Going on the Best of Ireland tour in July, and wondering if I need to pack a blow dryer? I know European hotels are not like hotels in USA that have everything but the kitchen sink in their rooms. I'd love to NOT have to pack a blow dryer, so any words of wisdom, travelers?
Check in advance to see if your hotels can furnish one.
If not take your own and make sure you have the right adapter and do not need a converter :
You should get the list of hotels and B and B's for your tour shortly, about a month before departure. You could then go onto their websites to check room amenities. If a dryer is not listed, one still might be provided. You could email to inquire. More and more B and B's are providing hair dryers. Although, they are usually the type one must continually press the on button for it to work. Remember, if you take a hair dryer, it must be compatible with the voltage. Therefore, a dual voltage dryer would be necessary. I have found dual voltage dryers to be less powerful, and now travel without packing one.
Contacting the hotels is sound advice. I will throw in that the last time I encountered lodging that didn't provide dryers was sometime in the last millennium. One caveat, though: you may be surprised at the low power and/or awkward and inflexible placement of the dryers. Since I have short hair, I've able to cope with some weak and peculiarly placed dryers. People with long hair might not be happy. Try to get detailed information.
We stayed in B&Bs all over the island, north and south, 10+ years ago and I do not recall ever not having a hair dryer. Some of them may not be what you're used to, but they'll dry your hair.
Our experience is that blower dryers are always available regardless of the star class or size of hotel/B&B. Either in the room or from the front desk.
Hair Dryer available in all bedrooms.: Mandatory for four and five
star rated hotels. "Point Scoring Opportunity" for lower rated
All Two star, Three star and Four star hotels will also have the
option to score a number of points from a menu of optional facilities
and services where they offer, over and above the mandatory
requirements for their star grade. The quality score is determined by
the number of extra facilities and services provided and are reflected
as a % score.
It is always important to remember that points are awarded in addition
to the star classification. The points scoring system does not apply
to One star or Five star establishments.
I took this tour in 2015. All the hotels/B&Bs had a hair dryer. But they may not have as much wattage as the ones in the US or may look like a vacuum cleaner hose! The biggest challenge was finding the hair dryer - sometimes it was in a dresser drawer!
I would buy a cheap hairdryer in Ireland and gift it to my B&B host or hotel maid when I left before I schlepped a dryer from home. No worries about electrical mismatch, and no wasted space/weight in my luggage. But, that is just me.
I have stayed in dozens and dozens of hotels all over Europe , even the smallest mom and pop places will either have a hairdryer in room , or will loan you one from front desk . Keep in mind bringing a powerful one along isn't always a good idea , so easy to blow fuses at some of the older places, best to use what they provide .
Almost everyplace I've been in in Germany in the last 10 years has had a hair dryer available. Some are hard wired in the bathroom so it can't be easily taken.
I was at a small pension in Bavaria, and the owner provided hair dryers, but they weren't already in the room. They were at the desk. The owner said if people had to ask to borrow one they were less likely to take it with them when they left.
Another time I was at a Gästehaus in Berchtesgaden and there was a hair dryer provided in the bathroom. It was a dual voltage one set for 220V and the "key" was on the cord. I thought, "how dumb". Who would need the voltage change key except someone from a 110V country who wanted to take it home with them.
The other thing it facilitated was someone saying, "Gee, I wonder what happens if I turn this to 110V and plug it back in."
Another reason for not bringing your own hair dryer is you are probably using a 2-pin Europlug adapter, which is limited by code to no more than 2½ amps (less than 600W). Most hair dryers draw far more current than that. Plus, if it has a polarize plug (one blade wider), safety features required by UL demand a polarized power source. Most European sources are not polarized.
Although I have had access to a hair dryer during my visits to Europe, I like Kathi's suggestion of purchasing a dryer locally and donating it before returning home. If I run into this situation, I will certainly take this to heart.
Dont mean to hijack this post, but what about irons in the hotels? What do you guys do to keep your clothing wrinkle free? Thanks!
I don't even bother with a spray bottle; I just wet my hand and either flick water onto the garment or sort of spread it along the wrinkles. Always test your clothes at home to be sure they're not excessively wrinkle-prone. Carrying around a suitcase full of unwearable clothes is a pain. Some hotels have irons available to loan out.
Some ways to iron clothes without an iron http://laundry.reviewed.com/news/6-ways-to-iron-your-clothes-without-an-iron
That said, why iron when on holiday? Bring "no iron"/"wrinkle free" clothing. A lot of so called travel clothing is wrinkle free.
But if you like ironing clothing on holiday, the four+ star hotels catering to business travelers are more likely to have irons either in room or available than the two or three star hotels. And if you really wont to go top shelf, some hotels will offer overnight laundry including pressing.
