In today’s world of technology, we feel we have to be “connected” to the rest of the world at all times. I’m happy to report that this is becoming easier to do all the time. There are some things that you need to be aware of when traveling abroad.
First of all, most countries outside of the United States are on 120v, while our appliances are rated 110v. What does this mean for you? Well, fortunately most of our new “toys,” such as computers, digital cameras and cellular phones are compatible with the 120v outlets. What this means is that you are only required to have the proper plug adaptor to make your appliance plug into the wall in the other country. Some have 2 round prongs (most of Europe) or 3 rectangular prongs (the U.K.) and there are others for South Africa, other parts of Africa and South America. Kits containing these adaptors can be purchased online, at international airports or at most Target or Walmart stores.
The problem comes with appliances that require some type of heating element, specifically curling irons/straighteners, blow dryers, hot curlers and clothes irons. These items require the plug adaptor as well as a converter to convert the current from 110v to 220v. However, in my vast experience I can tell you that 90% of the time, the converter will not work on an appliance that has some type of heating element. This means that your curling iron will either overheat and burn up, or overheat and burn your hair off (I have seen this more times than I care to report). If your appliance is dual voltage, it will have a switch that you can change from 110v to 220v. Dual voltage appliances will likely work for you, but my best advice is to purchase your appliance, ie: hair dryer or curling iron, etc. in the country you travel most. I buy mine in either the U.K. or Europe, then I can use them worldwide (except the U.S) just by purchasing the proper plug adaptor, no converter is needed.
Note: Be sure to check the manual for your electronic device for specific information.