June 3, 2012

What power adapters do I need for travelling?

Do you ever find yourself heading overseas and at the last minute think, Shoot! Which power adapter do I need in this country?

I take one power plug adapter which covers the country I’m going to and a multi-box with about 4 power points in it from home so I can charge all my gadgets at once.

So here’s some photos of the power plugs/sockets/outlets I’ve started collecting:

*Beware, these are not power converters, so if you have a voltage question and need a converter, this post isn’t for you!

This is the power plug they use in the UK, Ireland, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Hong Kong:

UK power point
You need 3 big square prongs for these countries. Pic  www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What power adapter do I need in France, New Caledonia and Tahiti?

Power plug for France and Tahiti
You’ll need a round plug with 2 prongs and a hole for France, New Caledonia and Tahiti

What power adapter do I need in Germany and Spain?

Germany power plug
This is what you need in Germany – 2 prongs and a chip out of the plug

What power adapter do I need in China?

Chinese power plugs
Here’s the line up of power plugs at my hotel in Shanghai

What power plug do I need in USA and Mexico?

American power point
The US has the 2 straight prongs and 1 round underneath

What power socket do they have in New Zealand, Australia, Pacific Islands? This one is also used in Argentina.

Australia and NZ power outlet
Australia and New Zealand use the same power plug. Two prongs on an angle and one straight underneath. You’ll find this one across the Pacific and Argentina too.

What power plug do I need in Italy?

Power socket Italy
This is what you’ll need in Italy and parts of North Africa

What power plug do I need in Cuba?

Power socket in Cuba
The American plug is used in Cuba but without the prong hole
Nepal power socket
I’ve found this power point in several different places in Nepal. It pretty much takes everything EXCEPT the NZ/Australian angled prongs!
Nepal power plug
This is also common in Nepal. It takes 2 larger round prongs or 2 smaller ones (like Asia) below, as well as the straight US.

Airline power points! _____________________

This is the power connection on Emirates in Business Class

Emirates onboard power





About Megan Singleton

Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!

"What power adapters do I need for travelling?" - What do you think?

Leave a comment

  1. Anne Rose on

    I bought a VS Sassoon total curl appliance in Australia with a two pin flat v shaped prongs. What adaptor do I need to get so I can use the appliance here in the uk??

    • Megan on

      Hi Anne, I’m guessing the flat prongs are angled too. You’ll need an international adapter which will have a whole range of holes on the front for you. I’m not sure where you get those in the UK, but we can buy them at DIY stores, airports, even some chemists who stock travel goods here in NZ.

  2. RD on

    Hi Megan,

    The multi-socket adaptor you found in Nepal DOES accept NZ/Australian power plugs because I’m using this. If you look at the bottom pair (not the earthed socket hole), the top rounded cuts (in the middle) connect to the bottom inner square-cut holes to form an inverted moustache, which is what a NZ/Australian plug would look like.


  3. Judy on

    i am from New Zealand and now in the U.S. On a visit
    Can you tell me what power plug I need for my cell phone and where I can buy it
    My phone needs recharging !!Staying in Alpharetta Goergia
    Thank you

    • Megan on

      Hi Judy. You’ll need to go to an electronics store or even Walmart and pick up a cell phone charger with an American plug. That will be the simplest as finding a converter for a NZ plug in America will be almost impossible!


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