The Ultimate Electricity Guide for World Travelers

This is a guest post from John Higgins, Market Sales and Product Expert with REI, Utah.

Are you preparing to travel outside of the USA or Canada and want to take items that require electricity? First, do a little homework to make sure you power up—instead of blow up—your devices.

The Need for Adapters and Converters

The power supply (voltage and frequency) and the types of power outlets differ between countries.There is no international standard. Knowing this before you go saves time, stress and money. It is a lot easier to purchase any needed adapter plugs or converters at home as they can be surprisingly hard to find in your destination country.

The author’s cautionary tale: Out of curiosity, I once decided to find out what would happen when I toggled my computer’s power supply from 240V to 110V while I was in Australia (240V power). The result was a sharp bang, a waft of smoke, a dead computer and an expensive repair bill. So it pays to know what you’re up against.

Typical Devices Brought by Travelers

Electrical devices are those that use heating elements or mechanical motors. Examples:

  • Hair dryer
  • Electric shaver
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Irons (for clothes or hair)
  • Coffee maker
  • Water heating device (for a cup of hot water)

Electrical devices are likely to need an adapter plug to work, and possibly a voltage converter as well. Read on for more specifics.

Electronic devices are those that use chips, circuits or electronic motors. Examples:

  • MP3 player
  • Camera
  • Cell phone
  • Portable computer
  • Amazon Kindle or other e-readers
  • Battery chargers (needed for devices with rechargeable batteries)

Electronic devices are most likely to need an adapter plug to work, and possibly a transformer as well. Read on for more specifics.

World Electricity FAQs

As the Sales and Product Expert in the travel department of the REI Salt Lake City store, I get asked the following questions on a regular basis.

Q: Will my electrical and electronic appliances work in Country X?

A: Yes, provided you have the appropriate adapter plug for the power outlet in your destination country, and your device is rated for the same voltage as the power supply in that country. If the voltage is different, you will need a voltage converter or transformer. Note: Some foreign hotels have circuits providing approximately 120 volts, which allow guests to use electric shavers and other low-wattage U.S. appliances. These are labeled as such in the hotel.

Q: How do I find my voltage and adapter info?

A: First, read the electricity information label on your device to determine the voltage rating. Then find out what voltage the power supply is at your destination. See our Power and Outlets by Country chart below (or consult your travel guidebook) to find this information. If your device and the power supply use the same voltage, you need only a plug adapter. If it is different, you will also need a voltage converter or transformer.

Q: What type of adapter plug do I need?

A: adapter plugs come in many configurations. Consult the Power and Outlet Types by Country chart later in this article to find the plug type, and then learn more in the section on adapter Plug Types.

Q: When do I need a voltage converter or transformer?

A: One or the other is needed only if your destination country’s power supply has a voltage rating that is outside the range of your device. A converter is for use with “electrical” devices and a transformer is for use with “electronic” devices (see examples above). You won’t need either if your device is rated dual or multi voltage.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Do I really need to take this device?

The simplest way to deal with foreign electricity is to travel without anything that needs it. Of course, even the most weight-frugal backpacker often has a camera and an MP3 player (containing rechargeable Li-Ion batteries) and will need to plug in on a regular basis. However the fewer devices the better, so consider how often you are likely to use something. There may be an alternative, such as using an internet café instead of taking your own laptop.

2. What does your device’s power label say?

Locate the manufacturer’s power supply information for the device. This may be: A) A label affixed directly to the back of the device; B) On the AC transformer box along the power lead; or C) Molded into the plastic on the plug. It is often in very small print. You need to find this information to know if a voltage converter or transformer is necessary.

It will look something like this:

INPUT: AC100 — 240V 50-60Hz 14W OUTPUT DC 1.2V 2.3A

The INPUT line contains the key information, specifically if the voltage (V) is single, dual or multi. For example:

  • Single voltage would read 120V. Household kitchen appliances like coffee makers, toasters and blenders are typically single voltage. This is usually not the sort of thing you are going to take on a trip.
  • Dual voltage would read 110V/220V, and the device may have a switch to toggle between the 2 voltage inputs. This is common on hair dryers.
  • Multi-voltage would read 100 — 240V. This is common on battery chargers and AC transformers for many modern portable devices like laptop computers. The example above is of a multi-voltage device that will operate on a voltage supply between 100V and 240V.

