How to Conserve Phone Battery on the Road

National Geographic Traveler editor at large Christopher Elliott is the magazine’s consumer advocate and ombudsman. Over the past 15 years he has helped countless readers fix their trips.

Here’s his latest advice:

Reader question: My smartphone won’t last the day when traveling. What to do?

My answer: First of all, turn off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and “push” notifications. Dial down your screen brightness, which is another known cause of battery drain, says Shane Broesky, co-founder of the mobile accessories developer Färbe Technik.

Limit use of battery-hogging apps that work with GPS (in settings, review which apps use your location). Turn off any extra apps running in the background; go to Android settings or, on an iPhone, tap the “home” button twice and swipe up on unused apps.

Better yet, set your phone to “airplane” mode to disable the constant search for a cell signal. This step could also save you from a pricey phone bill.

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Still running out of juice just as you’re ready to post that perfect Instagram shot? Pack a portable charger or a battery case that protects your phone while it charges.

Christopher Elliott is the author of How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (National Geographic Books). Follow him on Twitter @elliottdotorg.

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