How do I use my curling iron in Tobago?

Tobagonian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Tobago:

  • If your curling iron can run using 115 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Tobago however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 115 volt Tobagonian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Tobago, therefore please check that the power converter [7] comes with the right power adapter for Tobago otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please note that your own personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 115 volts used in Tobago you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your curling iron in Tobago check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Tobago

Can I use my US curling iron in Tobago?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to Tobago and provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Tobagonian power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in Tobago?

This depends on if your curling iron can handle the 115 volt power outlets used in Tobago:

Tobago power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Tobago?

Power outlets in Tobago are 115 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Tobago?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Tobagonian power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which power adapter will you need when using a curling iron in Tobago?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter will you need when using a curling iron in Tobago?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Tobago, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - The wall socket, also known as a type A power outlet, can be recognised by 2 thin adjacent slots next to each other where the live and neutral pins sit.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify the power outlet by the two slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the slightly long grounded pin.

A Type B power adapter [4] will allow you to use a 115 volt curling iron in Tobago - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Tobago. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you also have to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method 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 the plug. This location might vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons might change automatically but other models will feature a button or switch which allows you to change between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 115 volts used in Tobago then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Tobagonian power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 115 volts used in a Tobagonian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Tobago.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Tobago or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Tobago with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Tobago?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Tobagonian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Tobago. Be aware that packing your expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by airport baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Tobago might overshadow the costs of purchasing a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own 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 [10] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.

Can you take a curling iron in your carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [11] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that the airline which is flying you to Tobago will allow curling irons 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 [10] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [12] as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.

Power converters for Tobago

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a power adapter for Tobago?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a power adapter for Tobago?

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] transforms the voltage of 115 volts from a Tobagonian power outlet to work with a non-115 volt curling iron, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Tobago.

Can I use a voltage converter to use a normal curling iron in Tobago?

A suitable voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 115 volt power outlet used in Tobago. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring their own curling iron, however it might be cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is substantially heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for packing compared to a travel curling iron.

How to use a curling iron in Tobago using a type B power adapter

The WikiConnections guide showing how to use a curling iron in Tobago using a 3 pronged 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 115 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. Before using a travel curling iron make sure the switch is set to accept 115 volts, consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in Tobago isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron. The Type B plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet in Tobago simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type B plug adapter and inserting it in the Tobagonian power outlet. This plug supply (technically called the Type B power outlet [3]) is recognised by 2 thin slots where the live and neutral blades slide into with a single hole below for the earth pin.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Tobagonian power outlet. Your hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Tobago using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Tobago using a type A power adapter

The WikiConnections page showing how to use your curling iron in Tobago with a Type A travel charger.

  1. Ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power outlet - if not then don't continue because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to accept 115 volts, consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. Please check 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 still check that your curling iron will work with a 115 volt power supply). You'll need to bring 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 Tobago. The plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Tobago by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 115 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and plugging it into the wall outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes known as a Type A power outlet [5], can be recognised by 2 slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Tobagonian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on the curling iron to use in Tobago.
How to use a curling iron in Tobago using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinidad_%26_Tobago - Wikipedia.org web page about Tobago
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - 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.
  11. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.