|Electrical Power Strip in France|
|If you travel as we do, you have multiple electronic devices to charge daily. You need a power cord splitter or a power strip to set up a charging station.|
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!
That's 9 devices in all!
We take power cord splitters or a power strip and set up a charging station. We're careful not to use a 120-volt surge suppressor, which may explode when plugged in. Here's more:
A power cord splitter (or power splitter cord) is an electrical wire with a North American plug at one end and two or more North American sockets on separate wires at the other end.
Plug the splitter into an adapter in a French outlet, and you've got several independent sockets in which to plug your numerous electrical devices.
A splitter is particularly useful if your devices have extra-large plugs or transformers: there's plenty of room on each independent socket. (This is an advantage over a power strip—see below).
Plug a second splitter cord into one of the sockets and you can have up to seven sockets available; or use the two splitters in different locations in your hotel room or apartment.
What's a Power Strip?
A power strip (or power tap) 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 strip. When the plug on the cord is plugged into an electrical outlet, all of the sockets receive electrical current. In effect, a power strip turns one socket/outlet into 6 or 8 sockets—which is what travelers need these days.
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 or surge protector on it, do not use it in France unless it is suitable for 220-240-volt, 50-Hertz current.
What you want to take when you travel in France is a simple power strip with no surge suppressor circuitry in it. A simple power strip 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.
Your next question is probably: what about Wifi? How do I connect to the Internet while traveling in France?
And...what about washing laundry (and not paying outrageous hotel-laundry prices)?