3. What is your destination country’s power supply in voltage (V) and frequency (Hz)?

Refer to the Power and Outlet Types by Country chart to answer this. See the Glossary below for a short description of frequency.

4. What type of plug is required for power outlets in the destination country?

This is also provided in the Power and Outlet Types by Country chart and the Adapter Plug Types later in this article. You will need to gather answers to questions 3 and 4 for each of the countries you plan on visiting.

Power Summary Chart


Voltage INPUT for your devicePower Supply in Destination CountryConverter or Transformer Needed?Adapter Plug Needed?Device Examples
Single(e.g., 110, 115, 120 or 125)110 ___ 125VNoYesKitchen appliances (toasters, etc.)
Single(e.g.,110, 115, 120 or 125)220, 230, 240VYesYesKitchen appliances (toasters, etc.)
Dual (e.g., 120/240)110, 220, 230, 240VNo (as a general rule)YesHair dryer, water heating unit
Multi (e.g., 110 ___ 240)110, 220, 230, 240VNoYesBattery chargers and power leads for phones, MP3 players, laptops


Electricity Glossary for Travelers

This section provides a quick background on key electrical terminology. If your only interest is finding out your adapter plug type and need for a voltage converter or transformer, you can go directly to the Power/Outlets by Country chart.

Adapter Plug: This changes the prongs on your device’s plug into a configuration that fits into the power outlet at your destination. An adapter plug does not convert electricity. Adapter plugs can be used with voltage converters, transformers and dual- or multi-voltage devices. They are labeled by plug type and/or country of use. They are sold as single plugsfor individual countries, in travel sets of the most common plug types or as a universal plug with multiple plug types built into it. Adapter plugs are available as ungrounded (most common) or grounded. See grounded for more plug information.

Tip: It’s easy to unintentionally leave your adapter plug behind when you pull your power lead out of the outlet. Consider using a dedicated adapter plug per device and tape it onto your plug so you don’t accidentally leave it behind.

AC Adapter: This is the black box that converts AC (alternating current) coming out of the wall outlet to the DC (direct current) power that is required to operate your device. This adapter comes with your device (such as a laptop computer or cell phone charger), either built in or as part of the power lead. Don’t leave home without it.

AC: Refers to alternating current, the most common type of power supply. This power is generated by a utility company and sent along cables to end up at a power outlet.

DC: Refers to direct current, the type of power supply required by an electronic device. The output information on the device’s power supply label will tell you what it runs on.

Example: OUTPUT DC 1.2V 2.3A

This is usually important only if you need to replace a lost AC adapter. In this case, a replacement AC adapter must match the manufacturer’s recommendation for your device.

Electric Devices: These use heating elements or mechanical motors. Examples include hair dryers, travel irons, water heaters, shavers and toothbrushes. If the device’s voltage rating is not compatible with the power supply in your destination country, it can be used with either aconverter or transformer with the correct wattage range for short periods of time (under 2 hours).

Electronic Devices: These operate with electronic motors, circuits or chips. Examples include computers, radios and battery chargers. If the device’s voltage rating is not compatible with the power supply in your destination country, it should be used ONLY with a transformer of the correct wattage range for short periods of time (under 3 hours).

Frequency: The speed at which electric current alternates (expressed in Hertz = cycles per second). In the USA and Canada, the AC power supply is 60Hz. In many other countries, it is 50Hz. This is not a problem for most devices, but some with electric timers in them (such as electric clocks) may have their accuracy affected. Converters and transformers do not adjust frequency. Many modern portable devices are designed to accommodate a range of frequencies; the power label on such devices will say 50-60Hz.

Grounded: This relates to the power outlet and plug type. A grounded plug will have 3 prongs (with some variations possible), whereas an ungrounded plug will have 2 prongs. Most portable devices are ungrounded. You can use a grounded plug with an ungrounded adapter plug. Is this a concern? Potentially, but it is unlikely for occasional short-term use of a device. You can also use an ungrounded plug in a grounded socket. Consult your device’s instruction manual for further information.

