Blog 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. Keep Your Decluttering Resolution by Converting Old Home Movies to DVDs Decluttering the home is among the most popular New Year’s resolutions made – and broken – each year. If you’re determined to start off 2017 by shedding some unneeded items from your home, an easy and effective place to start is by converting old home movies into DVDs. Millions of Americans have reels of old Super 8 footage sitting in their closets, taking up space and collecting dust. While they may not often watch these movies, the owners of these reels of footage likely find their contents precious. Over time, however, the film housing images of weddings, birthday parties, family reunions, and other important events will likely deteriorate. Converting old home films to DVD can help you free up space in your home and also preserve your memories for future generations. DVDs provide a smaller, more robust storage medium than large Super 8 clips, allowing you to free up closet space for other needs. Super 8 film had its heyday in the 1960s and 70s before being supplanted by VHS videotape in the 80s. For the Baby Boomer generation, Super 8 film was the medium used to create a visual record of their best childhood and young adult memories. While many owners of home movies think that their film is safe in storage closets, the passage of time is taking its toll. Moisture and temperature can cause substantial degradation. Vinegar syndrome, which occurs when the acetate base used in film for many home movies since the 1950s, is a widespread problem. Vinegar syndrome can greatly diminish the picture quality and useable life of film, so preserving images before this problem becomes advanced is important. Transferring films to DVD format is an easy, inexpensive process that will preserve your home movies on a durable and easily replicated format. Once your films are on DVD, you can copy them to other DVDs and even store the information on a computer, providing lots of backup for your home movies. How Film Is Converted to DVD Film to DVD transfer services all have their individual processes for converting film to DVD. In general, the process involves capturing each frame of the film digitally and recording that information onto a DVD. Frame by frame capture provides the best quality reproductions of your home movies, and some film to DVD services can even improve picture quality. Another benefit of transferring old movies to DVD is that companies providing these services often add features to make the films more navigable on DVD, such as breaking the movie up into DVD chapters. When choosing a film to DVD transfer service, be sure to inquire about the process they use to transfer film to DVD, and their options for maintaining and improving picture quality. 110220Volts provides film to DVD transfer services and also sells a variety of 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. The History of American Electricity and Its Spread Around the Globe In today’s modern age how lost would we be without electricity? We take for granted the presence of lights, computers, rechargeable batteries and voltage regulators because, as a generation, we have always had them. The history of American electricity shows us that each of these items we use daily is truly a wonder of innovation and imagination combined with science and experimentation. Edison Creates the Pearl Station While Edison had previously created the light bulb, the actual use of electricity required a system of generation and distribution before it could become usable by American people. In 1882, Thomas Edison’s team opened the Pearl Street station in Manhattan. The high cost of electric service and the limitation of using direct current (DC) caused the station to not be a money maker for several years. This type of station was built in several cities, but the limitations meant that each one only powered a few blocks of homes. Westinghouse Uses Alternating Current The first commercial alternating current (AC) power system was the Westinghouse Niagara power plant. Designed in 1886, the plant didn’t come to fruition until 1896. The invention of the Tesla coil in 1891 made it possible to transmit electricity over long distances. Most large towns and cities had electricity by 1930, but farms and rural areas did not. Part of the reason for this was that there was no regulation on electric services and the companies were privately owned. These companies felt it would be too expensive to run power lines to rural areas where the farmers were too poor to afford the service. Rural Electric Administration President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Rural Electric Administration in 1935 to help regulate electric service and help farmers get electricity and electric appliances. By 1939, 25% of the country’s rural homes had electricity. Regulation of electricity rates angered many power station owners, but the President acted in the best interest of all the citizens and made electricity affordable for all. Continuing Changes While there are different currents used all around the world for electricity, these first milestones helped the world become what it is today. Further advances in electricity have been discovered and are becoming more popular as different countries work for a greener and more environmentally friendly way of powering the people. Clean water acts, clean air acts, and constant studies of how to more efficiently use renewable energy sources have led to changes in everything from how we fuel our cars to the types of light bulbs we use in our homes. If you travel the world you may find that you need a 110 to 220 volt converter or vice versa to power up your electronic devices, but, overall, electricity is available in all countries and even remote areas where you wouldn’t expect it. Does every mile of the globe need to have access to electricity? Not necessarily, but the convenience of using electronic devices has led to some pretty surprising and innovative powering options for the places where