Do your suitcases contain the latest electronic gadgets or electrical appliances that you just can’t do without? Do you plan to treat yourself to a video souvenir, in the form of a cassette or DVD? Remember that electrical and video standards may well be different from those adopted in your own country. Here are a few tips to help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
In France the norm is 220 volts, with a frequency of 50 Hz, while in the United States or Canada, for example, it is 110 volts for 60 Hz. SocketVoltage and sockets vary from country to country and so an adapter and also a transformer will be necessary…
Make sure you bring these with you, or else you might risk kissing your favourite electric razor or hairdryer goodbye, not to mention blowing the electricity in the whole hotel! If you’ve forgotten to bring these important accessories, you’ll be able to find them in electrical goods and DIY stores or hypermarkets. Most major hotels can also provide them. For information, French plugs are equipped with two round pins.
Be sure that any DVD you purchase here is compatible with your equipment at home. For commercial reasons, in order to avoid a film being available on DVD at the same time as its general cinema release, the DVD market is split into several regions:
Region 1: USA and Canada
Region 2: Europe, Middle East, Japan and South Africa
Region 3: South East Asia
Region 4: South America and Australia
Region 5: Eastern Europe and Africa
Region 6: China
So in France, you are in zone 2. If you take a DVD home from Paris, it may not be able to be decoded by your player, unless it is region-free. In addition, the video format (PAL, SECAM or NTSC) must be compatible too, for a DVD to work properly. So ensure you check the relevant details before you buy.