Outlet: The wall outlet or power strip that you plug into (and also called a power socket). The plug pin configuration (number, shape and orientation) differs from country to country. Typically you will need an adapter plug(single country or universal) to enable you to plug into an outlet in another country. Countries in the same region (e.g., Europe) often share a common plug type. Some foreign hotels have circuits providing approximately 120 volts, which allow guests to use electric shavers and other low-wattage U.S. appliances. These are labeled as such in the hotel.

Socket: Synonymous with outlet in some countries, but it more correctly refers to the connection point for a light bulb.

Transformer: A device for long-term use with single-volt electronicappliances. Transformers are designed to either step down power from, for example, 230V to 115V, or to step up power from 115V to 230V. If you have a single-voltage North American appliance, it will most likely be 115V or 110 to 125V. If you intend to use it in a country with a 230V power supply, you will need a step-down transformer, or something is going to burn out. The wattage rating of a transformer must always be larger than the wattage rating of the appliance to be plugged into it. Transformers are generally larger, heavier and more expensive than voltage converters.

Note: Travelers generally do not need a transformer, as the AC adapters for most electronic devices are dual or multi-voltage, negating the need for a separate transformer. Check the power information label on your device to confirm this.

People who may need a transformer are those who are relocating to another country, or are conducting overseas research projects and use specialist equipment that needs to be powered up for long periods of time (more than 3 hours).

Voltage: This can refer either to the voltage rating of the power supply in your destination country or to the power rating of your device. To find the voltage of the power supply in your destination country, refer to the Power and Outlet Types by Country chart. To find the power rating of your device, look for the manufacturer’s power supply information. This may be a label affixed directly to the back of the device, on the AC transformer box along the power lead or molded into the plastic on the plug. It is often in very small print.

  • Domestic power supply in North America is typically AC 115V. In most other countries the voltage will be in the range of AC 220V — 240V.
  • The rated input for electrical or electronic devices will be single, dual or multi. Devices made for domestic use (not international use) will often be rated as single voltage (e.g., kitchen appliances).
  • A device with a single voltage input will need a converter ortransformer to be used in a location with a non-corresponding power supply voltage, as well as an adapter plug. However many modern portable devices are manufactured for worldwide distribution and use, and their power input is designed work with the different voltages found in different countries. A device with dual or multi voltage input generally will not need a converter or transformer, only an Adapter plug .

Tip: If using a dual-voltage device in another country and it has a manual switch to change voltage input, remember to use it or you are likely to ruin your device. Remember to change it back when you return home!

Voltage Converter: The little black box that goes between the power outlet and your device. It is for use with electric appliances only and should not be used with electronic devices. You only need a voltage converter if your electric device is rated as single voltage (e.g., 120V) andthis is different from the voltage supplied in your destination country. If so, you also need to know the wattage requirements of your device and use a converter that is appropriate. Voltage converters may be low wattage only or dual wattage (low and high). A battery charger has a low-watt requirement, whereas a hair dyer has a high-watt requirement.


Watts (Wattage): The amount of energy a device consumes. All devices have wattage ratings. This is relevant if you need a voltage converter or transformer. Low-power items require a low-wattage converter, whereas energy gobblers require a dual- or high-power converter. Check that a converter or transformer has the appropriate wattage range for your device.

Power and Outlet Types by Country

Use this chart to locate power information by country. The Outlet Typecolumn is for reference to the detailed descriptions provided under Adapter Plug Types following this chart. The letter used to denote the adapter plug type may not correspond with a plug manufacturer’s description or labeling.

