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hair dryer and flat iron camera charger/ Supermarkets

hello everyone,
we are in the US and will be taking my hair dryer (travel size) and flat iron to Greece with us. Do i need a watt converter for it or just the just the plug converter? I have a DSLR camera that I will need to charge along with a GoPro, do i need to get the watt converter for that. What do you guys do. We will be staying in mix hotels and AirBNB so they might not provide it for us. Also, what are the main supermarkets (names) in Athens. We are staying in Plaka and would love to buy snacks and other things. maybe even a flat iron for the hair if the one we have doesn't work. thanks!

Posted by
3260 posts

Look carefully at the plug converter-some specifically say not to use them with hair dryer and flat iron. As to the need for the watt converter, look at the items-most now are dual voltage.

Posted by
8853 posts

I have not done airbnb, but every hotel in Greece we stayed at had a hairdryer.

As noted above look at all your devices to see if it has something like '110-220v' on it. If so all you need is the adapter.

If it has '110-120v' then you need the converter.

Posted by
31524 posts

js,

You will need to check each device that you'll be travelling with to determine the input voltage requirements. It would help if you could list that information here on the forum. Travelling with 115 volt hair appliances is not the best idea. You might consider visiting your local Target or other store, to see if you can find dual-voltage appliances.

One point to clarify - there's no such thing as a watt converter. You will definitely require Plug Adapters (take more than one) and you may or may not need a Voltage Converter.

Some additional information would be helpful.

Posted by
546 posts

Every AirBnb we have stayed at had a hair dryer and an iron. Every hotel (almost) has had hair dryers. Irons can almost always be gotten at the desk.

Before I worried too much about the converters for these things I’d give serious consideration to leaving them behind. JMHO.

And the responses above are correct about Converters vs Adaptors and what you need them for. About the only thing you wont need a converter for is phone, IPad, laptop...but you will need the ADAPTOR for these.

Good luck and have fun.

Posted by
21319 posts

A flat iron is a device for straightening hair, not for removing wrinkles from clothes. Hotels do not provide flat irons, and as devices that heat up, they are really tricky when traveling. I would not be confident that a converter would do the job. I think it's possible that the flat iron might be damaged or--worse--the circuitry in the hotel. But I am not an electrical engineer.

This subject has come up before. The Search function might yield additional information.

Posted by
1117 posts

A flat iron is a device for straightening hair,

Thank you!

English is not my first language so I was a bit confused. Especially since I think the Flatiron building in New York looks more like a device for straightening clothes.

Posted by
487 posts

You can check the listings and/or contact your Airbnb host to find out if they provide a hairdryer, I would assume that many provide them. On our last trip I bought a curling iron and I found that much easier than trying to deal with the small travel one I had used previously. One option would be to find a dual voltage flat iron before you leave and then you would only need to worry about the plug converter.

Posted by
31524 posts

One other point to note....

Some flat iron manufacturers specifically prohibit their products from being used with Voltage Converters. I believe Chi is one brand that has that policy. Due to the fact that high wattage Voltage Converters use solid-state conversion methods (which produce a very "rough" AC waveform), this could damage some devices. A transformer type Voltage Converter is the safest bet, however a high wattage version would be so heavy that it would be a pain to haul around Europe.

If you absolutely must have a flat iron, buy one in Europe or find a dual-voltage model at your local stores. Other members of the forum can provide information on which stores are likely to carry dual-voltage products.

One other safety point..... Voltage Converters are in most cases NOT rated for continuous duty. Therefore it's NOT a good idea to leave them connected for long periods of time, especially with loads approaching rated capacity (ie: they will probably be running hot). As I mentioned earlier, best to leave the Voltage Converter at home!

Posted by
173 posts

Thank you all for the very informative input, perhaps i will buy one once we get to Athens, any idea where I should go to get one, we are staying in Plaka district. Again, thanks for all the help.

Posted by
8853 posts

any idea where I should go to get one

I would ask the front desk staff

Posted by
5792 posts

To reiterate what Ken says about voltage converters vs. step down transformers. There is an important difference:
https://www.adaptelec.com/Country-Specific-Answers/Whats-the-difference-between-a-voltage-converter-and-a-voltage-transformer

I witnessed the disadvantage of a voltage "converter" during my first trip to Germany. An American litereally "smoked" his 120v. iron using a voltage "converter". The converter's nameplate claimed to have the power capacity of the iron, but the American iron ended up in the German garbage bin. Don't trust the claimed power rating.

Posted by
109 posts

Hello,

I'm not certain about hair dryers ( i think a travel size will work as curling irons seem ok with the a plug converter) however do not take your flat iron. I ruined a $200.00 flat iron and so did a friend of mine. It will heat up for a minute and then it's dead. I was hopefully it would be ok when I got home but it was ruined. Now when I travel around Europe I take a butane flat iron (available on amazon for 45.00 Canadian) Cheaper than purchasing a flat iron there. I haven't been to Greece yet (going in Sept) but the ones i seen in Italy and Amsterdam were $60.00 Euro's and up. I jhve never had a problem bringing it on my check-in luggage and it works great! I would highly recommend this.
I also purchased an adapter on Amazon and they have a really good one - "International travel charger adapter" You can plug in an I phone plug as well as use it to plug in your computer or hair dryer or whatever you need. I have one for myself and my husband.

I have found both of these things to be essential when travelling Europe. Have fun!!

Posted by
31524 posts

Edgar,

The company in that link you provided must be using a different type of transformer than the ones I'm used to.....

"A voltage transformer outputs what's called a "modified sine wave" or "stepped wave" rather than just chopping the sine wave in half."

A transformer typically provides an exact duplication of the sine wave between the primary and secondary, due to the principle of electromagnetic induction, with the amount of voltage change determined by the ratio between the primary and secondary windings. It's not "modified" or "stepped" at all.

I'll have to spend some more time looking at that website.

Posted by
173 posts

well, sounds way to complicated to bring one from the US, while it's true i used one from the U.S in another Easter European Country such as Armenia, the flat iron worked, although the entire timing it was making buzzing sound, but it worked perfectly in the UK, seems like i just need to buy one when i get to Athens, anyone has suggestion as to what store might have one... ?

Posted by
8853 posts

anyone has suggestion as to what store might have one... ?

At the risk of being redundant/repetitive, ask the front desk staff at your hotel? ( or if in a BnB , your host/landlord)

Posted by
396 posts

Here is a recent thread on tripadvisor about where you can purchase a hair straightening flatiron in Athens: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189400-i194-k10491764-Purchasing_a_Hair_Straighning_Flat_Iron_in_Athens_Greece-Athens_Attica.html
We were in pharmacies a few times while in Greece to buy sundries and I don't remember seeing personal electronics the size of hairdryers, etc. The pharmacies are usually a lot smaller than in the U.S.

Posted by
173 posts

thank you Lia, I looked it up and they have it. it is more reasonable to buy it there than to buy a converter and take mine. thanks for the info everyone

Posted by
4737 posts

A flat iron is a device for straightening hair,

English is not my first language so I was a bit confused. Especially since I think the Flatiron building in New York looks more like a device for straightening clothes.

It is an American term for a hair straightener. The British English meaning of flatiron is still an old fashioned iron for smoothing clothes. It has led to confusion here before, and no doubt will again ... and that is before we consider types of steak.