Travel Tip Tuesday - Determining Voltage Ranges

There are several essential items to pack for International Travel that includes passports, visas, local currency and portable adaptors and converters that you can use to charge your electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras, computers and other appliances like hairdryers or curling irons. There are two basic things to keep in mind when packing converters and adaptors, the voltage used by your destination and the type of wall outlet/plugs used.


Voltage Range
The United States is one of the few countries in the world with a voltage range of 100-120 volts; most other countries use a 220-240 (50 or 60 Hz) voltage range.  Most countries have a well-defined voltage standard. This list also notes voltage differences from region to region.

The most important thing to do is to determine the voltage of your device by checking the label.  If the device shows only one number before the V on the label it is a single voltage device with a voltage range of 100-120 volts and won’t work in most countries without a converter.

Most laptops, smartphones, cameras and other modern electronic devices are multi-voltage meaning that they will automatically adjust to different voltage ranges and all that they will need is the appropriate adapter plug.  Some devices such as hairdryers, curling irons, and electronic toothbrushes may require you to switch the device from 100-120 volts to 220 volts for International use.  If you do not switch the voltage before plugging it in you will damage the device.

To determine the voltage used for the country you are visiting check out the overview of all countries of the world and their respective plugs, outlets, voltages used for domestic appliances and electronics. For the chart click here.