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Adaptor / Converter for France

Do I need a power adaptor / converter for travel in France in order to charge cell phone, laptop and personal care items? If so, what brand / unit do you recommend. I am assuming I need one with a couple USB ports?

Posted by
33339 posts

It would probably depend on what you were charging with USB. Personal care items?

Posted by
38 posts

USB would be my Microsoft Band II. Personal items would be a shaver/groomer which is charged using a regular 110V outlet.

Posted by
1540 posts

Depending on where you are staying, you may be able to borrow one from the hotel front desk.
I bought several (they are very cheap) at Wal-Mart, Target, REI....etc.
I usually carry more than one to lend to friends and in case I forget to take it when I leave the hotel.
I use it for curling iron, charge my Kindle (with USB adapter that came with the Kindle), and to charge my camera batteries. I have used the 2 prong adapters all over Europe and Asia.
Happy Travels.

Posted by
5697 posts

For adapters, we just went to a travel store and bought ones marked for the country we were visiting. Took along a standard extension cord, put the adapter on and plugged the phones in to the cord just like at home.

Posted by
6671 posts

Here is a picture of the kind of adapter you need. You can get them many places for cheap. I'd suggest bringing a couple in case you want to charge more than one thing at a time, or you lose one. (They are easy to forget and leave behind in hotel rooms.)

Depending on what you want to charge, you might need a converter, which converts voltage. These are much heavier and more expensive, but only necessary for devices that won['t accept the 220-volt current used in Europe. Most devices are dual-voltage and will work fine without a converter -- shavers, phones, tablets, laptops, etc. The only problem I've heard about is hair dryers. If you need one of these, might be easier to just buy a cheap one in Europe than lug your own plus a transformer. There's an article about this subject under "travel tips" on this website.

Posted by
1540 posts

Thanks for posting the photos - I was just getting ready to dig mine out and take a photo - and thanks to you - I don't have to.
YES, those are the adapters I was referring to. I have some that are white and some are black - but all are the same.

Forgot to add that I only use an adapter and have not needed a converter - because the devices and appliances I am plugging in are compatible with European plugs ( I have also done this same thing all over Europe/ UK/ India/ China/ Nepal/ Tibet/ South America......... no problems for me. (thank goodness)

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks all. Appreciate the photos as well. Now I know what to get. Don't know why I didn't think of radio shack. Appreciate all the suggestions.

Posted by
10369 posts

Just be sure your razor is dual voltage because it's not worth buying and lugging a current converter.

Posted by
38 posts

Yes thanks. I'll need to check the dual voltage thing.

Posted by
4066 posts

I suggest you consider this plug for France: http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/e/

It is grounded, unlike the older model. The plug still contains the two prongs to stick into the wall socket. But it also has a hole where the ground prong, projecting from the wall socket, will fit. The old style sometimes won't fit these new wall sockets very easily. The reverse, unfortunately, is also true: Old two-prong receptacles without the extra space for the ground may not accommodate the newer model. I take one of each.

Posted by
23473 posts

Since you appear to be a little uncertain on this subject.

... I'll need to check the dual voltage thing......

What exact does the input tag or could be stamp of your plug for the razor say? Copy everything that is there.

Posted by
8889 posts

Bob, if you shaver is 120V input, plugging it into a French socket (230V 50Hz) will result in a fried shaver, blown fuses and possibly fireworks.
You would need a voltage converter as well as the plug converter. This may be the time to get a newer model which is "110-240V 50-60Hz". Or, maybe buy a new one in France.
All USB chargers I have seen are 110-240V.
P.S. I assume it is Input 120V 60Hz.

Posted by
38 posts

Correct Chris, and yes it's overdue for a replacement. It's a moustache and beard trimmer and unfortunately three week is a tad too long to go w/o a moustache trim. Otherwise it becomes a cookie duster!

Posted by
15723 posts

Instead of buying and lugging a voltage converter for one item, consider this:

Gillette Styler

It is battery operated, compact, and will be easier to pack and take with you than a heavier trimmer and converter. You can pick it up at Target or Walmart for about $22.

If you are looking for a travel shaver as well, I can recommend these two depending on the type of shaver you use now:

Panasonic Shaver (Foil)

or

Norelco Shaver (Rotary)

They won't be as good as a bigger, more powerful shaver but they are light, battery operated and easier to travel with.

Posted by
38 posts

Thanks I'll check it out. My Norelco trimmer is quite light and is rechargeable except will not handle the voltage in France.

Posted by
32273 posts

bob,

I haven't read through all the replies, but a few thoughts.....

You need to check EACH device you'll be travelling with to determine the Input Voltage requirements. Many newer electronic products will state "Input 100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz" and if that's the case, all you'll need is an inexpensive two-pin Euro Plug Adaptor to use them in continental Europe (a different style is used in the U.K.).

If any of your appliances have a grounded (three pin) plug, I normally prefer to use them with a grounded Plug Adaptor in order to take advantage of the ground protection designed into the device. Grounded Plug Adaptors are a bit different, as some are unique to each country (ie: Italy is different than Switzerland).

The charger on my Panasonic Razor (a regular model, not specifically intended for travel) is designed for the wider input voltage, as is the power supply for my Netbook, so I just connect those directly when in Europe.

Voltage Converters can cause problems,so if you have any devices that are designed for 120 VAC only, I'd suggest leaving them at home and buying local models in Europe.

Posted by
38 posts

good advice Ken. I am bringing both the two pin and grounded adaptors.

Posted by
12197 posts

I would never lug a voltage converter. These days almost everything is made for dual voltage. If it's not an antique, it should be fine with only an adapter plug. As stated, if you're unsure, the voltage will be listed somewhere on everything you own that plugs in. If you have something that isn't dual voltage, investing in something travel size, and new, may be the better option.

One additional point is don't be surprised to find only one plug in rooms you stay in. American codes of one outlet (for two plugs) every 12 feet don't apply.

I think the best bet, if possible, is to have your rechargables use USB cables (at least on one end). Get a charger that accepts USB with more than one plug in. Use an adapter with the one charger and charge all your stuff, or at least more than one at a time, from the one plug in your room. It's also extra weight/bulk to carry multiple chargers for different devices, so nice if you can avoid it as much as possible.

Electrical experts will probably know more details about what works with what. I generally make sure things work at home, then just add an adapter on the road.