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Make Sure You Have The Correct Voltage When Traveling To Other Countries

When you visit a new city in a different country, are you sure your electrical devices will work there? Can you use them safely on the different power outlet voltages you may encounter? Will you even be able to plug them into the electrical outlets?

On all of our previous ocean cruises, we were entirely within North American (or Hawaiian) waters and the question of voltage and outlet plug compatibility was never an issue. Knowing that in Europe, not only would the wall outlets be different but the voltage itself would be different prompted us to verify that the electrical devices we would have with us would be able to be used. The camera battery chargers are rated for the voltage range of 100 – 240 volts AC. Same thing with the Nook (ebook readers) and my laptop power adapter. The only thing I would need to make those devices work on the European voltage mains would be an adapter for the end of the power plug. From a previous trip to the UK many years ago, I already had one such adapter. More might be needed.

The one device which would not work on the 240 VAC mains is my wife’s curling iron. That one is rated only for 120 VAC. Knowing that the two hotels we would be staying at (the first in Venice and the second in Barcelona) would not likely have an available 120 VAC outlet, we needed to look at voltage converters. We wanted something which would be powerful enough to supply the needed current and if needed could power more than one electrical device. At the same time, considering weight of everything we put into the suitcase, (this adapter weights about two pounds) as well as size, we did not want anything too big.

We purchased a Simran SMF-200 Deluxe 200 Watts Step Down Voltage Converter for International Travel to AC 220V/240V Countries which converts the supplied 240 VAC of the European mains down to the needed 120 VAC to power electrical devices which cannot use the higher voltage. As it has a built in standard North American style three pronged electrical outlet right on the housing, it was convenient for my wife to simply plug her curling iron into it and the converter (it comes with the standard two pronged plug ready for European and Asian outlets) into the wall outlet. It does caution against using with a hair dryer as the wattage limit to this device is 200 watts. That was not an issue as neither of us normally use a hair dryer and almost all hotels have one built on the bathroom wall anyhow. By the way, another thing we discovered and should be a matter of note, it is very likely that any cruise ship traveling in European waters, such as in the Mediterranean will be configured mostly with the European style outlets and voltage. In our cabin, one outlet in the bathroom and one by the dresser was the North American style with 120 VAC power. That means itís a very good idea to carry along a small multi-outlet power strip and perhaps a small indoor style extension cord to allow for powering multiple devices at the same time. Itís also a good idea to have on hand a couple of North American to European outlet adapters so you can plug in your voltage capable devices directly into the European style wall outlets.

By the way, another thing we discovered and should be a matter of note, it is very likely that any cruise ship traveling in European waters, such as in the Mediterranean will be configured mostly with the European style outlets and voltage. In our cabin, one outlet in the bathroom and one by the dresser was the North American style with 120 VAC power. That means it’s a very good idea to carry along a small multi-outlet power strip and perhaps a small indoor style extension cord to allow for powering multiple devices at the same time. It’s also a good idea to have on hand a couple of North American to European outlet adapters so you can plug in your voltage capable devices directly into the European style wall outlets.

Make sure you have enough adapters to convert your North American power plugs to fit the European style outlets. They're inexpensive but if you have only one or two with you, that limits how many different devices you can use at the same time. Bluecell 8 PCS American USA to European Outlet Plug Adapter


One more thing to be aware of. The power outlets in different countries (the UK for example) require a different outlet. Wouldn't it be nice if all countries used a standard format? Well yes, but they don't so having multiple adapters is always going to be necessary. Here's one which is suitable for not only the UK but a number of other countries as well. HIGH QUALITY AC POWER TRAVEL ADAPTER PLUG FOR USE IN UNITED KINGDOM ENGLAND IRELAND HONG KONG AND MORE / WITH DUAL PLUG-IN PORTS! (WORKS AS TWO-ADAPTERS-IN-ONE!) / GROUNDED

  • Designed with dual ports (receptacles) allow plug-in two electrical devices at once. Built-in Surge protector!
  • Well built and durable adapter (no moving parts). Small lightweight and easy to carry when travelling!
  • Standard: Type G plug (British standard BS 1363) CE Approved, RoHS Compliant
  • Grounded 3-Prong plug with rectangular pins. Max Power: 3000 Watt (max 250 Volt, 13A)

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Home | Collectible Dolls | Collectibles, Figurines & Collector Plates | Throws and Totes | Christian Ministry | Home Business | Contact Us | The Travel and Leisure Side There are places to go and things to see
| Photo Gallery We travel and we photograph our travels

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