Travel Adaptor UK     Travel Adaptor US

Our Recommendations

You will not need an adaptor

Travel Adaptors for America / Canada

Both the USA and Canada use two pin, unearthed (Type A) and 3 pin, earthed (Type B) plugs. A UK 3 pin to type A/B adaptor will therefore allow you to plug in your appliances in both countries.

Please be aware that whilst a US travel adaptor will allow you to physically plug a UK 3 pin plug into a North American socket it will not change the voltage or frequency of the supply. The mains supply in both countries is 120 V +/- 5% (although it is often referred to as being 110 V) and 60 Hz.

This is incompatible with most UK appliances (UK supply is currently specified as 230 V +10% / - 6% and 50 Hz). Check any appliances that you wish to use carefully to see what voltage / frequency is specified. Items such as laptops will often specify "100 - 240V 50/60 Hz" either on the equipment or the power supply (if it has one). If not then you may need a transformer to operate your equipment.

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A transformer will solve the voltage issue but will not alter the different frequency of the supply. In practical terms this makes little difference as most travel appliances will run at either frequency. Some items with motors, such as hairdryers and some clocks will run a little faster than intended but it is not likely to be problematic. Check your device - it may say 50/60 Hz which indicates that it is compatible with either frequency. If you are in doubt or have expensive equipment check with the manufacturer first as some equipment may be damaged by running on an incorrect frequency. Here is a useful discussion on the effects of different supply frequency.

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Multi-plug Adaptors

Need to take several appliances? But where will you plug them all in? So often hotel rooms have only got one available socket and it always seems to be behind the bed or under a table. The solution - get an American multiplug adaptor. These are a fantastic idea, the best ones are high quality, earthed and allow you to plug up to four pieces of equipment into a standard UK extension strip. Many now come with integral USB ports as an added bonus.

It is worth noting that some of the American type A and B plugs lack some of the safety features that we are accustomed to in the UK. In particular the live and neutral pins are not insulated. This means that if the plug is pulled half way out of the socket they will still be connected electrically and a child's fingers are small enough to get around the back of the plug and touch them. The problem is made worse by the fact that they do not grip in the sockets as well as a UK plug does and sometimes the weight of the cable alone is enough to start pulling them out.

Plug / Socket Types in use in
America & Canada
Voltage: 120 V
Frequency: 60 Hz

  Type A Socket used in North America
Type A Socket

  Type A Plug used in North America
Type A Plug

  Type B Socket used in North America
Type B Socket

  Type B Plug used in North America
Type B Plug

  Government travel advice
Travel weather
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Travel Adaptor UK


Type G plug


Type G socket
Travel Adaptor USA


Type A plug
Type B plug


Type A outlet Type B outlet

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