there is no electricity. No matter to where you are traveling, make sure you visit 110220Volts to get your voltage converters and regulators so that you can take advantage of the electric service at your destination. Five Tips for Hailing a Cab Overseas Your plane ride isn’t the end of your journey when you’re traveling to foreign countries. You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to the sites you’d like to see when traveling abroad. Whether you plan to visit the Vatican or take a tour of Buckingham Palace, you’re likely to need taxi service. For U.S. travelers looking for a ride while visiting overseas, these tips can help: Know your host country’s tipping protocol – Do a little research and find out how much and whether you should tip. In some countries, generous tips are expected, and travelers who don’t tip may be in for some less than pleasant interactions with cabbies. In other countries, cab drivers don’t take tips and may be offended by an offer. Make sure you know the local customs. Be aware of scams – In some countries, cab scams abound. Unscrupulous cab drivers may push you toward going to destinations other than your desired restaurant or club because competing businesses have paid them to direct travelers their way. Others may take advantage of foreign tourists’ lack of knowledge of the area to run up fares. Still others may be involved in even more dangerous activities, such as setting up tourists to be robbed. Be wary and always trust your gut. Use cab hailing apps – By using Uber, Gett, Halio, and other cab hailing apps, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of taking a cab in an unfamiliar country. You can easily schedule a trip on the app and quickly have a cab at your location to pick you up. Many cab hailing apps have rating systems that let you know how reliable cab drivers are, so you can better pick your service provider. Carry cash – While some cabbies will take plastic, many will not. Even if they do, you may incur higher charges for using your credit or debit card overseas. Having cash, particularly local currency, is always a good idea when traveling abroad, especially in less tech-friendly countries and locales. Keep your smartphone charged – If you’re going to use your smartphone to make use of Uber and other cab hailing services, you’re going to need to keep it charged. Before venturing out of your hotel, make sure your phone has a full charge. Also, manage your phone’s power consumption while traveling to ensure you have sufficient energy to make use of ride-hailing apps when you’re ready to return to your hotel. Most foreign countries use different voltages and electrical outlets than those found in the U.S. Because the majority of non-U.S. countries use 220-volt outlets, using an American device with them will end in disaster. To safely charge your devices overseas, you need a step-down voltage converter. These devices will fit foreign outlets and allow you to safely charge your 110-volt devices. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help U.S. travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978. Six Cruise Packing Hacks to Make Your Voyage a Breeze Tacky Hawaiian shirt? Check. Flip flops? Check. That’s all you need for a cruise, right? Not quite. While taking a cruise on the Caribbean or Mediterranean offers an unforgettable vacation experience, your trip can get expensive really fast if you don’t pack some necessary items. Remember, you’re going to be on that boat for a week. If you didn’t bring it with you, you might not be able to buy it onboard. Even if you’re able to buy it onboard, the cruise ship has you at its mercy, so be prepared to pay through the nose. These cruise packing hacks can make life easier and help travelers avoid high prices for common items on board the ship. Put your most needed items in your carry-on. You won’t be able to access your checked luggage for several hours after you board the ship. That’s why you need to place your must-haves in your carry-on luggage. Medications, a change of clothes, and important electronic gear such as tablets and step down voltage converters need to be where you can get to them immediately. Bring hangers. Trust us on this one; you’re going to need them. Cruise lines only provide a few hangers. You need to pack a few more so you’ll be able to hang your clothes properly, especially if you’re taking a multi-week cruise. Take some Dramamine. Not all of us will suffer from sea sickness, but quite a few of us will. A prolonged case of sea sickness can make the cruise you’ve dreamed of into a nightmare. Dramamine is a lifesaver on cruises and should be in every traveler’s carry-on, especially if it’s your first time at sea. Bring wine – Most cruise ships will allow passengers to bring one bottle of wine onboard. Save a little money by taking advantage of this indulgence. Use your suitcase as a dresser drawer – Space comes at a premium on cruise ships, and you may find that your dresser leaves much to be desired in terms of available room. Create a storage space for your clothes by sliding a suitcase under your bed and leaving it open. You’ll be able to access the unzipped suitcase to retrieve less-frequently used items while saving room in your drawers for the clothes or items you’ll need most. Don’t forget your charging gear – Most of us can’t live without our laptops, smartphones, and other electronic gear. Because cruise ships are often manufactured overseas, their electrical outlets may not be appropriate for U.S. electronics. Most foreign countries use 220-volt electrical outlets and electronics, while the U.S. standard is 110 volts. U.S. plugs won’t fit many foreign outlets, and, even if they do, the increased voltage will fry U.S. gear. 220 110 converters allow safe usage of U.S. electronic gear with foreign electrical outlets. Be sure to include one with your luggage to ensure you can keep your must-have electronics charged. 110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help U.S. travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.