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What you should know about plugs if you’re going to travel

Your cell phone, laptop and hair dryer all fit in your suitcase without any issue, but will they work when you reach your destination? Not all countries share the same type of plug. In Spain, we use type C.

Today, there are 14 different types of plugs in the world. Each one of them receives a letter to name it. We can find from type A to type N plugs.

We’ll explain where each one of them is used and what makes them different. If you leave Europe, the advice is to bring a universal adapter just in case:

 

Type A plugs

  • Two parallel flat pins and each pin has a small hole. One of the pins is thicker than the other (except in Japan).
  • It is used in: it is a common plug in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Japan. It is also used in Saudi Arabia, Belize, Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, North Korea, South Korea, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Philippines, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Thailand, Taiwan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen. You will need an adapter.

 

Type B plugs

  • Two parallel flat pins, each one of them has a small hole. In addition, it has a longer round pin than these. Like the type A plugs, one of the two pins is wider than the other.
  • It is used in: it is a common plug in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and Japan. It is also used in Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand and Venezuela. You will need an adapter.

 

Type C plugs

  • It’s the plug you're most familiar with, given that it is the one that it mainly used in Spain. Two parallel round pins. Compatible with types E, F, H and K.
  • It is used in: all of Europe, except for the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta.
Graphic representation of the different types of plugs, explained in text throughout the post

Type D plugs

  • Three large pins in a triangle position, with the upper pin (grounding) slightly thicker and longer.
  • It is used in: India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Namibia. You will need an adapter.

 

Type E plugs

  • Two round pins in a parallel position and one hole above them. In this hole, a third pin will enter that is on the wall plug.
  • It is used in: Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal. It is also present in some places in Europe, such as France, Belgium, Poland and Slovakia. It is compatible with the type C that is mainly used in Spain.

 

Type F plugs

  • Very similar to type E but with two grounding clips = two clips that are inserted into the two pins of the wall plug.
  • It is used in: there is still a residual presence in many countries of Europe, including Spain, and in Jordan, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay and Vietnam. It is compatible with the type C that is mainly used in Spain.

 

Type G plugs

  • Three rectangular and flat pins placed in a triangular position. Has a fuse incorporated.
  • It is used in: it conserves a residual presence in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Malta, Singapore, Gibraltar, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates. You will need an adapter.

 

Type H plugs

  • Three pins that form a triangle.
  • It is used in: only in Israel. It is compatible with the type C that is mainly used in Spain.
“In Spain, almost without exception, type C is used, which is the most common one in all of Europe and is compatible with types E, F, H and K.”

Type I plugs

  • Its pins form a V. In addition, it has a third pin available in the vertical position in comparison to the other two (grounding).
  • It is used in: Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, China, Uruguay and Uzbekistan. You will need an adapter.

 

Type J plugs

  • Like the type C used in Spain, but adding a third round pin in the upper part.
  • It is used in: Switzerland, Jordan, Lichtenstein, Madagascar and Maldives. You will need an adapter.

 

Type K plugs

  • Two round pins and a third with a semi-rounded shape that is at the bottom.
  • It is used in: Denmark, Guinea, Madagascar, Maldives and Senegal. It is compatible with the type C that is mainly used in Spain.

 

Type L plugs

  • It has three round pins placed in a line. The middle pin corresponds to the grounding pin.
  • It is used in: parts of Italy, Chile, Maldives and Uruguay. You will need an adapter.

 

Type M plugs

  • Its three pins also form a triangle and are round. Two of them are parallel, while the third one at the top is thicker and longer (grounding).
  • It is used in: South Africa, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan and Singapore. You will need an adapter.

 

Type N plugs

  • The type N plug is similar to type C, but has a third pin, the grounding pin, located in between and slightly above these two.
  • It is used in only in South Africa and parts of Brazil. You will need an adapter.
“If you’re going to leave Europe, you can have peace of mind by bringing a universal adapter that will work in any of these plugs.”
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