My wife is looking for a fold-up, compact, dual-voltage travel hair dryer. Recommendations?
You can also find folding travel blow dryers at Target, Ulta and probably just about any other store that sells blow dryers. Just make sure that it says that it is dual voltage.
I have this one. It's not a fold-up, but super compact and served me well on the last trip.
If the retailers provide weight information, then try to choose the lightest one. Also be aware that many hotels across Europe, probably 2 stars and up, have added hair dryers in the past decade. If you could risk a day or two without one, you may not need to carry it the whole time.
Or stay at properties with enough stars that include a hair dryer amongst the required amenities.
I don't think stars have anything to do with it.
If there's not one in the room, go down and ask at the desk. We usually stay pretty far down the amenties chain and my adult leader has never had a problem. On solo trips, I'm mainly in rural hostels with non-gender-specific facilities and there's always a couple of dryers on a rack or shelf.
My wife quit taking one years ago. The US dual voltage ones conk out on 220 and the European ones die on 110. Maybe not in a couple of trips, but pretty soon. I suspect it's the cps difference that fries the motor. Optionally, you could pick up a straight 220 where ever you first alight .
If you do bring your own, in addition to the dual voltage, remember plug adapters. I agree that many hotels provide hair dryers now, but not all dryers are the same and depending on how "picky" she's about the dryer (I am), she may want to bring her own. I wouldn't worry about the fold-up feature, you can always pack around the dryer ie nestle socks around it. Dual voltage is a must, but otherwise I'd just find a hair dryer that meets her needs. The difference in weight isn't that much to worry about. There's other ways to decrease weight if you need to. I bought my last dual voltage, folding one at Target.
I don't like the dual voltage hair dryers. That said, I bought a small hair dryer in Italy. Now, whenever I travel to Europe I have a hair dryer that works perfectly, without worrying about an adapter or voltage. When traveling to England, I need the special three prong adapter, but still have no worries over voltage.
I would think that most hotels or apartments would provide a working hair dryer. Ours in London & Paris both do. If not, you might want to ask or buy an inexpensive one there. Have fun!