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Phone charging - do we need to bring the wall plug? Or just USB cord and adapter?

The only electronic gadgets we're bring to Europe this summer are our Samsung phones and a Kindle. All three charge using USB cords. I bought 2 adapters that fit European outlets. The adapters ONLY have USB sockets - no place to plug in a wall charger. I assumed that's all we need, but now I am second guessing myself. I don't want to cook our phones! Is there any reason to bring the wall plugs that came with our phones? (And get adapters they can plug into?) Or does a USB cord outlet automatically produce the right amount of charge?

Thank you!

Posted by
6015 posts

I think you bought all you need. I use a similar system.. A regular plug can come in handy for when you are flying to/from the US.

Posted by
11992 posts

If it has USB receptors on one end, and a European plug on the other, you did not buy an adapter. You bought a USB charger for Europe. (An adapter just changes the plug to it fits in the wall. Nothing else. You bought a charger with a built in adapter.)

Look at it carefully. There should be some small writing on it. As long as it says something like 110-240v you are good to go. That second number should be either 220-240v. If it is, you are good to go. The charger automatically converts the electricity to what you need.

If you share the make and model of the charger you bought we can look to see if it's okay.

Carol brought up a good point. What are you going to do if it only has a European plug and you need to charge it while still in the USA? And do all of the countries you're visiting use that plug?

Posted by
3718 posts

Yes, a USB socket always produce the correct current, 5 V and up to 1.5 A.

Posted by
2305 posts

Bring adapters also for your transit countries, in the event your flight connection is late and you spend hours in that airport. Be there, done that!

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you all! Good point about having the proper plug for the plane and possible transit countries (and given some of the flight cancelation/rescheduling chaos of late, who knows where a transfer may happen?!) We'll bring one US "wall" plug for USB cables, and otherwise depend on our European-style USB wall plug adapters.

Thank you!

Posted by
3493 posts

Depending on how trusting you are (or how paranoid you might be), it might be best to use a power-only cable to protect your equipment from hackers. Here is one example https://www.amazon.com/PortaPow-3rd-Gen-Data-Blocker/dp/B00QRRZ2QM

What this does is place a physical break in the data line to prevent malicious attacks from getting through and possibly corrupting your system. I have used one for several years (not this one exactly but one provided by my employer), and am happy with it, especially when using plugs in places like airports and other locations with iffy possibilities.

Don't know if actual any hackers have been thwarted. ;-)

Posted by
16 posts

Hey Mark, that's a really good point. Thank you. Off to check if the cables we were planning to bring are charge-only....

Posted by
1132 posts

If you use your own charger, then you do not need to use charging only cables. Those are needed -- assuming they are needed at all -- only if you are plugging a cable into a "strange" USB port, such as one on a plane or at an airport. Hijacking or infecting your phone requires the hacker to take over a USB port, something not possible if you use your own charger with its own USB port.

Posted by
3026 posts

This

"Bring adapters also for your transit countries, in the event your flight connection is late and you spend hours in that airport"

This summer I'd also suggest getting a small 2 for 1 cord, so if all the outlets are in use, you can ask if you can "share" with someone. Also useful on a train or plane.

Posted by
93 posts

Speaking from experience here - we were stuck at Dulles for 19 hours after our flight to Edinburgh was cancelled, and we were very thankful to have a charger that plugged into American outlets. Otherwise, we would have been up a creek, especially as we were getting updates from United on our phones.

Posted by
3026 posts

Yes you can't afford to have a dead or dying phone when travelling, it's not just an inconvenience.

Posted by
1697 posts

I took one of these on my recent trip, along with a multi port charger like this so I could charge my Android phone, Kindle, and my nephew's iPhone at same time. It worked fine, but the USB ports do not charge as fast as my regular phone charger (that could also be due to the charging cord) but works fine overnight. I brought my regular charger for my phone too (it is small) and it was handy to have when faster charge was necessary. The only thing I didn't like about the charging adapter is that it is bulky compared to the smaller individual adapters.

Posted by
60 posts

I found USB receptacles all over the place in France and England a couple of years ago, but a two pin EU plug with a single USB receptacle in it should be fine, as long as you stay out of the UK, for which you need THEIR plug.

And has anybody actually lost data/been hacked through USB, or is this an old wive's tale? Serious question. I have never had an issue at airports going directly into USB. I did turn off NFC though.