Travel tips for Europe: Electricity Plugs

Electricity Plugs

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Traveling abroad requires you to carry different outlets and plug adaptors with you. Our increasingly tech-dependent world wouldn't exist without adaptors. So then why don't we have a universal outlet? What are the plug types used in what countries? Let's delve into this topic!

What are the differences between countries' plugs?

Today, outlets and plugs are available in 15 different styles around the world. 'Type A' plugs and outlets are used in the United States. In 1904, Harvey Hubbell II invented this plug style. It has not changed much since then.

Plugs of type A have two prongs that are polarized and slightly different in size. The use of this plug style in new construction has been banned in the United States since 1965 because it is considered to be more dangerous. What is the reason for not using the same style of plug in other countries?


Electrical breakthrough
Power plugs were invented in the 1880s, and one of the first plugs was invented by T.T Smith of England in 1883.

A brief digression into the mystery of plugs

Understanding how plugs work will help you understand why electric outlets aren't all the same. When you plug in an electrical outlet and turn it on, it completes a circuit which allows electric current to flow and lights the lamp. The slot on the right of the outlet is called the "hot" side, while the slot on the left is called the "neutral." Electricity flows through the lamp from the "hot" side to the "neutral" side.

Located in the middle of the outlet is the "ground," which protects you from electric shock in case the plug malfunctions or if a wire gets loose in whatever you've plugged in. It is called grounding because it sends electric current to a rod buried deep in the ground if it escapes from the wires that normally carry it.

Electrical systems use voltage to push current through the wires. When the voltage is high, the pressure is also high. If it were running water, it would be a trickle or a stream, or a flood that would knock you off your feet.

World's most used plugs

Which plugs are commonly used in different countries and regions? Of course, even within one country, there can be many variations, but these are the most common types:

Plugs types

  • Type A: US, Canada, Mexico, Japan
  • Type B: New Zealand, Australia, China, Argentina
  • Type C: the most popular plug type in Europe, Asia, South America
  • Type D: India
  • Type E: Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Belgium, France
  • Type F: Russia and Europe
  • Type G: UK, Malta, Singapore, Malaysia, Arabian Peninsula
  • Type J: Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • Type H: Israel
  • Type I: Argentina, China, Australia, New Zealand
  • Type K: Denmark and Greenland
  • Type L: Chile and Italy

As you can see, some countries offer more than one plug type. Therefore, it would be helpful to bring an alternative adaptor on a trip or check if your apartments provide alternative sockets.

In different countries, the power of the current in the sockets is different

  • 250 Volt: Central & Northern Europe, China, UK, UAE, Brazil, Thailand, Argentina, south Korea
  • 125 Volt: Japan, North America

Whether planning a world-round trip, or a lovely journey to Europe, the brief knowledge of plug types can protect you from unpredictable situations when charging your gadgets. Well, now you know everything about sockets and even more - it's time to choose your next trip! Entrust your vacation to Firebird Tours destination specialists and immerse yourself in the adventure of your dreams!