Packing Update: New Additions & Questions About Hair Dryers & Travel

After reading through my comments and many message board comments about last night's packing adventure, I made a few adjustments to my suitcase while still maintaining the same amount of room.

I eliminated:
  • The sweater Candice lent to me---it was a teeny bit short on me and took up a lot of space so I decided to forgo it since I already have a lot of sweaters happening (thanks C for lending it to me!)
  • Some Lulu Lemon tanks I had packed---instead I opted to add some dressier black tops and an additional black tee which I thought I'd wear more than brightly colored workout tank
I added:
  • My black Express blazer---I had one of those *headdesk* moments when I decided to pack it---perfect, sleek, black blazer made from stretchy cotton fabric---umm hello, how was this NOT an obvious choice when I first packed!?   It's perfect---it can perk up ANY outfit, works well with skinny jeans over a black top for dinner and is perfect to throw over my fur-collar sweater vest for a luxe look---thank goodness I thought to pack it
  • A fitted black dress---which can double as a top/tunic (it's stretchy and I can roll it up)
  • The F21 tunic I wore with leggings and boots to my work Christmas dinner
  • The cognac boots---I chose these over heels---I will probably buy heels while I'm there---I felt the cognac boots were a better choice for this trip---who knows, I may be wrong

    I was actually surprised that though I added some items, it didn't appear that I did when I packed it all.  It's all about strategy and placement!
    google images
    ps- this is NOT my luggage, just a pic from google images! sorry about that!
So thank you so much to everyone who "helped me pack"---I might make some additional adjustments---I had a thought that my gray Express sweater with the pretty crystal buttons might be a nice addition because it's thinner than my other sweaters and might be nice if we get a warmer day...what do you think?

I also have to mention one of my lovely readers found the Target tunic top I was raving about (the one I'm wearing on the plane that's practically a dress length---definitely covers the bum) You can follow this link to buy it. I must say it looks much better in person than it does on the model---it's really such a versatile top!

At this point all I have to add to my packing process is my liquids and my makeup.

Someone told me that curling irons and flat irons don't work in Europe because they are too high voltage---I am not sure what my hair situation is going to be.  I don't even know if I should bring a hairdryer---lovely readers, please chime in and tell me there's hope for good hair? I have one of those converter plugs...but I hear the converter is not the problem, it's the voltage. Let me know your experiences.

Update: my H just told me his cousin lent us a voltage converter so I think my hair will be OK :)

xoxo,

Veronika.

28 comments :

  1. Being that I live overseas in Asia and they use the same voltage as Europe (220v) check your hair appliance.. if it says 110v-240v and 50/60hz you will be fine. Otherwise you will need a "step up" converter (WHICH IS HUGE) not just a plug converter if it only says 120v. I would say to x out bringing your hair dryer since most hotels come equipped with one. I hope this helped, just be sure that anything you plug in says it can take up to 240v or else you will end up with a broken sad appliance! (Trust me I ruined my new $900 clothes dryer!)

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  2. thanks for the info :) my H just told me we have a voltage converter---yay!

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  3. I went to paris in 2008 and I brought along my curler and straightener. You do need a converter but it works fine! Have a safe trip!

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  4. Yeah all you need is a converter :) I was scared to death of breaking my cherished hair appliances when I was in Europe, but with the converter, all was well :)

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  5. All you need is a converter to use for flat or curling iron. My hotel in Rome last year already had them set up, so all I brought was my chi. So check with your hotel about that, and they would probably have a blow dryer as well.

    Have a wonderful trip!

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  6. Where did you get your luggage? I absolutely ADORE it! I hope you have fun in Paris and I can wait to hear all the details!
    Lisa

    www.adayoflisa.blogspot.com

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  7. I would make sure that it is a GOOD converter. I lived in Spain 2x and both times I had friends ruin their flat irons. I just bought a blow dryer and Babybliss flat iron (which was great, but I wouldn't buy one for the week).

    Honestly, I would see if your hotels have blow dryers.

    Also, when you go to Paris, please try a French macaron. I LOVE the chocolate and rose flavored ones at Laduree (I went to the location on Champs Elysees. They put it in a cute box, too. They also have things like soaps. Check it out!- T

    http://www.laduree.fr/v1/index.htm

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  8. Actually you don't just need a converter you need a plug adapter too (unless your converter came with an adapter kit!). I really don't think you need a hair dryer I've never stayed in a hotel that didn't have one. Also like someone already said your hair appliances might already be dual voltage in which case you just need an adapter so check first. A lot of electronics are dual voltage (cell phone chargers, camera battery chargers etc) so do a check quick first before you start trying to convert them- like I said before you might just need the plug adapter.

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  9. Quick tip! Since you said you might buy boots and shop a bit don't forget the VAT refund for tourists! Basically many stores offer, if you spend over usually 150 euros, to get a refund for the sales tax. They fill out a form for you and at the airport you get your money back. It's a pretty big deal bc the VAT can be ~20%! I don't know how to explain it to you easily so I found this explanation on the Rick Steve's website: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/vat.htm

    It's super easy and a pretty sizeable discount on your purchases, but don't forget to stop at the refund counter at the airport before you head back to Houston!

