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Travel Plugs & Converters

Updated on September 11, 2011
TripStar #3182 Dual Converter Kit by DesignGo
TripStar #3182 Dual Converter Kit by DesignGo
DesignGo Worldwide Adaptor with/USB Charger
DesignGo Worldwide Adaptor with/USB Charger
DesignGo Worldwide Adapter Kit Plugs
DesignGo Worldwide Adapter Kit Plugs
Travelon 3-in-1 World Adapter and USB Charger    
Travelon 3-in-1 World Adapter and USB Charger
Victorinox All-in-One Charger Set
Victorinox All-in-One Charger Set
Victorinox All-in-One Adapter Plug
Victorinox All-in-One Adapter Plug



If you are planning a trip out of the country and taking any electronics or appliances, you definitely want to pack the appropriate travel plugs and converters. My first recommendation is to write down every electrical and travel appliance you will take on this trip. Most of our customers don’t understand the difference between a travel plug and a converter. The travel plug does not convert the electricity, yet you need the correct pin placement to plug the appliance into the foreign country floor or wall socket. Most importantly, if the electrical or travel appliance does not have a built-in converter, you definitely require a converter in addition to the proper travel plug. Next you need to make certain that your converter covers the appropriate voltage range of the products you are taking. If you plan on taking nothing more than a hair dryer, you can purchase a high voltage converter designed for appliances that are 50-1600 watts. This is the most commonly sold voltage converter, yet please be aware it does not work for electronic devices that require low voltage. By the same token you can purchase a low voltage converter that converts electricity on appliances that require less than 50 watts. The low voltage converter is for the digital camera, curling iron, battery charger, contact lens sterilizer, cell phone, smart phone, and MP3 player chargers or any other low voltage appliances. Naturally, the low voltage converter will not work on appliances that require higher voltage. Keep in mind that you will likely damage your appliance if you use the incorrect converter, or at the very least you will not be able to use your appliance with the wrong converter.

Since most travelers will have occasion to use both high and low voltage, I strongly recommend purchasing a kit that has both a high/low built-in converter. Fortunately, most of the newer models convert automatically and don’t require you to switch from low to high as necessary. The problem with the older versions is that most of us neglect to read the instructions and would probably have the switch in the wrong position. The entire high/low kit includes a basic set of travel plugs which covers almost any country. The entire kit is quite compact, and in my opinion it makes absolutely no sense to buy the travel plugs separate and hope that you purchased the right converter (high vs. low). Shame on you if you thought you could save $10-$15, only to find out that your appliance required the other voltage range. The top quality high/low converter kits complete with plugs and travel pouch generally are under $55 or under $60.00 for the model that includes a USB port and new compact design.

Many computers today cover the range from 110V (North American) countries to 220V countries. However, there are also a host of other electronic appliances that do not have a built-in converter. Don’t run the risk of damaging your unit because the battery charger required a converter. It only takes a moment to look at your battery charger and determine if it handles 110v-220v. Some of these replacement battery chargers will actually cost you more than the complete converter kit.

I also recommend taking a few extra travel plugs when traveling with family, as the travel plugs are quite inexpensive. This allows one of you to use your computer (which probably has the built-in converter), while another family member is using the hair dryer which requires the converter. Although, only one appliance required the high/low converter in this example, each appliance needed the appropriate travel plug. Finally, when using a converter, please keep in mind that your appliance first plugs directly into the converter and secondly the converter plugs directly into the appropriate travel plug. Now you are ready to plug your appliance into the (foreign country) wall or floor socket.

We are proud members of the National Luggage Dealers Association, which is the largest group of independent specialty store luggage and travel retailers in the United States. We have member stores from coast to coast, and represent a diverse collection of the finest luggage, leather, travel goods, and gifts from around the world. We pride ourselves on product knowledge, and our sales associates are all trained to help answer any of your travel related questions. Although, we carry several brands of plugs and converters, our most extensive travel accessory line is The Tripstar Travel Accessory Program. An exclusive offering that is only found at authorized National Luggage Dealers Association stores. The collection offers moderate priced products designed to make your travels safe, comfortable, and practical. This collection has been growing rapidly, with new styles added on a regular basis.

The article address only travel plugs and converters designed for travel appliances and small electronic devices, such as digital cameras, CD or MP3 players. These converters are designed specifically for travel appliances and are not rated for continuous use. If you are interested in converting electricity on a major appliance such as stereo equipment, television, microwave, etc. I recommend that you research the necessary requirements of your appliance in order to find the correct transformer that is properly rated for continuous use. That is another article that I will leave to the experts on major appliances.

I hope that this article helps you make an informed decision when purchasing travel plugs and converters. Don’t feel bad if you have to read it twice, this is a confusing subject. Thank you for taking the time to read this article!


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