Extending the battery life of your device while traveling
Tips and tricks to make traveling with your electronics easy & efficient
Losing power in the middle of a long flight can be frustrating. Whether it is your phone, computer or tablet, for a lot of us, this is our only source of entertainment on a flight. The seats are smaller, the legroom is shorter, it is difficult to sleep and domestic flights don’t usually offer in-flight movies anymore. Unless you are flying first or business class on an American Airlines flight and have an outlet under your seat, the following will help ensure that your device won’t die once you are mid-flight. If you don’t want to be left in the dark (so to speak), here are a few tips for making your battery life last longer on your next flight.
Before you leave for the Airport
- Charge your device: This may seem obvious but sometimes we forget to charge our phones or tablets. We’ve all been there – just don’t forget to grab it on your way out!
- Check to see if your flight offers Wi-Fi: The majority of planes now offer Wi-Fi, but some of them do not. This usually comes at an extra charge so decide ahead of time if this is important for what you want to do with your device and check to see if your plane offers it.
- Download media to your device: If you are planning on watching a movie or listening to music / podcast / audio book, make sure you download it onto your device so that it is available offline. Programs like Spotify have an option to download songs to your phone so that they are available offline so be sure to do this ahead of time so that you aren’t scrambling to do it before you board.
- Pack a charger in your carry-on bag: Airports (especially DIA) have so many more outlets available than they used to. There is a good chance you will use your phone before you board so take advantage of these outlets while you wait.
- Take a screenshot of your mobile boarding pass or flight information: Instead of bringing up emails or doing an internet search for flight information and boarding passes, utilize the screenshot capability and keep a record of it in your photos. For a mobile boarding pass, you can open it in your phone’s internet browser, take a screenshot of it, and use the image as your boarding pass instead of reloading the webpage.
- Check which apps are using the most energy: This isn’t available on all phones, but on an Apple iPhone (Settings > Battery), you can check to see which apps are using up the most battery power. Avoid or limit the use of these apps if possible.
- Pack back-up entertainment: Always pack something else to entertain you on a flight! If you have a game or book in electronic form, it doesn’t hurt to carry a physical version as well! This could be a book, puzzle games, a journal, etc.
At the Airport / On the Plane
- Put your phone in low power mode: While this is not available for all devices, the newer iPhones have a “Low Power Mode” option that optimizes the energy usage of your phone by not running certain programs or app refreshes in the background. This usually turns on when your battery is at 20%, but you can manually turn it on at any point. To do this, go to the phone’s Settings, click on Battery, and switch on “Low Power Mode.”
- Charge your device while you wait at the airport: If you are using your phone, tablet or computer while you are waiting for your flight, be sure to plug it in! Don’t see an open outlet on the wall? Some airports have outlets built into the chairs and benches! Ask the desk attendant where the nearest outlet is that for you to charge.
- Turn the screen brightness down: Screens take up a lot of energy. By simply turning down the brightness of the screen, you will be saving power without limiting use.
- Pre-load items while on the airport Wi-Fi: While you are plugged in and on the airport Wi-Fi, pre-load any webpages, applications, or download media that you want to use while on the plane.
- Enable a faster “auto-off” screen time: A phone screen will lock or turn off after a pre-set amount of time. You can decrease this time to save some battery for times that you forget to lock the screen, or if you fall asleep.
- Limit your picture taking: The camera utilizes a lot of battery power. You can take a few pictures out the window, but don’t spend too much time with the camera app open or it will take up more of your batter than you think.
And if you plan to use Wi-Fi on the plane…
- Turn off background app refresh: This is mostly for Apple iPhones, but apps downloaded on your phone can continue to run in the background. This can drain your battery without you even knowing it.
- Turn off push notifications: If this is on, things like your email app will continuously be searching for items to update you on. When you use Wi-Fi while you travel, you may want to turn the push notifications off and manually check for updates if necessary.
By doing these simple items when possible, your device will get you through almost any flight or travel time! If your device does die, you can always just looking out the window (although this isn’t possible with every seat) or chat with your neighbor, but don’t be this girl. Also, don’t forget to book your airport parking reservation before you go to ensure that you have a smooth, hassle free travel experience!