How do I use a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands?

Virgin Islands power outlet

Summary

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

If not then:

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

Using a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands

Will my curling iron work in The US Virgin Islands?

This will depend on if your curling iron can handle the 110 volts as used in The US Virgin Islands. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can operate using 110 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in The US Virgin Islands. If not then you will need to consider bringing either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the guide on do you need a voltage converter to use your domestic curling iron for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7]

The US Virgin Islands power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in The US Virgin Islands?

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

What is the mains voltage in The US Virgin Islands?

Power outlets in The US Virgin Islands are 110 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands?

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

  • Plug Type A - The plug socket, also called a type A power outlet, is recognised by the two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type B - The wall outlet, also called a type B power outlet, is identified by 2 slots parallel to each other where the short live and neutral plug socket blades go with a hole below for the slightly longer earth pin.

A Type B power adapter is suitable for powering a 110 volt curling iron in The US Virgin Islands; read the step by step guide below for full details of using a power adapter for The US Virgin Islands. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your curling iron. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other irons will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to The US Virgin Islands with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in your carry on luggage to The US Virgin Islands?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that your airline which is flying you to The US 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 the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.   [10] [11] [12]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to The US Virgin Islands?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron as opposed to packing your existing domestic curling iron to The US Virgin Islands as it ensures that it will work with the 110 volt power outlets used with a Virgin Islands power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for The US Virgin Islands.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by an airport baggage handler in The US Virgin Islands. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing an expensive specialised curling iron in The US Virgin Islands could overshadow the costs of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before travelling to bring with you. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.  [11]

Power converters for The US Virgin Islands

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for The US Virgin Islands?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for The US Virgin Islands?

An expensive and heavy power converter transforms a 110 volt Virgin Islands power outlet to work with a non-110 volt curling iron, however a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in The US Virgin Islands. [7]

Do you need a converter in The US Virgin Islands to use a curling iron?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 110 volt power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands. A power converter is more suited for travellers who want to bring their existing curling iron, but it might be cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. In addition, a travel curling iron can be considerably lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing. [7]

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

Instructions showing how to power a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands with a three pin Type B travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting - please refer to the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands. This Type B plug adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use with a power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise the wall supply by two thin slots parallel to each other with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the grounded pin.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Virgin Islands power outlet.
  6. The curling iron can now be used in The US Virgin Islands.
How to use a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

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

How to use your curling iron in The US Virgin Islands by using a Type A power adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you might blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting - please consult the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume that you don't already own a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your curling iron can work with a 110 volt power outlet). If the type of power outlet which is used in The US Virgin Islands doesn't accomodate the plug on your curling iron you will need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6]. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in The US Virgin Islands by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it into the Virgin Islands power outlet. You can recognise the plug outlet by 2 slots where the twin plug outlet blades go.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Virgin Islands power outlet. Your curling iron can now be used in The US Virgin Islands.
How to use a curling iron in The US Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - The US Virgin Islands country 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, estimated cost 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, costing C$4-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 cost C$60-C$70.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, C$20-C$25.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under C$10.