I'm staying in a 2-star hotel in Nice right now. While I was talking to the manager yesterday, another guest asked about an iron and was handed a very impressive-looking device. This is, however, a very well-run hotel, and the manager mentioned that they only had one iron to loan out, so it's not something I would count on. Still worth asking about if you are in need.
I don't even iron at home if I can avoid it, and I usually can. Don't take clothes that require ironing, like 100% cotton, which doesn't make good travel wear anyway. With careful packing, things don't get too wrinkled.
Full disclosure, 10 trips to Europe and I always take a travel hair dryer and a travel iron. After reading this thread and your comments I checked the hotel websites for my upcoming trip and decided to leave the blow dryer at home (I hope I don't regret it!)
I wouldn't count on an iron being available so I'm taking mine. It doesn't take up much space and even though I have mostly travel-friendly fabrics, some items need a touch-up.
My first hotel for the trip I am currently on was a four star hotel. I decided to use their hair dryer since husband was still sleeping. It got red hot, did not blow, blew a circuit and smoked after it stopped working. This all took 10 seconds. I have been using my own ever since. I have found hotel ones to be hit and miss quality and power wise. Mine does not take up much space and I can rely on it. I blow dry my hair every day so that is a factor in my decision.
Thanks for the info! After reading this thread, I'm just going to take my chances with the hotel/B&B blow dryers. I have a versatile hair style, so will make it work no matter what I run into. I'd rather save the extra room in my backpack and day pack for goodies I'll take back to the USA :-)
If a place has a blow dryer from front desk that plugs into wall, that works for me. The ones that are attached to wall, in my experience, do not work well and are useless for me. After years of taking my own, using a converter, and frying my blow dryer, I finally bought one in Paris this year. My advice is buy one when you get there. They are not expensive (under $20).
I'd ask what type they have. If they say it's like a vacuum hose, you might want to buy one there, or plan on an alternative hairstyle while there. We stayed at 4 hotels. One had the vacuum hose and it was absolutely worthless.
I use an iron at home about once every few months , so no, I never bring one while travelling . Heavy ! And I don't bring anything that must be ironed to look good , something I bring I just hang in bathroom when I am showering .
Linda, that sounds like a good plan... and attitude : ) Having a versatile hair style makes it so much easier. Plus, you save time!
I am going to Prague, Budapest and Amsterdam in June. I bought a dual voltage hair dryer with a diffuser, which I need for my curly hair. I'd love to just buy one there and save room in my carry-on but do they have diffusers?
yes European hair dryers also have diffusers.
If i were to iron my travel clothes, they would probably melt. Most is made of that dri-fit type polyester.
My first trip to Europe, literally decades ago (like, 5 decades!) I took a travel iron and a hair dryer. And a huge, heavy, hard-sided suitcase. I now carry a 13 pound backpack, and cheerfully wear casual (slightly wrinkled) clothes. My hair, now as then, is still long and straight, but I now almost always wear it braided. If it's damp, that's fine, especially in Italy in the summer. (London in February, not so much.) Adapt and relax.
@Texas girl - I brought a universal diffuser on my last trip for this reason and it worked perfectly https://www.amazon.com/Hairizone-Universal-Diffuser-Adaptable-D-1-7-Inch/dp/B01N05UG34
Just returned from a RS tour last month as a family. My daughters do not bring along hair dryers, but I bring a curling iron/that kinda blows hot air as I curl my hair. One of the hotels we were staying provided hair dryers in the bathrooms, but they are attached to the wall. As it turns out, our daughters' hair dryer did not work, so they came running to borrow my curling iron/dryer, which is dual voltage and saved the trouble of having to contact the front desk. So, even if they provide hairdryers, they may not always work well.
As for irons, we were on another RS tour in Istanbul one year and asked to borrow an iron from the front desk. No problem, they said. And provided one to us together with an ironing board. The problem was not the iron except the iron plate was really dirty with burnt stuff on it, and really needed to be cleaned. I did not want to waste time and elbow grease cleaning it so had to use a clean handkerchief (yes, I carry one in case I need one) to buffer our clothes from the dirty ironplate. Got our clothes ironed, but needed to hand wash my handkerchief afterwards.
Check the services on the hotel sites or call them to know about all the details regarding the services they offer.
BTW, what's a diffuser? In this context?
Jane--a diffuser helps to spread out the force of the air, often used by people with curly hair so it doesn't frizz. I have curly hair but don't use one, most hotel dryers are fairly weak so that works to my advantage.
Thank you. I don't think I've used a hair dryer in 30+ years. I still have the one I took to college (and to the Soviet Union!)... I use it to remove vinyl floor tiles, although I think it has finally died. The last time I tried to use it the switch was frozen.
Edit to add: Actually, I think that's the only thing I've used an iron for in decades, as well. As you might have discerned, I'm not exactly a fashion plate.