Table of Contents

International Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)

Venice packing list
By
Updated on

Whether you’re island hopping or heading on a quick business trip, we recommend educating yourself briefly on the standard electricity of your destination, ensuring you are prepared with the right equipment.

There are 15 types of outlets worldwide, and a power adapter is a small but necessary investment that will support you in all future travels for years to come. You don’t want to risk fried electronics, damaged devices, or a blown fuse!

Use this quick guide to learn the basics of international electricity, which power adapter is the best, packing items that will serve you in any global travel, and useful FAQS.

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What type of adapter will you need for International outlets?

Iceland power outlet
Here is an actual photo of a common Europe power outlet

It can be overwhelming to determine the necessary components when traveling the world. You’ll find options for wireless adapters, universal adapters, dual adapters, voltage converters, and more!

Most areas have a general outlet or plug type for that region. For example, the US generally uses Type A and Europe will often have Type C. But when you visit certain continents, like Asia, there are various types of plugs used so it can get a bit more complicated.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect:

Outlet Style: Locations Commonly Used:
Type A & B North America (The U.S., Canada), Mexico, Japan
Type C Europe, South America, Parts of Asia
Type D Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan
Type E Belgium, Czechia, France, Poland, Slovakia
Type F Russia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Eastern Europe
Type G Ireland, UK, Hong Hong, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore
Type H Israel and Palestine
Type I Argentina, China, Australia, and New Zealand
Type J Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Rwanda
Type K  Denmark and Greenland
Type L  Chile and Italy
Type M Botswana and South Africa
Type N  Brazil
Type O  Thailand

What kind of power adapter do I need for International Travel?

Icelandic power adapter
Recommended universal power adapter available on Amazon.com ➜

Instead of buying a different adapter for each of these countries, we’ve found the perfect solution – a universal adapter that works in 100+ popular countries! It works in Australia, China, France, Greece, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, the UK, the USA, and more.

This option by HERO is made with quality craftsmanship and is backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee. We love that our devices are safeguarded by the built-in fuse protector and it can basically be reconfigured for every location you’re visiting.

Here are all of the locations it covers: 

Since it is backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee, it is quite possibly the last adapter you’ll ever need to buy. Thank us later!

View on Amazon.com ➜

Other International Packing List Items

In addition to your universal power adapter, these items will help you make the most of your travels for nearly any location:

  • 1. Neck Wallet & Passport Pouch

    One of the best items you can bring on any trip is an RFID-blocking neck wallet. The material stops any digital thieves from scanning your credit card numbers as they walk by, and the size is perfect for organizing your credit cards, cash, phones, passports, and travel documents. This is important for staying organized on long travel days when the jet lag sets in. It’s also wise to wear this concealed underneath your shirt when exploring busy attractions that are prone to petty theft since no one will notice your essentials hidden in a discreet way.

    Neck-Wallet

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Jet Lag Relief

    I traveled internationally with these and then without – the difference was stark! They made such a difference in helping me to feel rested on a 15+ hour flight overseas along with a 7-hour time change. When I flew without them on the way home because I ran out, I instantly regretted it and felt the exhaustion set in. They are very gentle, using chamomile and no caffeine to beat the jet lag. I won’t forget them in the future.

    Jet Lag Relief

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    After having my credit card number stolen from a location I thought was safe, I won’t risk global travel without a VPN to protect my private data like passwords, credit card numbers, social security info, and more.

    You may think a VPN is for expansive internet access and overcoming regional censorship, but it also adds a layer of encryption around your sensitive information. Still, as you move further East, you will notice more geo-blocked content and restricted websites. NordVPN will help you overcome this along with paywalls and geo-targeted pricing (which means cheaper airfare if you change your server location outside of the U.S.! You’re welcome!)

    vpn

    View options at NordVPN.com ➜

  • 4. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    Your phone is sure to die quicker while you’re snapping photos, using the GPS to navigate, and searching for local information. Having a backup charger is a sure way to stay ahead of any catastrophes like not being able to call for a ride or look up your hotel’s easily forgettable (possibly foreign-sounding) name.

