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Travel Electric Kettle

Does anyone have a suggestion for a lightweight/travel electric kettle? I'm not interested in an immersion heater but a kettle to boil 12-16 ounces of water.

Thanks

Posted by
1994 posts

I would guess it would be easier to buy one when you arrive in Europe. That way you don't need to deal with the voltage problem. I don't know where you're traveling, but it's my impression that electric kettles are used much more in Europe than in the US.

Posted by
8889 posts

I agree with Sherry. Buy a cheap one when you get there, then you know it will be for the correct voltage (220 V 50 Hz AC) AND will have the correct plug.
But, check you hotel room first. Hotel rooms, especially in the UK, often have kettles in them.

P.S. They use Litres everywhere outside the USA. I have no idea how much "12-16 ounces of water" is, but the kettle will be labelled in Litres.

Posted by
3521 posts

Most hotels have electric kettles in the rooms in Europe if they have coffee service (because they provide instant coffee, not brewable coffee). Have not really seen those in the US. Amazon should have some to choose from, but on just a quick look the smallest they seem to have are all at or over a liter.

16 US ounces = 1 US pint = approximately 0.5 liter.

Posted by
32247 posts

Mark,

As Chris mentioned, it's more common these days to find electric kettles in hotel rooms, especially in the U.K. I found that to be the case when I was there in September.

"it will be for the correct voltage (220 V 50 Hz AC) AND will have the correct plug."

While Kettle will be the correct voltage if purchased in Europe, it may or may not have the correct plug depending on where you're travelling. If you purchase a Kettle in the U.K. and then travel to the continent, you'll still have to use a Plug Adaptor.

To determine which size to buy when purchasing the Kettle, 15 U.S. ounces is about 0.44 litres. When converting litres to ounces, it helps to know whether one is referring to Imperial ounces or U.S. ounces (not much of a concern with ounces, but the difference is greater with gallons).

Posted by
15651 posts

I bought this one (no longer available) from Amazon UK because I was traveling through London. When I got home I had the big UK plug replaced with a 2-prong plug (we use it here too). The guy who did it told me I could have bought something similar from him. Lime scale is a problem in parts of Europe, so best to get a kettle with a concealed heating element. If you get build-up, a couple hours soak with diluted vinegar will dissolve it all.

It's been very convenient to have along on some trips, for instant soups and noodles in my hotel room when I too tired to go out for dinner.

Posted by
16003 posts

Mark, we travel very frequently with an electric kettle (or Hot Pot, as they may be more commonly called here) as our hotels rooms in Italy have rarely been equipped with them. We're very early risers who MUST HAVE coffee first thing in the morning so that pot has been a must-have well worth making room for! It also saved me once when a head cold required lots of hot liquid. :O)

We have a Bodum model but it isn't dual voltage so required a converter overseas. On our last trip we purchased a small Unold model we saw in a store window in Germany for 16 euro or so. I would just google around online and see what you can find for a lightweight, dual-voltage product: no convertor needed although it will require an adaptor depending on the plug type. The brands which seem to come up most often are Narita, Severin and Bonavita.

Posted by
11294 posts

If you can tell us which countries you'll be visiting and where your hotels are, people can suggest a local store to get a kettle, if your room doesn't have one.

Posted by
5837 posts

UK and China hotels all seemed to have electric hot pots as a room amenity. I recall Continental hotels also providing electric hot pots but I don't remember which counties.

Through the power of internet search for: electric+hot+pot+travel?
I found:
http://www.target.com/p/bonavita-dual-voltage-0-5l-travel-electric-kettle/-/A-50097280#prodSlot=medium_1_3&term=electric+hot+pot+travel

Bonavita's .05L (sic) Dual Voltage Travel Kettle is a true travel companion.
This kettle can leave the country and still be useful with it's 120V -
220V power range. All you need to do is choose the voltage on the
bottom of the kettle, make sure you have an adapter (if needed) and
get busy making your favorite cup of coffee or tea....

If you buy one, you can report back on how it works and if it is worth the effort to pack one along in your carry-on.

PS 0.50 liter is close to a pint (16 fl. oz). (One liter is close to 2.11 pints.) More trivia: a pint of water weighs about a pound, a liter of water is a kilogram mass.

Posted by
33141 posts

I don't have an answer, but I am a curious chap - how much will packing a kettle like this add to the weight (and volume) of the luggage?

Posted by
2788 posts

Where are you planning on using it? If you are looking to use it in Europe I also would recommend buying it there as we did. If you are only traveling in the US, Amazon has lots of choices of small ones. I bought one of their small ones to use in Hawaii when there.

Posted by
16003 posts

I don't have an answer, but I am a curious chap - how much will
packing a kettle like this add to the weight (and volume) of the
luggage?

Nigel, ours is very lightweight and not very big at all. We do not travel with just carry-ons so there is that factor but it's a fraction of space and weight, and a big enough must-have for us personally that the little corner of the suitcase it takes up is not a big deal. Heck, the converter - which we no longer need - added more weight than the pot.

Posted by
5837 posts

The Bonivita 0.5L model is spec'd at:

Dimensions: 5.5H x 6.5W x 7.25D Weight: 1.6

Presumably in inch and pound units.

Posted by
11507 posts

A kettle seems a common in room amenity in the UK.. but it has not been my experience that that is true in France , Spain , Italy or Germany.

