What power adapters do we need for a trip to France from the US.
August 29, 2007 5:22 PM   Subscribe

Power/outlet conversion question, US to France.. You folks helped solve the communication issue for my step-daughter going to France.. Last minute question (she leaves tomorrow) about power adaptors for her computer and small electronics... What does she need

I've purchased a "World Travel Adapter Kit" from Apple for her iBook, is this all she needs? It consists of a small adapter that changes the plug on her AC adapter from the standard flat, two prong, US style to a small round two prong. Is this sufficient for her to plug her iBook into an outlet in France?

And, part two... what do I need for her other small appliances (clock radio, hair dryer, etc), a link to an example would be useful... thanks in advance to the world travelers here on MeFi... from someone that hasn't traveled much (ok, not at all except to Canada)!
posted by HuronBob to Travel & Transportation around France (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I used something similar for Morocco, and I think they have the same outlets as France. (At least according to this page, they do.) Worked fine for my laptop - the power cord had a built in transformer.

Depending on how long she'll be in France, she might just want to get new small electric appliances - especially where a hair dryer is concerned. I never had a transformer (or are they converters?) that could handle the current. (OK, I know someone's going to tell me voltage/wattage/amps is the problem, all I know is that they burnt up.) Maybe a dual-voltage travel hair dryer?
posted by Liosliath at 5:47 PM on August 29, 2007


France uses 220V. Anything that's not equipped to handle it will release the magic smoke when plugged in if you don't have a converter. Most things that have a "brick" (e.g. laptop power) will be OK, but you should still check to see if it's good at 220. Most things like hairdryers aren't going to work without the converter.
posted by sanko at 5:58 PM on August 29, 2007



I've purchased a "World Travel Adapter Kit" from Apple for her iBook, is this all she needs? It consists of a small adapter that changes the plug on her AC adapter from the standard flat, two prong, US style to a small round two prong. Is this sufficient for her to plug her iBook into an outlet in France?


Yes, that will be fine.


And, part two... what do I need for her other small appliances (clock radio, hair dryer, etc),


Look at the fine print on the appliance. If it says "Input: 100-240V" (or XXX-220V) , then all you need is a small "travel adapter" that converts a US-style adapter directly to the european-style plug - such as the one here.

If it says 120V (or a range entirely in the 100s), then you need to look at the wattage consumed by the device. If you see " INPUT: 120V ~ 40W" , then the device consumes about 40 Watts, so you need a 40W or higher transformer. A transformer looks like this.
posted by helios at 6:04 PM on August 29, 2007


Hair dryers usually need something of the order of a thousand watts (like most appliances with heaters in them - toasters, kettles, radiators etc) and it will probably cost far less to buy a new hair dryer than it would to buy a thousand-watt transformer.
posted by flabdablet at 7:15 PM on August 29, 2007


If she's bringing "other small appliances", it sounds like she'll be there for a substantial length of time. I second the suggestion to just buy the hair dryer (and any other basic electric necessities) when she gets to France -- she won't have to worry about bad converters frying her stuff AND she'll have more room in her suitcase. When it's time to leave, she can either toss/donate the appliances or save them for a future trip.
posted by phatkitten at 10:06 PM on August 29, 2007


Don't bother with a clock radio, as France runs on 50hz and the US is 60hz. The clock won't keep the proper time as a result.
posted by smcniven at 2:42 AM on August 30, 2007


Small electric appliances can be bought in Strasbourg, or ordered on the web. Do give her my email address in my profile if she has any Strasbourg-specific questions for a Strasbourger.

(Get a bicycle and the best u-lock you can afford. Subtitled movies run at the Star cinemas. Ask for the carte culture when registering at the universty. Buy the Alsace & Vosges guide du routard at the Librairie Kleber on Place Kleber for things to do.)
posted by stereo at 4:32 PM on August 30, 2007


Tell her to get a cord for a transistor radio when she gets there. It will go into her iBook adapter just fine and give the extra meter of cable. (I know a strange, but quite useful tip :-) )
posted by KimG at 9:38 AM on September 3, 2007


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