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Fan purchase

Since hotels may not have air conditioning, I like to travel with a small fan (about 5-9 inches tall) for use on my nightstand. I would like to purchase one from a European store/manufacturer that has the EU plug. This way I do not have to mess with adapters or be concerned that the voltage may burn up the fan. My online search of stores like COOP (Switzerland) has not been successful. Any suggestions?

Posted by
341 posts

I'm always carrying a travel fan with me in the summer months, so I can relate. However, mine have always just used batteries. Importantly, I take out the batteries when I pack them up, because otherwise, the fan always seems to switch to "on" when it's jostled around in my luggage. This is the one I use - it's only a 5" but it's quite good.

Posted by
11754 posts

I travel with a small fan but much smaller than what you are suggesting. Both are USB powered.

USB Mini Fan. This very small fan can be plugged into anything with a USB port or micro USB port. I use it with a portable backup battery. It is very strong and keeps me cool when placed on the nightstand. Even run all night it uses up a very small amount of battery power.

Mini USB Box Fan. This small box fan's handle folds up and sits easily on the nightstand. It has three speeds. Even at the slowest speed it will keep me cool.

I now travel with the first one. Since both are USB powered there is no need to find one with a European plug. They also take up less room. They won't cool down a room but they will keep your head cool while sleeping and that is what makes the difference. Both are practically silent.

Posted by
771 posts

Frank from "Freedonia" is right, USB fans are great.
However, the mini one he suggests is not as flexible as some others.
I like the kind that have flexible necks and are as cheap as $1 each.
Go to and search for usb fan.

Posted by
3936 posts

This is great - we are going to be in Provence in July and one of our airbnb's doesn't have AC - I didn't see people complaining about it being really hot, so maybe it'll be fine. But I'll def check some of these portable fans!

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you for your responses. As Wendy suggested I have consider battery powered and felt the weight of the batteries would be minimal. I also am looking at the fans with the USB plugs. But in my search for the best option, I thought a fan with an EU plug would be the best. After all, "when in Rome, do as the Romans." On my last trip to Europe, I popped into every store I passed, big and small. But the smallest fans were tabletop size, not travel size. It seems like it should be out there somewhere. If not, the other options are there.

Posted by
1679 posts

It may be better to just buy one there. On a RS tour of Eastern Europe, a tourmate purchased a full size oscillating fan at a hardware store in Prague (she used it for white noise). She hauled that puppy all over E. Europe and then left it with the bus driver at the end of the tour. You may have to ask the hotel or a local what type of store will carry fans - they may also be considered a seasonal item that you wouldn't have seen on prior trips. Good luck!

Posted by
5371 posts

Or spring for a $1 adapter plug, which surely you'll have other uses for, and buy a little fan here if you can get a dual-voltage model.

Frank II has found a couple of slick little products, but I wonder how much they weigh. No indications on the Amazon site.

Posted by
5736 posts

One year we happened to have a car, we stopped in (Loire Valley) at the French equivalent of Home Depot. We bought a steel-framed small box fan, maybe 12" or 14" square, with a Shuco plug. It's cumbersom to pack, but international air usually has at least one free bag. We saw lots of Target stores (that actual brand) in places like Paris.

I can tell you that I used to run a regular American 20" box fan with a tourist TRANSFORMER (I'm using a technical term, a passive, two coil, voltage changing device for AC only). The transformer was rated about 110 watts, and did get pretty warm. That Franzus (?) transformer had a poorly made Euro plug built onto it - it fitted some continental plug adaptors too loosely.

Posted by
11754 posts

The box fan weighs 6.2 oz.

The smaller fan weighs.......0.75 oz. (Not including backup battery which will vary on how much power it has.)

I got the smaller fans from China off of ebay for like $4 for two including shipping. It took about six weeks to get to me.

Posted by
5927 posts

Frank II - thanks for the recommendations. I just booked some accommodations in July at places that probably have no aircon (northern Europe, but - you know, heat waves happen) so now I'm thinking about something to move the air around, and had a couple questions about the two units you recommended.

The super-small "helicopter" fan looks intriguing but two things make me wonder: first, the odd combo USB plug looks like something that might quickly fail. Does yours seem fairly robust? I'm not sure I can think of any use for the micro-usb variant of the plug. Second, have you found it difficult to get the thing positioned properly so it points where you want it? This seems like it might be tricky to aim. How about the potential for it to be crushed while en route? Does the rotor pop off easily enough for packing?

The "box" unit (that would be a round "box", no?) looks like it would move a lot more air, but is obvious much bulkier that the little "helicopter". You have both, have traveled with both, and now just use the little "helicopter" one?

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Posted by
367 posts

If you are staying in hotels, the hotel might also provide fans. You might want to ask.

Posted by
415 posts

I bought a USB fan the size you mentioned from Bed Bath and Beyond here in Canada. With the USB you don't need to worry about voltage and I just plugged it into the wall using my all purpose wall USB plug - I think you could even use your phone charger with a plug adapter. I have a USB charging plug that has a European end.

I used it in Portugal to keep the kids comfortable and it worked well.

Posted by
15243 posts

Where's your first stop? I'd check out Amazon for that country and see what they are selling. Once you know what's available it will be easier to find a store that sells it. Or maybe you could buy online and have it shipped to your hotel.