Updates and Corrections: Countries can and do change their name, power supply and outlet design. The information provided here is a guideline and cannot to be relied upon as 100% accurate. We welcome any updates or corrections from your personal traveling experience. Please post a comment at the end of this article


Afghanistan220 V50 HzC / F
Albania230 V50 HzC / F
Algeria230 V50 HzC / F
American Samoa120 V60 HzA / B / F / I
Andorra230 V50 HzC / F
Angola220 V50 HzC
Anguilla110 V60 HzA
Antigua230 V60 HzA / B
Argentina220 V50 HzC / I *
Armenia230 V50 HzC / F
Aruba120 V60 HzA / B / F
Australia240 V50 HzI
Austria230 V50 HzC / F
Azerbaijan220 V50 HzC / F
Azores230 V50 HzB / C / F
Bahamas120 V60 HzA / B
Bahrain230 V50 HzG
Balearic Islands230 V50 HzC / F
Bangladesh220 V50 HzC / D / G / K
Barbados115 V50 HzA / B
Belarus220 V50 HzC / F
Belgium230 V50 HzE
Belize110 V / 220 V60 HzB / G
Benin220 V50 HzE
Bermuda120 V60 HzA / B
Bhutan230 V50 HzD / F / G
Bolivia230 V50 HzA / C
Bosnia & Herzegovina230 V50 HzC / F
Botswana230 V50 HzD / G
Brazil127 V / 220 V *60 HzA / B / C / I
Brunei240 V50 HzG
Bulgaria230 V50 HzC / F
Burkina Faso220 V50 HzC / E
Burundi220 V50 HzC / E
Cambodia230 V50 HzA / C / G
Cameroon220 V50 HzC / E
Canada120 V60 HzA / B
Canary Islands230 V50 HzC / E / L
Cape Verde230 V50 HzC / F
Cayman Islands120 V60 HzA / B
Central African Republic220 V50 HzC / E
Chad220 V50 HzD / E / F
Channel Islands (Guernsey & Jersey)230 V50 HzC / G
Chile220 V50 HzC / L
China , People’s Republic of220 V50 HzA / C / I
Colombia110 V60 HzA / B
Comoros220 V50 HzC / E
Congo, People’s Rep. of230 V50 HzC / E
Congo, Dem. Rep. of (formerly Zaire)220 V50 HzC / D
Cook Islands240 V50 HzI
Costa Rica120 V60 HzA / B
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)220 V50 HzC / E
Croatia230 V50 HzC / F
Cuba110 V / 220 V60 HzA / B / C / L
Cyprus230 V50 HzG / F**
Czech Republic230 V50 HzE
Denmark230 V50 HzC / E / K
Djibouti220 V50 HzC / E
Dominica230 V50 HzD / G
Dominican Republic120 V60 HzA / B
East Timor220 V50 HzC / E / F / I
Ecuador110 V60 HzA / B
Egypt220 V50 HzC / F
El Salvador115 V60 HzA / B / C / D / E / F / G / I / J / L
Equatorial Guinea220 V50 HzC / E
Eritrea230 V50 HzC / L
Estonia230 V50 HzC / F
Ethiopia220 V50 HzC / F
Faeroe Islands230 V50 HzC / K
Falkland Islands240 V50 HzG
Fiji240 V50 HzI
Finland230 V50 HzC / F
France230 V50 HzE
French Guyana220 V50 HzC / D / E
Gabon220 V50 HzC
Gambia230 V50 HzG
Gaza230 V50 HzH
Georgia220 V50 HzC / F
Germany230 V50 HzC / F
Ghana230 V50 HzD / G
Gibraltar230 V50 HzC / G
Greece230 V50 HzC / F
Greenland230 V50 HzC / K
Grenada (Windward Islands)230 V50 HzG
Guadeloupe230 V50 HzC / D / E
Guam110 V60 HzA / B
Guatemala120 V60 HzA / B / G / I
Guinea220 V50 HzC / F / K
Guinea-Bissau220 V50 HzC
Guyana240 V60 HzA / B / D / G
Haiti110 V60 HzA / B
Honduras110 V60 HzA / B
Hong Kong220 V50 HzG
Hungary230 V50 HzC / F
Iceland230 V50 HzC / F
India230 V50 HzC / D / M
Indonesia230 V50 HzC / F
Iran230 V50 HzC / F
Iraq230 V50 HzC / D / G
Ireland (Eire)230 V50 HzG
Isle of Man230 V50 HzC / G
Israel230 V50 HzH / C
Italy230 V50 HzC / F / L
