When selecting a hair dryer for travel, one of the goals is to find one that is light and compact in size without sacrificing power and speed. A unit with a folding handle may be an added bonus because it makes it easier to pack. If you travel out of the country, it’s vital to purchase a dryer that can use both 125V and 250V. (By the way, some units operate at only one speed at 250V).
These days most hotels, inns and even rental properties provide hair dryers for use by their guests. So as airline baggage regulations become more stringent, most travelers are opting to leave their own dryers at home to save the weight and bulk of packing one more item they may not use. (Of course, it’s always prudent to check on whether one will be available at your destination before you leave home.)
However, some people still bring a hair dryer/blower on their travels, either because they are accustomed to styling their hair with a particular type of dryer or because don’t want to be tethered to an in-bathroom version placed on the wall. (On a recent Crystal Cruise, it was a luxury to have the choice of using one on the bathroom wall and another made available for use elsewhere in the cabin.)
I recently was asked to review the 1000-watt Bed Head Groupie (Model BH409), a “turbo tourmaline ceramic dryer” intended for travel. Its metallic blue casing is cute looking and it has two heat settings. At 1.2 pounds, it is lightweight and easy to hold and pack, but it probably would work better for someone with shorter, lighter hair than mine. I need more power (probably 1200-1500 watts) to dry my hair as quickly as I like, especially when I’m traveling and concerned about saving precious minutes on my hair. While the dryer, which retails for about $30, is inexpensively priced (currently on sale at Boscov’s for $14.99), its biggest downfall for traveling is that it only works on 125V.
So if you are in the market for a hair dryer for your next trip, these are some factors to consider before you make a purchase:
1) Size and comfort of hold (some travel units weigh under a pound),
2) Power – You probably want a unit between 1200-1500 watts for short/fine hair and as many as 1875 for long or thick hair), and
3) Button to convert between 125V and 250V mode (unless you want to carry a converter with you.)
If you are going to be traveling abroad, be sure to check out whether you will need to bring any adapter plugs with you for this or any other electrical appliances.
One last tip: Whether you are at home or traveling, always keep an eye on the dust screen on your dryer. If it isn’t cleaned periodically, the efficiency of the unit will be compromised.
Do you still carry a travel hair dryer on most trips? Do you have a favorite make or model?
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