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!