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Adapter/converter for myway alpine tour

Going on the alpine tour in September, has anyone any info on type of adapters or converters needed...Austria,Italy,Germany,Switzerland and France ?..

Posted by
7630 posts

What kind of electronics are you taking?

In general you will need an adapter, only, to change the plug from the US plug to a European one. If you are taking smartphone/iPad/tablet it should be dual voltage (no converter needed).

If you are taking hair appliances only take one that is dual voltage and if it doesn't have a little switch on it either get a new one or buy one there.

Converters you should not need. If you do need one, look really hard at whether you want to take that electronic equipment or not.

Adapter plugs are readily available. In my little backwoods area I can find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, KMart and in the AAA store. Rick also sells them in his store and they are on Amazon.

Posted by
2443 posts

A simple 2 pin European adaptor is all that is necessary to adapt a NA 2 prong plug to fit into a European socket in most cases.

As for a converter, it's simple. Don't bring one. And don't bring any piece of equipment that requires one. You only need a converter if the equipment is only single voltage (NA equipment use 110v, pretty much everyone else in the world uses 220v). Modern electronics, including tablets, phones, cameras and laptops, are dual voltage, so a converter is unnecessary. You can buy dual voltage travel versions of personal grooming appliances such as straighteners or curling irons at most any department store or large drug store for less than the cost of a converter. Forget bringing a hair dryer. 99% of hotels have them in the rooms or will supply one on request.

The only time you might need a converter us if you required a medically necessary piece of equipment that was single voltage. In that case you would need to contact the manufacturer to find out what type of converter was necessary. And be prepared that the converter would be both bulky and very heavy.

Posted by
684 posts

When we were in Switzerland last year, for outlet PLUGS, we needed a type J adapter for Switzerland;
the UK uses a Type G; and Germany, Italy, and Austria uses a Type F. You can easily google these on the internet.

I learned, the hard way, after blacking out the power in our wing of a very old hotel in Italy, and destroying my blower brush, that for blower/hair brushes, you need an additional adapter, because of the great power surge demanded, and the difference in voltages in Europe. You will need a transformer/converter for hair blowers, or a dual voltage hair blower/brush. The plugs listed in the first two lines are just plug adapters. I'm sure more technically-inclined folks can explain this better.

Cell phones and most tablets don't require this additional voltage converter, just the plug adapters.
Have a great time!

Posted by
30932 posts

As Pam mentioned in the first reply, it would help to have some idea what type of appliances you plan on taking on the tour?

For low current two-pin devices, the standard Euro Plug Adpaters should work fine. If any of your appliances have a ground pin, that will complicate matters as grounded outlets are slightly different in Italy and Switzerland.

You could also look at THIS type of Adapter, which works in a number of the countries you'll be visiting. It accommodates both the protruding ground pin as well as the grounding "ears".

I would advise caution in using Voltage Converters as there are few "caveats" to be aware of. There are two types of voltage conversion, and some types of converters don't work well with products like phone chargers and other electronic items. Try to leave the Voltage Converters at home!

Posted by
8569 posts

In some Swiss hotels I needed the J type but others took the standard European.