Plugs, sockets and your electronics on your trip

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Do you often casually connect your charger into the outlet and connect your phone, tablet, computer, or any other electrical or electronic device, depending on the destination of your trip this can be a headache. In Brazil we have regions that use different voltages, 220V or 127V, if you are abroad the thing complicated, imagine arriving in South Africa, and find an outlet like this:


“M” Type Plug & Socket

Imagine discovering that there, the voltage is 230V and frequency 50Hz

You have no idea what I’m talking about? So I will try to be practical, there are three variables concerned: The type of plug/socket, the voltage and frequency. The voltage and frequency are electrical parameters, you do not understand this, just understand what the voltage and frequency range its electrical and electronic equipment support.

Voltage and Frequency

See the figure below an Apple charger, this writing Input: 100-240V ~ 0.5A (0.5A) 50-60 Hz and that’s all we need to know. Translation: The range of voltage is 100 to 240V, this means that you can plug this adapter into any outlet that is within this range, including the 230V of South Africa, the frequency range of 50 to 60Hz, which also accepts the 50Hz in South Africa.


In general good quality chargers and equipments, have this pattern of voltage and frequency, is a global standard used primarily by manufacturers who sell to all over the world.

Once aware of this detail, always check your charger or electronic equipment has these characteristics:

Input 100 – 240V ~ 50 – 60 Hz

If in doubt, do not plug into the outlet, if you have to connect the charger plug the device only after having connected the charger into the outlet, if anything burn was it just the charger.

In the case of electrical equipment such as trip iron, hairdryer and electric shaver for example, it is important to verify that they support the voltage and frequency of the destination, usually these devices have fixed voltage and frequency. I personally do not recommend to take them, unless you are absolutely sure that will not burn. Yet it is common to find at good hotels, iron and hair dryer to use in the room.

Types of Plug and Sockets

There are at least fifteen types of plugs and sockets in the world, and you should be prepared for it, no worse than arriving at your destination and can not charge your cell phone, your camera and other devices. So always check before traveling the  World Standards or IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) website to know what kind of outlet, voltage and frequency of your destination.

15 tipos de tomadas Reprodução WorldStandards

15 types of plug and sockets
Reproduction WorldStandards

AdaptadoresA great tip is to buy an universal travel socket adapter, in general you find in Free Shopping, and some specialty stores, some of the left photo templates. The universal adapters generally cater to almost all existing outlets, some even have a USB port and protection, prices range from a few to a few dozen dollars.

AdaptadoresTorcidoIf you have many devices, or are traveling with family or business associates, it is recommended in addition to the universal adapter, carry a power strip or similar to connect multiple takes on a single adapter, ensure that the voltage and frequency of power strip  are compatible as explained above, the best alternative is to buy a power strip without surge protection, without any electronic.

Another important observation is that the flat pin adapter must be rotating, at least until 45º, because in countries such Australia and Argentina standard outlet is inclined flat pin, see the picture on the right as it is this feature of the adapter.

Battery Power Bank

batterybankSo you are not unaware at the time that quick getaway for a the occasion of tourism, it is recommended to have with you always a charged battery power bank (many people forget to charge).

Nowadays it is easy to find battery bank to buy anywhere, to choose takes into consideration what you want to keep charged: Smartphones usually have battery from 1000 to 2000 mAh, tablets and notebook around 6000 mAh and photographic cameras around 4000 mAh. This means for example if you have a 2000 mAh battery bank, can give a new full charge on your phone, or if you have a 6000 mAh (or three 2000 mAh) in your notebook or tablet. It is more convenient to have several small battery banks than big one, because the higher the capacity in mAh, the longer the charging time, and above 8000 mAh total charging time can reach 24, and time is what we can not lose for quick trips. But do not forget to put everything to charge at bedtime, including battery banks that were used.

I hope these tips are helpful, we wish a good business trip and a fun casual tourism.