Jamaica110 V50 HzA / B
Japan100 V50 Hz / 60 Hz**A / B
Jordan230 V50 HzC / D / F / G / J
Kenya240 V50 HzG
Kazakhstan220 V50 HzC / F
Kiribati240 V50 HzI
Korea , North110 V / 220 V60 HzA / C
Korea , South110V / 220 V60 HzA / B / C / F
Kuwait240 V50 HzC / G
Kyrgyzstan220 V50 HzC / F
Laos230 V50 HzA / B / C / E / F
Latvia230 V50 HzC / F
Lebanon230 V50 HzC / D / G
Lesotho220 V50 HzM
Liberia120 V60 HzA / B
Libya127 V / 230 V50 HzD / F
Liechtenstein230 V50 HzJ
Lithuania230 V50 HzC / F
Luxembourg230 V50 HzC / F
Macau220 V50 HzD / G
Macedonia230 V50 HzC / F
Madagascar127 V / 220 V50 HzC / D / E / J / K
Madeira230 V50 HzC / F
Malawi230 V50 HzG
Malaysia240 V50 HzG
Maldives230 V50 HzD / G / J / K / L
Mali220 V50 HzC / E
Malta230 V50 HzG
Martinique220 V50 HzC / D / E
Mauritania220 V50 HzC
Mauritius230 V50 HzC / G
Mexico127 V60 HzA
Micronesia, Federal States of120 V60 HzA / B
Moldova230 V50 HzC / F
Monaco230 V50 HzC / D / E / F
Mongolia230 V50 HzC / E
Montenegro230 V50 HzC / F
Montserrat (Leeward Islands)230 V60 HzA / B
Morocco220 V50 HzC / E
Mozambique220 V50 HzC / F / M
Myanmar (formerly Burma)230 V50 HzC / D / F / G
Namibia220 V50 HzD / M
Nauru240 V50 HzI
Nepal230 V50 HzC / D / M
Netherlands230 V50 HzC / F
Netherlands Antilles127 V / 220 V50 HzA / B / F
New Caledonia220 V50 HzF
New Zealand240 V50 HzI
Nicaragua120 V60 HzA
Niger220 V50 HzA / B / C / D / E / F
Nigeria230 V50 HzD / G
Norway230 V50 HzC / F
Oman240 V50 HzC / G
Pakistan230 V50 HzC / D
Palau120 V60 HzA / B
Panama110 V60 HzA / B
Papua New Guinea240 V50 HzI
Paraguay220 V50 HzC
Peru220 V60 HzA / B / C
Philippines220 V60 HzA / B / C
Poland230 V50 HzC / E
Portugal230 V50 HzC / F
Puerto Rico120 V60 HzA / B
Qatar240 V50 HzD / G
Réunion Island230 V50 HzE
Romania230 V50 HzC / F
Russian Federation220 V50 HzC / F
Rwanda230 V50 HzC / J
St. Kitts and Nevis (Leeward Islands)230 V60 HzD / G
St. Lucia (Windward Islands)230 V50 HzG
St. Vincent (Windward Islands)230 V50 HzA / C / E / G / I / K
Samoa230 V50 HzI
San Marino230 V50 HzF / L
Saudi Arabia110 V / 220 V ***60 HzA / B / C / G
Senegal230 V50 HzC / D / E / K
Serbia230 V50 HzC / F
Seychelles240 V50 HzG
Sierra Leone230 V50 HzD / G
Singapore230 V50 HzG
Slovakia230 V50 HzE
Slovenia230 V50 HzC / F
Somalia220 V50 HzC
South Africa230 V50 HzD / M ***
Spain230 V50 HzC / F
Sri Lanka230 V50 HzD / G / M
Sudan230 V50 HzC / D
Suriname127 V60 HzC / F
Swaziland230 V50 HzM
Sweden230 V50 HzC / F
Switzerland230 V50 HzJ
Syria220 V50 HzC / E / L
Tahiti220 V50 Hz / 60 Hz****C / E
Tajikistan220 V50 HzC / F
Taiwan110 V60 HzA / B
Tanzania230 V50 HzD / G
Thailand220 V50 HzA / B / C
Togo220 V50 HzC
Tonga240 V50 HzI
Trinidad & Tobago115 V60 HzA / B
Tunisia230 V50 HzC / E
Turkey230 V50 HzC / F
Turkmenistan220 V50 HzC / F
Uganda240 V50 HzG
Ukraine230 V50 HzC / F
United Arab Emirates240 V50 HzG
United Kingdom230 V50 HzG
United States of America120 V60 HzA / B
Uruguay220 V50 HzC / F / I / L
Uzbekistan220 V50 HzC / F
Venezuela120 V60 HzA / B
Vietnam220 V50 HzA / C / G
Virgin Islands110 V60 HzA / B
Yemen , Rep. of230 V50 HzA / D / G
Zambia230 V50 HzC / D / G
Zimbabwe240 V50 HzD / G