The Brits often complain in hotel reviews is there is no kettle in their rooms in other countries.. they seem shocked.. what.. no cuppa.. lol

Posted by
7506 posts

I have the previously cited Kenwood product, and like it. I keep a Shuco to American adapter on it, so I never have to look for the adapter when traveling at home in the US. You do have to be careful to know where the voltage switch is set, because you'll destroy it if you have it set on 120V and plug it into a 240V outlet abroad.

I have also owned an even nicer Reer #3908 Kettle, maybe bought in Germany? But I destroyed it through the error described.

Posted by
15651 posts

Nigel, I just pulled my out to answer your question.

The kettle weighs .520 kg including 2 cups that fit inside it. It's about 15 cm high and as wide, measuring from the tip of the spout to the widest part of the handle.

Posted by
16003 posts

Chris, I know that's not what they're called abroad but if he's looking to buy one in the U.S., that's another description they sometimes go by.

Posted by
19156 posts

Chris, 16 fl oz is almost the same as the popular beer glass size, ½ liter. In fact, ½ liter is about 16.9 oz.

Posted by
15578 posts

Technically, there is a difference between a "kettle" and a "Hot Pot." A Kettle is supposed to be for boiling water. A Hot Pot is a little larger and can be used for soup, stews, and the like in addition to water.

Here's an example.

Hot Pot

Posted by
9787 posts

Just on the kettle in UK hotels note -- I went to London for work in the spring, and added on a few days myself. On the days I paid for my own hotel, I took a tip from a Forum member and booked the Kensington Gardens Hotel, which was a nice little hotel and indeed had a kettle. When I moved into the hotel that work was paying for, a much grander place in a swisher neighborhood to be sure, I was shocked to find my room had NO kettle, but a Nespresso machine (well let's be honest. I wasn't shocked, because I had read up on the hotel on TripAdvisor before leaving on my trip, and many previous guests had mentioned this in their reviews of the hotel).

It was quite funny - people kept saying I can't believe that a British hotel wouldn't have a kettle in the room and management kept responding as to how it was completely normal and modern, etc. etc. I think they really missed the service boat on that one!! (one reviewer mentioned having to pay something like 18 pounds to get two cups of tea delivered via room service, as that was the only way to get it. I just heated the water in the nespresso thingy and put my tea in my cup below. Who knows, maybe I blew the thing out!!

That had me searching for an immersion coil heater while i was there, but they were more money than I wanted to pay. I'll still think about it for the future though. I am a girl who needs my tea in the room before facing the public!! (also a funny thing - after the first morning, rather than going downstairs for breakfast, I'd buy a scone in a bakery the day before and have it in my room the next morning with my tea. One of my colleagues asked me why I didn't come down to the nice breakfast in the hotel. I noted that I had not come from Paris to have croissants in London!!!

Anyway, more directly to Mark's question, I agree that if you're really set on acquiring one, it makes much more sense to buy one in the UK or continental Europe where the voltage will be correct. Items with heating elements require the most power from a transformer, so you're really better off buying the correct thing here and then a plug adapter if you're traveling between the UK (and Ireland, right??) and the rest of Europe.

Posted by
703 posts

for what its worth we carry a small metal thermos ( with large opening) and a 240v immersion heater ( suitable in Europe/australia etc) that way we can boil water for a cup of tea etc in the themos ( if the room doesn't have a kettle) and if required carry hot water with us ( in the car generally) for our day trips ( saves money and time, looking for a cafe, when on the road)
while they weigh a bit they are essential for a long trip away.
the thermos can be sourced at home, and we did notice the 220/240v immersion heaters are available in Europe at 'hardware' stores etc.

Posted by
420 posts

The hotels in Scotland, London, Belgium, and the Netherlands all had cute little electric kettles as you described. Italy hotel did not and I can't remember about our Paris hotel.

I agree your best bet is to buy one when you get there and you can leave it if you don't want to carry it back to the U.S.

Posted by
7506 posts

The recent reply didn't indicate whether he asked, but on one occasion, maybe in Belgium, I was able to get a kettle by asking for it! For example, in Hilton hotels, often the higher level rooms have them, so Housekeeping has extras for the hoi polloi.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks to all that responded. I was planning to use the electric kettle for a US road trip (hotels don’t always have hot water available when you need it) and hopefully another trip to France/Italy (I don’t recall seeing any kettles in our hotel rooms on our BOE 21 day tour).

It seems the Bonavita .5L Dual Voltage Travel Kettle would be a good choice.

Posted by
424 posts

On our trip to France and Switzerland last summer, we had one hotel room with a kettle, and others without. I knew that they were available on request when I saw someone check one out from the desk - but since we were in the heat wave, I couldn't imagine wanting a hot beverage.

However, I did have a small insulated thermos, and found it indispensable filled with ice and water as we set out each day for our excursions. It fit in my day bag, and stayed cold for hours. It was a huge help to me as I struggled with the oppressive heat. There were a couple of times I loaded it with ice, and then added in coffee or hot chocolate from the hotel lobby machine for a treat.

This was the first time I took a thermos abroad - and I would definitely do that again, for hot or cold beverages.

Laurie

Posted by
518 posts

I'd have to agree with the thermos. It really comes in handy on a trip, especially when you're trying to picnic more and save a buck. On some trains, such as those in Russia and China (i.e., Trans-Siberian route), there is a hot water dispenser in every car so you can make a thermos of tea or instant coffee to keep in your berth.