Stay plugged in: Here’s a handy guide to plugs and sockets for international travel

International plugs and sockets for travel: Here’s what you need to know
Traveling soon? Here’s what you need to know about international electric plugs and sockets.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)
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Few things are more annoying than arriving in a country for a vacation and discovering you can’t plug in your devices and need to seek out a hardware store for an adapter.

Although many hotels offer USB charging outlets, travelers can’t count on that. If you accidentally leave your converter in one hotel and arrive at the next converterless, don’t hesitate to ask the front-desk staff if you can borrow a charger or converter that another guest left behind.

If the country you’re visiting operates on 220-240 volts, Matthew Price, owner of a Mr. Electric (mrelectric.com) franchise, recommends packing a converter with surge protection, because it acts “like a sponge — if any voltage spikes, it absorbs it and takes it safely back to ground.” (Mr. Electric is part of the Neighborly platform (getneighborly.com), which helps connect consumers to home-service providers.)

Conrad McGregor’s worldstandards.eu website, the source of this chart, notes that the voltage in most countries is between 220 and 240 volts (50 or 60 Hz) rather than between 100 and 127 volts, on which the U.S. operates. Worldstandards.eu also lists countries (ranging from Afghanistan to Vatican City) omitted here.

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“For travelers, it’s about safety,” Price said. “The cool thing about 100-240 volts is that most smartphones are designed to charge at either 110 or 220 volts.”

Also, the International Electrotechnical Commission’s website is another resource. Here’s a listing of plugs and sockets and some of the places where they are used.

2
Type A
Plug and socket
Type A plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Japan
  • Two pins
  • Not grounded
  • 15 amp
  • Usually 100-127 volt
  • Socket compatible with plug Type A

3
Type B
B Plug
Type B plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Japan
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 15 amp
  • Usually 100-127 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types A and B

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Type C
C Plug
Type C plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in Europe, South America and Asia
  • Two pins
  • Not grounded
  • 2.5 amp
  • Usually 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Type C

5
Type D
D Plug
Type D plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in India
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 5 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug type D (partial and unsafe compatibility with Types C, E and F)

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6
Type E
E Plug
Type E plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Primarily used in France, Belgium, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic
  • Two pins
  • Grounded
  • 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C, E and F

7
Type F
F Plug
Type F plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used almost everywhere in Europe and Russia except for the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Two pins
  • Grounded
  • 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C, E and F

8
Type G
G plug
Type G plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Malaysia and Singapore
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 13 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Type G

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9
Type H
H Plug
Type H plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used exclusively in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C and H (unsafe compatibility with Types E and F)

10
Type I
I plug
Type I plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in Australia, New Zealand, China and Argentina
  • Two or three pins
  • Two pins, not grounded; three pins, grounded
  • 10 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Type I

11
Type J
J plug
Type J plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used almost exclusively in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 10 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C and J

12
Type K
K plug
Type K plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used almost exclusively in Denmark and Greenland
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C and K (unsafe compatibility with Types E and F)

13
Type L
L plug
Type L plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used almost exclusively in Italy and Chile
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 10 amp and 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • 10-amp socket compatible with plug Types C and L (10-amp version); 16-amp socket compatible with plug Type L (16-amp version)

14
Type M
M plug
Type M plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Mostly used in South Africa
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 15 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Type M

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15
Type N
N plug
Type N plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used in Brazil and South Africa
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 10 amp and 20 amp
  • 100-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C and N

16
Type O
O plug
Type O plug and socket.
(Peter Hoey / For The Times)

  • Used exclusively in Thailand
  • Three pins
  • Grounded
  • 16 amp
  • 220-240 volts
  • Socket compatible with plug Types C and O (unsafe compatibility with Types E and F)


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Terry Gardner