Everything You Should Know About Travel Adapter and Voltage Converter

While traveling one country to another, people generally worry about two things – the currencies and the languages. But there is another important thing to worry about that people often forget. That is the power source. Without powering up your electric devices like phones, laptops, and other essential electrical compliances, your trip may end up in mess and frustrations.

Featured Image of Power Outlets and Voltages Details for Travelers

However, different countries have different shapes of plugs and there are differences in electricity voltages as well. So, today we are going to help you out with the differences in plugs, sockets and the voltages that you might know before traveling to other countries.

All about Power Outlets

To powering or charging your electrical devices, you just need to plug into a power source or a power outlet. For that, you will need the right plug shapes or you will not be able to plug your devices to the sockets or the power outlets. Different countries use different types of sockets shapes and types. So, you have to know first about the plugs and sockets shapes that are being used around the world.

But why the plugs or electrical outlets are different in different countries? We will be going to know that in below.

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Why Do Different Countries Use Different Sockets and Plugs?

To explain this, we have to dig deep of the histories of electrical innovations and the distributions. While developing the electrical power delivery system in the ’90s, the Americans have developed and adopt the modern plug and distributions systems. Where other countries couldn’t find or develop the American standards as their distribution and plug system. [American standard: 60 Hz, 110V]

Back then, each country started developing its electrical delivery system on its own knowledge and technology. For instance, German liked the 220V and 50 Hz more efficient for their power transmission. While India and Pakistan kept using British standards (220-230V and 50 Hz).

So, there had been made the sockets and plugs based on the power transmission system that the country uses. The countries started to make and import the electrical appliances according to the power distribution and power outlets they have. Thus for different power distributions system, there have been differences in plugs and sockets in different countries.

However, once the countries had picked one system of electric plugs and distribution, it is hard to change or switch to another system. For doing that, countries need to rip apart all the plugs and sockets in every office, home and have to make changes in electrical appliances as well. It would be very expensive and painful too. So, they keep their electrical distribution, transmission, sockets, and plugs as they developed once. Travelers just need to use universal travel adaptor to power up their portable electronic appliances.

But it is always wise to know about the different plug and sockets types of different countries before you travel. Below, there is a heat map of plug shapes/types used the different countries around the world.

A Brief on Plug & Socket Types (With Pictures)

As a traveler, you should have knowledge of different sockets and plug types. There are 15 types of sockets/outlets currently are being used. We have sorted all of the types altogether here. See the following chart below to know which plugs and socket types are being used in the countries around the world. We recommend you to bookmark or check this every time you plan to go to a different country.

Type A & B

Popular CountriesUSA, Canada, Mexico, Japan
Pin NumbersTwo Pins
Supported Current15A
Supported Voltage100V – 127V
Compatible Plug TypesA & B
Pictures (A, B)Type a Socket Type B Socket

Type C, E F

Popular CountriesEurope, Asia, Middle East, Israel, & South America
Pin NumbersTwo Pins
Supported Current2.5 A & 16 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, E, F
Pictures (C, E, F)Type C Socket Type E Socket Type F Socket

Type D

Popular CountriesMainly in India & Pakistan
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current5 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesD, C, E, F
Picture Type D Socket

Type G

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Type H

Popular CountriesOnly in Israel
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current16 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, H
Picture Type H Socket

Type I

Popular CountriesAustralia, New Zealand, China, Argentina
Pin NumbersTwo or Three Pins
Supported Current10 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesI
Picture Type I Socket

Type J

Popular CountriesSwitzerland & Liechtenstein
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current10 A
Supported Voltage220v -240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, J
Picture Type J Socket

Type K

Popular CountriesDenmark & Greenland
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current16 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, k
Picture Type K Socket

Type L

Popular CountriesItaly & Chile
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current10 A & 16 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, L (for 10 A); L (for 16 A)
Picture Type L Socket

Type M

Popular CountriesMainly Used in South Africa
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current15 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesM
Picture Type M Socket

Type N

Popular CountriesBrazil & South Africa
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current10 A & 20 A
Supported Voltage100V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, N
Picture Type N Socket

Type O

Popular CountriesOnly in Thailand
Pin NumbersThree Pins
Supported Current16 A
Supported Voltage220V – 240V
Compatible Plug TypesC, O
Picture Type O Socket

Dealing with the Different Voltages

Different countries have not only different plug and socket types but also they have differences in their power distribution systems – that means there are differences in voltages. So, if you are traveling with a device, make sure you are carrying a dual voltage supported one or take a voltage converter with you.

What Is Dual Voltage Device?

You already have known from the above charts that mainly there are two types of voltage system – (100V – 127V) and (220V – 240V). The device that supports or works in both of these voltages is called a dual voltage device. Many recent or latest devices are dual voltage so you do not need any travel converter. You will just need a plug adapter or alternatively called travel adapter.

Let us explain a little bit more.

When Do You Need Voltage Converter or Travel Converter?

Electronic devices like laptops, smartphones, Kindle, MP3 player usually supports dual voltage that you do not have to worry about burning or damaging your device while on in AC mode. These electronic devices have the technology in it that incorporates the source voltages into the correct one. So, whatever the voltages your device will get from the new power source or socket, your device will remain safe.

But the electrical devices (such as blenders, hot rollers, flat irons, hair dryers, curling irons, etc.) generally do not have the technology in it that can incorporate with any voltages. So, there will be a risk of burning or damaging your device. If you have an electrical device that works on 110V, you need to plug in only to 110V source/power outlet. You will then need to convert from a single voltage to dual voltage to power up your electrical devices safely. In this case, you need a plug adapter and a voltage converter or alternatively called a travel converter.

What’s The Solution?

Let us make it simple for you.

If you have old model electrical devices or devices like hair dryer, blenders, hair straighteners (generally the devices convert electrical energy to heat, sound, light), you need both a travel adapter and a travel converter. Check the label of your devices to see the information about voltages.

If you have electronic devices like laptop, MP3, iPad, Smartphones or any latest model devices that support dual voltage, you just need to buy a plug or travel adapter. Different voltages of different countries will not be an issue for you.