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.

Only some appliances function in Europe

You may or may not have heard that if you go to Europe and bring some electronics with you, they will not work. Now, if you are planning on going to a European country such as Denmark, England, Poland, or Italy, you must be sure to look further into this. But it may seem confusing. Fortunately, it is actually quite simple to make sense of. The United States and most of Central America and South America uses 110V. Europe uses 220V. This is why if you go to Europe and try to plug in an electric appliance, it may become damaged and you may even start a fire. So it is vital that you either bring dual-volt appliances with you, which you can use in Europe without buying anything extra, or buy a voltage converter or transformer for your single-volt items.

First you have to figure out which of your appliances are dual-volt and which are  single-volt. Look for the voltage rating. It will read 110V-220V if it is dual-volt. Many rechargeable items, such as laptop computers and digital cameras are dual-volt. You do not need a converter for these items. But if it only reads 110V, then you must purchase a voltage converter in order to use it while in Europe.

After you have determined which appliances need a converter, you need to find out the wattage of these. You can do this by multiplying the voltage by the amp, or it may be listed on the appliance itself. Once you have the wattage rating, buy a voltage converter that has a wattage rating that is 25% more than the appliance’s. This way, your converter will last through many uses.

Even if you are only bringing dual-volt items on your trip to Europe, you must make sure to bring plug adapters, because even your dual-volt devices will not work in Europe if it will not fit in the differently-shaped outlet.

Electrical Outlets in Europe

Did you know that the electrical outlets in Europe are different from the ones in the United States? If you travel to any country in Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, or Greece, and try to plug in an electric appliance, it will not work. It may even cause a fire!  This is because Europe uses 220V. In the United States, and much of South America and Central America, 110V is used. You may think that you now need to buy new appliances once you are in Europe! But luckily, this is not the case. All you need in order for your American electronics to function in Europe is a volt converter or transformer.

To find out if you need a volt converter or transformer, find the volt rating located on the appliances you would like to bring overseas with you. Some of your items may not need a volt converter or transformer. These will be marked with a rating that says 110V-220V. This indicates that your appliance is dual-volt. A lot of rechargeable things like digital cameras and camcorders are dual-volt. However, if it reads only 110V, then it is only single-volt, and you will need to buy a volt converter for it if you want to use it in Europe.

When you know which of your appliances require the use of a voltage converter or transformer, find their wattages on the back where the model number and serial number is located or the specification page of the manual. If the information is provided in amps instead of watts you will have to multiply voltage by amp. Then, find a voltage converter that has a higher wattage than the appliance, 25%+ higher for best results. It will make the voltage converter or transporter last longer.

And don’t forget to buy the appropriate plug adapter! It doesn’t matter if your appliances are dual-volt or single-volt, you will always need a plug adapter so that when you get to Europe, you’ll be able to plug your appliance in!

Things to Bring on Vacation to Europe

Europe is an exciting place. If you are planning a trip there, you may become stressed when trying to figure out what kind of voltage converter or transformer to bring with you. You will need a voltage converter or transformer when you go to Europe in order to operate all the electric appliances you have chosen to bring along. But figuring out what kind of converter or transformer to bring is actually quite simple.

First of all, you may not even need one. Your electronic devices might be dual-voltage appliances, which mean they will function in Europe without a converter. To find out if you need one, site the voltage rating, which should be written on your appliance. If you locate it, and it says 110V or 120V, you will need to purchase a voltage converter or transformer, because it is only single-volt. However, if your appliance lists 110V-220V, then it will function in Europe without a conversion device. Most re-chargeable items like laptop computers and digital cameras are dual-volt. Some hair driers may also be dual-volt.

But if you find that some of your items are single-volt and you need a converter, you then must find out the wattage of those items. In order to do this, either determine it by multiplying the device’s amp by its voltage, or simply look for a printed indication. After you have this number, purchase a voltage converter that is at least 25% higher in wattage than your appliance. This will ensure your converter will not burn out after prolonged use.

Voltage converters differ from voltage transformers in that converters are smaller, and more travel-friendly than transformers. They are used for most of the electronics that you are likely to bring on your trip. Transformers last longer, but you must unplug them when not in use so as not to wear them out.

And, of course, you must always be sure to bring a plug adapter with you, because in Europe the plugs are shaped differently. Then you are ready to go to Spain, Greece, Italy, or Hungary!

Are You Going to Russia, Georgia, or Kazakhstan?

If you are going on a trip to a country, such as Russia, Georgia, or Kazakhstan, do not forget to take everything you need. You may want to bring electric appliances such as hairdryers, curling irons, or electric razors. However, you may not have realized that these electronics will not work properly. Why is this? Well, these countries use higher voltages than the United States. Typically, the United States, as well as most of Central and South Americas, uses 110V. But other places like Europe use 220V. Because of this, your American appliances will not work when you plug them into the wall in a Russian house or hotel. But you don’t need to buy new, Russian electronics to remedy this. In fact, you can take your American appliances with you to Russia. All you need in order to do this is a volt converter or transformer.

In order to find out what kind of converter you need, you must first locate your appliance’s wattage rating. If you cannot find it, simply find the wattage rating by multiplying the appliance’s voltage by amps. Now that you have the wattage rating, pick a voltage converter. In order to avoid burn-outs, it is suggested that you select a voltage converter that has a wattage rating 25% higher than your appliance.

However, there are some appliances that are dual-voltage, which means you don’t need a converter for them. To find out which of your appliances are dual-voltage, look for the voltage rating. If the rating says something like 110V or 120V, then it is not dual-volt appliance, it is single-volt and you need a converter. On the other hand, if it reads 110V-220V or something similar, then you are in luck and you can use those appliances in Europe without the aid of a converter.

However, you will need a plug adapter for all electronics, because sockets are shaped differently.