Electronics in Italy

I will be traveling around Italy for two weeks in October. I will need to be able to phone home and check e-mail (unfortunately) while there. I've got one ipad and one android. Do i need a voltage converter or only a charger for the USB?? I am planning on getting an international package for the month i will be gone, from my service provider. What else do i need to do??

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7670 posts

Are you sure your phone will work in Europe?
You won't need a voltage converter since your devices are, no doubt, dual voltage. You will only need a plug adapter so your charger will fit the wall socket.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17716 posts

Randi, The Chargers for both your iPad and Android phone will most likely be designed for multi-voltage operation, however it would still be prudent to check the "Input Voltage" specifications to ensure these state "100-240 VAC". If both products are designed for multi-voltage operation, you'll only need inexpensive Plug Adaptors to use in Europe. The Euro Adaptors with two round pins are the type you'll need. I'd suggest packing at least two as they're easy to misplace. Regarding using your phone in Europe, it would help to know which network you're with? Even if you get an "international package" from your home network, you'll have to be VERY careful with the aspect of cellular data, as that can result in HUGE charges. Happy travels!

Posted by Randi reichel
Baltimore
5 posts

Thanks to you both. I am not sure my ipad will work i Europe -- i may have a dinosaur model that i can't use, but i will check on that. And i will be sad if it won't work... The Android is a Verizon phone that (at least according to Verizon) will work if i get the international package when i go to avoid the extreme roaming charges. I'm hoping that i don't really need to use it all that much, but i didn't want to get there and find out that i couldn't use it even if necessary because i couldn't even charge it. Thank you!!

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2811 posts

It's funny to see any iPad referred to as a "dinosaur," when the first one was released (per Wikipedia) April 3, 2010, so it's all of 3.5 years old! Any iPad will work on WiFi, which is a universal standard (you connect to it in Europe exactly as you do at home). If your iPad has a SIM (if it's a 3G plus WiFi model), you can also use the 3G on your US plan, at high prices, or can get a local Italian SIM for lower data prices. Of course, if you're doing something that doesn't require a data connection at all (reading a downloaded book, watching a downloaded movie, playing a game, listening to music, etc), you can do this with your iPad anywhere.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17716 posts

Randi, I'm not sure why your iPad wouldn't work in Italy? Which function specifically won't work? As Harold pointed out, the first models appeared in 2010, which really isn't that old. It's highly likely that the power supply / charger for the iPad is designed for multi-voltage operation, but it would still be prudent to check. Look for the words "Input Voltage" somewhere on the charger. Regarding your phone, if you're only planning to use it for occasional voice calls and perhaps some text messages, then the international plan with Verizon is a reasonable option. However, using cellular data is a different matter, and something that could result in huge charges! You'll have to ask Verizon what the costs are for data. You could of course leave cellular data switched OFF and only use the phone for internet or E-mail access when Wi-Fi is available. If you do decide to get a roaming plan for cellular data as well, it will likely be a far lower data amount than you have at home, so use it sparingly! Cheers!

Posted by Randi reichel
Baltimore
5 posts

Thanks. Calling Verizon to check on a plan for the month while we're away is absolutely on my to-do list. I think i will likely also check with Apple about the i-pad. I don't expect we will use the phone for more than texting to stay in touch with the office occasionally. I can't imagine who else we'd call but i would rather have the ability if we need it for any reason. The ipad we may use for maps and some references so i'm hoping i can figure out how to get it on line...

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10841 posts

There is really is nothing to check about with Apple. You will get on the internet in exactly the same way you do here. Find a hot spot - your hotel, McDonalds, - log in using whatever log in and passport that is provided for that internet site. Hot spots are common. That part is simple. Your phone could be more complicated.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1139 posts

I've used Verizon phones on a dozen or more international trips and for intermittent use it's a reasonable solution. They also have reasonable data plans, if you will only need to use it a little, relying mostly on wifi. Just make sure you have a non-800 phone number for them, in case you have problems. Twice they've failed to set things up appropriately, so I ended up with a dead phone and had to call them to troubleshoot. After those experiences, when I'm dealing with a new phone, I always now call twice to ensure I get the same instructions. I've also found it most effective to insist on talking to someone in their international calling group. The two times I've had trouble, the general customer service people had done the setup, and failed to take some crucial steps. (And they will try to insist they can do that; it takes some pushing to get transferred.)