Powering Up Those Pesky Tech Gadgets

Have you ever had your mobile threatening to fall into the toilet as it charges on a lonely single free power point above an impossibly tiny shelf in the bathroom? Your iPad is lurking under the bed that you had to crawl under to locate another precious power point, whilst your laptop has taken over the power point for the bedside lamp.   This is when you start cursing your League of Legends game addiction whilst you were bored and high in the sky.

Travel tech solutions to recharge all of those necessary items which keep you connected are more a DIY responsibility with BYO being the rule at most hotels once you come down from the clouds. It never ceases to amaze that when hotels are in the embryo stage, that the number of spare power points in guest rooms is not a prime issue.

One can excuse the older hotels when the world did not revolve around people's necessity to be constantly charging one item or another, but now is it a case with the new hotels that they are just stingy with guest rooms and the access to power.  I am wondering when power consumption will become a chargeable item appearing on your check out bill, similar to a service charge.  It may even get to the point where once you have used your allocated amount of power, you are unceremoniously plunged into a room devoid of that necessary evil.

Power Now A Travel Essential

When will hotels realise that spare plugs sitting neatly on a desk/vanity area are as basic as a toilet paper?  Travellers today want to be connected as much as they want to wipe their privates. Maybe more so in some cases, as there are always bidets or bum guns as substitutes in many countries, which does away with the soft tissue requisite. But, there is no alternative to having the holy grail of electricity for when the latest high tech toy or business tool necessity runs out of charge.

The latest trend in the US is that you will not be allowed to board your plane with your tech baggage if it is not powered up.  Security officers are randomly checking, just as they do for detonating device contamination.  Powering up is now a basic traveller's need, which hotels should be catering for.  Is it only a matter of time before someone sues a hotel for the cost of a flight, due to the lack of power points in their room?

The alternatives to chewing up your gadget juice, is probably to become a power mongrel that squirrels his power as scrooge-like as possible.  Such as turning off or turning down the screen brightness on your mobile, switch off 4G and any other data services, get rid of the hungry apps you don't need, and put it in airplane mode for the duration of any flight.

Along with all the other essentials in your travel bag, put in a double up USB portable battery charger or if you have room, a travel power board or power strip and one plug adaptor. There are even compact travel versions on the market. Also remember to bring the necessary USB cords for your items. iPhone charging is now easily remedied by putting it in a "battery case".   If you really don't want to run the risk of missing a flight, pack an extra battery for your laptop rather than fight over the lonely power point in the airport lounge.

A trick of the frequent travellers' trade is to know that quite often the hotel's television can act as a charger.  Another tip is to ensure that the power stays on in your hotel room, even when you are gallivanting around, by inserting an extra hotel key or a thick business card into the key slot.

Despite missing your flight for non-powered up compliance, it is a big lonely world out there when you are devoid of any means to stay in touch.  Heaven forbid, it may give you solitary time to quietly sit and contemplate your navel, rather than broadcasting to all and sundry your latest escapade that no one cares about anyway.

Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography and her Shutterstock profile.