Planner Tips: 3 More Ways to Keep Gadgets Charged on the Road

In my previous post, I offered up a few thoughts on how to conserve battery power on the road, particularly when working overseas. So rather than carrying around converters and power-strips or diving for every outlet I came across, I learned how to conserve and manage the gadget juice for up to 10-hours a day between electrical refills. Here are a few more thoughts on how to make your power supply carry you through long days and site surveys with battery power to spare:

Digital CameraShoot old school.
And by old school, I mean carry along a digital camera and use it as your primary camera for shooting locations, venues, guest rooms, etc. I’ll admit, for a while there I ditched the digital camera and shot a few site surveys with a smartphone, and the results were underwhelming. The quality of the photos just wasn’t good enough on my smartphone. So I’m back to the digital camera, and with a nice big 8-gig memory card in the camera, I can shoot thousands of snaps without draining juice or space on my smartphone. Take it a step further and carry a one or two ounce additional battery to double your battery life for the day– just remember to charge both batteries when you get back to the hotel at night.
Can you hear me now? Get a British cell phone.
When I’m overseas, I sidestep my U.S. carrier’s usurious charges by temporarily switching my BlackBerry service to a global data plan (no voice) for an extra $100 bucks. For calls, I use a Mobal International Phone, which is a pay-as-you-go phone that gets charged to your credit card, so you don’t run out of credits an inopportune times. The calls are crystal clear, the battery seems to last longer on the native European electrical current, there’s no mucking about with SIM cards and no surprise roaming charges – which makes it easier to manage and less expensive than my U.S. carrier. You’ll also get a snazzy British cell number that’s yours for life.
Get to know the off button.
Yes, indeed we are all terribly important and have to be connected every second of the day. Fact is, most of us really don’t need to be quite that connected. If you want to conserve your battery life, getting into the habit of powering down frequently can add hours of battery life to your day. On my most recent trip overseas, I got into the habit of powering off the iPad, the BlackBerry, the Canon PowerShot for an or so hour at a time, but left the Mobal phone on just in case, the theory being if there was an emergency, I could still be reached. Another reason to power off?  The time difference! With much of Europe six hours ahead of the East Coast, chances are you wont be getting that many life or death emails in the early in the day while you’re in Europe because your American clients will just be greeting the day – so use the time difference to help save your battery!
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