Understanding Travel Adapters and Converters. It's about time somebody simplified this whole thing for the average traveler.  What's the difference between an adapter and a converter? Why are adapters so much cheaper? How do I know when all I need is an adapter? Why do some converters only work for shavers and appliances that take small wattages? Which adapter is right one for the country where I am going?.  So take the time to read this page and you will be able to plug in whatever you bring along without burning it up.

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OK, let's get started. This is a blow-up of the plug from my recharge-able shaver. I have underlined the important stuff in red and yellow. Look for this little statement on any thing you bring along. It tells you that your appliance will handle up to 240 volts. In other words, it will handle any voltage in the world.. in other words, it does not need a converter that will step the voltage down from 240 to 120 volts. Most modern electronic stuff is that way these days; especially laptops. On laptops, you will see something like the red-underlined phrase on the "brick" or laptop power supply.
OK, so this shaver will handle the voltage, but it still will not fit in the socket/plug. That is where the adapter comes in. The adapter does NOT step down the voltage, it adapts your US plug to fit into one of the various socket configurations around the world. On the adapter list below you will see both grounded and non-grounded adapters. The grounded adapter is the one with the center post. Grounded adapters have three posts, non-grounded adapters have only two.  Obviously a grounded plug is safer, but you might not be able to plug it in if you are staying at an older hotel or B&B. The exception if Great Britain and Ireland where virtually every socket will accept a grounded plug.

See all adapters
See converters

Northern europe grounded adapterEurope Adapter (letter I) with ground plug (ground lug extended)

Italy Grounded AdapterItaly adapter (letter N) with ground plug
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Here is our Adapter List of every style of adapter we know about. If available, you can just click on the adapter to order it.
Adapter for Great Britain Adapter for Australia and New Zealand This is the Europe "D" adapter. Probably the most common adapter in existence. It is cheaper because it doesn't have the ground pin, but neither do a lot of European receptacles! Type N, Italy Grounded Grounded adapter, Great Britain Grounded adapter, South Africa and India Just click on an adapter to order it. These are all $7.99 or less.
Here is the Mac-Daddy of all converter kits. If you have checked your appliance and found that it does NOT have that statement similar to the one shown above (120~240v) then you need a converter. This one does it all. It comes with four adapters. (you may or may not need a converter, but you ALWAYS need an adapter.) This one will handle low wattage stuff like shavers and toothbrushes. It will also handle high wattage stuff like curling irons and hair dryers.  That's where understanding the wattage of your appliance comes into play.  Look at my first example at the top of the page. See how I underlined the 7W in yellow. That means this appliance uses only 7 watts. Look at the side of your hairdryer. It probably says something like 1600W or even 1875W.  This converter will handle them all. You just switch it to 0~25 for the small stuff and 26~1875 for the big stuff like hair dryers. 
Send mail with any questions to mapguy at mapshop.com (please replace the "at" and spaces with the @ symbol) or 800-532-6675 with questions or comments about this web site.