International Electrical Plugs are Different | Electric Plugs International

Elictrical Plugs are Different

International Electrical Plugs are Different | Electric Plugs International

You pack up all your electronics and possible your electric shaver and hair dryer.  After all, we must stay informed and look good!  But let me warn you.  International Electrical Plugs are Different.   Not only are the plugs different, but different countries use different voltages of electricity!  And to top that off, not all countries have the greatest of electrical systems.  Their power grids are prone to “Power Spikes” that can fry your electronics.  Come check out the Electric Plugs International

Should you just leave your Electronics at home?

Of course not.  I am going to show you how to get around all of these differences found throughout the world.  First, we need to understand what the differences are and why they could be a problem.  No worries, you are doing your research now!  We are going to show you how to get around that.

Let’s start with the different plugs in different countries


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American/Canadian Plug
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Italy Plug


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United Kingdom Plug
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Europe Plug


They all look so different!  Kind of scary huh?  And guess what, there are a few more out there also.  You will need a “Travel Adapter convertor” for your plugs.  But, I only suggest you buy two.  One for your hair dryer (if you are bringing one) and one for your Power Strip with Surge Protector.  NOTE:  These do NOT change 140v to 120v.  They simply change the configuration of the plug so you can you can use the outlet.

This should set you up for all of your electric needs.  With the “Power  Strip Surge Protector” that I am going to show you, you can plug in two computers and a camera battery charger.   This Power Strip will also protect your electronics from any power surgers.   It has three receptacles and  6 USB charging ports.  But first, let’s talk about 120 volts vs 240 volts. use 120V and some use 240V, How will that affect you as international electrical plugs are different

The USA and Canada use 120v along with a few other countries.  Most other countries use 240v

Don’t Panic, I will show you how to get around all of these pesky problems BEFORE you leave.  You will need to do some preparation and research before you leave the States.  I am going to talk about the basic travel items you normally take on an international trip.  Hair dryer, Shaver and all of your “electronics”.

You need to check your Hair Dryer to see if it is a dual voltage

If you take your hair dryer from the United States or Canada that is made for 120V and plug it in overseas, it will catch fire in your hands!    The United States, Canada  and parts of South America use 120V and the rest of the world uses 240V.  Luckily, there are only two main types of electrical systems. Believe it or not you can buy a hair dryer that will convert to either 120v or 240v.

There is a little toggle switch on these dryers that say 120v or 240v.  IF your hair dryer does NOT have that you have two choices.  Either buy one that does have that feature or purchase a “voltage converter”.  Quite frankly, buying a new hair dryer  is the cheaper thing to do.  Also, you will need to buy an adaptor to change plug types separate from the “Power  Strip Surge Protector” as it is not designed for higher wattage uses like hair dryers.

Most Computers and battery chargers will handle either 120V or 240V

BUT IT IS UP TO YOU TO DOUBLE CHECK!   You need to check the transformers on your computer plug to check on whether they can hand both voltages.  The print is so small it might be easier to take a picture of it and then enlarge the picture.  Here are the built in transformers on Our Computers showing what types of voltages it can use.  I posted these two pictures large enough so you could read them.  Also, the bottom picture shows that the charger for my Canon Camera will also be ok with 120V or 240V.  You need to check each device you are going to be taking with you.  If it says “100-240V, 50/60 Hz“, then you don’t have to worry about the voltage issue.

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ASUS Computer Transformer
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ACER Computer Transformer


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Canon Camera Battery Charger

USB type of chargers for your phones, notebook etc.

USB chargers convert the voltage to 5v anyhow, so you are only at risk of blowing up the adapter, not the devices themselves.  This is good the good news and makes your USB charging devices easy.  The type of “Power  Strip Surge Protector” that I am going to recommend to you will have six USB connection points.

Electric Shavers are usually 120V only

We have noticed that most hotels here in the UK have a special plug in the bathrooms for “shavers only”.  They are labeled 120V.  Use only this type of outlet!  The picture below is actually in the house that we are house sitting at.  Make sure you plug in to the 110v side!

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Shaver Outlet

This should do it for all of your Travel Electrical Needs

Purchase a “Travel Plug Converter” (buy an extra if you want to use a hair dryer in another room).
Purchase a “Power Strip with Outlet surge protector”
Have some extra USB connecting wires for all of your electronic devices.
If your hair dryer can not switch from 120v to 240v buy a new one

ONE FINAL WARNING ON Electric Plugs International!

When you plug your Power Strip into a 220v wall socket, it is now powered with 220v power.  If you don’t do your research and plug in a 110v item into it, you risk fire explosion and burns.  So read your labels!  The below picture is of a typical electrical wall outlet in the United Kingdom.  Each outlet has a little on/off switch.  I suggest you turn off the switch going to your Power Strip, plug everything in and then turn the switch back on.  That way, there will be now spark when plugging in your device.

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UK Outlet

A Video about Electric Plugs International

I have explained your “Power Needs”
To see the items that I am suggesting click Here– >> Travel Electronic “Power Needs” Review


All of these photographs were taken by Clyde with his Canon Powershot D30
To find out more about the camera, CLICK ON THIS LINK


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If you have any suggestions, questions or just want to say Hello, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you like this post, please like it on Twitter, Facebook, G+ or other social networks.


One thought on “International Electrical Plugs are Different | Electric Plugs International

  1. Super great article and very useful for anyone going abroad! Once we had power black out at the hotel where I work, because one american lady decided to take a risk and plug in her hair dryer without proper converter, even though we provide hair dryers in the rooms, in European plug knowing that voltage is different. Well, she fried her hair dryer and we lost power for few minutes lol

    1. Hi Ingrida,
      Thanks for your comments.
      I am trying to educate my readers for when they go visit overseas.
      Then is NOT the time to have to learn about these things, they need to be learned before one takes off on their journey

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