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-   -   Curling Iron Question (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/curling-iron-question-940977/)

Ritequette Jun 29th, 2012 04:08 PM

Curling Iron Question
 
Hey guys,

I'm leaving for the UK next week, and I just wanted to double check before I took my curling iron with me. I have a universal adapter, and my Conair curling iron claims that it can handle the voltage change (AKA, it has "120/240V" written on the back like a standard computer/camera charger does). Since I really do need heat to fix my hair, can I be "pretty sure" that my iron won't blow up when I plug it in?

I don't want to destroy it, but if I can, I want to avoid having to waste the money on another one in the UK, especially considering I don't have any plans to return there after my five week trip (it's a study abroad).

Anybody have experience with a Conair product that claims worldwide voltage?

Thanks,
Ritequette

dutyfree Jun 29th, 2012 04:13 PM

I am sure that it will be fine but my experience from working with the airlines for decades is that heat producing appliances do better on their own country's voltage.They are not expensive in the UK and you can purchase them at numerous chain stores for less than 20 pounds.
If you plan on using it I would purchase a REAL UK adapter as the universal one doesn't stay in the wall very well from being so heavy.
Where are you studying at? Have fun-both of my kids live over there after going to grad school there.

nytraveler Jun 29th, 2012 04:20 PM

No - you can;t be sure. there is another factor - which is that many of the older hotels have wiring to match - and they aren;t made to pull the amount of power it takes for a hair dryer (they generates enough heat to actually dry your hair) or curling iron. Many times there is a sign next to the plug in the bathroom that says shavers only - and that means you may well blow either your appliance or the fuses in the hotel.

A friend of mine went through europe with a super hairdryer and blew 2 hotels before frying her hair dryer. Before using it I would check with the hotel in terms of amount of power.

azzure Jun 29th, 2012 05:11 PM

Hmmm - recently returned from Italy and France; we carried a Conair curling iron and an adapter plug. Had no trouble anywhere. Don't see why the UK would be any different (although the adapter plug will be).

We were staying in fairly high-end hotels, if that makes any difference.

lennyba Jun 29th, 2012 05:53 PM

I've used my dual-voltage curling iron in the UK and Europe with no problems, both b&b's and nicer hotels. I put it on a low setting. Agree that those universal adapter plugs things are a PIA.

janisj Jun 29th, 2012 07:14 PM

"<i>Hmmm - recently returned from Italy and France; we carried a Conair curling iron and an adapter plug. Had no trouble anywhere. Don't see why the UK would be any different</i>"

As they say you will likely be fine. However, because some have never had problems, doesn't mean you won't. I used to take a hair dryers and curling iron on every trip (more than 30) . . . and <i>most</i> of the time they worked fine. But over those years -- one hairdryer blew up, one curling iron melted, and one hairdryer blew the circuits in the guest house. So If I was talking about two or three trips, I wouldn't think there was any problem.

"<i>I've used my dual-voltage curling iron in the UK and Europe with no problems, both b&b's and nicer hotels. I put it on a low setting.</i>"

Most dual voltage hair appliances will only allow you to use the lowest setting, so if you need a lot of heat, it probably won't work satisfactorily.

Buy a cheap one in the UK . . .

Pegontheroad Jun 29th, 2012 08:31 PM

I've had problems with both dual voltage hair dryer and curling iron in Europe, so I bought a cheap curling iron and a cheap hair dryer in Germany, and I also have a collection of those little adaptor plugs for different countries.

I suspect that you will return to Europe at various times in your life, and you'll be able to use the European iron and dryer more times than just this once.

Ritequette Jun 29th, 2012 10:03 PM

@dutyfree- Well, I bought the universal adapter because I'm planning a Spring study abroad in a different European country, which means yet another different outlet/plug, so I figured it would be more useful. Oh, and I'm studying at Cambridge (Christ's College).

