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Electrical Adapters and converters

I have researched what to do for adapters and possible voltage converters while we are in Scotland ( well and England also).
I have found that my iPhone 6 s Plus charger will convert (yay!), but I will need an adapter. Can someone tell me which type of adapter to get and possibly a good recommended brand?

I think I am only going to bring one iPhone, no other devices, so I should be all set. I'm hoping some of the hotels will have hair dryers and if not, I'll just air dry my hair.

We are going this September 3-26.
Thanks in advance.

Nancy

Posted by
5669 posts

I got the adapter that works with Apple products. For hardly anything you can most of what you'll ever need. The UK adapter. is three-pronged. It's in the lower left corner of this page.

Posted by
956 posts

Hi, Nancy,

I was able to get by with an adapter that I salvaged from an old Franzus converter kit. I used it for charging camera batteries. If all you need is an adapter, Amazon has lots of them, or you can find them in many hardware stores.

You'll need to convert the U.K. standard three prong plug to a two prong U.S. plug. Check out what's on line. Don't pay more than $10.00. If you don't find one before you leave, they are readily available in Britain.

If you're hiring a car, you could just use a standard power cord from the the cigarette lighter or 12v power port on the dash or console.

Almost all hotels have a hair dryer in the room. If they don't, you can always borrow one from the front desk. Best, though, to let your hair air dry. It's healthier in the long run.

Best wishes,

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
2940 posts

On the related subject of electrical appliances: it took me quite a few nights in UK hotels to figure out where they put the hair dryer. It's in the desk drawer. Apparently the desk is considered a kind of dressing table, and it's deemed dangerous to put a hair dryer in the bathroom (near water) because of the risk of electric shock.

Posted by
19 posts

Thanks so much to all of you. The Rick Steves' adapter is $1.00 each, plus 6.00 shipping. I might as well keep it in the "RS Family".
I appreciate all your tips about the adapter and where to look for the hair dryers!

Posted by
19 posts

Mike,
Do you mean just my regular car adapter from here in the states? I also thought that their is probably a USB port in the rental car also. We will have the car in Scotland for a week.

Thanks!

Nancy

Posted by
956 posts

Hi again, Nancy,

Yes, if you can charge your iPhone through the 12v power receptacle in your car here in the U.S., you can do the same thing in Scotland. Your hired car will have a 12 volt battery, and a power receptacle/cigarette lighter. Also, hired cars now have a USB port. We found this out to our dismay in June when we picked up our hired car. It didn't have a CD player, only a USB port, and we purchased over 80 CDs along the way, with nothing to play them on! :( We were stuck for 30 days listening mostly to Radio One, which is horrendously awful! It's just about all you can pick up as you get farther north. Once in a while we'd pick up a low wattage local radio signal, such as Isles FM or Mearns Radio, but it would soon fade out as we got farther away from the transmitter.

BBC Scotland was good on occasion, especially late at night, and there was a lot of good music on BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, but much as I hate to say it, the music on BBC Radio One is chalkboard gratingly awful!

Even though you can charge your iPhone in the car, you should still get an adapter for the days that you don't have a car.

One month to go!

Best wishes!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
4689 posts

All adaptors used in the UK should comply with BS 8546

If any adaptor doesn't mention this simply don't buy it. Likely to have one or more of the following defects:

Incorrect dimensions;
Contacts designed to work with a variety of plug types not performing adequately for any plug-pin configuration;
Loss of earth connection;
Lack of fuse;
Excessive temperature rise,
Cross-polarity, (swapping of live and neutral) especially those designed for use with both the UK and Australian systems;
Accessibility of live parts - particularly multiple plug and socket travel adaptors;

The Rick Steves adaptor clearly doesn't have a fuse or sheathed pins from the illustration.

Posted by
123 posts

I bought several from the RS store and they worked perfectly fine.
His price was cheaper than anywhere else.

Posted by
1309 posts

I imagine that thousands of Rick Steves adapters have been used over the years. I don't recall ever hearing about a problem with them, or other inexpensive adapters. It's just not a problematic item when used with the items travelers use them for.

Posted by
4689 posts

UK Compliant adaptors do not cost any more on average than non compliant ones which are illegal to use. There have been reports here in the past of people fusing or tripping hotel electrics by the use of various non compliant adaptors.

This arises at least because the UK has requirements arising from the way buildings are wired which do not necessarily apply to other countries which use the same type of plugs and sockets.

The simplest way of getting a compliant adaptor is to buy it in the UK, or as I said earlier check for the BS standard and kitemark.

Posted by
11264 posts

Seven dollars for one adapter is a lot. Go to a local hardware store, luggage store, big box stores or even AAA and you should find one. If not, your arrival airport will have them.