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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm considering doing some travel to the U.K. and the continent for a research trip (oo lala!), and need to bring my laptop along for writing.  As a kid, we picked up one of those plug adapters and managed to fry all of our electronics.  That would be a really, really unfortunate situation in this case.  Anyone have any adapter advice to keep my laptop battery charged (I have a Sony Vaio) without blowing it up?
 

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My understanding is that most electronics nowadays are fine with either 110 or 220 V.  You just need the proper plug.  I'm sure others who know more will chime in. . .I've moved the post to Not Quite Kindle as it's a question many people might have. :)
 

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Yeah, just check the voltages listed on the laptop power supply; most will handle about 100-240V and work anywhere, though some have problems in Japan where the voltage can drop below the low end of the range.

You can either buy a plug adaptor to plug your cable into the foreign socket, or buy a replacement cable from an electrical store wherever you're going.
 

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I take mine to the UK all the time. Your laptop plug will likely handle the 230V just fine (check the fine print either on the adapter box or on the cord itself), as will most devices, like camera chargers, Kindle chargers, or phone chargers. I can't really think of anything I'd travel with that wouldn't work. Like someone said, hair dryers DON'T work. Lamps, but I doubt you're bringing a lamp, lol! (We ended up buying a UK travel nightlight for my son.)

But make sure you buy a plug adapter and NOT a voltage converter! I made that mistake the first time, and while there's nothing wrong with it, the plug adapter costs about $5, while the voltage converter will set you back about $50. You'll probably want to buy 2 or 3 of them if you think you'll want to charge more than one thing at a time.
 

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Back in pre-ipad days, I took a laptop to the UK, and to Italy and Slovenia. An adapter made everything charge fine with no fireworks or problems. No problems with camera battery chargers either.

When going overseas, I take a combination kit with a bunch of adapter types from a local luggage store  as well as one or two of whatever the recommended adapter for my destination is. That way I have a spare of the recommended type as well as a bunch of odd types just in case (I've only needed the unusual plugs once, and that was in Asia, not Europe). I pack the kit in a checked bag, and carry at least one adapter in my carry on bag.

If you lose or forget your plug (I left one behind in a hotel room plug more than once), you can definitely pick them up in shops in major airports, though you'll pay for that convenience.
 

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When I traveled to Amsterdam a few years ago, I had my company owned Dell with me.  I had no problems at all.  I did bring my own adapters with me but found I couldn't fit them in their sockets though.  Their sockets had a round recessed shape and my adapter was rectangular.  But I was able to "rent" an adapter from the hotel's front desk.  It didn't cost me anything at the hotel I stayed at, but it was added to my room while I was there.  I'm sure it would have been a premium price if I had not returned it. 
And they had hairdryers in the room that I used.  So, no problem there.
 

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What everyone else has said regarding only needing a plug vs. a converter.

Note that the UK and Europe have different plugs so you'll need different adapters for each. Radio Shack is a good option, as is Amazon. Depending on how many things you have to charge, you might want to consider one plug for the UK and Europe and then bring a power strip, to which you can plug in your computer, phone, Kindle, iPad, Kindle Fire and whatever other device you might have (up to the limit of the size of the power adapter, of course). Adds a little bit more weight to your suitcase but it might be worth it in terms of convenience.

L
 

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If you have an Apple adapter for your MacBook or iPad, you can remove the outlet part and connect any outlet cable with this connector:



Just go into any electronics store and buy an AC cable for just a few dollars. Solves a lot of headaches with different outlets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all SO MUCH for sharing your experiences with this!  I'm feeling MUCH more at ease.  This dumb laptop contains my entire world (yes, backed up to other places, too, but you know... MY ENTIRE WORLD!).  Hearing that no one has caused any fires charging up their Kindles and computers makes me feel much, much better.  And BRILLIANT idea about that power strip!  TOTALLY packing one!
 

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I took my Sony Vaio to London, Dubai and Seychelles and it worked great everywhere. I picked up a package of converters (at Wal Mart?) that had all different kinds depending on where you were going. Had to take two different ones but they all worked great. My recommendation would be to make sure you unplug the laptop during any dicey weather.
 
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