Foreign travel can be exciting. The way one must plan for such a trip has changed dramatically over the years.
Once we needed to pack a healthy supply of Travelers’ Checks, phrase books and, yes, toilet paper. Today, we use ATMs to get cash. Our smart phones have replaced the phrase books. The toilet tissue is must better (in most places!)
But now there are new needs! Today we travel with computers, tablets, smart phones and camera that each have batteries that will need to be recharged during the trip. While this is part of our daily life at home, travel to foreign countries can bring special challenges.
In the USA (as well as much of Canada, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean) the voltage is 110-120 volts. Much of the rest of the world uses a 220-240 volt system. These do not play well together. In fact, using an American 110 volt hairdryer, for example, in a 220 volt plug might fry that hairdryer!
The good news is that many of today’s electronics are made to recharge from either system. Apple products as well as many other computer and smart phone companies can recharge from either source. Canon and Nikon also have chargers that work with either. That, however, gets you only half the way there.
Almost every country in the world has electric outlet plugs (wall plugs) that have a different set-up of holes and prongs. You will need to research the country you will be visiting and acquire an adapter. This is a plug that you plug your cord into and then plug the adapter into the wall. You are good to go.
If, however, your gadget does not work on the voltage in the country you are visiting, you will need a converter. This will have the correct prongs as well as the ability to convert the source electric power to what your gadget needs. The converter will cost a bit more than an adapter, but it will be much cheaper than having to replace your gadget after destroying it.
Adapters and converters are readily available from a host of travel stores and websites as well as Radio Shack and, of course, Amazon.