What is the difference between an electric converter and adapter?

Lots of My Vacation Lady‘s clients are headed to Europe for their summer vacations and honeymoons.

We actually just got an email from a client going to Rome and then on a cruise asking about whether or not she needed to bring a hair dryer and electric converter or adapter.

NO to the hairdryer– the hotel in Rome has one in the room but YES to the converter and adapter since she will be taking a curling iron + many electronics and cameras..

Do you know the difference between an electric converter and adapter?

I got a fast lesson on one of my last trips abroad.  In most cases, you’ll only need an adapter- for your cell phone, cameras and laptops or E-readers or tablets.

If you are bringing anything with a heating element, bring the converter.

What Devices Are You Bringing?

Electrical devices use heating elements or mechanical motors. Many are rated for dual-voltage, and may be automatic or manual. Examples:

  • Hair dryer
  • Electric shaver or toothbrush
  • Irons (for clothes or hair)
  • Coffee maker or water heater

Electronic devices use chips, circuits or electronic motors. Most are rated for multi-voltages. Examples:

  • Laptop, notebook, tablet, e-reader
  • Smartphone, cellphone, MP3 player
  • Camera
  • Battery chargers (for devices with rechargeable batteries)

Both types of devices are likely to need an adapter plug to work in 220V foreign outlets. Our adapter plug chart below lists the most common ones.

If you are still confused, this might help a bit more.

My Vacation Lady has more helpful hints here 

Contact us to help plan your next vacation!

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.