How do I use my curling iron in The British Virgin Islands?

British Virgin Islands power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in The British Virgin Islands:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need the right power adapter for The British Virgin Islands but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 110 volt British Virgin Islands power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in The British Virgin Islands, therefore please check that the power converter comes with the right power adapter for The British Virgin Islands otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware your existing curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your luggage. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 110 volts you run the risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in The British Virgin Islands please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands

Will my curling iron work in The British Virgin Islands?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 110 volt power outlets in The British Virgin Islands:

The British Virgin Islands power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in The British Virgin Islands?

The residential voltage in The British Virgin Islands is 110 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in a British Virgin Islands power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a British Virgin Islands power outlet is 60 Hz. [8]

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands?

There are two different types of power outlets used in The British Virgin Islands, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the power outlet by the two slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This plug outlet, technically called a type B power outlet, is identified by the two slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircular shaped hole below for the earth pin.

A recommended power adapter to bring to use a 110 volt curling iron in The British Virgin Islands is a Type B plug adapter, read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands with a power adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to see if you have to bring a power converter.  [4] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One way to tell if your curling iron can accept a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. This location will depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other irons will feature a button which allows you to operate between different regions.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 110 volts used in The British Virgin Islands then you should be able to use your curling iron with a British Virgin Islands power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 110 volts used in a British Virgin Islands power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in The British Virgin Islands.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in The British Virgin Islands or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to The British Virgin Islands with a curling iron

Is it safer to bring my travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to The British Virgin Islands?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron rather than packing your existing domestic curling iron to The British Virgin Islands as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 110 volt power outlets used with a British Virgin Islands power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for The British Virgin Islands.

It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers. The costs involved in repairing or replacing an expensive quality curling iron in The British Virgin Islands might overshadow the costs of buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own personal curling iron in your luggage either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.  [10]

Can curling irons go in my carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to The British Virgin Islands will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible for airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [10] [11] [12]

Power converters for The British Virgin Islands

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for The British Virgin Islands?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for The British Virgin Islands?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in The British Virgin Islands, however a heavier and more expensive power converter converts the voltage of 110 volts from a British Virgin Islands power outlet to work with a non-110 volt curling iron. [7]

Can you use your curling iron with a converter for The British Virgin Islands?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 110 volt power outlet used in The British Virgin Islands. Travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron can use a power converter, but it can be considerably less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also significantly bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for packing compared to a travel curling iron. [7]

How to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands using a Type B power adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power outlet - if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to the 110 volt setting; please refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on where this switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in The British Virgin Islands isn't the same shape as the plug of your curling iron. The Type B plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in The British Virgin Islands simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter into the power outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes known as a Type B power outlet [3], can be recognised by 2 thin slots parallel to each other where the short two plug outlet blades slide into with a single hole below for the slightly long grounded pin.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the British Virgin Islands power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

A page showing how to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands with a 2 pronged Type A power adapter.

  1. Please ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power outlet - if it doesn't then don't continue because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel curling irons will usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to accept 110 volts; please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is.
  2. This guide assumes that you are not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron can work with a 110 volt power outlet). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in The British Virgin Islands. The plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet found in The British Virgin Islands by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type A plug adapter into the power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the British Virgin Islands power outlet. Your hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in The British Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - The British Virgin Islands Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, under C$5.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, costs under C$5.
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, estimated price under C$70.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under C$25.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under C$10.