Charge your phone and iPad at the same time
Smartphones have replaced the need for several gadgets while you travel. I use my phone in a number of ways including searching the internet, keeping in contact on social media and as a camera, to name a few. My phone seems to rarely leave my hand while I travel. Of course, constantly using my phone means the battery charge can run low. If you have ever found yourself about to take that perfect photo or make that important phone call and bam, the battery is low or dead, you will be extremely disappointed and inconvenienced. I know, it has happened to me a number of times. But it doesn’t happen now and it won’t happen to you if you travel with a power bank, aka a portable charger. Here are a few things to know that will help you choose the best power bank so your devices won’t leave you in the lurch when they run out of power.
What is a Power Bank?
Firstly, if you haven’t heard of a power bank before you will be wondering what a power bank is? Well, a Power bank is a very handy electronic device that enables you to charge your devices wherever you are. This is because they are a power source. They look very similar to a mobile phone but without a screen.
Choose a Power Bank For Your Travels?
When you are looking to purchase a power bank for your travels there are a number of things to consider. Size, shape, weight and capacity are the main things to consider when shopping for a power bank. Mine considerations also include an indication of how much power is left and maybe a built in flash light will come in handy. Let me go into these considerations in more detail now to help you choose your power bank for your travels.
mAH Size Matters When Buying a Power Bank
Siize does matter when considering buying a power bank and there are two sizings to consider. Its portability and its charging capacity or mAH size.
Portability of a Power Bank
The first thing to know about a power bank is its portability. Power banks are mostly about the size of your current phone. They are being designed so they are small enough to fit in to your bag or pocket. Very convenient! Mine fits in to my handbag and I can discreetly charge my phone and sometimes my laptop as I am walking around checking out the sites.
Charging Capacity of a Power Bank – What is mAH?
The second thing to know about a power bank is its charging capacity. The more charging capacity the power bank has the more times your device/s can be charged. So when it comes to size, charging capacity size that is, size can matter. Power bank capacity is measured in “Milli Ampere Hours” mAH. Basically the more mAH you have in your power bank the more times you can charge your devices.
Power banks currently range from 2,000mAH to 30,000mAH but the technology is changing rapidly with varying mAH sizes becoming available. To give you an example for charging capacity purposes, an iPone 5 needs a capacity of about 1,600mAH to charge once. The minimum power bank you would therefore purchase is one with 1,600mAH. However, most people purchase a power bank of about 10,000mAH – 20,000mAH as this would let you charge your iPhone 5 about 5 times before the power bank needs charging itself. So you need to consider what device you are charging and how many times you might need to charge it. If you will be travelling for days on end without access to power and need to charge a phone and a laptop, a power bank with more mAH of around 20,000mAH plus would sui.
Have At Least 2 USB Ports to Charge Multiple Devices with your Power Bank
The more USB ports on your power bank the better
Not all power banks allow you to charge multiple devices. Some only allow phones to be charged. If you will be travelling with other devices like a laptop or iPad then look for a power bank that will allow you to charge all your required devices as being able to charge multiple devices with your power bank will be very useful. At a minimum I suggest your power bank has 2, or more USB ports. This will let you charge your phone and/or a small device/s at the same time. Some models come with more than 2 USB ports and are for people who travel with a number of devices. I can’t say it enough, think about how many devices you might be travelling with so you have enough USB ports to charge all your devices.
Charging Your Power Bank
There are two types of ways to charge your power bank, but this does depend on the type you have. Your power bank will either require electricity to charge or there are solar powered charges.
Power Charging Power Banks
Power banks need charging themselves and can be charged using either built-in USBs or cables. Most charge quicker through a cable in a powerpoint but can also be charged through another device. Check how the power bank will be charged before you purchase one.
Solar Powered Power Banks
If you are going off-grid during your travels you may consider a solar powered power bank. They work like any solar powered item, they need sun to charge them. Charge time for your power bank will depend on the power bank’s capacity, mAH. Some may have a bar system to show you how much charge you have though many of the newer models will have a digital display showing how much charge is available.
Power Bank Extra Features
As power banks are becoming a popular ‘must have’ device to travel with the extra facilities they offer are growing. One extra feature to look out for is an inbuilt flashlight / torch. Having this will help you see when out at night.
Best Power Bank Brands
There are a number of Power bank brands for you to consider. They include Belkin, Xiaomi, Aukey, Cygnett and Anker. Each have their own ranges of power banks with varying sizes. So once you have considered your travels and how much mAH you may need you will be able to choose the power bank that suits you most.
Check out some of the best power banks for travel to purchase following.
Just need a quick charge? Check out this lipstick sized Anker PowerCore 3350. Not only cute but fits conveniently into your bag or pocket.
If you want a power bank that is slim yet powerful check out this Anker 10,000mAH power bank. Very portable, lightweight, slim and fits nicely in pockets and bags.
Travelling for a while and not sure when you will be near power again? Then check out the RAVPower Portable Charger 20000mAh. Compact yet powerful and offering Tri-input and Tri-output for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and more. Well worth the investment.
Wanting something compact yet offering a lot of power, 58,830 mAH in fact. Check out this Halo Bolt power bank that can charge laptops as well as phones. Also strong enough to give your car a charge.
Going off grid? Check out this solar powered power bank. It is wireless, portable, rainproof and fast charging and compatible with most smartphones and tablets.
A power bank can charge your devices anywhere. This could be at work, at home or while travelling. Having a power bank while you travel will help you keep your devices charged and in turn, help you travel better by not letting you get stressed from having devices without power. So take into account, size, shape, capacity, weight and cost of a power bank so you purchase the one that suits you. And then never leave home without it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on power banks, please leave a comment below.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She loves travelling to different countries to immerse herself in the culture and in particular, enjoy the food. She currently calls Melbourne, Australia home.