If your curling iron says 120V/240V somewhere on its casing or electrical plug, congratulations: You own a beauty appliance that can go almost anywhere in the world with you, including France. But before you jump on the plane, take a second to make sure you have a plug adapter, too – and maybe even think twice about whether you should take that curling iron at all.

You Don’t Need an Electrical Convertor

In the United States, typical household and hotel circuits provide 120-volt electricity, but in France, the electric circuits provide 230 volts. If your curling iron weren’t labeled for both voltages, you’d need to purchase an electrical convertor that steps the French current down to the 120 volts your curling iron would be able to handle. Electrical convertors can cost as much as a basic curling iron, so, unless you needed the convertor for other appliances or were particularly attached to taking your curling iron everywhere, it would make better sense to purchase a simple curling iron in France.

You Do Need a Plug Adapter

Although your curling iron is already capable of handling France’s electrical current, its plug won’t fit the French plug-ins – so you need a plug adapter to bridge the gap. Electrical plug-ins in France may require a type C plug, which has two round prongs, or a type E plug, which has two round prongs and a socket for a male (protruding) earthing pin. A type E plug adapter will work with either type of plug.

A Warning About Plug Adapters

Plug adapters generally come in two varieties: either a single, simple piece with no moving parts, which only fits one type of plug-in; or a convertible adapter with several different prongs that can be flipped up to tuck in to fit several different types of wall plug-ins. As a general rule, the former is easier to deal with, because the lack of moving parts means there’s less to go wrong during frequent use. The second type might be useful if you travel infrequently but across multiple countries with different styles of plug-ins. But make sure that its circular prongs can extend to access recessed outlets, which are common in some parts of Europe and have frustrated many a traveler who thought they had the perfect all-in-one plug adapter.

Should You Take Your Curling Iron?

Traveling light can be a true joy, once you realize how much easier it is to move around without large suitcases in your wake. So although the idea of going without your beauty appliances might be daunting, at least give some serious thought to how much use you’ll really get out of that curling iron before you pack it in your bags. If it’s a truly indispensable part of your beauty routine and you’d be miserable without it, by all means take it. But if you can make do with a good brush and the that you’ll find in most hotel rooms, you might enjoy using that suitcase space for something else, like fine wine or cheese as a souvenir of your trip.