Bordeaux, France's Bourse beautiful lit at night


If you plan to use electronic items overseas there are 2 important things to check.

Will the items you plan to use work on the current at the destination?

Do you have the correct type of plug to fit in the style of outlet overseas?

Most digital cameras, mobile phones, laptops, photo storage devices – i.e. things that don’t heat up to work – list a range of accepted currents on the power cord. It will say something like “AC 100-240V 50/60 HZ.”

In the United States, Mexico, Canada and most of Central and South America we use 110; in Europe they commonly use 220. Electronic items not made to work on this range, or that don’t have a dual voltage switch, will fry if you plug them in without a device to convert the current. These converters are not the same as plug adapters.

Outlets are not universal worldwide, and the situation is complicated by the plugs and outlets that do and don’t have grounding pins. I advise buying a good set of worldwide plug adapters and put them where you store your travel gear. You’ll have them forever, unless you leave them plugged in at some hotel! lists the outlets and current commonly used in every country in the world. Worth checking before it’s too late.

And, really, it’s never too late. Often the front desk of your hotel will have an assortment left by prior guests you can borrow – and you can always buy them for substantially more than they would be at home, unless you’re in Asia.




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