wedding is a challenge that isn’t for the faint of heart. Planning a destination wedding overseas requires even more attention to detail. There are many things that people who decide to get married abroad may not think about when planning. Really, how often do stateside wedding planners need to consider 220 110 voltage converters or having documents translated? Not very often! Legalities The first thing you have to do is make sure that it is legal to be married in the country where you’re looking to travel. Some countries require a residency before a couple can legally marry. If the destination of your dreams won’t legally recognize your marriage, consider having a civil service at the courthouse in your hometown for legal purposes. Then have your big wedding ceremony overseas. Don’t allow small details to slip by unnoticed, but don’t let anything derail your plans for your dream wedding overseas. On-Site Planning It can be very difficult to arrange a wedding when you’re an ocean or several continents away. Hire a wedding planner in your destination location who can take care of details like arranging the catering, lodging, photographers, and musicians. You can handle as much as possible from home, but working with your wedding planner via Skype and email will make the process smoother and more likely to be free of snags. Travel Arrangements Passports, airline flights, immunizations, and other small but important prerequisites will need to be addressed for all the guests. This can be even more challenging if all the guests are leaving from different locations. Organization is a key factor in pulling off the task of getting everyone where they need to be when they need to be there. Your wedding planner may be of some help with this, but a travel agent is better. They can make arranging travel itineraries a breeze for a destination wedding. Currency Exchanging currency is an important part of planning for a wedding overseas. Exchange rates through Forex companies are often far better than those at local banks, so exchange before you go if at all possible. Many foreign countries are not equipped to accept American money and will refuse to do so at the point of sale. Weather Prepare for the weather and plan your bridal wardrobe accordingly. Some places overseas have very wet seasons and cooler temperatures, so you shouldn’t assume anything when it comes to what to expect in an exotic locale. If you want a beach wedding, make sure your destination is one that offers a reliable climate, or figure out and book an alternative indoor option at your destination just in case. Paperwork You will need more than just a passport to get married overseas. The paperwork is important because, without it, your marriage won’t be valid. Furthermore, it almost always takes a bit of time to obtain necessary documentation, so plan ahead and start early on collecting your documents. Of particular importance, include: Birth certificates Proof of any legal name changes Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage Translated documents from non-English speaking countries Travel and Wedding Insurance It is a grand adventure to have your wedding in a foreign locale, but it’s also a lot of work. From electrical devices to hotel registration, every little detail must be covered. Let 110220Volts.com help you make sure you’ve covered all the possible voltage regulator problems that may occur so that your big day goes off without a hitch! New redesigned 2013 ATVR model, come check it out! 110220Volts is excited to introduce the newest line of our best selling voltage converter transformer, the Deluxe Automated Voltage Converter, our ATVR!!! This Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVR) is now better than ever and selling quickly! This is the number one quality Voltage Converter on the market and we are still offering them to you at an incredibly affordable price with free UPS Ground shipping!. With a sharper, more refined look and a few upgraded features this updated model still provides the same high quality performance as our older line. While the look may have changed, the power, durability and quiet sound that we stand by on our previous models are still ever present and strong. This converter delivers the latest in Smart-Logic technology. And The new ATVRs are still covered under five year warranty for parts and labor. So you ask, what is so special about the NEW ATVR? –>The main difference featured in the new line of ATVRs is the color. Now with a sharp black finish, this new model has a sharper, edgy appearance as compared to the previous gray color. –>Adding to the design, the new converter features rounded voltage meter as well as new rounded display buttons giving an overall smoother look. These meters are designed with Super Technology Master Meter Readers delivering the most precious voltage reading. –>And unique to the newest released 1,000 Watt Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulator is a digital meter display for both the input and output!! This easier-than-ever to read digital display really gives a modern look to these voltage converters! Another feature to the new line of Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) is the addition of the number of outlets for both the 110 and 220 volt outputs. –>The 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) now have a total of 4 outlets, two for the 110 volt output and two for the 220 volt output. This is twice as many compared to the previous line. You can now double the amount of equipment for this converter. These new units still have the fuse and voltage input switch located on the back bottom of the unit. –>The 3000 and 5000 Watt Deluxe Automatic Voltage Regulators (ATVRs) still features 4 outlets as well, two for the 110 volt output and two for the 220 volt output just like the previous make. –>The 8000, 10000, and 15000 Watt ATVRs now feature a total