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  10. Another shopping tip! At Galeries Lafayette- a pretty fancy department store that's at least worth going to see because of the amazing Xmas tree they put up at this time, they were offering (at least as of Sept/Oct) a 10% discount on purchases for tourists. You go with your passport to the visitor customer service desk on the ground floor and they give you a discount card. I also got the discount card at my hotel with a free map that is given out everywhere (the map is sponsored by Galeries Lafayette). Also at Lafayette you can get back instantly like 12% of the VAT at their de-taxe desk, but I think you have to spend 175 euros there (which is not hard to do because it's a high-end store).

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  11. All you need is a regular converter. I buy all my electricals in the US and use them here with no problem!! :)

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  12. Most newer hotels have the converters already. When I was in high school I stayed at a hotel in Spain that didn't, and I had a converter, but my blow dryer still got VERY HOT very fast - I had to be careful. I think you should be okay, however!

    Kathleen

    PS - LOVE those pink suitcases - so lovely!

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  13. If your hair dryer isn't dual voltage I would completely discourage bringing it along. I had a voltage converter that had it's own circuit breaker but it still fried my $200 flat iron. It's not just the frying the iron part that sucked; it sparked, made a loud 'pop' noise, and black soot emitted from the iron and got all over my hand. I totally yelped in surprise! Anyways, if you get desperate there are tons of places to get hair appliances so I wouldn't be so worried! Have a good trip!

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  14. A problem like Stephanie's can happen (just giving an explanation not making an assumption that it is in fact what happened) with small travel converters because, depending on which one you have, they can be made for different ranges of watts (which I explained in an earlier post comment several weeks but I am not sure if you read it). So if your hair dryer is a 2000W appliance but your converter only covers low wattage ranges (like for electric razors) then it will still likely fry your tool. Just as an example look at these on conair . . . http://www.conair.com/travel-smart-hi-low-1875-watt-converter-p-496.html
    this one has a hi/low switch so that you can use it for hair tools which usu require a bit more wattage because they have to heat up. This second one for example goes even higher up to 2000w http://www.conair.com/travel-smart-2000-watt-international-converter-set-p-483.html

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  15. last year when we went to europe, i bought a dual voltage flat iron and curling iron off of amazon - they were $30 and $18 (pretty cheap compared to my everyday hair tools) and worked great! All I needed was a converter plug! And I didn't have to worry about ruining my hair appliances i love. I've heard mixed things about voltage converters...I know you don't have a lot of time, but I know you can find dual voltage hair tools in stores! hope this helps, and have a great trip! :)

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  16. thanks christina :) I will check out our converter and see what kind it is!

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  17. Hi Veronika! You and your blog are adorable! I love to check it every morning with my coffee!
    I hope you have an awesome trip!

    Also- I MUST have your luggage- where is it from?

    XO
    -Lauren
    www.oliveandbleu.com

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  18. lauren---it's just a pic from google images, not my luggage :) thanks for the sweet well-wishes!

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  19. I have enjoyed reading your blog, but this will me my first comment, I felt compelled based on my mishaps in this area.

    I've been to Europe and the UK a few times and tried several different convertors. Every single one ruined my staightner/curling iron/blow dryer. In addition to frying the appliance, I have also burned my hair as a result. Not a fun experience.

    The last time I went, I just stopped at a local drugstore in the UK and bought a cheapie. Even though it was not as nice as the flat iron I use on a daily basis at home, I didn't have to worry about singed ends or electrical mishaps. And, I finally had cute hair in some travel pics!I think it only cost me about $20 US.

    Just my 2 cents, but I have literally ruined 3 flat irons and a blow dryer going the convertor route.

    Also, just wanted to say I love your style and affordable, yet chic, finds! : )

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  20. You may have mentioned this already, but when exactly are you leaving for Europe? Soon, right?

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  21. I adore that Target tunic! Might have to stop and see if my store has any in stock before I order online.

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  22. I loved that Target tunic so much I went and tried it on and bought it :) Now only if it weren't 85 degrees in Texas so I could wear it... Thanks for the info! Hope you have a fun trip!

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  23. just wanted to say that I appreciate your "pinkness"...bravo for keeping it girly!!

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  24. When I used my own blowdryer and iron in Paris (a few months ago), it fried my HAIR and blowdryer. I had to settle with using the blowdryer in the hotel (which was awful).

    I think your best bet is to buy something cheap when you get there just to get you through the week. Trust me when I say it will be a waste of time and luggage space to bring your own iron or blowdryer!

    GL and have fun!

    PS-Shopping in Paris was different than I thought. I found it to be either cheap, F21 quality stores OR top designers that were COMPLETELY unaffordable. Printemps is a large department store where you'll see all the big designer stuff. It's fun to see but I couldn't find anything in the whole place under $500 USD. :) I definitely didn't shop as much as I thought I would.

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  25. We also had a converter but it went terribly wrong! When we first got to London I blew out my $150 hairdryer and shut the electricity down on our entire floor. Woops! I have no idea what we did wrong but I ended up buying a local, cheap flat iron and hair dryer that was also used in Rome and Paris. I'm sure you'll have more luck, though.

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  26. I just went to Europe this past September. I used a converter and their outlets fried my flat iron. The first time I used it, it never heated up then it turned off. It never worked again. :( So if you're willing to chance it take an old cheapie hair appliance not a new expensive one (like I did).

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