Charging an Iphone - US -> UK, France, Spain

Hi,

I'm bringing my iphone to those countries due to its many benefits. I know the UK and France have different types of designs on their outlets?

What do I do about this? Do I buy the converters for each country in the US or over there? Anybody in similar situation, please help. It's important as I am traveling alone and need to be in touch with my parents.

Posted by Kelly
St Petersburg Florida
948 posts

You can buy a pack of adapters for most countries in one package at Target for under 10-15 bucks. I think there are 4 different adapters, 2 of which being for Europe and England.

Posted by Laris
San Jose, CA
17 posts

Thanks Kelly! Do I need to buy anything else...I don't want the phone to damage. In other words, is a converter the only thing I need along with my US charger given the different power voltages?

Thanks

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17776 posts

Laris,

There are several important points to mention.

First, you need to check the Charger for your IPhone to ensure that it's designed for "world operation". Look for the phrase Input Voltage 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz. If that's the case, you'll only need inexpensive Plug Adapters to operate in Europe.

Next, Plug Adapters. The U.K. style has three large rectangular pins, while the style used in continental Europe has two round pins. I'd suggest packing two of each type (they only cost a few dollars each).

The most important point to make is that you'll have to be VERY careful about using the data portion of your IPhone (E-mail and web surfing) in Europe, as data roaming charges can be extremely expensive! You might want to speak with AT&T to get details on any plans they might have that can reduce these charges somewhat. Many travellers using IPhones disable the data portion of the phone and just use it with Wi-Fi (where hot spots are available). I've seen reports of traveller's who return home to find a $3000 bill waiting in their mailbox.

I also travel alone and like to keep in touch with family. I use text as it's about the cheapest method. With my plan, outgoing texts are about 75ยข each, while incoming texts are free. I just use a basic "flip" Cell phone (nothing too fancy) but it works fine. If your parents also have a Cell phone, that might be an option to consider.

Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by Tom
Newport Beach, CA, USA
756 posts

buy a few of Rick's 1$ adapters or buy the APPLE travel kit for 30$ made for Ipod/phones etc.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
503 posts

Be SURE to get an international data package from AT&T plan before you leave. Keep the data reception turned off except when you want to retrieve it. (settings > general > network > data roaming) If you just take your iphone as it is and let it receive data like you do at home, you will be surprised with a HUGE (possibly 4 digit) bill when you get home. You need both a plan for phoning and for data. Last summer the international data plan was about $70 per month.
Look at your charger. If it has a 110-240V range (which it most likely does have), all you need is the plug adaptor.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

All excellent advice above.

Can I just point out that not all continental plugs are the same. Depending on the age of the place you're staying, some which look similar are slightly different. The two examples I can think of are Italy and Switzerland.

Italy has its own two pin plugs which are either slightly wider and further apart (or the other way around, I can't remember), but most modern hotels have at least one european standard socket. Swiss plugs are a similar story, Swiss ones have a third pin between the others, but more places are only european standard. If you find yourself stuck you can always run into a Media Mart or Darty who can sort you out cheaply.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

I bought this for my future travel in Europe (from ebags.com)
My son took it to Israel in January, and I'll use it in England and then in France this fall. One little device for all countries....and it's not expensive. Comes in a great colorful bag (which makes it easy to find in your suitcase - I got the bring green color)

Worked to charge my son's iphone and ipod.

http://www.ebags.com/ebags/universal_plug_adapter_kit/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=97156

Posted by Tyson
Pinole, CA, USA
316 posts

The iPhones are universal voltage so all you need is a plug adapter. As stated before you can always check to see the voltage rating on the item. As long as it says, '100-240v' you can plug it in anywhere as long as you have the adapter.

Do not attempt to use a voltage converter with these universal voltage items. I've fried a couple of electronics.

I bought a international USB plug in charger for a couple of dollars. Works great and comes with 5 different plugs.

Posted by Carissa
Rochester, NY, United States
4 posts

Without having to call Verizon, can't I just turn off the roaming on my iPhone and also turn off the cellular so it only uses wifi? Or should I also turn on airplane mode while I'm walking around the city to ensure I don't get charged for anything? My plan is to take my phone with me and have cellular off and whenever there is wifi (restaurant, hotel) my phone should connect automatically and I will be able to iMessage?

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7682 posts

Turn airplane mode on (which turns off eveything), then turn on wifi. No need to call Verizon about anything.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

What Nigel said is true in Spain also. I did notice a number of non-standard plugs here and there - but always found a standard two prong continental plug when I needed one.