of 6 outlets, three for the 110 volt output and three for the 220 volt output. So if you are in the market for a voltage converter and are unsure of which model to get, we highly recommend the new and improved ATVR to carry you into the new wave of technology. Technology is changing everyday, you might as well invest in an updating converter to meet these changes. For a powerful, durable voltage converter, the top selling, better than ever Deluxe Automated Voltage Converter is the way to go. Its durable, powerful and will last. Reference: https://www.110220volts.com/atvr/deluxe-automatic-voltage-regulator-step-up-down-voltage-converter-transformer-ce-approved.html DVD vs. Blu-Ray: You’ll Be Surprised Who the Winner Is While many consumers might assume that Blu-ray is superior to the DVD format just because it’s new, they’d be hard pressed to explain why Blu-ray tops the older format. In fact, in a head-to-head matchup between Blu-rays and DVDs, the older format has some critical advantages over its newer rival. More than a decade after its introduction, just 44 percent of U.S. households with broadband Internet access own a Blu-ray player, according to Fortune Magazine. The DVD market remains extraordinarily resilient, with about 87 percent of households owning a DVD player, according to Statista. Among electronics connoisseurs – the kind of folks who insist on a non-region DVD player and know exactly what parts of the world require a 110 to 220 converter to safely use American gear – DVDs remain highly popular because of a number of advantages this format holds. DVDs and DVD players have distinct advantages in price and availability, and there are a number of lesser known advantages this resilient format has over its newer rival. DVDs vs. Blu-Ray If you’re on the fence concerning whether to purchase a Blu-ray player or upgrade your current DVD player to a newer model, consider these facts before committing to a purchase: The picture is great, but not that great. It’s easy to see the difference in quality between Blu-ray discs and DVDs, but the gap between them isn’t as profound as some technophiles would have you believe. Higher-end DVD players can provide picture quality close to that of a Blu-ray player and at a much lower cost. When choosing between DVD and Blu-ray, ask yourself, “Do I really need to see my favorite Hollywood stars’ pores that badly?” There’s a price advantage. DVDs and DVD players remain significantly less expensive than Blu-rays. On average, Blu-ray discs tend to cost $10 more than DVD versions of the same film. In fact, some great DVDs of popular Hollywood films can retail for less than $5. In today’s challenging economy, saving money is important. Sticking with DVDs will help you shave a few dollars off of your monthly budget. The price gap between DVD players and Blu-ray players is even greater. An average quality Blu-ray player will set consumers back about $250 to $300, while a high-end device will cost thousands of dollars. Top quality DVD players can be found for less than $500, and average quality devices can be purchased for under $50. This big price gap makes a DVD player the better choice for a cost-conscious consumer. Blu-ray is buggy. Although it’s been on the market for a decade, Blu-ray continues to be problematic for its users. There are widespread complaints about Blu-ray playability issues centering around load times for the players. Blu-ray also poses some technology difficulties. While DVD players are fairly simple to operate, many Blu-ray players come with added features that require a high-speed internet connection and a fair degree of technical savvy to enjoy. DVD players have evolved. Top quality up-converting DVD players can provide a viewing experience very close to the quality offered by Blu-ray players. If you’ve already invested quite a bit of money in your current collection of DVDs, upgrading to a better DVD player may be a better move than purchasing a Blu-ray player and buying new copies of your favorite movies. Blu-ray availability is not universal. Most films are available in DVD format, while Blu-ray still has a lot of catching up to do. Most new releases are on Blu-ray, but there are generations of beloved movies that have yet to see a Blu-ray release. Owners of DVD players have a much broader selection of viewing options to choose from than folks with Blu-ray players. You’ve already made a TV investment. There’s really not much point in investing in a Blu-ray player unless you also own a high-end television set. A widescreen HD television is a pretty significant home theater investment, often costing $1,000 or more, and that’s on top of the $250 you’ll pay for a Blu-ray player. For most consumers, a DVD player will provide good quality picture and sound at a reasonable price. DVDs remain highly convenient. DVDs are a great medium for portable media storage. While digital download is rapidly taking up a greater share of the video market, there are lots of situations where digital download just isn’t a practical option. For example, if you’re going to an area with little or no internet connection, or if you want to strictly control the types of content your children watch. In these situations, DVDs remain the portable storage media of choice for video content, thanks to their ubiquity, low cost, and convenience. Blu-rays are going to be a short-lived fad. If anything truly supplants DVDs, it’s going to be direct digital downloads. The adoption of this technology continues at a rapid pace, as more and more communities gain access to fast internet speeds. At best, Blu-ray is just a placeholder technology between DVDs and digital download technology. Its expense and the inconvenience involved will likely keep it from being a major format. History of DVD The DVD was originally developed by Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Philips in 1995. The technology was preceded