Most traveller's bags these days are stuffed with digital gear that you just can't leave at home. Your iPhone, iPad, e-Reader all keep you entertained and informed whilst you're on the move, not to mention the photos and using them to reach people back home. We all know the familiar sinking feeling when we see the battery sign on our gadgets flash red or pop up with '10% remaining', so how is it possible to keep those screens going when we're travelling? The best way to save battery is to start your trip practising power-saving habits.
Invest in an incredible case
No, an incredible case is not a technical term, but these things do literally save the sanity of travellers constantly on their phones during the commute and their holidays. This 'incredible case' charges your phone when it runs out of battery, and keeps it charged for a certain amount of time afterwards because it charges whilst on the go (until the case itself needs to be charged up again). This might not sound overly-helpful, but it'll definitely extend your phone battery by a day or two should you need it. You can also get these types of cases for iPads and eReaders.
Keep it cool
If you can't get a charging case, then try keeping the battery cool. If you're venturing to a hot country, the significant change in temperature will have a serious impact on any battery-powered device. Keeping a phone or tablet charging any longer than it has to creates heat build-up which in turn will damage the battery's longevity.
Adjust your settings
Sounds like common sense, as the first thing most of us do when we realise we're quickly running out of battery life is to turn down those brightness settings. Dimming the screen will increase battery life - proven, but turning off Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS will also help as the phone won't be constantly searching for a signal. Vibrate tones also drain more battery than a quiet ring tone, so adjust that too. Make sure that the apps aren't left open - close it down as soon as you're finished with it. If your phone has a sleep setting - use that so that it just shut downs 30 seconds after use. Make sure you're not constantly looking for messages or checking the time either, pack a watch and only check your phone for messages at certain times - constantly clicking the home key or standby button can drain the battery.
Install a battery-saving app
Switching everything off and manually adjusting your power settings may work, but it can require a lot of effort. Using an app such as the Du Battery Saver or Low Battery Saver for iPhones and MacBooks will do all of this for you automatically, as well as monitoring your phone's power output, telling you the optimal time to charge and how to preserve battery life.
Use an e-Reader or old phone
Most kindles and eReaders have a battery life of about a month, including heavy usage - which can be a lot more convenient than the iPad's daily charging demands. So if you only care about reading books, and not watching videos or internet access, ask yourself if you really need that iPad or if a cheaper, lighter e-Reader alternative will suit you better. Remember those old phones back in the day that used to last all year round (exaggeration) without you having to charge it? Well why not take one of those with you, just in case your flashy phone gets lost, stolen, damaged or god forbid- runs out of battery.
Take a spare battery
With the exception of Apple products, most cameras, phones and laptops allow you to swap the battery manually within seconds, so buy a spare battery of the same make and keep it charged up and ready to go. If you're really paranoid - bring multiples.
If you plan on taking your phone, tablet or e-Reader with you, make sure you invest in good quality travel insurance with a gadget extension. Theft and travel scams are becoming increasingly common, and often leave travellers with no vital documents, gadgets or way to communicate with anyone aside from walking to the police station and reporting the crime. Make sure you're safe, with cover from Alpha Travel Insurance.
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