The Difference Between Adapters and Converters

What is the difference between an adapter and a converter? Going In Style gets this question a lot. An adapter changes the plug configuration so your US power plugs fit into the wall socket in the foreign country you are visiting. A converter changes the electricity so you can use your NON-DUAL-VOLTAGE appliances when visiting a foreign country.


Chances are, if you are traveling to a foreign country, you WILL need an adapter plug to plug your smartphone, tablet, laptop computer, hair dryer and other appliances into the wall outlet to charge. United States power plugs have two flat pins, while another country, such as the United Kingdom, power plug's will have three large square pins. The pin configuration on your US power plug will not fit into the wall socket in the United Kingdom unless you bring along an adapter plug.

Many devices, such as your Samsung phone will use a USB cord to charge your phone. Going In Style also carries USB adapters that also include an AC outlets Input to plug in your laptop


Now that you have your adapter plug, do you still need a converter? The United States operates on 110-120 volt electricity while many foreign countries, such as Australia, operate on  240 volt electricity. If your appliances are NOT dual voltage, this difference in electricity can damage and blow out appliances such as your hair dryer.

Most electronics on the market today ARE dual voltage and do not require a converter. Smartphones, kindles, tablets and many laptops are dual voltage. ALWAYS CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES ARE DUAL VOLTAGE before leaving for your trip.

Do check to see if your hair dryer or other appliance is dual voltage, there should be a label on your hair dryer that either says 110 - 120 volts (which would not be dual voltage) or 110 volts - 240 volts (which would be dual voltage). If your hair dryer says the later, then it IS DUAL VOLTAGE and will work in foreign countries such as Australia. 

If you hair dryer is NOT DUAL VOLTAGE then you will either need to purchase a travel hair dryer that is dual voltage or purchase a converter. Going In Style usually recommends purchasing a hair dryer made specifically for travel in this case. Converters can be heavy and bulky and take up unnecessary room in your luggage when you are trying to pack light. A travel hair dryer will usually be compact, lightweight and sometimes foldable, and quite easy to pack in your suitcase. 

In summary, if you are traveling to a foreign country, you will most likely need to bring along an adapter. However, you only need a converter if your appliances are not dual voltage and not compatible with the electricity in your destination country. You can avoid packing a converter by making sure all your appliances are dual voltage before you leave for your trip. 

For a step by step tutorial on How To Tell If My Appliance Is Dual Voltage? Watch the video on dual voltage appliances. 

Packing Checklist

Printable Packing Checklist>

Planning a trip can seem overwhelming with so much to do before your flight and so many items to remember to pack. Going In Style has a comprehensive pre-departure and packing checklist to help you plan for your trip.

Going In Style also has a printable version of our Packing Checklist.


  • Passport(s), Visa(s) & Photo ID(s)
  • Health & Vaccination Documents
  • Medical Insurance Information
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Tickets / Itinerary / Hotel Info
  • Frequent Flyer Cards
  • Travelers Checks
  • Cash & Foreign Currency
  • Credit Cards & ATM Cards
  • Telephone Calling Card
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Copies of Passport & Tickets
  • Advise Credit Card Company of trip


  • Stop Newspapers & Deliveries
  • Post Office to Hold Mail
  • Plan Care for Lawn, Plants & Pets
  • Set Up a Timed Lighting System
  • Leave Trip Itinerary & Copy of Passport with a Friend 
  • Eliminate Possible Fire Hazards (unplug appliances)
  • Adjust Thermostat & Water Heater
  • Store Valuables in Safe Place
  • Lock all Windows & Doors
  • Reconfirm Schedule with Airlines







New Gabby Mycra Pac Raincoats Available Now!

Black Gabby Mycra Pac Raincoat

Black Gabby Mycra Pac Raincoat

New seasonal Gabby Mycra Pac Raincoats are now available on Going In Style's Travel Rain Gear website >>

When traveling to rainy destinations such as Paris, London and Tokyo, you want to bring along the travel gear to keep you dry and comfortable. 

Mycra Pac Raincoats are a beautiful option for a stylish and practical travel raincoat. Mycra Pac coats are water resistant, wrinkle resistant and fold up into their own travel tote bag.

New Gabby rain jacket is a super comfy raincoat with a two way stretch fabric for easy movement. Cute inside lining features patterns such as gingham and polka-hearts that peak through on the underside of the hood and rolled up sleeves. Going In Style currently carries Gabby raincoats in the colors Black and Blue.

Shop all Mycra Pac Raincoats at >>

New Italian Leather RFID Blocking Wallets From Castello

Family Zip Around Passport Case

Family Zip Around Passport Case

Going In Style now carries Italian leather wallets with RFID blocking technology. Castello brand wallets are made of choice leather that has been stained with vegetable oil and hand rubbed.

