With 15 kinds of plugs currently in use across the world, knowing which power adapter you need for next your trip is key. You wouldn’t want to be stuck without being able to charge your phone, computer or trusty camera!
Skyscanner Canada investigates the world of power adapters to create a shopper’s guide for our readers.
How Do I know if I Need a Power Adapter?
Plug types tend to vary from region to region. In Canada, we use type A and B… A is two-pronged and B is three-pronged. The standard voltage here is 120 V. Luckily, both North and Central America use the same plug types as us so you don’t need a power adapter. But if you are travelling to other regions such as Asia, Europe or the UK, you’ll need a power adapting device to be able to use your electronics.
Universal Adapters vs. Specialized
When shopping for an adapter, consider how often you travel and where to. If you travel to the UK periodically, buying a good quality adapter for their G type plug makes sense. But if you are an international jet setter, investing in a universal adapter will save you money in the long run.
|Small, lightweight, compact||Chunky and heavy|
|Inexpensive||Slightly more expensive|
|Limited usage||Versatile to use in most places|
|Many have extra features, like USB ports|
Adapters vs. Converters
Depending on what you plan to plug in while travelling, you may need a converter instead of an adapter.
The difference between the two comes is the electricity – adapters help fit your electronics into foreign plugs, whereas a converter actually changes the voltage in the outlet itself to. Luckily, not many modern electronics require a converter because they are already dual or multi-voltage items, which means they can operate using multi kinds of electricity. The main item that requires a converter is a hair dryer or other hair items like a curling iron or straightener.
Many good quality adapters are also converters. This is another reason to invest in an all-in-one universal power adapter.
Where to Buy the Best Power Adapters
International power adapters and converters are available widely. In Canada, you can buy them at electronics stores like The Source or Best Buy, at large retail stores such as Walmart, or at adventure shops like Mountain Equipment Co-op. You can also buy adapters of all sorts online on Amazon.
Full List of International Plug Types
|Region||Adapter/ plug in type||Voltage in region|
|USA, Canada, Mexico & Japan||Type A & Type B||100 – 127 V|
|Europe, South America & Asia||Type C||220 – 240 V|
|India||Type D||220 – 240 V|
|France, Belgium, Poland and |
|Type E||220 – 240 V|
|Europe & Russia (except for |
the UK and Ireland)
|Type F||220 – 240 V|
|UK, Ireland, Malta, Malaysia and |
|Type G||220 – 240 V|
|Israel, the West Bank and|
the Gaza Strip
|Type H||220 – 240 V|
|Australia, New Zealand, China |
|Type I||220 – 240 V|
|Switzerland and Liechtenstein||Type J||220 – 240 V|
|Denmark & Greenland||Type K||220 – 240 V|
|Italy & Chile||Type L||220 – 240 V|
|South Africa||Type M||220 – 240 V|
|Brazil and South Africa||Type N||100 – 240 V|
|Thailand||Type O||220 – 240 V|
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