France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Electrical Power Tap in France
If you travel as we do, you have multiple electronic devices to charge daily. You need a power tap to set up a charging station...

 

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If you're like most travelers on a trip to France, you've got several electronic devices to charge each day.

Your French hotel room may have only one electrical outlet, and that in an inconvenient place. Usually there are more outlets than one, and they aren't all behind the bed, so if you have a plug adapter you can charge one device.

But wait...you've got several electronic devices to charge!

When Jane and I travel in France to update ParisTravelPlanner.com and FranceTravelPlanner.com, we need to charge all of the following devices:

2 Digital cameras

 

2 Laptop computers

2 Mobile phones

 

1 Tablet computer

1 Electric toothbrush

 

1 Kindle book reader

That's 9 devices in all!

We take a power tap and set up a charging station. We're careful not to use a surge suppressor, which may explode when plugged in. Here's the explanation:

What's a Power Tap?

A power tap (or power strip) is a device providing multiple sockets/outlets (usually 6 or 8) connected to a cord with a plug on the end. Several devices can be plugged into the power tap. When the plug on the cord is plugged into an electrical outlet, all of the sockets receive electrical current. In effect, a power tap turns one socket/outlet into 6 or 8 sockets—which is what travelers need these days.

With a power tap, you only need one plug adapter: for the plug on the power tap. All of your home-country devices are then plugged into the power tap.

North American Electrical Power Tap
A simple power tap (power strip)—not a surge suppressor...

Not a Surge Suppressor!

But here's the challenge: most power taps sold in North America and some other countries these days are also surge suppressors, meaning that they contain electronic circuitry to detect and stop electrical power surges that could damage your electronic equipment. If this electronic circuitry is designed to operate on North American-standard 120-140-volt 60-Hertz electric current, and you plug such a surge suppressor into a French outlet which provides 220-240-volt, 50-Hertz current, the surge suppressor will burn out, or even explode!

We learned this the hard way. The explosion wasn't all that dramatic, but it ruined the surge suppressor, and so we didn't have the use of it for the rest of our trip. It was junk. We threw it away.

Hardware and electronics stores in North American usually display many more surge supressors than simple power taps, so shop carefully. Look on the unit itself. If you see the term surge supressor on it, do not use it in France (or in any country that provides 220-240-volt, 50-Hertz current).

Electrical Surge Suppressor label
Surge supressor: what you don't want when you travel in France...

What you want to take when you travel in France is a simple power tap with no surge suppressor circuitry in it. A simple power tap merely connects several plugs to one socket. It contains no electronic circuitry to detect or suppress surges, but in my experience power surges are not a big problem in France.

You can buy a simple power tap here.

You'll need a plug adapter to connect your power tap charging station to the French outlet. Here's what you'll need.

Next: Wifi & Laundry!

Your next question is probably: what about Wifi? How do I connect to the Internet while traveling in France?

Here's the answer.

And...what about washing laundry (and not paying outrageous hotel-laundry prices)?

Here's the answer to that.

There are lots more answers in the 1400+ pages of ParisTravelPlanner.com and FranceTravelPlanner.com.


Power Tap/Power Strip

Electrical Plugs & Outlets in France

Internet & Wifi in France

Doing Laundry in Paris

What to Wear

Money & Costs

Travel Details

Paris Apartments

Charles de Gaulle Airport

Airport-to-City Transport

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Electrical power tap charging station

Above, a Tom-and-Jane charging station:
computers, tablets, smartphones,
camera batteries, toothbrush...


 




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