Technology has not just made our world smaller – it also enables us to keep in close contact with friends and colleagues every minute of every day, no matter where in the world you are travelling. Batteries and devices have got smaller, and the energy that drives them has got more powerful and long lasting.
While the batteries themselves are manufactured in highly controlled environments, knowing how to best take care of them while you’re on the road will not only keep your devices powered for longer, but will also help towards your personal safety as well.
The list of devices these days in long on any packing list. At the very least, your smartphone forms the basis of any essential item – often it is the sole place where you store all your information, from travel documents to methods of payment. Add to this: a portable power bank, ear buds, e-readers, portable speaker and your Go-Pro camera – of which each rely on a li-po battery to keep it working.
So to make sure you remain powered and connected, here’s our 5-step guide to battery health when out on the road.
Invest in recommended, quality batteries
Do not skimp when it comes to your batteries. Tempting though it may be to bulk buy the cheapest brand, it will end up costing you even more when the batteries themselves start leaking into your device and end up ruining it. Should this happen when you are travelling on a plane, it could have serious consequences, compromising your own safety and those of your fellow passengers.
Although it is acknowledged that recommended batteries can be significantly more expensive than its counterfeit counterparts, the difference in price is soon repaid in terms of them offering a better performance, a longer life, and an elimination of the risk of damage to your device. It also keeps your device under warranty – if damage occurs when using the wrong type of battery, this will negate the warranty on your product.
Double check airline regulations
Every airline has its own set of regulations when it comes to battery safety, so you are best checking with each airline that you will be using individually depending on the route of your trip. However, most battery powered devices need to meet flight safety laws as dictated by the CAA Civil Aviation Authority.
In short you are able to bring most battery powered devices on board with you in your carry on baggage, and you need to ensure that you are not carrying any broken or damaged batteries.
During the journey, wrapping up any spare batteries on your luggage will help to insulate them away from contact with other metals or batteries, which could lead to them overheating, or causing an electrical discharge. You can find plastic storage cases designed specifically for this purpose, which are manufactured to store eh individual battery in its own small compartment, with a lid that clicks securely shut when travelling.
This is the best way to carry spare batteries when travelling, keeping them clean and unblemished and ready for use.
Avoid extreme temperatures
This might be the most difficult when travelling, particularly if you are going to a very hot country, or a very cold one! It is the fluctuations in temperature which cause the most damage, rather than the temperatures themselves. In general though it is best to keep them out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry spot to eliminate the risk of thermal runaway.
Equally, when recharging be aware of inconsistency in power surges, so where possible include a power surge protector on your packing list.
Ultimately, your devices can literally be a lifeline when you are travelling. Look after your devices – and they in turn will look after you.