(Closed) Hair Dryer/ Voltage Adapter for Italy?

posted 10 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
Member
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

The problem with Italy is that they bhave TWO kinds of outlets– a two prong and a three prong and it’s hard to predict which you will run into where.

Are you ataying in a hotel? They will likely have a hairdryer in the room or be able to provide you with one.

If you are staying in a self-catering apt, you might ask the landlord if one can be provided for you. If not, you may find it cheaper and easier to buy a little hairdryer there.  You can usually find one for about 9E in a grocery store or drugstore.

We have an adapter that also has a prong converter, but it’s bulky and we have so many other things to carry whenever we go (cameras, laptop, Palm Pilot, etc.), that I skip taking the hairdryer and if one isn’t provided, I buy one and leave it as my donation to the household.

 

Post # 4
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

You just need to get a hairdryer that has dual voltage options.  This is actually the way most hairdryers are designed now.  Look at the side of your handle, and there should be a little round tab with a slot in it; you use a screwdriver to turn the slot to the other position to convert from one voltage to the other.  The only impact is that your multi-speed hair dryer will be a single speed hair dryer when "converted."  You just turn the tab back when you get home.

You can order individual plug adaptors for pretty cheap, although you will need to figure out if you need grounded or ungrounded adaptors.  This website is pretty helpful in guiding you, and also sells the adaptors for a good price:

http://www.travelproducts.com/store/electric.htm

I’m not sure what kind of adaptor beanchar has (maybe a universal adaptor?) – but the individual adaptors are actually really small, and four or five will tuck easily into an extra shoe in your luggage. 

Also, in Italy, as in the US the outlets come in grounded (3-prong) and ungrounded (2-prong); except that in Italy the configuration is two-pin or three-pin.  Just like the stuff that you have to plug in – computer will generally require grounded, hair dryer non-grounded.  If you buy one of each it will cost you less than $10, and you should be covered, as you probably don’t need to dry your hair and charge your camera or iPod at the same time.  If you really, really do need to do that, buy two of each.

You do not need a voltage converter, and don’t spend the money to buy one.  Every appliance that comes with a transformer in-line or on the plug (e.g., your camera charger, your computer charger, your iPod speaker AC adaptor, your FI’s electric shaver) will do its own voltage adaption. (If you have an expensive hair dryer, like one of the ionizing units, it generally also has the transformer built into the plug.  Just read the big square box – if it lists a voltage range rather than a single voltage, you’re okay.)

Post # 5
Member
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

If you aren’t in a hotel that has them, the best thing to do is to go to a department store when you get there and buy one! Its the cheapest and easiest way to ensure it works and won’t burn out on you.

Post # 6
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

beanchar, you’ve foiled (em, beaten, I mean beaten) me again!

jcabc, all this is exactly right. I’d buy one when you’re here. Keep in mind though that they’re a tad more expensive than in America. You can find the best deals in the giant grocery stores (that are kind of like Wal-mart, selling everything from salami to tires). 

Post # 8
Member
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

EBAY BABY!!!

Post # 9
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Okay, seriously, practically any hair dryer that you can get at Target or Walgreens will work, as long as it is dual voltage.  I have attached a link to one on Amazon – see the little black button on the handle?  That is the voltage converter.  The box will say "dual voltage" as one of the features. 

http://www.amazon.com/Andis-33805-Micro-Turbo-Voltage/dp/B0009XH6V4

You do not need a transformer!  (Which is the thing that "burns out.")  You only need a plug converter – its a tiny thing, a little bigger than the size of the plug on your curling iron; a lot smaller than the GFCI plug on your hair dryer.  It will cost $4 – $5, max.  You should get both grounded and ungrounded, although most places you stay (like most American hotels) will have both types of plugs, but because the various electronics you may want to use will have different requirements (ungrounded for hair dryer, camera charger; grounded for laptop or notebook computer).  Almost all electronics are now made to work over a voltage and frequency range that allows them to be used almost anywhere.  I travel frequently to England, Scotland, Austria, Russia, and France on business, and have been through most of the rest of Europe incidently, and have never had any trouble with my camera charger, iPod speakers/charger, or computer.  The hair dryer I take is a cheap travel model like the one on the link; it converts back and forth with no problem, and has been going strong for 5 years now.

Post # 10
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

jcabc, how soon do you need it?

Post # 12
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

You can maybe go ahead and change it for her, and then put a cute paper band around the handle with a message indicating that the dryer is programmed for Italian operations!  If she’s not familiar with the feature you can maybe attach a little book/tag explaining.  It does help to turn the tab ahead of time, as it generally takes a screwdriver – trying to use a dime or something like that can damage the tab – and most people don’t travel with a screwdriver!

By far the cheapest place to get the adaptor plugs is over the internet, but if you have a pretty good travel luggage store they probably carry them too – and maybe a few other things that would be useful for her, like a nice travel alarm, some cute luggage tags, a couple of TSA locks, etc.

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