Traveling abroad this summer? Make Sure You Know the Difference Between a Plug Adapter and a Converter

Traveling abroad is hugely popular in the summer. With the slower pace of work and school schedules, it makes perfect sense to have the itch of the travel bug during this season. There are many preparations for traveling outside of the US. Passport? Check. Foreign currency? Yep. Immunizations? You betcha.

Converters and adapters for electronics? Maybe not.

Converters and adapters for travel abroad are one of the most overlooked items in travel preparations. And with the airport security climate, more people are attempting to pack light. But not taking the time to get educated and buy the right tools can fry your beloveds. Nothing puts a damper on a vacation more than a damaged electronic, especially when it could have been prevented.

So let’s take a look at what these are and why they matter to your trip.

Resting easy
First, rest assured that many of the household electric items you’ll be using are provided abroad in your lodging. Hairdryers and irons, for example. You can certainly rest easy with household, everyday items. If you’ll be staying for awhile in your visiting country, you may want to purchase an electric razor there.

For items like chargers for cameras, laptops and smart devices – such as your phone, you’ll need converters or adapters.

Electric Converters
Most electric devices run on 110 volts in the US. Most of the rest of the world operates on 220-240 volts. Be sure to check the voltage requirements on the items you will be taking. If they cannot accommodate the higher voltage you are likely to encounter abroad, you will need to buy an electric converter. Electric converters are designed to step up or down the voltage. This enables electric items from one country to be used in another country without threat to the user (fire) or the device (permanent damage).

Pro Tip: You can also buy converters with built-in adapters.

Plug Adapters
Plug adapters are also known as travel adapters. Keep in mind that even if your electric item can handle the voltage in another country, the outlet shapes are different. This small detail is also often overlooked in travel planning. How frustrating to take all the needed steps for a killer trip only to be stuck with non-chargeable items. Take precautions to research the country where you’ll be going to see if you’ll need to buy adapters. Adapters allow plugs of all sizes here in the US to fit into plug outlets used abroad. Plug adapters do not change the voltage of electric devices. They simply allow items from another country to adapt to the outlets in another country, safely.

Pro Tip: It’s easy to lose adapters and converters when hopping around the globe. If this happens they can actually be hard to find in stores abroad. However, hotel concierge staff often have an abundance of spares left from people just like you…or the would-be you now that you have our Pro Tip.

If you have additional electrical questions we can help answer before your big vacations, look no further than professional electric! Visit us online at and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! We are available 24/7 for emergency services! Mobile: (251) 473-5788 Baldwin County: (251) 929-8957 Remember, when it comes to your electrical needs, Keep It Professional!

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