by other optical disc formats, such as LaserDisc, which was developed in the late 70s and popularized in the 80s. The DVD was a compromise between Philips and Sony, which had developed competing products. Computer giants IBM, Apple, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft told the companies that they wanted a single format, prompting the companies to agree upon a single format for DVD products. DVDs quickly became the format of choice for home video viewing. DVDs provided better picture and sound quality, a better data lifespan, and interactive features unavailable on the then-dominant VHS format. VHS stored data on magnetic tape, and this format was responsible for the rise of the home video industry, as it provided the first easy and convenient means of watching recorded videos in a home format. VHS first hit the market in the mid-70s and reached its peak popularity in the 80s and 90s. VHS still has some residual popularity, thanks to its comparative ease in recording, compared to DVD. History of Blu-Ray Blu-ray was developed in the early 2000s, and the first consumer Blu-ray players and discs hit the market in 2003. Blu-ray was developed to allow the storage of high-definition and ultra-high definition video. The name refers to the violet laser used to read the disc. Because a violet laser is used instead of a red laser, information is able to be stored at a greater density on Blu-ray discs, thus allowing them to accommodate high definition and ultra-high definition video. Blu-ray has seen adoption by not just the home video industry, but also the video game industry, which uses Blu-ray discs to store information for modern games with high-quality graphics. The average household spends about $1,500 on home entertainment each year, including electronic devices and video content. To make that investment worthwhile, consumers searching for Blu-ray or DVD players need to find a supplier with a good track record of providing quality electronic products. There are many DVD and Blu-ray players on the market, and, while many are good, there are quite a few cheap knock-offs being sold. 110220 Volts provides a variety of consumer electronic products, including step up transformers, DVD players, voltage regulators, GSM cell phones, multisystem televisions, and much more. For quality electronic products made for a global customer base, shop 110220 Volts for dependable products from proven manufacturers. For quality electronic products made for a global customer base, shop 110220 Volts for dependable products from proven manufacturers. Important Travel Tips for Vacationing in Cambodia In recent decades, Cambodia has become a beloved vacation destination for travelers the world over. The country’s unique culture, rich history, and desirable location in Southeast Asia make it rewarding enough to visit, but the fact that it’s possible to visit the country on less than $50 per day adds an even greater appeal to a Cambodian vacation. If you’re interested in visiting Cambodia but aren’t sure what to see or how to prepare, we’ve put together this great list of helpful tips for making your Cambodian vacation go smoothly. Make Sure to Visit Angkor Wat Originally built between 1112 and 1152, Angor Wat is the largest existing religious building in the world. Putting the great Western religious monuments like the Sistine Chapel to shame, Angkor Wat is the physical representation of Mt. Meru, the sacred mountain where the gods of the Hindu faith reside. The temple is the legacy of the Khmer kings of ancient Cambodia, and a source of intense national pride for Cambodians to this day. In addition to its vast size, Angkor Wat also features over 3,000 stone carvings of apsaras, or “heavenly nymphs,” carved into its walls. Be Sure to Visit Bamboo Island An hour off the coast of the town of Sihanoukville lies Bamboo Island, one of the most unique and interesting places in all of Cambodia. It’s a small island, one that takes only 10 minutes to walk across, and it has no electricity except for a brief few hours in the evening. What Bamboo Island does have, however, are lots of chances to interact with locals. If you’re able to get space in one of the island’s bungalows, you’ll get the chance to dance, eat, and talk with the local community in an incredibly personal and enriching way. Don’t pass up this unique chance to experience a unique local culture. Enjoy the Night Life Given Cambodia’s geographic location and jungle setting, most people wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it can get very hot during the day. Don’t worry, though – the heat doesn’t keep people from enjoying themselves. In order to avoid spending too much time in the oppressive heat, Cambodians make up for it with a bustling nightlife. Ride a Tuk Tuk The tuk tuk (also known as the auto rickshaw) is one of the primary modes of transportation in Cambodia. These three-wheeled taxi cabs are common in the developing world, and they are likely to be one of your main modes of transportation while staying in the country. Don’t Forget the Voltage Converters Like many foreign countries, Cambodian electrical outlets are a different shape and voltage than those commonly found in North America. In order to keep your electronics powered while visiting the country, you’ll need to bring voltage converters that let you plug your American electronics into Cambodian outlets. 