What is a Power Bank?
A portable power bank is basically a rechargeable battery that you can charge handheld electronics with. They let you store electrical energy (by charging the power bank) to later use to charge a mobile electronic device (by plugging it into the power bank).
Most are small, lightweight, fast-charging, and incredibly convenient, but there are literally thousands of options for power banks, so you’re sure to find one that fits your needs (and even your style… you KNOW my fave is the bright blue color!).
Why I recommend a Power Bank
Charge in transit
If you’ve ever been stuck on a plane without a USB outlet or a seatback screen, and you need to rely on your quick-die tablet to keep you entertained, you know why you need a power bank.
Or if you have a long bus ride (again, sans USB outlet or seatback screen), but you need to conserve your phone battery to use Google Maps or Uber when you arrive, you know why you need a power bank.
Charge in case of emergency
For some reason, my iPhones (all 10+ of them) have always seemed to go through battery life unreasonably quickly. This has left me stranded more times than I’d like to count, whether I was relying on Uber for a ride home, or I was in an unfamiliar city where I didn’t speak the language and was depending on Google Maps to get me back to my hotel.
You can easily get a power bank for under $10, but the more powerful ones will cost a bit more. I scored my power bank for under $10, and it lasts a few full phone charges at a time, which is more than enough for me.
Watch your voltage
In order to be allowed on a plane, the power bank needs to be less than 20000mAh/100Wh.
Smaller the better
I had a bigger power bank at first, and I’d rarely carry it with me when I was going about my day (I like to pack light). Since switching to a small, lipstick-size power bank, though, I’ve used it SO much more. Now, it’s a staple in my purse or backpack.
Don’t forget to charge it
Make charging your power bank a part of your pre-trip routine, and something you do each night of your trip. If it’s not charged, it might as well be a rock for all the help it’ll give you.
Downsides of a Power Bank
Most are made with plastic, which means that they’ll end up in a landfill after they’re no longer usable. 🙁
Say “fuck technology” and enjoy your unplugged existence when your devices run out of juice.