Voltage Converters and their Importance while you Travel

In this article we will discus Voltage Converters and their Importance while you Travel. When you prepare for a trip, are you the sort to pack weeks in advance or are you more of a last-minute, “Crossing my fingers!” kind of traveler? Well, when you are just preparing for a small trip, maybe the off-the-cuff sort of packing will be fine, but what if you’re traveling to a different country? Every country has its own language, culture, currency, and—something that many people may forget or underestimate—voltage.

“So what?” you might be thinking, “I’m going to be staying in hotels throughout my stay. They will supply me whatever I need, won’t they?”

To be honest with you, they might not. It’s always better to be prepared. The same way you may pack an extra towel in case the hotel doesn’t provide you one (or you have to pay for one!), you should always bring the appropriate voltage converters for your destination.

In case we haven’t convinced you, here are a few items that will definitely need a voltage converter:

1. Hair straightness/ Blow Dryers/ Curling Irons

You may consider letting your hair rough it for your trip abroad. “What’s a week or two without my blow dryer? I’ll be fine!” Water in different countries are going to affect your hair in different ways. You might end up having a frizz-ball for hair on the top of your head and you’ll end up having to purchase a blow dryer. Whether or not you want to drop upwards of $15.00 or more on a hair dryer you won’t be able to bring back with you is your decision, but it could be easily prevented with a good voltage converter.

2. Computers/Cell Phones/ Other Electronics

Your entire trip could be ruined by a dead phone on a trip. What about your camera for any picture opportunity? What if you need to check your flight information for the way home and your computer is nothing but a heavy brick? You’ll definitely need a good voltage converter for these items.

3. Other electronic travel items (travel iron, steamer kettle)

It’s the small things we forget about. Sure we might be set with an extra battery or two for our phones, but what about your other things? What if you need to look particularly nice for an event during your trip and all you have are wrinkled clothes from their time spent in your cramped suitcase? Cut the worry out of travel so that you can focus on what’s really important: the trip itself.

For more information, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our products.

General Rules for Appliance Voltage Compatibility

Whenever you travel to a foreign country or order an electrical or electronic product on the Internet, it is extremely important to understand your appliance’s voltage before use. Without all of the information you need ahead of time, even something as simple as plugging in a charging cable to a wall outlet can fry your device or start a fire. Follow these three general rules for voltage compatibility to ensure safety no matter where you are.

  1. Buy an Adapter Plug – Especially if you are traveling from the United States to another country, you will likely need an adapter plug in order to use your appliance or electronic device. As we’ve covered in other blog posts, there are a variety of outlet plug types, depending on the country or region of the world, so you will need an adapter that works in your location.
  2. Know the Required Voltage – The first step is to check the required voltage for your appliance before plugging in. Depending on where you purchased the item, it will be made for 110 volts (North America) or 220-240 volts (most of the rest of the world). The input voltage information can be found on the appliance itself or its power adapter.
  3. Shop for Voltage ConvertersVoltage converters help ensure that you can safely use products around the world. For example, you will need a converter if your appliance is made in America and you want to use it in England, and vice versa.

Traveling the World

By knowing the type of adapter plug you need and the right converter to use for your product, you will be able to avoid risks and have appliances that are compatible with power sources around the world. Learn more about what you need when you travel or move to another country by calling Overseas Best Buy (110220volts.com) at 800-827-9978.

Why Isn’t There a Universal Electric Plug?

If you’ve ever traveled outside of the country, you are sure to have come across power cords and electrical outlets that look much different than those in use in the United States. However, you may be wondering why there are so many different types of electrical plugs instead of a universal option to connect the entire world. To understand why you need a 220 to 110 converter for your electrical appliances and electronics overseas, look back at the history of electricity and innovation over the years.

Home electricity was first developed after the invention of the light bulb as a way to bring electric lighting to houses. In order to do so, lighting fixtures connected to a specialized light socket to draw electricity from the wiring to the house. As products developed that helped reduce the time it took to get jobs around the house done, there came a need for a connection other than a light socket that could supply power.

With the race on to develop plugs and outlets to fulfill these needs, countries around the world came up with their own solutions. This is why there are at least 15 types of plugs and outlets in use today.

Universal Power Adapter

As the global economy continued to grow and countries became more dependent on one another, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) tried to implement a universal electric plug. In 1986 it introduced the Type N plug but support around the world was not enough to lead to its adoption. Currently Type N is used almost exclusively in Brazil, where it was adopted as the national standard in the early 21st century because the country had been using multiple different types until that point.

Learn more about the history of electric outlets and plugs, and shop for universal adapters and more, by calling Overseas Best Buy (110220volts.com) today at (800) 827-9978.

How Do You Choose the Right Plug Adapter?

In our previous blog post, we talked about the history of electrical outlets and why different regions around the world use different outlet types. Now that you know the reasons behind plug types and the importance of voltage converters, you’ll need to understand how to choose the right plug adapter when you are out of the country. The first thing to know is that a plug adapter is designed to allow you to plug in your devices into a wall socket when you are on vacation or after you’ve moved to a new country. Since the United States has outlets that deliver 110 volts of electricity, be sure to check if you need a voltage adapter to safely plug in at your destination.

Travel Power Adapters

Which Countries Use Which Plugs?

Buying a universal plug adapter allows you to have one solution no matter where you are in the world. If you are moving overseas and want to bring your American electronics with you, you will need adapters for your new home so that you can continue to use your devices. Here is a list of common destinations around the world and the outlet types you may encounter:

  • Types A and B – Japan, Taiwan, Central America, Caribbean, South America
  • Types C, E, F – Europe, Middle East, Israel, parts of Asia and Africa
  • Type G – United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, parts of Africa
  • Type I – China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Use this information and see a picture of what plugs around the world look like so you can choose the perfect adapter for your needs. The experts at Overseas Best Buy will also assist with converters so you can protect not only your electronics but also your home or the hotel where you are staying. Learn more by contacting a representative today at (800) 827-9978.

Why Are There So Many Plugs and Sockets Around the World?

If you have ever traveled outside of the United States, you know just how frustrating it can be to go to plug in your phone only to realize the socket is a different shape. Why is it that you can use one type of charger in one part of the world, but need to use voltage converters in another? Why do countries within the same region have different plug and socket types, and how can you prepare if you are visiting a new country or plan to move overseas? Here is some history behind plugs around the world.

Plug types around the world

Edison, Tesla, and War

There are about 12 major plug types in use throughout the world, and all of them can trace back to the electrical arms race in the 1800s, according to Gizmodo. In the United States, Thomas Edison’s experiments with direct current introduced mainstream electricity to the country, but had trouble holding over long distances. Nikola Tesla invented alternating current power to rectify this, but the result was 240-volt power, as opposed to Edison’s 110-volt product. While the U.S. eventually adopted AC technology, it did not adjust its voltages or plugs to match what was in use in Europe. After all, who was going to lug around their appliances on a ship when they could save money and buy new items when they arrived?

The reason that regions have different plug types is that, in the early days, electrical devices had to be patched into a home’s wiring system. Inventors around the world sought to solve the issue with a single standardized plug, leading to individual countries choosing their own standard. Why do some countries in Africa, South America, and Asia share plug types, while their neighbors don’t? This is all thanks to old colonial ties around the world, as well as implementations following both World Wars.

Learn more about the history behind plug types and find out which voltage converters you need around the world by contacting 110220Volts.com today at (800) 827-9978.


  1. http://gizmodo.com/5391271/giz-explains-why-every-country-has-a-different-fing-plug

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