110220Volts is the best source for quality Cambodian voltage converters. Find them on our site, or contact us at 800-827-9978 today. Travel Tips to Make Your Fiji Vacation Great Fiji is a beautiful island in the South Pacific that attracts many visitors every year, and for good reason. Along with its beautiful natural settings, it has a rich and wonderful culture and more than enough attractions to keep even the most discerning tourist entertained during their travels. If you’re thinking of visiting Fiji anytime soon, we’ve got some important travel tips on what to see, what to do, and what to bring. Try the Kava Kava (also known as yaqona or grog) is a traditional drink served in many places in Fiji. It’s made from the ground-up roots of the pepper plant and contains very high levels of vitamin B, a natural anti-depressant and muscle relaxant. After a few cups, people report feeling relaxed and calm, with their anxiety and depression melting away (don’t worry, though: kava is both non-alcoholic and non-narcotic). Drinking kava might take a little getting used to at first, as it numbs the lips and tongue for a short period of time. Once you get used to it, though, kava is a unique and rewarding local drink that everyone should make an effort to try. Drink Bottled Water Like in many non-first world countries, the water available on tap in Fiji isn’t always up to the standards that travelers from the U.S., Europe, or Australia are used to. While the water in Nadi and Suva (both located on Fiji’s main island) are considered safe to drink (as will be the water at tourist resorts), Fijian water may still have a strange taste that takes some getting used to. Fortunately, bottled water should be in abundant supply, including the famous Fiji brand bottled water, which draws its supply from an underground aquifer of pure, fresh ground water. Support Local Shops One of the best parts of visiting Nadi, one of Fiji’s main tourist centers, is patronizing the shops run by locals. Fijian merchants are renowned for their generosity and friendliness; they’re likely to invite you into their store to have a cup of kava and spend some time talking with them. Of course, it’s considered very rude to take a shopkeeper up on their generosity, and then not buy something from their store. If you accept a shopkeeper’s hospitality, be sure to buy at least one thing in return for their time and attention. Bring Voltage Converters One thing that catches many tourists by surprise when traveling to Fiji is that their electrical outlets are a different shape and produce a different voltage than North American electronics are made to work with. Given the importance of modern electronics like smartphones and laptops, it’s safe to say that having voltage converters on hand for your Fiji vacation is an essential step for every traveler. If you need safe, reliable Fiji voltage converters, there’s no better source than 110220Volts. Browse our online catalog today, or contact us at 800-827-9978 for more information on our products. New Year’s Travel: The One Thing You Must Remember As the new year is upon us, there’s a good chance you are already making travel plans. Along with resolutions, goals to travel to foreign countries are a big priority at this time of year. You’ll load up your suitcase with all the things you think you may need, from sunscreen to extra phone chargers, and off you’ll go. You may feel as if you’re packing up your whole house in order to travel without having to purchase anything on the way, but there is one thing that you may not remember, and it could be detrimental to your electronics when you travel. Voltage converters are a must-have when traveling overseas. What Are Voltage Converters? Some countries do not use the same voltage and electricity that we do here in the United States. If you were to take your laptop to Germany and plug it into the wall, there’s a good chance that not only would it not power on, but it might never work properly again because the electric current in Germany is different. Purchasing 110 to 220 converters or vice versa is important when you travel. All those electronics you packed will be useless if you can’t charge them or power them up. A converter is a small device that will plug directly into the power source where you travel and convert the electricity into a voltage that is safe for your U.S. products. Easily Forgettable Unlike gas pumps which have a different nozzle end for diesel than for unleaded gas, most electrical outlets look the same, and your devices will plug in just fine. The problem arises once you have plugged in your device and, by then, it could be too late. Along with converting money before traveling, finding out about the electrical system and what kind of voltage converter you will need should be at the top of your vacation to-do list. Some higher end hotels and resorts may provide converters for international travelers, but, to be safe, you should have your own and remember to pack them! Ignorance Could Be Costly Many travelers to Europe are unaware of the electricity issue, and, before they realize it, they have damaged many of their valuable electronics. Unfortunately, many travel websites don’t mention the need for converters when advising of items to bring along. Imagine going on your dream vacation, spending money on tickets, reservations, a new digital camera, and a tablet for uploading all your pictures. Then, when you arrive, you don’t know about the converter issue and you plug in your tablet and camera to charge, only to discover that they are ruined and you have to purchase yet another set of expensive electronics or you won’t have any photos of your trip. Whether you are traveling on a budget or not, throwing away brand new devices and purchasing new ones could be costly. Even if you don’t need a converter, a voltage regulator may be a good investment for traveling. Rather than hoping to avoid power surges and damage to electronic devices, you’ll be protected. Before you travel overseas, visit our website to order your voltage converter and/or regulator. You’ll be glad you did. Eco-Friendly Ways to Use Everyday Appliances Through Converters Today many people are actively trying to make greener choices to protect the environment and, in some cases, fatten their wallets. We’re all aware of reducing our energy use by turning off lights, purchasing energy star appliances, and choosing renewable energy