Adapters / Converters – Which One Do You Need?

I remember traveling abroad for the first time when I was a teenager. I was all prepped with all of my electronics and I couldn’t wait to leave the front door. The only problem was, I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be able to use any of my electronics unless I bought a travel adapter.

Now there is a difference between travel adapters and converters. I will go over travel adapters and then briefly explain what a voltage converter is and the difference.

Travel Adapters

Example of A Travel Adapter

Travel adapters are useful when you are in a country or region that is operating on a similar voltage to where you are coming from. Basically they allow you to change the shape of your plug to work within the region you are currently in. For example if you live in the United States and want to use your phone while staying in the United kingdom. You’re going to need to change the shape of your plug to work in that country, and vice versa. Assuming that the country you are in operates on the same voltage, this should function quite easily and not be a problem.

One thing I highly recommend about buying a travel adapter is to do it before you get to the airport. Just like travel pillows, the prices of these definitely get much higher as opposed to purchasing one beforehand.

Voltage Converters

Example of A Voltage Converter (w/ Adapter Included)You see a voltage converter is a little bit different. A voltage converter is not going to function in the same way as a travel adapter. What a voltage converter does is change the voltage of an electrical power source. Although before you consider using a voltage converter. You need to ask yourself, “does my device even need it’s voltage changed in the first place?”.

Many electronics operate on dual voltage. What this means is that they are able to convert internally on their own without the use of a separate voltage converter. If you were to use a voltage converter on a device like this. You could risk damaging your electronics. Examples of electronics that are dual voltage include; phones, tv, space heaters etc. There are even websites with dedicated departments for dual voltage appliances / accessories which you can purchase from. I’ve never heard of that before and I think that’s quite interesting.

For more info on travel adapters and other travel information. Check out Smarter Travel.

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