Voltage Converter question...help!

Jan 30th, 2010, 08:07 PM
  #1  
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Voltage Converter question...help!

Hello everyone! I am taking my first trip to Italy and am so confused about what to do about some of the things I need to bring. I am from the US and I need to be able to charge my camera battery, and also heat up my hair waver. It is my understanding that the hotel has hair dryers in the room so I may or may not bring my hair dryer. I bought a travel voltage converter to take with me but I keep hearing stories on how they don't work. The person that sold it to me did tell me that I can't have it plugged in for more than 15 minutes at a time...which is fine. So my question is this: What do you think of voltage converters? Do you think that I would be able to find a hair waver that I could just buy in Rome?
Thanks for all your help!!
aprilaz2003 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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Check the documentation that came with your camera. You might not need a voltage converter to charge it, just an adaptor. My digital camera is that way.
Cranachin is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:19 PM
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Thanks Cranachin! I will check that for sure! What about my hair waver? It's like a curling iron but it's a deep wave iron.
Thanks again!
aprilaz2003 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:34 PM
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I'm desparately trying to remember the name of a movie I just saw where someone ended up blowing out all the lights in a hotel -- oh yeah, Leap Year. Well, that was kind of bogus, because most electronics (not all but most) work on all circuits, whether 120 or 220. And we bring virtual trunk of electronics from laptops to dvd player to camera and phone chargers, and no converter is ever needed, and we haven't fried a thing. So all you need is an adapter. Haven't brought a hairdryer in some years since hotels now either have them in the room or you can pick one up at the front desk. But all hairdryers these days have a little switch you flip from 120 (U.S. voltage) to 220 (European standard* voltage). *There are some instances where there still exists 110/120 so do be careful!

Just check your appliance. If you screw up, you'll end up doing what I did at a nunnery in 1973 in Munich: forgot to flip from 120 to 220 and blew out all the lights in the nunnery, then jumped into bed with hairdryer and pretended to sleep while the nuns scoured the place looking for the culprit. I learned that's the reason for the confessional. I have been forgiven.
Surfergirl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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You will probably find you only need an adapter for the plug to fit and not a converter. I have never had to use a converter and always charge my iPod, camera and telephone.
I have a multiple plug that goes into the converter that lets me charge all my things at one time if needed.
A great website for all kinds of travel help is www.slowtrav.com. and also has converter/adapter information.
Happy travels!!!!
violetduck is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 09:20 PM
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Thanks so much for the info! I really appreciate it. Also, thanks for giving me the link to that website...great info!
aprilaz2003 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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The hair waver is less likely to be dual voltage than media devices like cameras, computers, MP3 players, and such.

Make sure you check everything you plan to take to be sure!
Cranachin is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 12:42 AM
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The camera should be fine as others have said.
Why not buy a cheap hair waver in Italy just to be on the safe side if it isn't dual voltage?
hetismij is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:07 AM
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You definitely can find any kind of hair curler, dryer, waver or anything you need for you hair in Rome. It really makes sense to buy one there. But you may like the one you find in your hotel.
primeranoche is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 02:32 AM
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Another vote for buying what you need in Rome if necessary.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:09 AM
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I definately agree with buying my hair waver in Italy! That would be great if I could find one. I will bring mine and also try and find one there just in case. I will try and see if I can look stuff up near my hotel that I can walk to and buy it. I can't believe that THIS is what I'm worried about!
aprilaz2003 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 05:49 AM
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Plugging a US hair waver into Italian circuits will, at best, destroy the hair curler. At worst it will set fire to the room or electrocute you.

And a voltage converter powerful enough to handle one is going to take up a fair amount of your luggage allowance.

Much safer, much cheaper to buy once in Italy
alanRow is offline  
Jan 31st, 2010, 06:12 AM
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Buy converter plug and take a multiple outlet device. Be sure all appliances are rated 120 - 220. They will charge fine. To take an inverter that will handle an iron, will be weight prohibitive. Buy one there. That way, when you go back, you have one.

If I remember correctly, Italy had two types of plugs. One is 3 prong and one is two. I use a scooter and need to recharge my battery often. Older restaurants had 2 prong plugs. If you use a hotel, they probably will only have a 3 prong plug. If you buy a converter at the airport or at a electric store, you can get the correct one. Also, Radio Shack sells converters, as does ebay and amazon. You can buy before you go if you wish. If you read Italian, go to ebay Italy and buy an iron and have it sent to your first hotel. Email the hotel that you have a package coming so they will know to look for and expect it. When you get there just pick it up. Cheaper this way and you are not spending time walking around looking for one.

I broke my plug converter in Milan and it took half a day to find a store that sold one. Lesson learned. Bought 2 when I found one.
jkbritt is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback....I really appreciate it!!
aprilaz2003 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:01 AM
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Try the LiteFuze voltage converter. You can get it online at LiteFuzeVoltageConverters.com. Check out their voltage converter guide before you pick one.
Jamesanl is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 12:51 AM
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Their lightest converter weighs 8lbs and can only handle 500W.
alanRow is offline  

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