Moving to Germany: T-66 Days – Traveling with Electronics

With the way technology is today, it is impossible to go on a trip and not bring your favorite toys.  But if you have never traveled outside of the USofA, then you’re in for a rude awakening.

Not all plugs and voltages are alike outside the US. *gasp!*

You need to keep this in mind or you may break something.  Literally.

The US mainly works with 120V while the rest of the world functions on a 240V.   Why?  Well, first off the US has had electricity for a longer period of time than the rest of the world.   We had our own primitive grid in place with its 120V in place.  Once the rest of the world caught on, they had discovered a more efficient way to transfer electricity which allowed them the ability to up the voltage.  Unfortunately when this happened, the US had this grid well in place and there was no way we were going to go back and re-do the WHOLE THING!!!  So we stayed with the lower voltage while the rest of the world progressed.

So because of this you have to keep in mind if you toys can withstand the higher voltage.  Don’t worry, it’ll say it somewhere you just have to look.  If not, it’s ok.  There are are converters that can help keep you from frying your elecronics.  But you need to the research on what you plan to bring with you in order to make sure that it works.

So that being said, what sort of toys do I have?

Well, let’s start with the basics: my hair straightener.

Straightener AND Curler!
Straightener AND Curler!
Click the photo if you’re interested in buying.

It’s an Ion hair straighter/curler that I bought from Sally Beauty Supply.  I purposefully bought this because it could do both and it was small so it would travel well.  I already have curly hair so a curler is not really necessary unless I want more definition and this little guy works in a pinch.  Oh! It also comes with its own thermal sleeve so if you have to run out the door and your appliance is still hot, you can just stick it in there to cool off.   You can buy small travel curlers as well just make sure of the voltage.  If Sally doesn’t have what you are looking for, you can try Ulta.

Notice how you can change the voltage!
Notice how you can change the voltage!
Click the photo if you want to purchase!

I got this hair dryer also at Sally Beauty Supply.  Notice in the photo how you can change the voltage.  This is important because hair dryers usually only go one voltage or another.  The way to switch it is easy: take the plug in prong and insert it into the ‘screw-like’ fixture and turn it to face the appropriate voltage.  It’s not very big, but it does its job and I love that it folds to it also helps saves space in your luggage.

For the toys that can handle both voltages you’ll need something like this:

This is strictly for Europe or parts of South America
This is strictly for Europe or parts of South America

There are those for your three-pronged toys as well but all it does is allow you to simply plug and play.  But for the more badass travelers, here’s my favorite investment:

Epic Adaptor2
Click if you want a similar product!

I bought this bad boy in the Dublin airport while I was getting ready to fly to the UK…..because apparently the UK plugs are vastly different than the rest of Europe *shakes fist angrily*  So I bought this also because it had a few nice USB ports.  These sort of plug is perfect because it is useful to almost everywhere in the world:

Epic AdaptorOh! For those of you more interested in your electronics that mostly charge via USB, then I have a toy for you.  In fact, I  just ordered this a few days ago:

Click photo if you want to purchasee!
Click photo if you want to purchasee!

Anyway, it’s a lot to think about when you’re getting ready for a move (or just a quick trip to someplace that’s not the USofA). But it’s completely doable once you have the knowledge of what to expect.

What about you well versed travelers? What adaptors do you use?  What toys do you like to bring with you on your travels?


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