Protect Your Electonrics: Voltage Converter Info for Travelers
Are you off to a distant land? Whether you're heading overseas for a semester abroad or traveling to visit relatives, there are a few things you can do in advance to help smooth your way and make your time a little more enjoyable. If you'll be packing anything that needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet, one of those things is shopping for voltage converters and plug adapters to make sure you'll be able to use them.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether you really need to bring any electrical appliances at all. Travel agents used to advise their clients to leave them at home. Most hotels supply hair dryers, for example, and you can pick up most small personal care appliances fairly inexpensively at your destination. If you travel often, you may find it handier to buy dual voltage appliances that can run at 110V or 220V. As the market for these grows, there are a growing number of 110V to 220V consumer electronics available for purchase.
It's not the same world anymore, though. Today's traveler is likely to be packing a laptop or tablet, an MP3 player and a cell phone, at the very least. Those who are traveling to spend a semester abroad may also want to bring their own televisions, coffee makers and other small appliances for the home.
Essentially, if you're going to be bringing anything with you that needs to be plugged in, you may also need to shop for voltage converters or voltage transformers.
North America, some parts of South America and Japan use voltage between 100 and 125. Most of the rest of the world uses electricity at 220 to 240 volts. If you're traveling from one area to another, you'll need a voltage converter to make your electrical appliances work.
Check the label on your electronic device or appliance. It will tell you whether it is designed for 110/120V or 220/240V. It may say that it's 110/240V, in which case it is designed to operate on either voltage and you'll only need a plug adapter. This is still relatively rare, though. In most cases, you'll need to invest in voltage converters.
If your appliance operates at 110V and you are going to a country that uses electricity at 220-240V, you'll need a step up voltage converter.
If your appliance operates at 220V and you're going to a country that uses 110V, you'll need a step down voltage converter.
If you want to cover all your bases, you can buy step up and down voltage converter/transformers that will do it all. Some of them will even automatically detect what your device needs and adjust to it.
How Much Power Do You Need?
When shopping for voltage converters, you'll also need to know how many watts of power you need. Every electrical device lists the number of watts or amps that it will draw from the power source. You'll find it on the label as a number followed by a W or an A. Choose a voltage converter or transformer that can handle at least that number wattage or more. In fact, most electrical experts recommend that your voltage converter be able to handle at least 20 percent more watts than your appliance says it will use - 50 percent more if it has a pump or heating element.
You can buy voltage converters, voltage transformers and plug adapters in travel stores or at a number of online retailers that specialize in electrical items for travel. If you plan ahead, you can order what you need and have it delivered in plenty of time for your trip.
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About the Author
+Chris Robertson is a published author of Majon International. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 (Wed Mar 07 2012) Majon International. Majon International is one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on the web. Visit their main business resource internet marketing web site at: http://www.majon.com