options whenever possible. In some instances, there aren’t many options when it comes to power usage, such as when you need to use voltage converters. However, there are still ways to use your converter and everyday appliances without wasting unnecessary power. Unplug When Possible There are many everyday appliances that don’t need to have a steady supply of electricity running to them. Whether you are using a converter or not, simply unplug the devices or power strip when not in use. DVD players, televisions, stereos, computers, and any other appliances that don’t need power when they’re not in use can be unplugged. It just takes a second to plug an appliance in when you need to turn it back on. Check Energy Ratings Some appliances such as refrigerators need a constant stream of electricity. This means that you have no real choice in the matter if you want your food to stay cold and fresh. However, your choice of appliance could help save power and reduce your electricity usage. Energy Star appliances are rated for energy savings and will use far less electricity than your 1980s fridge. If you haven’t purchased new Energy Star appliances, you are not taking advantage of all your opportunities for energy savings. Turn Down Your Water Heater A water heater is an appliance that can suck up a significant amount of electricity. By simply lowering the thermostat on the water heater and having a smaller capacity heater, you can save energy. You may have to take a shorter shower or run fewer loads of laundry to see the savings on your electric bill, but something this simple is a no-brainer. Change Your Settings and Habits Did you know that most dishwashers have a heat dry option? This is an expensive, energy-sucking option that is wholly unnecessary. Turn it off. The same goes for cooking. If you can make something in the microwave or conversion oven in a fraction of the time that it takes on the stove top or conventional oven, then choose the lesser amount of time. This uses a fraction of the energy and also allows you to spend time doing other things you enjoy. Instead of running the dryer for each load of clothes, try hanging towels and sheets to dry. Each skipped load of laundry in the dryer saves power. We use so many appliances in our day-to-day lives because they are convenient. They can also be hard on the environment and cost us significant money when it comes to our energy bills. By using your appliances in eco-friendly ways, you will find that not only do you help the environment, but you save money as well. It’s a win-win that just takes a few moments of thought and making smarter choices. If you have new appliances and need to purchase voltage regulators, browse our website today to find the best options for your home. Why You Need a Codeless DVD Player Right Now Ever bring a DVD from your overseas travels home only to find it inoperable on your home DVD player? Ever take your portable DVD player along when you travel abroad only to find that it can’t play local DVDs? If so, your entertainment has been the victim of an international conspiracy. The home entertainment industry has divided the world into six regions, and each region’s DVD players have a specific code that allows them to only play DVDs intended for distribution in those areas. The reason behind the regions is that movies and DVDs are released at different times throughout the world. For example, a film may have already hit theaters and gone to DVD in Britain by the time it reaches America and vice versa. The regions are intended to keep consumers from watching films on DVD while they’re still in theaters in their markets. The entertainment industry divides the world into the following six regions: Region 1 – The U.S. and Canada. Region 2 – Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South Africa, Egypt, North Africa. Region 3 – Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia. Region 4 – Mexico, South America, Central America, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands Region 5– Russia, Eastern Europe, East Africa, West Africa, India and North Korea. Region 6 – China Owners of codeless DVD players can get around the restrictions imposed by the entertainment industry. In addition to being able to play DVDs from anywhere, these DVD players also offer the following benefits to consumers: Dual voltage capability – Region-free DVD players can work at voltage settings in the U.S. and overseas. U.S. electrical outlets deliver 110 volts, while many overseas outlets deliver 220 volts. U.S.-made electronics, including DVD players, may not work safely with overseas outlets without a step-down Region-free DVD players can work at either voltage setting, allowing you to use your player wherever you go. Adapt to differing video standards – European and North American countries aren’t only divided by region codes; they also use differing video standards. Playing a DVD configured to one set of standards on a player configured to a different set can cause problems. Europe uses Phase Alternating Line, or PAL, while North America uses National Television Standards Committee, or NTSC. France uses the Système Électronique pour Couleur avec Mèmoire video standard. An uncoded DVD player works well with all these standards. All regular DVD features – A codeless DVD player offers all the standard features of a regular DVD player, including high picture quality, convenient user interface, input and speaker options, and more. Your codeless DVD player will function just like your regular DVD player; it will just have greater functionality abroad and be capable of playing DVDs from outside your region. 110220Volts sells quality electronic products, including non-region DVD players and step down voltage converters. For international travelers, 110220Volts can be a life saver, providing the converters and adapters needed to operate American electronics safely overseas.