Most of North and South America, the Caribbean and Japan use 110 volts at 60Hz while most European counties use 220 volts at 50Hz. This means you may need to use voltage converters to use many of your electrical appliances. Plugging a 110 volt electrical product into a 220 volt socket without a voltage converter will damage or destroy the appliance.
To know if you need a power converter you should check any electrical appliance as you pack them for your trip. Each appliance will have a small rating plate which will tell you if the product is single volt or dual volt (i.e. Use 110 or 220 or both). If the rating plate says it is a dual volt appliance you will not need a voltage converter, however, any single volt appliance will need a travel converter.
There are several different kinds of travel voltage converters available. Small electronics - like your electric razor or toothbrush - need a 50 watt converter while heating appliances like heating pads, hairdryers and curling irons require a stronger ac power converter (a 26 ? 1875 watt converter is ideal). Dual voltage source converters are available that can handle both the low and high end electrical needs. Almost all travel converters require the use of ac adapters (In fact I have never seen a travel converter that did not require the use of an AC adapter) so make sure you bring some along on your trip.
Most manufacturers of travel voltage converters sell them in kits with power adapters. .
By: Tara Pearce