Content and Editorial Director
Even seasoned travelers can get these mixed up, sometimes with disastrous results. So let’s clarify things, shall we? An adapter only allows you to plug in your electronics. So basically, it just changes the shape of your plug. A converter, however, changes the voltage. Most of the world’s outlets give 220v, but the ones in the United States are only 110v. So, while your hair dryer is designed to only take in 110v, it’s suddenly getting double the voltage abroad.
Be sure to check the fine print on anything that plugs in. Luckily, many devices, like phones, are dual voltage so they can support 110-240v. But some are single voltage, so can only take 110v. If you don’t see it written right on the device, check the website. Because too much power will destroy it.
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