Adaptors and Converters

Travel Adapter Guide

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Worldwide Adapters

The most chosen item when travelling, as they also provide "Surge protection". Worldwide adapters usually come with three different plug types, American, European and Australian. These plug types are found not only in these countries but in many other countries around the world, making them a good choice for travelers heading to countries that use plug sockets that accept 2 flat pin, 2 round pin and 2 slanted flat pin plugs.

However, there are a number of countries that have unique plug sockets that won’t accommodate the adapters found in a worldwide adapter kit.

In particular, South Africa and India (These are usually not found on the worldwide adapter plugs.)

India

If you’re travelling around the world you’ll most likely find that a worldwide travel adapter will do the job for most of the destinations you’re visiting. However, if India is on your travel itinerary you may get caught short with these types of adapter! Although you’ll find the European plug in parts of India, you are highly likely to come across the type D socket as well. The type D India plug features 3 round pins and is not as easy to find as European, American and Australian adapters.

Israel

The Middle East is becoming more and more popular with gap year travelers, meaning Israel may well be on your travel route. There have been many reports of a combination of plug socket types across the country, including both type C (European) and Type H (Israeli). If you already have a worldwide adapter you’ll already have the European adapter, but you may also want to consider investing in an Israel Adapter in case the area you’re travelling to uses this specific socket.

South Africa

South Africa is another popular gap year destination with a unique plug socket that cannot be found on universal travel adapters. The plug sockets in South Africa are designed to accept plugs with three large round pins…very much like the India adapter but with larger pins. Many of you will possibly be too young to remember, but this is the type M plug, which was used in the UK many years ago! If you’re travelling here, make sure you get the special South African adapter to enable you to use your appliances.

Italy

Another unique plug to look out for is the Italian adapter (type L), which consists of three round pins in a horizontal line, with a grounding pin in the middle. Again, you’ll find that some sockets accept the standard European plug, but many people prefer to use the 3 pin Italian version, as this is safer due to the earth pin.

Switzerland

If you’re backpacking around Europe, you may find yourself making a pit stop in Switzerland. Unlike many other countries in Europe, Switzerland use their own unique plug, type J. The Switzerland plug consists of three round pins, with an offset earth pin and is the most common plug type used throughout the country. Some sockets also accept the standard European plug (type C), but if they are recessed sockets, you won’t be able to fit your Europe adapter in the socket!

Voltage Converters

Almost all items are "dual voltage" now-a-days, however, please check to see if they are 110/220V on the item itself.  When travelling you might find that the voltage can differ from country to country…which is all good and well if your appliances are dual voltage. If an appliance is dual voltage, it will display ’100-240v’ somewhere on the appliance or it’s plug, this basically means that it will work worldwide, without the need to use a transformer to convert voltage. Voltage in the UK is typically 230-240V, but in North America and parts of South America, you’ll find that the voltage is 110/120V.

If you’re travelling to countries with a 110/120V power supply and your appliances are not dual voltage, you will need to invest in a voltage converter. It is recommended that you don’t use voltage converters with hair dryers, straighteners or any other item with a heated element, as this can damage the converter or your appliance…or both!