* In Brazil there is no standard voltage. Most states use 127V electricity (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Espírito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Maranhão, Pará, Paraná, Rondônia, Roraima, Sergipe and Minas Gerais). Other (mainly northeastern) states are on 220V (Alagoas, Brasília, Ceará, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Santa Catarina and Tocantins). Although in most parts of the states of Bahia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul 127V is used, the cities of Santos, Jequié, Jundiaí, São Bernardo do Campo, Novo Friburgo, Bagé, Caxias do Sul and Pelotas run on 220V. The states of Pernambuco and Piauí use 220V, except for the cities of Paulista and Teresina (127V).

** Although the main voltage in Japan is the same everywhere, the frequency differs from region to region. Eastern Japan uses predominantly 50 Hz (Tokyo, Kawasaki, Sapporo, Yokohama, Sendai), whereas Western Japan prefers 60 Hz (Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Hiroshima).

*** Saudi Arabia uses 110V in many parts of the country, such as the Dammam and al-Khobar area (situated in the eastern province of Ash Sharqiyah). 220 V is commonly used as well, especially in hotels.

Adapter Plug Types

North and Central America and Japan adapter Plug


This ungrounded plug with 2 flat parallel prongs is pretty much standard in most of North and Central America. At first glance, the Japanese plug and outlet seem to be identical to this standard. However, the Japanese plug has 2 identical flat prongs, whereas the US plug has 1 prong which is slightly larger. Therefore it is no problem to use Japanese plugs in the US, but the opposite does not work often. Furthermore, Japanese standard wire sizes and the resulting current ratings are different than those used on the American continent.


North and Central America and Japan adapter Plug


This plug with 2 flat parallel prongs and a grounding pin is rated at 15 amps. Although this plug is also standard in Japan, it is less frequently used than in North America. Consequently, most appliances sold in Japan use an ungrounded plug. An ungrounded version of the North American plug is commonly used in Central America and parts of South America.


Europe except the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta adapter Plug


This 2-wire plug is ungrounded and has 2 round prongs. It is popularly known as the Europlug. This is probably the most widely used international plug. It will mate with any outlet that accepts 4.0 – 4.8mm round contacts on 19mm centers. The plug is generally limited for use in applications that require 2.5 amps or less. It is commonly used in all countries of Europe except the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is also used in various parts of the developing world. Whereas type C plugs are very commonly used, this is not the case for type C outlets. This kind of outlet is the older and ungrounded variant of outlet types E, F, J, K and L. Nowadays most countries demand grounded outlets to be installed in new buildings. Since type C outlets are ungrounded, they are currently being phased out in many countries and replaced by type E, F, J, K or L (depending on the country). A type C plug fits perfectly into a type E, F, J, K or L outlet.


India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Namibia adapter Plug


India has standardized a plug which was originally defined in British Standard 546 (the standard in Great Britain before 1962). This plug has 3 large round pins in a triangular pattern. It is rated at 5 amps. Type M, which has larger pins and is rated at 15 amps, is used alongside type D for larger appliances in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Namibia. Some outlets can take both type M and type D plugs. Although type D is now almost exclusively used in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Namibia, it can still occasionally be found in hotels and theatres in the UK and Ireland. It should be noted that tourists should not attempt to connect anything to a BS546 round-pin outlet found in the UK or Ireland as it is likely to be on a circuit that has a special purpose (e.g, providing direct current (DC) or for plugging in lamps that are controlled by a light switch or a dimmer).


