November 19, 2012, 4:00 PM — Admit it: Your carry-on bag is stuffed with digital gear that you cant bear to leave at home. Your iPhone, iPad, or MacBook will keep you entertained while en route, and itll make a great navigation, research, and photo tool when you reach your destination. But keeping these devices charged when youre constantly on the go or stuck in the air can be a challenge. Luckily, you can do a few things to extend battery life and conserve power.
Invest in a battery case
A battery case for your iPhone extends the phone's battery life and keeps it safe from occasional drops and bumps. Most battery cases come with dock-connector plugs designed to pair up with the iPhones 30-pin (iPhone 4S and older) or Lightning (iPhone 5) connector port, which they use to deliver the juice to your iPhone. The only downside is that you can't use any dock-cradle accessories without removing the iPhone from the case.
One of our favorite battery charging cases is the Mophie Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone 4/4S ($100). It almost doubles your iPhones battery life without add too much weight, and you can still sync your iPhone using the included USB-to-Micro-USB cable. The Juice Pack Plus also has an on/off switch, so you can control when the case sends electricity to your phone.
Although the company promises one soon, Mophie has yet to release a battery case for the iPhone 5. uNus Ecopack for the iPhone 5 ($80), however, is a good option to use now with the latest iPhone. This battery case snaps onto your iPhone and doubles its battery life. The Ecopack comes in a variety of colors, and it purports to be eco-friendly because you can swap the battery portion of the device between cases, enabling the battery to last through several phone upgrades.
You can also pick up an external battery case for your iPad, which is a great travel accessory if you plan to watch videos during airplane flights. The Padacs Enduro is a folio-style polyurethane case with a built-in lithium-ion battery pack. This slim battery provides 8000mAh to boost the iPads battery life when it gets low. Just plug the included adapter cable into your iPads dock-connector port and press the On button when you need more juice. The Enduro is available in different models for the iPad mini ($60), the fourth-generation iPad ($60), and both the third-generation iPad and the iPad 2 ($60). Enduro says that, if you have the proper adapter, its cases can also charge your iPhone or iPod, though we haven't tested this feature.
Pack a single charger