Also, the reason I'm trying to shy away from buying one is 1) I honestly don't know if I'll ever be going back to the UK, and a hair dryer I can't use again is a waste and 2) I'm on a tight budget, and it's a 5-week stay. I don't want to go blowing money I need for meals and trips on things like curling irons and hair dryers, so I'm trying to get this stuff straight before I leave. If I CAN use it over there, I'd like to take it along to avoid unnecessary costs.

I think I'll see how it does. Hopefully, it won't explode.

Weegie Jun 30th, 2012 12:16 AM

You could pick up a servicable dryer from Argos for under 8 pounds.

http://tinyurl.com/6rp4axm

Similarly tongs can be picked for similar prices.

http://tinyurl.com/82yc46t

You could pop them on ebay once you get back to the States to recoup the cost.

Hooameye Jun 30th, 2012 01:58 AM

"Many times there is a sign next to the plug in the bathroom that says shavers only"

Usually because they are wired into the lighting circuit (6amp) not the power circuit (32amp).

hetismij2 Jun 30th, 2012 02:53 AM

If you are also going to another European country next year then why not buy one in the UK? OK the plug is different, but the voltage is the same. You can pick up a UK/Europe plug adapter while in the UK too.

janisj Jun 30th, 2012 03:36 AM

"<i>1) I honestly don't know if I'll ever be going back to the UK, and a hair dryer I can't use again is a waste</i>"

My suspicion is that once you've been --you will want visit again. But even if you never set foot in the UK again, you can use the same curling iron in the rest of Europe.

"<i> 2) . . . If I CAN use it over there, I'd like to take it along to avoid unnecessary costs. </i>

"<i>I think I'll see how it does.</i>"

Fine for you, but what about the others in the same bldg when you blow all the circuits?

And as I said, if a curling iron is that important, you likely use it a LOT and probably on the highest temps. It just won't work as well over there (if yours allows using the high setting(s) it is even more likely to blow the circuits)

You can buy one for £7 or £8 ($10-$12).

janisj Jun 30th, 2012 03:41 AM

oh - one other thing: If your current one allows using the high setting(s), then it will get even hotter and most likely will singe your hair. But as I mentioned, many won't allow use of the high setting/temp.

jamikins Jun 30th, 2012 05:57 AM

Save the hassle and buy One for £8 in Cambridge....if you really can't afford that for something you deem as essential what will you do in an emergency? I don't mean that in a snarky way, but seriously...

dutyfree Jun 30th, 2012 06:56 AM

Go to Walmart or even Target and buy an assorted adaptor kit for $9.99! Those all in one universal adaptors are horrible and they end up coming out of the wall or needing support to stay in the plug. TJ Maxx occasionally has them too.
My best purchase when I first started flying international was a combination hair dryer/curling wand for $15 in Paris- have used it for years with different adaptors and I always know that it will work. Spend the money in the UK and you will be glad you did.Most of the flight attendants I know dry their hair overseas and then put in Velcro rollers for awhile to curl their hair- easy and no hassles!

nytraveler Jun 30th, 2012 10:27 AM

If you are staying in modern or upscale hotels this is not likely to be a problem. But it definitely can be in the older and more modest places. The first time I went we did and I plugged in my hair drier - which would only work on the lowest of 3 settings - and generated practically no heat at all.

sassy27 Jun 30th, 2012 12:32 PM

In my experience, the ones that I brought from home don't work that great. During my last trip to Ireland it would only work sporadically so I broke down and bought one. I went to their euro store and bought an adaptor for future trips outside Ireland and the UK.

amelie Jul 1st, 2012 05:43 AM

I melted a curling iron in the UK before. I say buy a cheap one, especially for 5 weeks of use. And like the others said you can use it in Europe in the future.

Heimdall Jul 1st, 2012 06:57 AM

If you buy a curling iron or hair dryer in the UK, you can still use it in other European countries with a UK to Schuko adapter such as this: http://shop.showtec.co.uk/showtec-uk-to-schuko-adapter

YvonneQ12 Mar 16th, 2015 08:27 AM

Karmin makes the best in my opinion! ;)


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