Q: Hi! I'm traveling to Asia this fall. I've been reading up on the differences between 110 and 220V but I'm still confused. Will I need a voltage converter for things like my phone or hairdryer?

Nicole Chicago, USA

A: As a general rule of thumb, if you’re from North America (your case), you’ll need a converter because the voltage is different. If you’re from anywhere else in the world, you won’t need one, since the voltage is the same. The respective voltages are as follows:  

North America: 110/120V

Rest of the World: 220/240V

However, it depends what sort of devices you’re using. Personal electronic chargers for things like your phone, laptop, or camera are most likely multi voltage-friendly and will adjust accordingly, whereas small appliances like hairdryers or hot water kettles may not be. Be sure to double-check the label on the plug before using your devices or see if there is a switch to adjust voltage. The last thing you would want to happen is blow a fuse from trying to dry your hair. Yikes!