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Needs some guidance...going to Italy in September and we are a bit confused on the whole adapter/converter thing. I'll be bringing along a travel hairdryer, so can anyone tell us what we should bring so that I don't burn up the hairdryer! Dual voltage? If it's dual voltage, do you need a converter or just an adapter? Which adapter do we need to purchase?
Any help would be appreciated!

Posted by
1127 posts

My wife used to bring a hair dryer and even those with dual voltage never seemed to work full strength. Adapter only work up to a certain wattage. Check with your hotel and see if they provide hair dryers.

But to answer your question check out this web page:

Posted by
241 posts

Our converter held up, but it caused failure of 2 hairdryers. It did work for charging camera batteries.

Posted by
223 posts

If you have a travel hairdryer, it should be set up to work on both US and European voltages 120/240. Check the dryer to see if you must manually switch it over (sometimes the switch looks like you need to put a quarter in it and "flip" it). In the case that it is pre-set for 120/240, which it should be, you don't need a second converter for this or most modern electronics such as for a computer or battery charger (again, check for the 120-240 designation). The only thing you need is a prong-adapter.

Posted by
187 posts

Do consider not taking a hairdryer. I have traveled either to Europe or the UK for the last 3 years & every single accomodation has had a hairdryer either in the room or one you could borrow.

Posted by
689 posts

You will risk your hairdryer. Or, if the hairdryer survives, you risk the rath of the hotel for blown fuses. My sister-in-law and I blew fuses three mornings in a row!!! We were both using our hairdryers at about the same time and overloaded the circuits. The third morning the hotel's owner (a very nice gentleman) brought us a hair dryer and asked us to please use that one, "it will work much more quickly" he told us. No mention of blown fuses, just a helpful hint...

Posted by
4555 posts

IF it's a a travel hairdryer, chances are there's a little switch, to switch between our 110 volts and their 220-240 volts. If that's the case, then you only need a plug ADAPTER to fit the American plug into a European receptacle. If not, then you need a power CONVERTER as well, to step down their 220-240 volts to our 110 volts. Power adapters usually come in two flavours....a low-wattage one (say up to 150 watts) to power your computer or recharge your batteries...and a high-wattage one (1600 to 1800 watts) to use for power-hungry things like hair dryers. You can recharge batteries using a 1600-watt converter (although it'll take longer than usual), but you cannot use a hair dryer with a 150-watt converter, or you'll blow the hotel fuse, the converter, and possibly the hair dryer!