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Voltage converter vs. adapter

I have scanned the forum about this topic and am a little confused. This is my first trip to Scotland, so I want to take the appropriate stuff.

It appears that all of the chargers for my electronics say "input: 100-240V~50-60HZ." As long as the device or charger is thus coded, I would only need an adapter, right? A voltage converter would be unnecessary because the device/charger appears to be dual voltage. Correct?

Also, several people on the forum have suggested that a basic strip surge protector with USB ports is handy. European hotels tend to have fewer electrical outlets than we have here in the US, so the device is useful. Yes, I know that I should not take a US surge protector. I am looking at the Upwade model on Amazon. Do you agree that such a device would be helpful?

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, correct. If it says "input: 100-240V~ 50-60HZ." you only need a plug adapter.
Note, British plugs and sockets are not the same as in the rest of Europe:
A British plug looks like this (photo): https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-1331fc7ca73468d5351bf4ea39c1512c-c
And a socket looks like this: https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/plugging-in-british-plug-and-socket-picture-id172163481
Something advertised as a "Euro converter" may not fit.

An alternative plan is to buy a new USB charger once you get to Scotland, then it will have the correct plug and no adapter is needed. For example: http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/usb-power-adaptor-uk

Posted by
2916 posts

For an adapter you can get a "universal" adapter that is essentially good for any country in the world. That way you'll have it for a future trip to the continent or wherever. I got one several years ago because, although we mostly go to France, we were visiting British friends who, when they renovated their place in France, used British electrical fixtures. The adapters are cheap and take up very little space.

Posted by
18376 posts

If it say 100-240 VAC it is not "dual voltage". An appliance that has a switch for 120 VAC or 240 VAC would be dual voltage. A device that says 100-240 VAC accepts 100 VAC, 240 VAC, and anything in between; that's multi-voltage.

And, for the record, if your "charger" accepts 100-240 VAC in and converts it to some DC voltage (usually 5 V) for the electronic devices, it is a voltage converter, and you can use it in Europe with only a plug adapter.

In around 150 nights in Europe (mostly Germany), I have never had a problem finding an accessible receptacle. Most rooms I have been in recently, and they are usually on the economical end of the spectrum, have had a small desk with a receptacle near it, often at desktop level. In the US, by code, receptacles cannot be more than 12' apart on a continuous wall. That doesn't appear to be the case in Europe. The apartment I stayed in in Germany last October had three receptacles in the kitchen, two on either sides of the stove top/sink counter and one across the room in a corner. However, there was a music player on a shelf in the living room with a receptacle next to it, so I could charge things there.

Posted by
11440 posts

I have the Upwade with 4 usb ports and two electrical sockets. Just add a UK adapter plug and you are good to go as long as all of your gadgets say 100-240v.

For smaller USB charged items--phones, mini tablets, cameras, etc--you can plug them directly into the Upwade and don't need to bring each items charger. Just the charging cables. (The Upwade itself is 100-240v.)

Posted by
2575 posts

Lee, with all due respect, for a first time traveler your reply is confusing. The answer is yes, if it says 100-240V you don’t need a converter, just an adapter.