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International Power Adapter Cost


How Much Does an International Power Adapter Cost?

 
low costPlug Adapters: $10average costAll-In-Ones or Kits: $20-$50

Electrical systems vary in different parts of the world. Plugs used in the United States must be converted for folks traveling abroad needing to charge or use electrical devices such as smartphones and hair dryers.

The type of device needed varies based on the countries being visited and the type of device being powered. Some countries, like Canada, parts of South America, and Taiwan use the same electrical standard as the United States (120V AC at 60Hz), so at most only plug adapters would be needed to fit differently shaped outlets. Also, many devices, like laptops, come with power supplies that can handle a range of voltage (100-240V) so again, at most, only a plug adapter would be needed.

Other countries usually provide power at a higher voltage, so a bulkier transformer for low-power devices (like electronics) or high-power devices (like hair dryers and irons) is needed. Dual transformers that can switch to high-power or low-power, depending on the device type, are also available.

Typical costs:

  • Plug adapters usually cost $3-$12. Kits can contain plugs for a variety of countries. Compact multi-plug adapters can run $30-$40.
  • For devices that can't automatically transform power supplies, transformers generally cost $30-$40 to transform power for either low or high-power devices, or run $30-$60 for kits or combination transformers.
  • Some travel adapters come as kits from the manufacturer and work with a varitey of products made by that company. For example, Apple sells a World Travel Adapter Kit[1] for $39 that works with most of Apple's tablets, phones and MP3 players. The kit does require a Lightning adapter ($29) for charging any device with the Lightning port, such as the iPhone 5 and the iPad with Retina Display.
Additional costs:
  • Some additional converters might be necessary with some power adapter sets. For example, an additional converter ($29) is needed for iPhone 5 owners who purchase Apple's adapter kit.
Discounts:
  • You can save money by determining beforehand what is really needed.
Shopping for an international power adapter:
  • Radio Shack offers a Guide to Understanding Power Conversion[2] that provides tips for travelers. The Guide to Worldwide Electrical Voltages, Frequencies and Plug Types[3] explains which plug types can be used in which countries.
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External Resources:
  1.  store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit
  2.  support.radioshack.com/support_tutorials/batteries/pwrgde-5.htm
  3.  support.radioshack.com/support_tutorials/batteries/pwr-world.htm
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