Traveling Soon? Here are Some Common International Outlet Types

If you have lived your entire life in one city or even just one country, it is possible that you never even thought about electricity. Sure, you learned about it in school, and for a while in, say, 5th grade, you understood the principles behind how it gets to your house.

But you’ve forgotten, and you have grown accustomed to the fact that usually it is available, and that there are a few common outlet types you use in your home.

But now you are preparing to travel, and you perhaps just learned that not every country uses the same system for getting electricity to your cell phone, hair dryer, and vacuum. You are going to need some new adaptors for your travels to protect your electronics and be able to use and recharge your devices.

Here are some common electrical outlet types to aid you in purchasing the right adaptors for your travels.

Here is a link to a handy map that summarizes this information.

North and Central America

In north and central America, and in countries on the north coast of South America, the standard is the same as it is in the United States. You will use outlet types A and B, the ones you are familiar with around your home.

You will not need to make any adjustments for your travels.

Europe, Russia, and much of the Middle East

In much of Europe, except Italy; there is a standard group of outlet and plug types. Types C, E, and F are used extensively throughout these countries.  They look very different from the plug types we are accustomed to here in the US. However, they work essentially the same – electricity flows through the prongs, and one option offers a grounding plug to protect your devices in case of a surge or lightning strike.

China, Australia, Argentina

These three large countries, though spread across the globe and separated by vast distances, share a common set of plugs. In these countries, according to, you will need type I plugs, either grounded or ungrounded. 

Africa and Asia

When traveling to Africa and Asia, or to any continent, it pays to do your due diligence. Each country has adopted its own standard based on its own needs and resources. Crossing a national boundary may mean hooking up to an entirely new set of adaptors in order to stay charged up and ready for adventure, business, or pleasure.