I'm planning on taking several rechargeable batteries for my camera on my 21 day trip to Europe. I have seen two types of step-down transformers from Brookstone, and both say not to use them with battery chargers. Is it better to try to buy a charger in Europe? What about hair dryers and curling irons? Is it just easier to pick them up at your first stop in Europe?
I'm not sure what a "Step-down transformer is" but all of the AA/AAA battery chargers I saw in both Target and Walmart had built-in converters, all you need is the little plug adapter for the european plugs and it will work fine. As for hair dryers and curling irons.... well it's a personal matter, but I really advise leaving them at home. Surely you can live without it for 3 weeks, they are heavy appliances plus you DO need a converter for those, many hotels have hairdryers anyway and plus no one in Europe will care about your hair. You want to pack as light as possible and those kinds of things are heavy and take up a ton of room and are really unnecessary. My beloved flatiron has a built in converter but I am still leaving at home as painful as it will be to be without it for 6 weeks.
Buy your charger here and check Rick's Travel Store for your adapter for the chargers. Your curling iron, dryers and all heating appliances must have the inter-changeable switch from 110/240. They sell them here in the states.
Take a look at the metal plate or sticker on the back of your battery charger, hair dryer, etc. If it says "110-240", then you only need a little plug adapter (because our plugs won't fit in their outlets). Only if it doesn't say that, then you need a voltage converter.