Travel adapter or converter

I will traveling to Italy next month. What do I need to buy so I can use my
curling iron, blow dryer, cell phone charger and camera battery charger? I see adapters sold alone, converters sold alone or both sold as a package and I have not idea which one to buy? Thank you

Posted by Mary
Leander, Texas, USA
23 posts

Hi. You'll get alot of good answers here--I have a converter, which converts the 220V in Europe to 110V that my blow dryer, etc. uses. The adapter just adapts the European plugs for American items. You may want to take both a converter and adapter, but many newer electronics will be able to work with just an adapter.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17783 posts

Paticia, The first thing you'll have to do is check EACH of the devices you plan on travelling with, to determine the Input Voltage specifications. If these state "Input 100-240 VAC", then you will only need Plug Adaptors specific to the countries you're travelling in. If the spec's state "Input 115 VAC", then you will need both a Plug Adaptor and a Voltage Converter. However, there are two types of Voltage Converters available, and it's important to use the correct type with specific appliances. Solid-state devices such as Cell Phone or Camera Chargers should ONLY be used with a Transformer-type Converter. Heating appliances such as Hair Dryers should be used with a solid-state type Voltage Converter. Some people have commented here that the appliances don't seem to work as well in Europe when used with a Voltage Converter, so you could also consider buying dual-voltage appliances from Magellans or other stores, or when you arrive in Europe. Many hotels provide Hair Dryers these days, so you may not even need to pack one along. I'm assuming that you've checked to ensure that your Cell Phone will in fact work in Europe? Also, if you're using a Smartphone such as an iPhone, you'll need to be VERY CAREFUL with data roaming, as the charges can be HUGE! Happy travels!

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

First, you need to know what you need. Look at the plug or a tag on the plug that indicates input voltage requires. If it says something like 120-240v input that you are good to go with a plug adapter since the input will handle anything between 120 and 240 volts. Assume your phone charger and camera would be OK since most electronic handle everything. The curling iron and blow dryer are a much bigger problem since there are high wattage use appliances. You need to know how many watts they require. 1200 to 1800 or more are not uncommon for anything with a heating element. If their input indicates only 120v then you will need a voltage converter. Unfortunately you will need a high wattage voltage converter which is both expensive and heavy. AND, equally unfortunately, these appliances may not perform as well as they do with 120 and there is a probability that even with a converter they will be damaged over time if used with 220v. The general recommendation is that if the curling iron and dryer are critical then you should probably buy these items after you arrive in Italy.

Posted by Denise
32 posts

I have very thick hair and I only bought a 1000 watt dual voltage Baby Bliss and I am thinking that it is not going to be enough power.... And we leave in 3 days. Ugh.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1396 posts

Denise, most hotels will have a hair dryer in the bathroom. Granted, they aren't the volume that we are used to here in the US, but they will work to dry your hair if you are patient. Just keep that in mind as you take your new hair dryer with you on your trip. In a pinch, you can use the one in the bathroom. FYI, I usually only take an adapter, since most modern electronics don't need a converter. I take my camera, iphone, ipad to charge, and in the past took a flat iron, but dont' travel with hair stuff any more, I'm on vacation, and I'm giving my hair a rest from straightening and drying In Italy you only need the round 2 prong adapter, so if you get a set, you only need the one type. If you have time, has a great all in one version that takes up little room, comes in a little pouch and will work for you in future travels anywhere in the world.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

Denise, If neither the Baby nor the hotel pan out you can super easily get an Italian hairdryer souvenir for very little money.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3582 posts

Denise, I've only ever used 800w-1200w dryers and I have very fine, but very thick hair; sometimes layered all over and short, other times long and basically one length. I've never had a problem with getting my hair dry. Follow the directions on your dryer on which setting to use. If you need to dry you may have a very long hair-drying session...