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Be_Cre8ive Jul 20th, 2011 09:18 PM

How many electric converters do I need???
I just spent an hour between a local Best Buy and Radio Shack trying to figure out which electric converter/adaptor I should purchase to take with me to my upcoming Paris and London trip. They had a whole wall devoted to electricity converters. Even the salespeople were confused by my questions. They kept reading the boxes and in the end did not have a product suggestion for me.

1. Will the same voltage converter work both in Paris and London?

2. Do I need different converters for different devices? (Laptop, blow dryer, camera charger, game charger, phone charger, etc.)

Does anyone here have the specifics of a converter that will work for all of the above? thank you J.

ellenem Jul 20th, 2011 09:34 PM

Check you devices first. Some may be dual voltage and require an adapter only, not a converter. For example, my camera recharger is labeled "100-240V", so all I need is a cheap adapter that matches the electrical outlet prongs of the specific country.

Blow dryers and flat irons are well-known for not adjusting well to a converter. Many report "frying" their U.S. blowdryers in Europe, so it is often recommended to buy a blowdryer once you arrive.

Michael Jul 20th, 2011 09:42 PM

Check your devices. Your laptop and chargers should need only a plug adapter because these devices now work on either 120V or 220V. Your blow dryer may have a switch to change voltage.

indy_dad Jul 20th, 2011 10:42 PM

you can tag multiple countries . . . :)

spaarne Jul 21st, 2011 01:32 AM

See for information on electricity in Europe. Your hotel probably has a blow dryer hard wired in the room. Check on that before hauling yours over there.

CYESQ Jul 21st, 2011 02:09 AM

Take two adapters (not converters) so that you can recharge your phone and at the same time your camera/computer. Forget about one for the hair dryer. As said above, most hotels and/or apartments have one for their guests. If you need something like a curling iron, just get one when you get to your first destination.

adrienne Jul 21st, 2011 02:16 AM

1. Yes because Paris and London use the same voltage.

2. A converter steps up/down voltage. It needs to convert 110v to 240v. It has no idea what device you've plugged into it.

Most electronics do not need a converter. Look at the device - it usually says 110v to 240v. Therefore it converts the voltage itself.

Your hairdryer will be an exception unless you've bought a dual voltage hairdryer. If you're converting a 110v hairdryer to European current then you'd better have a very low level wattage hair dryer or you could fry the hairdryer or the hotel's wiring. You should buy a cheap hair dryer once you arrive or use the one the hotel provides.

Now here's the important stuff - you will need European adapters. These allow you to plug your device into a European outlet - they DO NOT convert current. Buy a bunch of these.

For further information on converters/adapters search here for the 10,000+ threads on this topic!

KayF Jul 21st, 2011 02:28 AM

The UK plug and French plug are different. The French plug will work throughout Europe.

See here for pictures:

It does look more confusing than it should be. The British plug is 3 square metal prongs and the French one is two round metal prongs.

Voltage is something different as people have said above. Most electrical things these days tend to convert themselves but you should check or you could ruin your appliance. It will say on it somewhere.


ellenem Jul 21st, 2011 06:01 AM

The last time I needed one (for Italy), I purchased a prong adaptor at a hardware store in NYC for 99¢.

adrienne Jul 21st, 2011 06:07 AM

You have 2 thread on the same topic.

BeachGirl247 Jul 21st, 2011 06:09 AM

I can vouch for blowing fire out of the hair dryer! My husband didn't know I brought my hair dryer or he would have stopped me. I'm not sure how long the power on the floor of the hotel was out but we ducked out soon after the "event".

My flat iron does fine on the converter with it's dual-voltage feature. I echo the advice to buy a hair dryer there if the hotel/apartment doesn't offer one for use. We usually take 3 or 4 adapters between the two of us.

wanderful Jul 21st, 2011 06:14 AM

Be crea8tive:

You might want to ask the staff at the hotels you're staying at if they can supply you with converters you need for your devices. That might save you some trouble and expenses.

ParisAmsterdam Jul 21st, 2011 07:18 AM

Don't rely on the hotel... they may not have what you need. And you do NOT want a converter... you need a plug adapter for France and another for England.

Your high tech devices will be fine (check the chargers as has already been suggested). Either buy a dual voltage dryer before you go or pick one up in Europe. Almost every modern hotel does have a dryer in the bathroom these days though.

easytraveler Jul 21st, 2011 07:58 AM

KayF: <i>"The British plug is 3 square metal prongs and the French one is two round metal prongs."</i>

Exactly. You need two different plug adapters, one for France and one for England.

If you look at the pictures in the article that Kay has linked to, you will see pictures of the way the plugs look. You just need an adapter, here's what the one for France looks like:

You plug your American plug into the back of this adapter and plug the adapter itself into the European wall receptacle.

the one for England looks like this:

Ryan Jul 21st, 2011 08:02 AM

We have an adapter kit that we've had for years from Brookstone. But, this looks pretty comparable to what we have.

We've used it in Europe and Asia without a problem.

yentakvetch Jul 21st, 2011 08:35 AM

It depends on how many appliances you intend to plug in at the same time. I usually bring no more than 2. You can always charge something while you are out. Since I usually home exchange and have the use of my exchangers' phone (which is obviously made for European current), I generally need an adapter plug only for my laptop (if I bring it) and my Kindle (which I always bring). Sometimes I just use my exchangers' computer(s). Much easier.

november_moon Jul 21st, 2011 11:07 AM

We bring 2 adaptors so we can charge 2 things at once. We have a laptop, a mobile phone, 2 Nooks, and 2 cameras with batteries to charge. With only one adaptor, we have to plan charging time carefully - just easier with 2 adaptors. All of our electronics are dual voltage, so no conversion needed - they do it internally.

We use hair dryers provided by the hotels - only stayed in one European hotel (out of 11) that didn't have hair dryers in the rooms.

greg Jul 21st, 2011 12:44 PM

I bring 2 adapters. The second one is mostly as a backup. Hotels rarely provide more than one free outlet. So I usually end up using one adapter like this one and plug an outlet expander, something like this to power several chargers at once.

kwren Jul 21st, 2011 01:08 PM

What Greg says about hotels not having many (if any) free outlets is true. If you have multiple devices which all need charging, read this thread on 240V power strips...

This was invaluable on our trip to Switzerland and Italy the beginning of this month. You'll still need an adaptor, but only one to plug in the power strip.

If you can't find even one outlet (which happened to us in one hotel), unplug a lamp and plug it into the power strip and plug the strip into the lamp's outlet in the wall. The beauty of this one is that the receptacles fit any types of plugs.

You still need to follow the above precautions for hair dryers etc and check to be sure your devices you are going to charge can take the higher current.

Be_Cre8ive Jul 21st, 2011 01:15 PM

TY EVERYONE :) I really appreciate all your answers.

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