Today our smartphones are our best travel buddies. They provide us with an immense amount of information with the tap or swipe of a finger. We use them to plan our stay with websites like Airbnb and booking.com. We check that our flights have an e-ticket option to skip check-in queues at the airport. Then, once we arrive to our destination we either Uber or navigate around using Google Maps. We settle in and hop on TripAdvisor or Foursquare to find the tastiest restaurants or must-see sites. And we can’t forget to stay in touch with friends using various messengers and updating them through social media. Ultimately, we use it to make our travels easier and save time, but we’re all familiar with the problem this constant usage causes.

The Problem with Your Best Travel Buddy

However efficient our smartphone is, there is one problem: Battery life is still a big issue and most smartphones, used heavily, won’t even last a full day. Our best travel buddy experiences jet lag too. We’re opening new apps all day, using the GPS, connecting to WiFi, and the list goes on. Then that dreaded red color shows up, warning us that our battery life is low, and our smartphones leave us hanging out to dry.

Tips to Keep a Long Battery Life

Outsmart your smartphone using these helpful hacks for a long lasting battery.

  • One of the biggest battery consumers is actually the display. The higher the brightness, the more power it consumes. So try to keep it on a low level and avoid using it in bright sunlight.
  • The phone’s battery lasts longer when it is cool. Don’t leave it out in the direct sunlight. Rather keep it somewhere in the shade.
  • Airplane mode is not just for flights. Always put your phone on airplane mode when you are not using it. When moving around a lot and especially in areas with weak signal, the phone powers the antenna up to the highest level, draining the battery very quickly. If you need to do something online just quickly turn on airplane mode and then turn it off again.
  • A common mistake smartphone users do is keeping WiFi and Bluetooth switched on when they aren’t being used. When you’re not using them make sure they are always turned off, otherwise they just consume battery.
  • Take pictures, but don’t waste time looking at them. Do that later when you’re at a place where you can charge your phone.
  • Avoid using battery heavy apps (see your iPhone or Android settings to find the apps that drain your battery). In particular games and very visual applications consume your battery. If you really need a way to entertain yourself (e.g. a long train or bus journey) it’s better listen to a podcast or audiobook and leave the display turned off.
Listen to a podcast or audiobook and leave the display turned off.
Listen to a podcast or audiobook and leave the display turned off.
  • Turn off synchronization services and background services (get rid of open apps and website tabs). Most phones (iPhone and Android) have an option for that. There’s no need for your phone to constantly keep things running that you’re not actively using. If you need something, just go to the app. It might take a second or two longer to load, but it gives you tons of extra battery time.
  • Disable push notifications. Not only does this save battery, but it also gives you peace of mind to not constantly look at your phone. Do you really want to see another cat picture posted on Facebook? You’re supposed to be traveling and exploring new places anyway!
  • If you want to leave notifications on, at least turn off vibrations and sound. This drains battery life big time.
  • Some phones have a battery saver mode (e.g. low power mode in the iPhone settings). Usually your phone will turn that on automatically when reaching 20% or less battery power. However, there’s no reason you can’t turn this on all the time.
Always keep an eye out for places to charge your phone. Many airports offer charging stations.
Always keep an eye out for places to charge your phone. Many airports offer charging stations.

Be sure to look for places to charge it too, like airports, coffee shops, sometimes even trains. These tips will give your best travel buddy a longer battery life but remember to stay present during your travels and use your smartphone as little as possible. Our productive little friends can be as distracting as they are helpful. There’s nothing like making memories and being in the moment.

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