When planning to travel abroad, different cultures and currencies aren’t the only things to worry about. Whether or not you will be able to use your electric appliances and gadgets is another cause of worry. It is because every country has different plug shapes and electricity voltages and an appliance working well in one country may not be able to withstand the varied voltage output of another country.
Since there is no universal plug type or voltage standard in the world today, plugging your electronic device in any wall socket can be highly dangerous for your device. With more than 10 different types of plugs and sockets used around the globe, the best bet is buying a travel adapter.
However, not all adapters are built equally. So, if you are planning an overseas trip, then consider the following points to buy the most suitable adapter –
Assess your Needs
Before buying any adapter, always keep the voltage requirements in mind. Each device is designed to function within a specific voltage range and every country may not be able to comply with it. As mentioned earlier, the voltage varies from country to country. So, you have to consider this factor before you get your hands on any adapter.
In addition, you have to evaluate if you need an adapter just for your smartphone or to charge multiple electronics like a tablet, laptops, hair straightener, etc.
Go for a Compact Option
Travel adapters usually come in various shapes and sizes. They can range from small sizes to big universal versions. The larger ones are used by people planning to travel all over the world. However, such bulky adapters tend to fall out easily from the socket due to their extra weight and also block the socket beside them due to their wide size.
This is why it is better to choose a small size adapter or set of 3 to 4 different adapters to fulfill your purpose and save the cost at the same time.
Consider the Voltage and Frequency Levels
The shape of the plugs isn’t the only thing to think of. The varied levels of voltage and frequencies of electricity also play a major role. Plugging in a adapter that doesn’t accommodate that particular range of voltage would result in serious damage of the device.
For instance, the power outlets in North America provide 120 volts at 60 Hz whereas the power outlets in European countries provide 230 volts at 50 Hz. So, you have to buy an adapter that is compatible with voltage standards.
Avoid Shopping for it at the Airport
The airport is indeed one of the most expensive places to buy travel accessories like adapters. A normal 5 dollar adapter would be displayed in stores for unjustified 20 dollar price.
So, unless you are in dire need of an adapter or have left it back home, don’t buy it at the airport. Rather search the market beforehand and keep the desired version of the adapter in your bag before leaving for your journey.