When it comes to heading abroad, there are plenty of things people need to worry about. One thing is how travellers will be able to use their electrical appliances and gadgets in another country. This is because each country and region has different plug shapes and electricity voltages, so a device that works well in one country may not be able to withstand the varied voltage output of another country. For those interested in this topic, be sure to keep reading on to learn more.
Types of travel adapters
When it comes to travelling in another region or country, there are plenty of models to pick from when it comes to choosing a travel adapter. In order to make sure a travel adapter works, buyers need to ensure that not only does the plug type fit the outlet shape of the wall, but the voltage also fits their electronic devices. Some of the most common types of travel adapters include single-region travel adapters, multi-region travel adapters, universal travel adapters, as well as voltage converters, transformers, and USB adapters. Below, we break down what makes these adapter plug adapters different.
Single-region travel adapters
Single-region travel adapters are considered the most straightforward option for buyers. This is because these models are generally targeted to a specific country or region, though they can be used in countries that all follow the same socket and voltage types. However, although these models are usually the cheapest options for buyers, it is worth noting that picking a single-region travel adapter may limit future flexibility.
There are a few variations when it comes to single-region travel adapters. These include multi-way models (this features the ability to plug in various devices at the same time), as well as the option to pair a one-way single-region adapter with a multi-socket extension lead for multiple devices for increased demand.
Multi-region travel adapters
For those who are looking for greater versatility, buyers can instead choose the multi-country or region plug adapter. These models are usually larger or more complex when compared to single-region travel adapters, and they come with different pins for different sockets. This is because they are designed to accommodate several national standards of plug and socket arrangements all at one time.
The most common kind of multi-region travel adapter tends to handle a combination of Asian, European, UK, and North American standards. Again, multi-region versions can be either single-way or multi-way depending on the traveller’s needs.
Universal travel adapters
Universal travel adapters are generally the most flexible of the three options, as they are suitable for use in the majority of countries around the world. That said, it is worth noting that this flexibility comes with an increased size, especially when compared to smaller single or multi-region models.
The added functionality offered by the universal travel adapter can be a great bonus. On the flip side, their size can make them less convenient and tricky to carry around. Additionally, some less stable socket types such as the US two-pin can make the universal travel adapter feel less securely attached to the socket as a result of its added weight. Moreover, the larger the universal travel adapter is, the more likely it can block out neighbouring sockets or not fit certain socket layouts.
USB adapters are generally small devices that plug into an electrical outlet and provide one or more USB ports for charging electrical devices. This includes devices such as tablets, power banks, smartphones, and cameras, to name a few. USB adapters may also include voltage conversion capabilities and plug adapters, which can allow travellers to use them in various countries.
A voltage converter refers to a device that converts the voltage of the electrical supply in order to match the voltage required by the device. It is vital if there is a difference between the country a traveller is heading to and their home country. Fortunately, voltage converters are available in many different wattage settings, so travellers should be able to pick one that is suitable for their device’s power settings.
Do I need a travel adapter?
If you or your employees are looking to travel away from the country you are initially based in, then chances are that yes, you will need a travel adapter. This is because power outlets have different shapes in many different parts of the world. As such, travellers may need an adapter in order to help convert the shape of their home power plug into the shape of the outlet to the particular region or country of the world they are going to.
Where to purchase travel adapters
Currently, there are plenty of places to buy travel adapters. These include travel shops – including some online shops – department stores, manufacturers, and certain providers such as RS Online are great places to buy and pick up travel adapters. They are also available in shops in airport departure lounges, however, do keep in mind that these adapters tend to be slightly pricier. As such, it is best to buy an adapter before travelling overseas.
Before travelling overseas, travellers should make sure to do the proper research about the specific plug type used in their destination country. They should then choose a travel adapter that is compatible with that type. If a person is planning to visit multiple countries that have different plug configurations, they should consider using a universal travel adapter that can accommodate various types of plugs instead.