Traveling to London with Your Technology: Which US to UK Plug Adapter or Charging Station Will You Need?

March 1, 2018

As a company that specializes in hospitality in London, we hear questions almost every day. One of the top concerns is if we provide hair dryers in our vacation rental properties. The answer is YES. There is a blow dryer in each bathroom of each property. There are also irons, washer/dryers, TVs, WiFi, and fully stocked kitchens. But how about power adapters?

The trick for our US travelers is to change  

THESE                  

TO THIS  

Since there are so many different phones, cameras, tablets, and laptops (many with unique plugs), it would be almost impossible for us to cover everyone’s needs in this department. We do have adapters and USB ports in our flats, but to be on the safe side it is a good idea to bring your own adapter and charging station.

Even though we have offices in the US, we have all traveled and spent time in our London Connection flats. We each have our turns to be “guests” and come back with London experiences to share. In that process, we have acquired adapters that we like. We gathered our adapters to an office chair to compare and then rate which is THE ONE that we would recommend to our guests.

London plugs have 3 rectangular prongs so you will need an adapter that allows American 2 flat prongs (and sometimes a third round prong) to fit into the British sockets.

  • The white and black small adapters pictured above are just that. A simple adapter that will allow one plug to be used at a time.
  • The larger black adapter plugs into the wall and allows FOUR places to plug in your computers, phone, etc. It also has a cord that brings the 4 new outlets to be away from the wall.
  • The 3 adapters on the left are universal adapters that can be configured for countries all over the world.
  • The rectangular charging station in the bottom right corner has an orange plug–you see it? It has 3 plugs and 2 USB ports. But it still needs one of the simple adapters in order to plug into the wall socket.

Here are our favorites available for purchase:

Rick Steves’ Travel Store: UK Power adapter – only $1, but $6 shipping. Would be great to add to an existing order like the packing cubes, neck wallet, or travel pillow. All great items!

Amazon UK Travel Adapter for Type G Plug: $4.99 with free 2-day shipping with Prime

Worldwide Traveller Duo:  Very compact plug adapter with 2 USB ports. £24.00, or about $33.00. This is a suggestion from Angel, one of our London Connection frequent guests. We love it!

Amazon Travel Power Strip: This would need one of the adapters listed above, and it has a 5 foot cord to bring the charging station away from the wall. Includes 2 outlets and 3 USB ports. $14.99. Free 2 day shipping with Prime. This looks compact for travel. PERFECT!

And now, a word about converters: Everything that uses electricity should have the information on the plug or on the item itself that states what voltage it can handle. On the above image, the yellow highlight shows what to look for (Input: 100-240V). This item will work for voltage between 100 and 240 volts. The standard voltage in London is 220V, while North America is 120V. This item shown above would be able to convert to the voltage in both countries. However, some things (like a curling iron) may only use 120V. Even with a plug adaptor, it would “fry” that small appliance if you tried to use it in London without a converter.

Some small appliances will have a little button to switch from 120V to 220V. As you pack the item, switch it right then. If it doesn’t have a button, it will switch on its own. In essence, it has a built in convertor.

Our advice, if it doesn’t handle up to 220V, don’t bring it! We have people try to bring their own blow dryers with converters, and they end up blowing a fuse in the middle of the night. That is why we provide blow dryers that are UK compatible. That way, you can skip worrying about a converter! So check everything you plan to use to ensure they will be compatible.

Newest London Connection property at 3-44 Gloucester Terrace  in the exclusive Lancaster Gate neighborhood near Hyde Park

Have you found a favorite adapter or charging station that works well for your travel? Send us a photo or link where it can be ordered. We would love to keep our upcoming guests up to date on the best items available. Send an email to SheilaF@LondonConnection.com. HAPPY TRAVELING!