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7/08/2008 – Simple International Plug Adapter Solution For Some Travel Scenarios
The other day I received an e-mail from a photographer headed over to Taiwan to photograph a project wanted to know who made reliable international plug adapters.
I emailed him back and told him that coming from North America (as he is Canadian) he didn’t need any adapter. The reply I got back was that the travel information he was sent stated he needed a “Type A to Type B” plug adapter, and his local travel shop had a generic adapter in stock for CAN$14.99.
Once I read this I found myself laughing quietly to myself in my room, as anyone in North America can find a simple Type A to Type B international plug adapter at any hardware store for less than US$2.00. How is this possible you ask? Simple. A ‘Type B’ plug is a standard three-prong electrical outlet used in North America and a ‘Type A’ plug is a simple two-prong electrical outlet used throughout the world (two vertical and flat prongs).
While the United States, Mexico and Canada use both Type B and Type A outlets, Type A outlets can be found at least more than 45 countries around the globe.
From Brazil to Japan to Saudi Arabia, Type A plugs are possibly the most used outlet type throughout the world (except maybe for Type C the European ‘two-pin’ outlet type, which is also compatible with Type E and Type F plugs).
So, if you’re traveling from the North America and you see that the country you are traveling to uses the ‘flat-two-prong’ plug you do not need some expensive adapter. Keep in mind that some countries may use multiple plug types, but most countries are fairly straight forward and universal in their plug types.
For a quick reference, below is a list of countries I know of that use Type A plugs:
Aruba; American Samoa; Anguilla; Bahamas; Bermuda; Bangladesh; Brazil; Bolivia; Barbados; Canada; China, PRC; Cambodia; Cayman Islands; Colombia, Cuba; Costa Rica; El Salvador; Ecuador; Guatemala; Guam; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Japan; Laos; Liberia; Lebanon; Mexico; Monserrat; Maldives; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Niger; Panama; Puerto Rico; Peru; Philippines; Palmyra Atoll; Saudi Arabia; Taiwan; Tahiti; Trinidad & Tobago; United States; Venezuela; Virgin Islands; Yemen
Below is a photo of my simple solution to taking your 3-prong plug and using it in standard 2-prong plugs around the world. No need for an ‘international travel adapter.’