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Extra Phone Charging Cables

    While we’re talking tech, it’s easy to overlook these charging cables, but you’ll want to bring a few spares. Especially since they’re often left behind on trains, at airports, or wherever you may roam.

    Extra Phone Charging Cables

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Global Travel

    Your domestic health insurance plan generally does not follow you overseas, and you’ll certainly want coverage to protect your travel investment. It will cover you for common encounters like flight delays, theft, baggage loss, natural disasters, rental concerns, and most importantly, medical expenses. Our friend had an incident in Iceland, luckily they had travel insurance to avoid paying out-of-pocket for the $3K medical bill and $8K emergency transit.

    Faye is our preferred provider since their platform is 100% digital and makes the process pain-free. Their customer service is top-notch and they helped us to get easily reimbursed. They also facilitated a telehealth call with our doctor, really going above and beyond. Since they cover entire trip cancellation, it’s a must-have.

    Travel Insurance for Global Travel

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Packing Cubes

    Packing cubes are a game-changer! You can get a different color for each family member and there are 5 cubes per set that you can label as you see fit (pants, shirts, pajamas, socks, underwear, essentials, etc.) I can promise you, it’s a revolutionary alternative to digging for that one tiny chapstick or looking for your favorite band shirt. It even comes with 2 bonus laundry bags to separate your clean items from dirty ones.

    packing cubes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Activated Charcoal

    You shouldn’t leave food poisoning to chance, particularly since anything from street food to gourmet meals to tap water can make you sick. We always pack this preventative measure that will absorb harmful toxins at the first sign of a painful tummy ache. They will stop pathogens from absorbing into your stomach and overall, minimize your downtime.

    Activated Charcoal

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    This delightful contraption is a non-negotiable to me, whether it’s a long trip or a simple weekend getaway. In many countries, there is minimal bathroom storage, and you don’t want to be left juggling bottles on the edge of your sink! That’s why I consolidate all liquid items into this hanging toiletry bag.

    It has tons of pocket space, internally and externally. It also has elastic bands to hold the bottles in place so they don’t slip and slide. We haven’t had any shampoo spills in the suitcase since converting to this. We’ll never go back.

    hanging toiletry bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    Luggage locks are great for securing your suitcases while they’re out of sight for long durations. Whether it’s a checked bag that you can’t keep an eye on or if you’re cruising and leave your bags outside of your suite door, then picking them up from a baggage retrieval warehouse. You’ll feel comfort knowing that sticky fingers won’t be rummaging through your things, and these are 10 times more secure than 3-digit locks.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. International eSIM Data Service (Avoid Roaming Fees!)

    We’ve all been subjected to the frustrations of a physical SIM card or high roaming rates from your provider, but now there is a better solution. We use Saily for eSIM, a digital product that simplifies the entire process of mobile data.

    You can activate it before you go and it works in 150+ countries, so it’s ideal for country hopping if you’re heading to more than one place. It’s better than dealing with a new card for each country since these can get lost or damaged. And Saily allows you to only pay for the amount of data you need, and not a cent more.

    saily

    Pick a data plan at Saily.com ➜

  • 12. High-Quality Filtered Water Bottle

    I always bring a filtered water bottle on vacation and this one is top-notch. You can get one like the Brita if you’re going to a place with decent tap water quality, but in general, I’d opt for this Grayl that protects your health. It removes bacteria, viruses, microplastics, pesticides, sediments, and more. It’s a little pricey, but better than risking Hepatitis A., or e. Coli, am I right?

