Electrical Appliances

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by deeseiffer, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. deeseiffer

    deeseiffer Member

    My husband and I are headed to Prague in a few weeks. I love this site and have read almost all of the travel guide info. I am getting ready to practice with the Czech language guide here before I go.

    I have 2 questions:
    1. Being the vain woman that I am, I use a curling iron everyday. I presume I need an adapter for my U.S. appliance. Or should I just buy one when I get there?

    2. We plan to rent a cell phone for the 10 days we are there. Should I do that at the airport, or is there a better place in town?

    We're staying in Old Town Square at the Old Town Square Hotel.

  2. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    you will need an adapter for the plug (2 prong round european) and a transformer unless your curling iron is dual volatge (110/220 volt). K-mart and Wal-Mart (I think) both have inexpensive versions of each. I would buy before I went over. I don't know how much curling irons cost but depending on the cost of the adapter and transformer, you might just want to buy an inexpensive one in Prague (Tesco will have them).

    Don't know about the phone but suspect it would be cheaper not at the airport.
  3. deeseiffer

    deeseiffer Member


  4. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. Hope you have a wonderful visit. Glad to see you are giving the trip enough time (10 days). :)
  5. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    ThermaCell & Braun both make cordless gas operated curling irons that come in handy when traveling. I've seen them at Rite Aid and Walmart. They are run by lighter fluid and you just by the refill. However, if your rod is large, you may have trouble finding one. I've only seen the small rods.


    Edited by site admin: shortened URL displayed
  6. jen

    jen Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure you can't take those butane cartridges on the airplane...but check anyway :)
  7. deeseiffer

    deeseiffer Member

    I was thinking the same thing - no butane on the plane.

    I like the Tesco idea.


  8. PGN

    PGN Well-Known Member

    We buy a SIM card when in country. You will be able to use your current phone just swich SIM cards. You will end up getting an in country phone number.
  9. jen

    jen Well-Known Member

    She won't necessarily be able to use the same phone - it has to be a tri-band phone. If it's not, then it won't work. Check the manufacturer's site or your manual. But if so, then yes, you can buy a pay-as-you-go sim card.
  10. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    If you decide on the adapter & converter option, definitely get them in the U.S., e.g. at RadioShack. They're much easier to find there. You might spend a whole afternoon running from store to store looking for a converter in Prague.
  11. PGN

    PGN Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jen, I forgot to mention that critical piece of information :oops:
  12. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    I am not sure what "triband" really mean in the US:

    In the US you use 1900 and 850 Mhz
    In the EU we use 1800 and 900 Mhz

    Cells sold here as "triband" are 900/1800/1900 and are of course OK here, but CAN be used in the US, however, signal coverage is not good in some areas where 850 Mhz prevail or 1900 Mhz is not at all.

    So for going to the US is better to have "quadband", or to buy some cheap crap Motorola in Wallmart as my brother did last summer, for some 20 bucks or so.

    So, what I wanted to say, is the situation with US "triband" cells might be the same here, you have say 850/1900/1800, which may be good in towns, but in rural areas it might not be enough.

    If you do not have quadband phone and realize coverage of your triband is not sufficient (hard to say for me as I have no idea if my phone is using 900 or 1800 at the moment), you can allways either buy some prepaid set (starting at 1000 CZK - $60), or buy some second hand cell for few days and some prepaid SIM card, and when leaving throw it away (not literally), 'cause it's not gonna work in the US as cheaper and/or older phones are usually dualband (900/1800) only. Both ways are gonna be cheaper then rent-a-phone I guess.

    BUT - It's holiday so try break away from your I-allways-have-to-connected habit and just relax for a few days.
  13. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    I use T-Mobile and have a quad-band phone. T-Mobile has a pre-paid card and/or SIM cards (universal and T-Mobile specific) available with their "Twist" program in Czech Republic. Rates are pretty good. If I think I will be making a lot of calls, I opt for the local SIM card - otherwise I just pay the 99 cent a minute charge that T-Mobile charges me for calls in the Czech Republic with my regular SIM card. Charges with the local SIM card are about 25 cents a minute (half that for SMS). You can also buy a complete Twist set including phone, SIM card, and other stuff starting at about $60 (depends on which phone you choose).
  14. deeseiffer

    deeseiffer Member

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    I checked with my phone company. My cell phone is a quad-band phone, so they unlocked it if I want to rent a SIM card. I can also use my phone "as is" and pay $1/minute.

    I plan to take my laptop to use Skype to call back to the States. I will probably use my cell phone "as is" since I will just be using it to coordinate meeting family a couple of times.

    I was going through some of my previous travel stuff and found the curling iron I bought in London a few years ago because my adapter didn't work there. If it will work in Prague, that will solve my problem about the curling iron.

  15. PGN

    PGN Well-Known Member

    @ Glenn, T-Mobile....same with us. My family wasn't too crazy about my Blackberry actually working the last time we were over there. :D

    Dee, There are many internet cafes overthere. I would pay the hourly rate and just plug my laptop in.
  16. deeseiffer

    deeseiffer Member

    I have T-Mobile, too.

    No worries about spending too much time on the phone - Skype or cell. It is a vacation. However, my mother is 88-years-old and I check in with her every few days. It will make her feel better if I do that from Europe, too. We have 4 kids in college. One in Prague. Thus the reason for the visit. They actually do need to talk to us sometimes.

    We went to London and Paris a few years ago. We used the internet cafes instead of bringing the laptop and having a reliable cell phone. Disasters aplenty were going on at home (one of the kids' friend's house burned down and he needed a place to stay, was just one example) and it was difficult for the kids to get hold of us. We don't want that to happen again.

    My hotel has wireless in the room and my laptop is tiny and light. It won't be cumbersome to bring it along. My email can download while I'm in the shower. I can refer to web sites to refresh my memory of a cafe' or restaurant that was recommended. And, it is convenient to use it for Skype calls.

    If I have my own cell phone, the kids can at least text me to let me know of any problems and I can call them from my Skype phone in the privacy of my hotel room.

    So, thanks for advice about not spending too much time on the phone. Not a problem.

  17. PGN

    PGN Well-Known Member

    Czech, go on line to your account and sign up for the international service (19.99 USD), you can cancel it when you get back, no problems with T-Mobile doing this.

    Also give them a call before you leave and they will make sure that the CZ T-Mobile service is aware of your trip.
  18. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member


    maybe I have a different plan but, my international service is free :shock:

    and, BTW, coverage has always been excellent in ČR.
  19. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Definatelly better than in the US i guess :)
  20. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    Also make sure that the phone can use modulation used in Czech Republic. Czech Republic uses GMSK modulation for cell phones and US uses Pi/4 DQPSK modulation.

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