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I'm travelling from the UK to Spain at the end of the week and, rather than take a bunch of adapters for our chargers, I was thinking of simply taking a couple of power strips and one adapter for each.

Are there any issues in doing this?

Many thanks in advance.

Edit: I should mention that these chargers are for 'light' devices such as phones and tablets. We aren't planning on bring laptops, TVs etc with us.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've done this all over the world without incident. Just make sure your devices are ok with the voltage coming from the wall, and that you're not throwing away grounding protection by using a two prong adapter instead of one with a grounding strip.

To check voltages, I use Wikipedia. In your case Spain and the UK are on the same voltage, so that's not an issue.

This kind of adapter for Spain:

enter image description here

is not grounded. If you use this to plug in the power strip, the devices won't have grounding (earthing) protection.

This kind of adapter for Spain:

enter image description here

is grounded (though you need a different face on it for a UK plug instead of a US one.) These larger ones are better for plugging in a power strip.

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I've got a power strips (bought in a department store in China) that take just about anything but the UK plugs. They work fine. OTOH, the legality of using these adapter things is a bit dodgy in general (most of them say you are not allowed to use them where you bought them!), but if nobody dies and no fires are started you're probably okay. I would not be surprised to find some countries take them away at customs inspection. –  Spehro Pefhany Jun 30 at 15:15
@SpehroPefhany see travel.stackexchange.com/q/4031/46 –  Kate Gregory Jun 30 at 15:55
Good link, thanks, Kate. nice to see Amazon carries some very useful ones. –  Spehro Pefhany Jun 30 at 16:00
Hi Kate, thank you for that comprehensive answer! It's much appreciated! –  Dan Atkinson Jul 1 at 12:42

enter image description here

Avoid doing this and you will be safe :)

  1. Voltage won't be a problem. Still remember to check if travelling for other countries outside Europe.
  2. a few mobile and laptop chargers should not be a problem connected on the same power strip. Still, if you're planning to hook more devices be carefull with the itensity (and this is where you can screw up with too many devices connected). If you daisy chain too many power strips and hook up devices you might use too much power from the socket and, if everything goes as expected, the fuse/security switch will turn power off. This is equivalent to when you use a power tool that consumes too much energy. In this case you will be using many devices using litle energy... but all summed will triger the security switch on the power board. Of course this depends on how many devices you connect. If you have too many try to ditribute them over more than one power socket (taking adapters for each power strip in each power socket). Remember that even differnt sockets can be on the same power group.
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Why do you think connecting a whole bunch of very low power adapters such as chargers is in any way unsafe (other than tripping hazard)? You'd have to connect more than 100 iPhone 5 chargers to exceed the current rating on a typical strip. –  Spehro Pefhany Jun 30 at 16:02
Why does everyone keep bringing up the voltage? As far as I know, you won't find anything else than 220-240 V within Europe (at least for single phase residential). Is this not correct? –  Szabolcs Jun 30 at 16:42
@SpehroPefhany the question mentions chargers, doesn't explain what kind of chargers. One can assume it's for mobile phone or laptop. But why not make the answer more generic? it's even possible that more equipments will already be plugged at the same power socket through an already existing power strip. –  nsn Jun 30 at 17:03
@Szabolcs true. But still a good remark in case you decide to generalize the answer to other countries. I will change my answer. –  nsn Jun 30 at 17:09
@Szabolcs U.S. bases in Europe can have 120V power in military housing, but other than that I think it's unlikely you'd stumble upon anything other than 220-240V/50Hz. The closest neighbor I see with anything else is Morocco, which apparently has some 127V. –  Spehro Pefhany Jul 1 at 4:21

You won't have any problem: voltage is the same and if you're only planning to plug chargers they require very little power so no issue there either

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