After a year of pandemic-induced lockdowns, most people are finally getting ready to travel again. And when you finally do get to your destination, one of the devices you’ll end up using the most will be your phone.
You have almost everything you need in there. From storing your reservations and access to maps to doubling as your camera, your handset can prove indispensable abroad. But there’s a caveat to be taken into consideration: the more you use the device, the sooner you’ll run out of battery.
When you’re travelling, you’re constantly on the move which means you may not be able to recharge your phone whenever the need hits, not without going back to your hotel or taking a prolonged break at a restaurant. To prevent having to pause your adventures, you should try using the following methods to save your phone’s battery life when you are on the road.
Ways to Save Phone’s Battery Life While Traveling
- Charge your phone whenever you can
- Fast charge using the original charger
- Use Airplane Mode
- Turn on Adaptive Battery on your device
- Lower the screen brightness
- Use your phone’s Battery Saver option
- Uninstall unnecessary apps before you travel
- Stop apps from running in the background
- Download content before you travel
- Turn off auto-updates for apps
- Turn off location services
- Use dark mode on your phone and apps
Charge Your Phone Whenever You Can
If your phone’s battery is at a good percentage, you may be tempted to pass on the chance to charge it when an unexpected opportunity presents itself. For anything higher than 80%, plugging in your device for a quick recharge might not seem vital, but you may end up regretting this choice.
When you’re out and about in a new city and you know you’re going to be constantly snapping pictures left and right, you should make sure to exploit any occasion you come across, like finding a wall socket in the museum lobby, for instance.
Always Use the Original Charger
If you’re charging your phone at the airport or in a popular tourist pub, there is a good chance that there are dozens of people waiting in line to do the same. As a result, the faster your phone charges, the better. When you use your phone’s original charger, you will automatically reduce that waiting time.
If your phone features its own charging standard which boosts charging times even more (for instance OnePlus devices with their Warp charging technology), that’s even better.
Abstain from using a substitute charger so you can take advantage of these proprieties and avoid having your device charge slowly.
Use Airplane Mode Even If You’re Not Flying
Airplane mode can help you save a massive amount of battery, even if you’re not up in the sky. If you’re really worried about running out of battery, the solution to your woes may be to activate Airplane on the ground as well.
This will prevent your phone from trying to keep you connected even when you don’t want to be. Airplane mode will automatically disable cellular service, so your device will stop searching for a signal as it would normally do if left to do its thing.
If you don’t wish to have Airplane mode on at all times when on holiday, consider turning off GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, which constantly need to ping mobile networks to function. Each time this happens your phone’s battery drains further.
Turn on Adaptive Battery on Your Device
Adaptive Battery is a feature that was introduced with Android 9. Use the search bar in your Settings to look for it and turn it on (if it’s not enabled already).
When active, the feature promises to limit battery for apps that you don’t use that often. Through the power of machine learning, your phone will learn your habits over time and act accordingly.
Lower the Screen Brightness
We all know how difficult it is to make out anything on the screen in broad daylight if the brightness settings are set to low. That being said, this shouldn’t deter you from actually following through with this advice. If you need to check something on your phone, you can always find a place with shade to do that. On most phones, you simply need to swipe from the top of the display to bring up the notification shade.
There, underneath the Quick tiles, you should see the screen brightness slider where you can control your phone’s screen brightness. Make sure you lower it so that your battery will last longer.
Use Your Phone’s Battery Saver Option(s)
Some phone models offer a low-power/battery saver mode, and you should turn this option on if your device has it. It will turn off most non-essential features while lowering brightness, reducing some visual effects, as well as other high-power features.
Some devices like the newer Pixel can include even more options – for example, its Extreme Battery Saver function which can further extend your battery in critical moments when you need to make it last. Just make sure you check what options are available to you by going to your phone’s “Settings -> Battery.”
Uninstall Apps Before You Travel or Stop Them from Running in the Background
Having to uninstall your favorite apps can be tough, but it’s not a bad idea to remove temptation while you travel. Social media apps like Facebook or Messenger are notorious for consuming a large amount of your phone’s battery. If you think you can go a few days without using Facebook or Instagram, go for it, your phone’s battery will benefit quite a lot.
Alternatively, you can keep the apps on your phone. Just make sure you prevent them from running in the background and ravaging your phone’s battery life. Depending on your device, you can do so by going to “Settings -> Battery,” then Battery Optimization. Here you should select the app you want to stop running in the background, then select “Optimize” to restrict background activity.
As another option, you could go to “Settings -> Apps & notifications” and then select the app from the list. Next, press the “Force stop” button which will put an end to the app’s current session.
Download Content Before You Travel
By downloading content before you travel, you can save the battery required to go online and stream your content. If you’re using Google Maps for navigation, download the map before your travel.
If you want to listen to some music while you explore a new city, download your favorite Spotify songs at home. Additionally, know there are plenty of apps you can use while offline.
Turn Off Auto-Updates for Apps
When you finally find a reliable Wi-Fi connection at your hotel or restaurant where you’ve stopped for lunch, you don’t want to suddenly get hit by a deluge of app updates. You can wait until you get home to do that.
What you’ll have to do is turn off automatic updates for each app individually. To do so, go to the app’s page on the Google Play Store and tap on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner, then untick the “Enable auto update.”
Turn Off Locations Services
If you’ve taken our previous advice and downloaded all the maps you may need before your trip, then you should have no qualms about turning off Location services on your phone. Go to “Settings -> Location” and toggle off the “Use location” feature.
If you really must use location services, then make sure you do so very briefly and that you enable the function only for the app you’re using. In the Location tab, you can view which apps tap into this function and can revoke their permission from there.
Optional: Use Dark Wallpapers and Switch to Dark Themes in Your Apps
This is a tip that will always work, even if you’re not traveling. The fewer pixels your screen needs to light up, the more power it saves. The same rule applies to apps.
This tip is optional because it only makes a difference to your battery life if use a phone with an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). Granted, most newer phones take advantage of this technology, but not everyone sports the latest models. Comparatively, LCD displays light their pixels form the edges, so the same amount of power is used even if the screen is completely black.
The bottom line is this – the less your phone has to do, the more battery you are going to save down the line. The more services you turn off, the more you’ll be able to keep your phone alive. If your trip is scheduled to start soon, perhaps you’d also be interested to checkout our list of apps that notify you when your Android battery is full. Alternatively, it may prove handy to know how to stop the Wi-Fi from turning on automatically on your device.