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. RFID microchips are embedded in your credit cards, debit cards, drivers license and passport. These microchips contain sensitive data such as your name, birthday, and credit card information. Tech-forward thieves can easily steal your data from meters away with an RFID reader. Prevent identity theft by protecting yourself with RFID blocking technology. 

Castello wallets contain a thin layer of RFID blocking tech that will not change the look or feel of the fine Italian leather wallet, but will offer you peace of mind that your data is safe. Castello offers a variety of wallets and passport cases to meet your needs including a leather zip around family passport case that holds up to 5 passports, change, itinerary and more.

Shop RFID blocking money belts, wallets and more >>

What is RFID Blocking?

RFID chip next to a grain of rice

RFID chip next to a grain of rice

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, or Radio Frequency ID. This means that identification information and data can be transferred through radio frequency. 

RFID technology has a wide range of uses in to today's society. RFID can be used to pay for groceries by scanning your credit card instead of sliding it. Another great use for this is micro chipping your dog or cat. The micro chip is about the size of a grain of rice and can contain all sorts of important data about your pet including their name, address, owner's phone number, and vaccinations. The chip can be scanned through the skin if your pet is ever lost and hopefully your pet can be returned to you quickly.

RFID chips are used in all US passports created after 2006 and in over 35 million credit cards. The technology was designed to let us bypass the standard requirements of scanning or checking in. However, electronic identity thieves have undermined the security of RFID products by devising scanners that read your personal information without you even realizing it.

The possibility of thieves being able to read personal information has become a concern because of the ease of data transfer.  Someone could transfer personal information without your consent. 

It's very important to choose products with RFID blocking features because RFID chips are in personal identification items such as passports (all passports issued since 2006), credit cards, and debit cards. Thieves will use handheld RFID Readers or Scanners to intercept personal information.


Travel Safety

Travel Safety Tips:

  • In case of an emergency it’s a good ideas to leave copies of your itinerary, passport and visas with family or friends.
  • Leave expensive jewelry at home – this also includes expensive-looking jewelry – you don’t want to make yourself a target.
  • Don’t forget to fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
Design Go Money Belt worn by woman
  • For extra security carry your valuables in a hidden money belt – most travelers find the waist version most comfortable.
  • Get health insurance and make sure it will cover you at your destination.
  • Use traveler’s checks or a credit card for large purchases. Both of these are traceable and replaceable if you lose them and are a better option than large amounts of cash.
  • To avoid pickpockets carry your money in different places on your body, rather than together in a highly visible waist pack – money belts are your best bet.
  • Keep a copy of your credit card numbers and credit card companies in the hotel safe. If your credit card is stolen you’ll still have access to report it and freeze the card.
  • Be wary if someone bumps into you, the person might be a pickpocket.
  • Know where the nearest U.S. embassy, a police station or hotel is in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t share personal information with anyone you don’t know.
  • Travel in numbers to ensure safety.

Money Belt Reminder

Money Belt Reminder: you don’t want to keep all of the items you need for the day in your money belt. It will defeat the purpose if you are reaching in and re-hiding the money belt on a regular basis. Keep cash, one credit card and one form of identification deep in your front pockets for daily use. The money belt should be used for small personal belongings that are of most importance and value during travels. Some conventional items include:

Design go womens money belt
  • Passport
  • Emergency Cash
  • Debit Card
  • Credit Card
  • Driver’s License
  • Travel Tickets and Documents
  • Room key
  • Emergency Contact Information

What is a Moneybelt

A travel money belt is a portable pocket safe used as precaution against theft while traveling. It offers peace of mind and is a safer option than a travel wallet because it’s hidden under your clothes. Think of it in the same sense as your underwear. You put it on in the beginning of the day and throughout the day it’s out of sight and out of mind.

Remember, a money belt is only worth its value if worn properly – under your clothes. Keeping cash, a passport and a debit card in your money belt in your bag defeats its purpose. If the bag is stolen, then too will be your money belt. Yes, thieves are aware of money belts, but it very unlikely that they will undress you to steal something – they are looking for items that are quick and easy to grab.

There are a variety of different money belt designs. They can be worn on different parts of your body depending on different comfort preferences. Here are a few of the most common money belt designs:

  • Waist Money Belts – the most common design in money belts, worn around the waist under clothes
  • Neck Money Belts – typically a pouch that is worn under clothes around the neck or across a shoulder
  • Arm Money Belts – small secret pouch worn on arm under clothes
  • Leg Money Belts – secret pouch worn under clothes on bottom half of leg, usually above the ankle
  • Hidden Money Pouches – a pouch that can be strapped to a belt and then tucked inside pants, shorts or a skirt
  • Belt Money Belts – an actual belt that looks like a regular belt with a hidden zipper pocket to slip in small items