110/220 converters

My appliances don't have a built-in converter. Can I get one here in US? do they really work? I hear even with converters appliances get fried! Linda

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

I've used the same adapter for years, never a converter. I haven't had a problem with a hair dryer, etc. (although I don't travel with air styling equipment any longer) My hair dryer just worked alittle slower, but using it did not damage it.

That being said, to calm your fears...you can find a converter online at any of the travel sites. Eagle Creek makes them, etc. or try your local travel/luggage store. They have knowlegable staff to assist you. You might also check www.ebags.com on their travel accessory tab, they also sell this type of item.

Are you traveling with a computer or digital camera that needs to be charged, or just hair dryer, etc? That makes a difference!

Posted by Tim
Minneapolis, MN, USA
8646 posts

There are both low- and high-amperage convertors. See what you'll need for your appliances by checking www.voltagevalet.com. You'll also need a UK plug adaptor. Radio Shack should carry what you need.

Posted by Dave
San Francisco, CA, USA
28 posts

Using US electrical devices overseas means converting two things: the shape of the prongs on the plug and the type of electricity. You definitely need an adapter to for the prongs, you may (or may not) need an adapter for the electricty.

The prong adapters are required to plug things into the wall. Rick sells a set for a few bucks.

The voltage adapters are bulky and heavy and expensive. They convert the US standard of 120 volts to UK/euro standard of 240 volts. Before investing, make sure you really need one. For each appliance you plan to bring, look for a switch to set the voltage: 120V or 240V (hairdryers, shavers, etc.). If such a switch exists, set it to 240V in UK/Europe and you should be fine. If your appliance has an AC adapter (iPod, digital camera, laptop, etc.) look at the label in the adapter. If the "input" label says something like "100-240V" then it does the conversion automatically and you don't need a voltage adapter for this appliance.

Posted by Cary
Hayden, ID
196 posts

Just make sure to have both an adapter AND the correct wall plug. My first trip to London I had only the wall plug and fried my curling iron; upside was that I got to shop at the local hardware store near my B&B for a new one.

Posted by carl
dallas, tx, usa
1358 posts

The last time I bought one I found the best buy at Target. Radio Shack and others cost more at that time. Read the details of any appliance you purchase.

Shop around if you are concerned about cost.
In travel in over 20 countries I have never had problem.

Posted by Linda
Kenmore, WA, USA
3 posts

Just returned from London/Oxford. We need adaptor AND converter for a curling iron and camera battery. At the Lime Tree Hotel in London they loaned us adaptors and a big converter that did the job of heating up a curling iron. I also used the adaptor to charge my camera battery safely. It had settings for 50/1600w. Linda