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How to survive your vacation on one cellphone battery

Until they start making batteries that can really take the 'punishment' users dish out, there are some strategies to extend usage time for 'ordinary' cell batteries
A man with a cellphone (illustrative photo: Uri Lenz/Flash90)
A man with a cellphone (illustrative photo: Uri Lenz/Flash90)

As I was planning my latest trip to New York City, I was tempted to buy a power bank to keep my gadgets charged when they ran out of “juice.” A gadget that charges other gadgets. Do I really need it?

Here’s how I conquered “extreme travel” — traveling with a cellphone, laptop and tablet with no extra power.

I charged everything to 100% while I was getting ready to leave my apartment. When I used my phone, I charged it as soon as I was done with the call. I charged my laptop and tablet and turned them off so they weren’t “leaking electricity.”

As soon as I got on the plane, I turned my cellphone off. It was at 70% by then. (I called Mom after passing through security.)

I arrived at the NYC hotel at 7 am. At that hour, I wasn’t checking in, I was giving them my luggage to store and hitting the road. I charged my phone for the 30 minutes or so that I was at the hotel. Back to 100%.

Eat at the Same Pace That Your Phone Charges
By the time I got back to the hotel at 3:30 pm, I was low on battery power, but the hour long break was enough time to charge the phone. I followed the same routine every day. I ate at a Mexican place just north of Herald Square and asked for a spot to charge my phone. At the bar were electrical sockets under each chair. I ate at the same pace as the phone charged. Brilliant, New York!

My laptop and tablet never left the hotel room, and I charged them at night and in the morning.

Keep a US SIM Card while in Israel
Another tip for frequent flyers to the US from Israel — buy an American SIM card and keep it. With T-Mobile, I only have to make a $10 deposit 3 months after my month is up, and they only take $3 of that. For my twice a year trips, it is absolutely worth it to own a US number. I pay $40 per trip. Even if I’m only there 2-3 weeks, having the same phone number every visit is a huge bonus. I just call T-Mobile 2 months after each trip and make sure they keep my number active.

What are your tips for smart travel?

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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