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Understanding Travel Adapters and Converters

OK, let's get started. This is a blow-up of the plug from my recharge-able shaver. I have underlined the important stuff in red and yellow. Look for this little statement on any thing you bring along. It tells you that your appliance will handle up to 240 volts. In other words, it will handle any voltage in the world, it does not need a converter that will step the voltage down from 240 to 120 volts. Most modern electronic stuff is that way these days; especially laptops. On laptops, you will see something like the red-underlined phrase on the "brick" or laptop power supply.
OK, so this shaver will handle the voltage, but it still will not fit in the socket/plug. That is where the adapter comes in. The adapter does NOT step down the voltage, it adapts your US plug to fit into one of the various socket configurations around the world. Refer to our adapter list to see both grounded and non-grounded adapters. The grounded adapter is the one with the center post. Grounded adapters have three posts, non-grounded adapters have only two.  Obviously a grounded plug is safer, but you might not be able to plug it in if you are staying at an older hotel or B&B. The exception if Great Britain and Ireland where virtually every socket will accept and possibly require a grounded plug.
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