Should one bring a power strip when travelling from the U.S. to Europe so that one won't have to get more than one power adapter?

  • Since then you could presumably plug the power strip into the power adapter and then not have to get multiple power adapters?

    Or is this unnecessary?

    I saw this in Russia on the trains where there's only a couple of working power points per carriage. Absolute genius. The guy with the power strip was hugely popular.

    I tried this, bringing a power strip from the USA to Germany. Once plugged in in Germany, there were some crackling noises, smoke came out, and it no longer worked. I guess it had some surge protection circuitry or something that didn't like 220V?

    I usually take two adapters and one or more travel power strips. I often want to run my own devices both on the bedside table and on the desk.

    Also useful when the hotel room doesn't have enough plug sockets for all the devices that people tend to travel with these days...

  • Doc

    Doc Correct answer

    9 years ago

    Traveling with a power-strip is an old trick for avoiding to carry multiple plug adaptors, but going from the US to Europe you need to be a little careful.

    Electricity in the US is ~110 volts, whilst in much of the rest of the world it's 200-250 volts.

    Although power boards/power strips are generally passive, and thus the number of volts should not have any impact, many of them do include various types of fuses or additional circuitry (eg, USB ports) that could potentially have issues with higher voltages. If you were to plug multiple high-current devices into a power board (eg, a hair dryer) it's also possible that you could draw more watts than the board is designed to support.

    There are a few products that are specifically designed for travel, and designed to support both 110 and 240 volts, such as the Monster Outlets to Go range (Note: Amazon doesn't say it, but the manufacturer has confirmed that these items are designed for up to 250 volts)

    Note that going the other way is far less of a problem - a power board designed for 250 Volts will work fine in the US - I have several where I have taken an Australia power strip, removed the Australian plug and put on a US plug so I don't even need an adapter to use it!

    I have used the ThinkGeek PowerSquid when abroad, worked fine even on 220 outlets... I think just about anything with a fuse will work.

    I'm in Norway now and I actually bought a transformer along with the strip - turns out that the transformer solves most of the problems associated with the strip. =)

    In particular many power strips contain surge protection. Surge protection designed for a 120V system is likely to go bang when plugged into a 240V system.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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