If you're traveling to India, whether for vacation or business, there's quite a bit you're going to need to know before embarking on your trip. From cultural differences and currency exchange rates to saying hello and thank you in the native language, it's best to know what to expect and to be prepared prior to your arrival.
Surprisingly, one of the most overlooked factors of international travel - regardless of the destination - is bringing your electronics along with you. Now, when we speak of traveling with electronics we're not talking about how to keep them safe or how to properly pack them into a suitcase or travel bag. We're talking about being able to actually USE them once you arrive at your destination. It all comes down to one basic and underrated necessity - electricity.
See, in different areas of the world there are different standard voltages for electricity. The voltage delivered from a utility company to the outlet/socket varies from region to region and even from country to country. In North America, the standard voltage is 110 volts (also known as 120), while the European standard is 220 volts (also known as 240). The reason this variation causes such an issue for travelers is because nearly all electronic devices are manufactured to operate ONLY at the native voltage of the area from which they were sold. In other words, depending on where you travel to, your electronics will not always work. Firstly, the difference in voltage will lead to one of two results. Either
1. Your electrical devices will not work because they're not recieving enough voltage to power them, or
2. Your devices will be damaged or destroyed because they were fed nearly double the voltage they are supposed to have.
Of course this all depends on where you're coming from. If you are from a 220 volt standard country (France), and travel to a 110 volt country (North or South America), your equipment will only recieve about half the voltage that it was intended for. Typically this won't cause any harm but it's not enough volts to power or even charge your item. On the other hand, if you're from a 110 volt country traveling to a 220 volt country and attempt to plug in your electronics, they will most likely be damaged or completely ruined. You also run the risk of starting a fire and/or being electrocuted. Not fun!
Secondly, it's not only the voltage that varies, it's also the electrical outlet (or socket) itself. There are many different styles of outlets and each is different. The differences lie in the shapes of the plugs, the number of prongs, that some are grounded while others are not, etc. You can't just stick any old plug into an outlet.
What a bummer, huh? Especially if you're on a business trip. Can you imagine using up all of your laptop battery watching movies on the airplane, thinking that you'd simply recharge it at the hotel? Upon arriving in India, you find out that the plug doesn't even match the wall outlet and now you have no way to charge your computer. Hopefully your phone is charged, otherwise you're really in for a rude awakening! Language barriers and trekking through unfamiliar territory in India could make this situation nearly impossible to resolve. Imagine if you have business early in the morning, or even in just a few hours. You have no laptop, no cell phone, and have no clue what to do. The failure to recognize the voltage/outlet differences before leaving for your trip might have just caused a complete and utter failure for your business ventures. It may have even cost you a client, or worse yet, your job!
Luckily since you're reading this you're becoming aware, and so none of this will happen to you in the future. Additionally, the answer to dealing with international electrical differences is simple. When traveling to other countries there is one thing that people consistently count on to overcome the differences in standard voltage - it's called a voltage converter.
Voltage converters operate just as the name implies - they convert voltage. From 110 volts up to 220 volts, and from 220 volts down to 110 volts, a voltage converter safely and easily amplifies or reduces the voltage at the outlet. With the addition of the proper plug adapter to ensure that you can physically plug the device into a socket, a voltage converter lets you travel abroad and use your electronics with confidence and ease.
Voltage converters come in different sizes which are determined by the wattage, or number of watts they use. The electronics devices you plan to bring with you to India are the sole factor of what size converter you'll need. Since India's electrical standard is 220 volts, you're only going to need a converter if you're coming from North America, certain places in South America, Japan, Jamaica, or Saudi Arabia. Nearly all other areas operate on the same 220 volt standard as India. However, you still may need a foreign plug adapter to ensure you can actually use the outlets. There are three types of outlets used in India - Type C, Type D, and Type M. Regardless of where you're coming from, you're going to need a plug adapter that fits Indian outlets. The best bet is to purchase a foreign plug adapter kit since they include multiple adapters for plugs from all over the world.
If you're coming from a country or territory with a 110 volt standard, you might be able to get away with a simple travel voltage converter. When using 110 volt equipment in India, a travel converter allows you to use small devices such as an electric razor or celluar phone charger. The low wattage capability of most travel chargers, however, doesn't meet the requirements to use things like a laptop computer or curling iron. In this case, to prevent problems and ensure safe and efficient use of your electronics, you're going to want a voltage converter that can handle the wattage you need. Typically, a 2000 watt voltage converter is enough to use a curling iron, electric razor, laptop (or Desktop) computer, and anything else that you'd generally need to travel with.
In some countries, and especially in India, the voltage is not as stable and is known to fluctuate more than just a few volts. This is due to poor load distribution and an antiquated electrical delivery sytem. When these fluctuations happen, the voltage can dip low and then return or rise with a sudden surge that can damage expensive electronics. If you'd prefer to have guaranteed protection against power surges you're going to want a voltage regulator (or voltage stabilizer). There are many types of converters you can purchase featuring built-in voltage stabilizers. Considering they cost just slightly more than a normal converter, they are well worth the extra investment; especially when using expensive electronics in India.
Now that you have a general understanding of international voltage differences, voltage converters and plug adapters, it's time to find and purchase what you need for your trip to India. We are one of the largest global suppliers with over 30 years of expertise in international electronics. We're based in North America and have a dedicated online store with all types and variations of voltage converters, voltage regulators, plug adapters and more. You can browse our inventory and purchase from the comfort of your own home by using our website at www.220-electronics.com, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our extremely knowledgeable expert staff will gladly answer any questions you might have about traveling to India with electronics. Be sure to visit us today!