(Page last updated 09/16/2002)
adaptors and converters.
Voltage: Many, if not most countries, outside the USA use 220-240 volt electricity instead of the 110 volt that is standard within the USA. Please check your projector, computer or DVD player to be sure it operates on BOTH 110 volts as well as 220 volts. It is unusual to find a projector or laptop computer that only operates on a single voltage, but please check your equipment to be sure it says it will operate on "110 - 240 volts." You should find this on the back of your projector, or DVD player. The label may be on the back of the computer. It may also be on the transformer that is part of the power cord of some computers.
Check to be sure any other appliances (hair dryers, irons etc.) you may bring will operate on both voltages as well.
Adaptors: Since the electrical outlets vary widely around the world, travelers will need to secure two or more sets of electrical adaptors. These are available in the shops of most larger airports. Remember, these adaptors do NOT change the electrical current to match your equipment. They only adapt the end of your electrical power cords to plug into the electrical outlets in use in each country.
Converters: The purpose of a converter IS to change the current to match that which is needed by your appliance. Many of the universal adaptor sets reference above include a small converter. Please note! Don't depend on these small converters to handle anything but your smallest appliances - electric razors, a small travel iron or hair dryer. Never use them for your campaign equipment! If your campaign equipment operates ONLY on a single voltage, and that voltage is different than that of the country to which you are going, you must secure a transformer. Since transformers large enough to handle your equipment are very heavy, you will need to buy one on arriving in the country where your campaign will be held. I'd suggest that you send an e-mail to the campaign coordinator in that country (their e-mail addresses are normally found on the campaign website) and tell them of your need.
Extension cord: One more suggestion. The building codes of some countries (especially former British colonies) prohibit full-power electrical outlets in bathrooms. If you want to use a hair-dryer in the bathroom you'll need to bring an extension cord and run it into the bathroom from another room. In any case, the multiple-outlet feature of most extension cords makes one very handy to have on a trip.