    High-Quality Filtered Water Bottle

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    We love this travel towel because it’s 10 times more absorbent than cotton and a much more functional option than a big, fluffy hotel towel. You never know if your accommodation will even provide them (or if they’ll be up to your cleanliness standards). This one is light as a feather and you’ll find tons of uses for it, from a beach towel, seat cover, packing cushion, and more.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    You’re likely to see some rainy days on your trip. Prepare for them with with this windproof travel umbrella. It weighs only 1-pound and comes with a compact carrying case to prevent your other items from getting wet in a downpour. It’s higher quality than any cheap product you’ll pick up at a souvenir shop and is backed by a lifetime replacement guarantee.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Luggage Straps

    Many people underestimate luggage straps, but these adjustable attachments can withstand up to 700-pounds of force tension, making your bags exponentially more resilient against the rough journey ahead. Zippers aren’t made to withstand overpacking, and baggage handlers grow more merciless with your bags by the day.

    You can attach these to your checked bags to reinforce them against hard tosses and the brutal conveyor belt system that literally punches them from carousel to carousel. And they can be used on carry-on bags to cinch them in at the center. Since there were more than 27-million bags damaged or lost last year alone (with the rates being higher for international flights), I wouldn’t risk it. There’s also a built-in contact tag so you can easily identify your belongings.

    Luggage Straps

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What’s the electricity and power supply like Internationally?

This will vary from place to place, but the two main voltages in the world are 110V and 220V. You will want to check your applicances and confirm if they are multi-voltage. Certain items like laptops and phone chargers will work on a variety of voltages and frequencies, but you may require a voltage converter. Things like hair dryers and shavers can be pretty iffy, so I would avoid trying to pack these items which can risk a blown fuse or broken device.

Regardless, you will typically need a universal adapter to reconfigure the shape of your plug to the local socket.

Other FAQs about traveling Internationally

  • 1. Do I need a passport or visa to travel internationally?

    For American travelers leaving the country, yes, you will need an updated passport. Sometimes, you will be required to have a passport that is valid for more than 6 months beyond the date of your travels. You can renew your passport through Travel.state.gov, and keep in mind that this can take 7-10 weeks of turnaround time, so plan ahead.

    Note that there are no substitutions for this and you cannot use a birth certificate, affidavits, or other documents as an alternative for a passport. The only exception to this is if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may use a Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate.

    In most cases, you will not need a visa for short-term travel. Still, be sure to check the visa requirements for your specific destination and confirm if you are required to obtain a visa.

  • 2. Where can you book the best international excursions and tours?

    Where can you book the best international excursions and tours?

    There are many options to choose from, but our preferred platform is Get Your Guide. It’s the perfect intermediary between local experiences and an American business. They find the most popular tours around the world and offer discounted rates (for example, Disneyland tickets are cheaper here than on Disney’s website!) There’s a range of activities from climbing the Eiffel Tower with a historic guide – to taking an authentic cooking class with a nona in Italy.

    We also love the flexible cancelation policy, the ability to read reviews and compare experiences, and skip-the-line options for busy tours.

    See all Global attractions at GetYourGuide.com ➜

  • 3. Where can you get the best deals on international flights?

    We typically set up a Google Flight alert for destinations we are interested in. This will send you emails when the price drops below an average rate so you can snag deals while they are temporarily available (prices typically change daily). Other good options to look into are Skyscanner, Expedia, Momondo, Hopper, Kiwi, and Kayak.

  • 4. How do I learn about the safety and health requirements for traveling internationally?

    How do I learn about the safety and health requirements for traveling internationally?

    You can check Travel.State.Gov for U.S. citizen information on your specific location, such as a traveler’s checklist, required documents, and health mandates. They will often link externally to the CDC’s website, where you can learn about vaccine mandates and enroll in STEP (the Smart Traveler’s Enrollment Program). This allows the government to keep tabs on your travel destinations and support you in any potential emergencies.

  • 5. Will my health insurance cover me outside of the country?

    In most cases, no. This includes Medicare and Medicaid. And providers that do offer global coverage typically come with tons of stipulations, so be sure to read your policy closely if you believe you’re covered.

    We always recommend travel insurance since it will cover you for specific and common travel issues like flight delays, cancellations, baggage loss, theft, evacuations, the death of a family member, and entire trip cancellations. Faye is an all-digital provider that makes the process seamless, including being wired reimbursements if anything comes up. It can basically make a non-refundable trip – refundable!

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