Adapters vs. Converters: What You Need to Know

What is an Adapter?


Pretty much all travelers’ electronic charging needs can be covered with an adapter. They are small, safe to use, and all that they do is help American plugs to fit into the plugs of countries with different plug types, such as Europe and Asia. Adapters work for all day-to-day advices, including cell phones, laptops, and battery chargers for cameras and go-pros. You can find them easily online on eBay and Amazon and they are also sold in travel stores and airports (though will probably cost a bit more than those sold online).

Where Do American Devices Need Them?


If your travels are taking you throughout North America, Central America, and parts of South America, then you do not need to worry about bringing an adapter since the plugs are just like the ones in the US. Pretty much the whole of Europe uses the same type of plug (this also includes Morocco), while the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland use a different plug type. South Africa has its own type of plug, but European converters will also work there, while Tanzania uses a mix of British and European plugs. Depending on where you are going in Asia, you will want to be sure to check the plug types in advance as they vary from China and Japan to South Korea and Southeast Asia. Last, but not least, the plugs in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji are different to the rest of the world, so be sure to bring the right type of adapter when you journey Down Under.

What Exactly Does a Converter Do?

Don’t get tricked into thinking that you need a converter. A converter is much larger and is used to change the current levels in an electronic device, which you don’t need because today’s devices are usually made to be able to take different currents.

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