Posted on November 13, 2009 by Blog Poster A Common Mistake when traveling to Europe A mistake that Americans often make when traveling is that they forget to bring voltage converters or transformers with them, when they travel to European countries like Italy, Vienna, England, or Sweden. The results of this can be annoying, and even dangerous. If you attempt to plug an American appliance into an electrical outlet in Europe, your appliance will be ruined and you may even start a fire. This is because Europe uses 220V. People from the United States, Central America, and South America, are used to using 110V. So in order to use your electrical devices when you travel to Europe, you must bring along a voltage converter or transformer, as well as a plug adapter. However, some devices are in fact dual-voltage, which means they can be used in Europe without modifications. But many electronics are only single-voltage, and if you want to use it in Europe you will need a device that modifies the voltage. To see if you need a voltage converter, look at the appliances you are planning on bringing. If they say 110V-220V, or something like it, then you are in luck and you don’t need a converter, because that means that your device is dual-volt. But, if it only says 110V or 120V, then it is single-volt. This means you need a converter in order to use it in Europe. To find out what kind of converter you need, you first have to obtain the wattage of your single-volt appliance. If you cannot find it written on the appliance itself, simply calculate the wattage by multiplying the amp by the voltage. The resulting number is the wattage, and your converter should preferably have a wattage rating that is 25% higher. This makes it so that your converter lasts long. Lastly, all of your appliances need a plug adapter, because European wall sockets are shaped differently from American ones.