France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Tunisia and Morocco adapter Plug


France, Belgium and some other countries have standardized an outlet which is different from the type F outlet that is standard in Germany and other continental European countries. The reason for incompatibility is that grounding in the E outlet is accomplished with a round male pin permanently mounted in the outlet. The plug itself is similar to C except that it is round and has the addition of a female contact to accept the grounding pin in the outlet. A type C plug fits perfectly into a type E outlet.


Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Portugal, Spain and Eastern Europe adapter Plug


Type F is commonly called the Schuko plug, which is the acronym of “Schutzkontakt”, a German word meaning “earthed/grounded contact”. It is similar to type C except that it is round and has the addition of 2 grounding clips on the side of the plug. It has two 4.8mm round contacts on 19mm centers. This plug, which is shown above, has grounding clips on both sides to mate with the type F outlet and a female contact to accept the grounding pin of the type E outlet. A type C plug fits perfectly into a type F outlet.


United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong adapter Plug


This plug has 3 rectangular prongs that form a triangle.


Israeli adapter Plug


This plug is unique to Israel. It has 2 flat prongs like the type B plug, but they form a V-shape rather than being parallel. Type H plugs have a grounding pin as well and are rated at 16 amps. In 1989, Israel standardized a new version of the type H outlet: the holes were made round in order to accommodate type C plugs as well. The slots for the prongs are widened in the middle specifically to allow type C prongs to fit in. The flat-bladed type H plugs (lower middle picture) are currently being phased out in favor of round-pinned ones (upper middle picture).


Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Argentina adapter Plug

This plug has a grounding pin and 2 flat prongs forming a V-shape. There is an ungrounded version of this plug as well, with only 2 flat V-shaped prongs. Although the above plug looks very similar to the one used in Israel (type H), the plugs are not compatible with each other. Although there are slight differences, the Australian plug mates with the outlet used in the People’s Republic of China (mainland China).


Switzerland and Liechtenstein adapter Plug

Switzerland has its own standard. This plug is similar to type C, except that it has the addition of a grounding pin. A type C plug works in a type J outlet.


Denmark and Greenland adapter Plug


This plug is similar to type F except that it has a grounding pin instead of grounding clips. Because of the huge amount of E/F plugs in Denmark, the Danish government decided to make it legal to install type E instead of type K outlets from 2008 onwards. A type C plug fits perfectly into a type K outlet.


Italy and North Africa adapter Plug

The Italian grounded plug/outlet standard includes 2 styles rated at 10 and 16 amps. They differ in terms of contact diameter and spacing, and are therefore incompatible with each other. The plugs are similar to type C except that they are earthed by means of a center grounding pin. Nowadays there are also “universal” outlets available, which look exactly like type F outlets (with grounding clips), but also have a grounding hole in the middle. A type C plug fits perfectly into a type L outlet.


South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho adapter Plug

This plug resembles the Indian type D plug, but its pins are much larger. Type M is rated at 15 amps. Although type D is standard in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Namibia, type M is also used for larger appliances. Some outlets there can take both type M and type D plugs. Type M is also used in Israel for heavy appliances such as air-conditioning circuits (in cases where wall-mounted units are plugged in to a dedicated outlet) and certain types of washing machines.

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4 Responses to “The Ultimate Electricity Guide for World Travelers”
  1. SR says:

    Actually Type A (the Japanese type with two identical prongs) can work is certain places in India. Yes

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  1. […] The Ultimate Electricity Guide for World Travelers | The Roaming … A: Yes, provided you have the appropriate adapter plug for the power outlet in your destination country, and your device is rated for the same voltage as the power supply in that country. If the voltage is . Adapter Plug Types. North and Central America and Japan adapter Plug. This ungrounded plug with 2 flat parallel prongs is pretty much standard in most of North and Central America. At first glance, the Japanese plug and outlet seem to be identical to this standard. […]

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    […] , Nepal and Namibia. Some outlets can take both type M and type D plugs. Althoug […]…

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