It can be a travel headache – you step off the long flight into another country and your tablet, computer or smartphone batteries are drained. All you want to do is recharge your devices, but you forgot to pack the right adapters! You only have to make this mistake once to know it’s not a good situation to be in. That’s why we’ve outlined everything you need to know about adapters and voltage converters so you’re not stuck without your favorite device.

Most U.S. electrical appliances (iPod, computer, hairdryer, etc.) operate at 110 volts, while the majority of electrical appliances in other countries operate at 220 volts. To make sure your appliance works correctly, check the device for voltage requirements. You can find that information in the device’s operations manual or on a tag attached to the electronic.

If you find the operational voltage doesn’t match your destination, purchase an adapter that has a voltage converter. Most modern adapters include voltage converters, but check the packaging before you purchase them. Most major electronic stores, some big box retailers or websites like offer these types of adapters.

Even if your appliance operates at the same voltage as the country where you’re traveling, you may still need an adapter to match your device plug and the wall socket. Travel and retail stores often sell adapters in a set of four or five, so one purchase should cover all your needs.

If you have questions about which adapter you should purchase, outdoor product retailer, REI, offers a full list of voltage and outlet types by country.

One last tip – purchase adapters before you travel. They may be difficult to find at your destination and are typically more expensive in an airport store.

Have you ever run into trouble trying to plug in an electronic device on vacation? Tell us about it on our Facebook page or on Twitter.