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Do I need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter?

The only things I will be plugging in will be my camera battery charger, cell phone and ipod. We're not taking hair dryers/curling irons or a computer with us. I've read mixed reviews...some say yes, some say no. Any thoughts?

Posted by
7917 posts

Look at the chargers...if they say 110-240v or 120-240v you won't need a converter, just the plugs. Make sure the 240v is there otherwise you will blow out whatever you plug in.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you for explaining it in plain English, Frank! :) Looks like I will need one as my husband's cell phone charger is only 120v.

Posted by
7917 posts

Before you buy a converter, check to see if a travel charger is available for his cellphone. Travel chargers are usually dual voltage.

Posted by
11411 posts

If you only have a couple things that need to be converted, a travel charger with a plug adapter might be the most convenient way to go. If you will need to get multiple travel chargers, it may still be better to get a converter rather than a bunch of travel chargers.

Most budget hotels in Europe will have only one outlet, keep that in mind when you plan on recharging multiple devices.

Recharging in a hostel is best done while you are awake and present. Leaving something in your room while you are out is an invitation to petty theft.

Posted by
272 posts

you will only need an adapter to charge your ipod. the ipod "charger" is dual voltage.
i have traveled with 3 different cameras and the battery charger for all was also dual voltage so just needed adapters.
the only thing i found i needed a converter AND adapter for was 1) clothes iron and 2) flat iron for hair.
as others mentioned, just check voltage on the device you needed to charge.

Posted by
65 posts

I searched for converters/adapters and came up with 150 threads! I'm going to try and summarize what I think I understand and please correct it:

Step 1: Look on your plug for the input. If it says 110 - 220V or 110V/220V, you only need an adapter.

Step 2: If it says 110V, 120V, etc., you'll need a converter or transformer. But which? See Step 3.

Step 3: This is broken down to low wattage and high wattage. If you can't find the Watts (W), you can use W = Volts (V) x Amps (A). So if your 110V product says 2.0A, you'll have a 220W product. Transformers are used for low watt products (50W or less), such as iPods, battery chargers, etc. Converters are used for the higher wattage devices, such as hair dryers (1875 W). Don't use these for continuous operation! Unplug them ASAP.

Step 4: What about frequency (Hz)? 50 or 60 is common on items. Basically I understand that if it isn't a clock, don't worry about it.

Step 5: Easy answer is to buy an auto-switch converter...

Posted by
65 posts

Step 5 (con't): This will automatically switch when you plug in a batter charger or a hair dryer. This with an adapter kit will cover you.

Let me know if these steps are accurate.

Thanks a lot,
Andy

Posted by
30438 posts

Alison,

As the others have said, you'll need to check the spec's on EACH of the Chargers you'll be travelling with. If they're designed for "world" operation, the nameplate will state "100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz". If that's the case, you'll only need Plug Adapters (note that Euro adapters are different than UK).

Regarding your Cell Phone, have you determined that it will work in Europe? Which network are you with? If you have a quad-band phone with either AT&T or T-Mobile you should be OK (last time I checked, roaming was only possible for contract plan customers and not PAYG, however this may have changed?). However, you'll need to contact your carrier to determine roaming charges. If your husband's phone is "older", it may not be quad-band?

Hope this helps?

Posted by
30438 posts

One other point to mention is that if you DO need a Voltage Converter, it's important to select the correct type. There are two principal methods of conversion - solid state and Transformer. If you use the wrong type with some electronic products, damage can result!!!

For low wattage electronic products such as 120V. Cell Phone Chargers, the Transformer model (probably rated at 50 watts max.) is the appropriate model to use. Although this will operate at 50 Hz. in Europe, that's not a concern with chargers. The most important factor is a "clean" sine wave, which is what a Transromer delivers.

Check Magellans as they have a good range of electrical (travel) products, and their web site has lots of information.

Cheers!

Posted by
4 posts

You only need plug adapter because your items are already dual voltage, i got this info from voltageconverterguide.com

Posted by
2 posts

One of my chargers say 300v, does that mean I need to buy a converter?

Posted by
10902 posts

Mikaela, I doubt the charger says 300 volts, as that would not be the correct voltage anywhere in the world. The range is from 100 to 240 volts, depending on the country and the purpose (for instance, standard in the US is 110, but some appliances like ovens and clothes dryers are 220). Look again with a magnifying glass at the charging "brick" to be sure. If it has both "100-240 volts" and "50-60 Hz" on it, you can use it in Europe with only a plug adapter. If it does not, you need either the correct kind of transformer/converter, a new charger, or a new device.

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Harold, Thanks!!I did look in the wrong place, I found it on the brick of the cord just like you said! It says "100-240 vac~, 100 mA, 50-60 Hz" So I should be ok with just an adapter! Thank you!

Posted by
1 posts

Hey guys! I need help asap! We are leaving for Europe (Italy, Austria, Hungary) in 3 days and I just saw that my hair iron (InStyler) is only 160v/60Hz. Will I need a converter or transformer? And where can I get it fast? Please help!

Posted by
922 posts

Melody, the User Manual for the InStyler says " DO NOT operate with a voltage converter. " http://www.qvc.com/html/hb/pdf/InStyler_Manual.pdf It also doesn't have a built-in ability to convert from 110 to 220 and the plug adaptor does nothing except allow you to plug it into the wall outlet. With no way to convert the voltage, I believe you cannot use it overseas. It would probably burn up and possibly even catch fire. (Since this is a tag on to an old thread, I also DM'd you.)

Posted by
22569 posts

Buy an inexpensive one when you arrive. European countries have stores which sell all sorts of hair products. Which airport do you fly into?

Posted by
7274 posts

This question was asked 5 years ago. I don't think Alison cares anymore!!

Posted by
2 posts

I will be in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana....so nice but primitive camps.....not knowing the output don't I for sure need a dual switch convertor?