Everyone has their pre-travel checklist to make sure that everything is packed. Clothing, toiletries, electronic devices, and chargers for those devices are going to make anyone’s short list of essentials for traveling.
Make sure to have travel adapters from RS when traveling internationally. Before you go looking for a travel adapter, take some time to learn about the different adapters that will make traveling easier.
Different plug types
Ask anyone about electrical outlets and they will probably assume that they are all the same. That’s because, in the United States, they basically are. The standard outlet that we see is 110-120v and handles all of your basic items. There are also 220-240v outlets that are better suited for major appliances or other items that take a lot of power to use.
But when you travel abroad, the number of different outlets goes up substantially. As a matter of fact, there are 16 different plug types. In the U.S., we typically use either type A or B, featuring two vertical prong slots. Depending on where you go, you could run into any one of them (typically labeled with a letter). Even knowing the outlet type where you are going can set you up in a much better position.
What is a power adapter?
Let’s say you’ve never used a power adapter before, probably because you haven’t traveled abroad. Think of it as a portable electrical plug. You can snap it onto the end of your device, and it becomes usable where you are traveling to.
The adapter works in two ways. The first is helping convert your plug into one that can be used in foreign outlets. There’s usually a certain shaper or pattern that your plug needs to adhere to in order to even fit in the outlet. If you can’t even plug in your device, it’s definitely not going to charge.
The second way the adapter works is by protecting whatever it is you are plugging in. That’s because foreign outlets have different voltage levels to consider. But with the adapter, you plug it in, and it automatically covers either 120v or 240v depending on the device. That keeps your devices from taking on too much voltage and damaging or destroying it.
What power adapter to get?
So, the million-dollar question becomes, “What type of power adapter do I get?” After all, with 16 different outlet types, that’s got to leave a lot of room for error, right? The cool thing about an adapter is that it can be pretty versatile and work in an array of outlets.
Look for a Type C plug adapter first and foremost. The Type C adapter works with not only type C, but types E, F, H, J, K, L, and N outlets. That covers a pretty large footprint, allowing you to quickly and easily use just about any outlet without concern. Try to do a little research on where you are going to make sure you have the right adapter, but the Type C adapter is as close to a “universal” adapter as you are going to find.
There are enough things to learn on the job when you travel internationally. Make at least one thing easier by having a plug adapter with you to use on foreign outlets. At least then you can keep your devices charged and protected with most common foreign outlet types. Seasoned travelers are usually pretty prepared, and this should be one of the items on any essential checklist.