Now more than ever, travelers rely on their cell phones for everything from boarding passes to travel directions. Because of this, we often use up our batteries quickly, needing a way to charge our phones on the go. Here are some of the best portable phone chargers – so that you can keep your devices fully charged during your family vacation and whenever you are on the go.
Before purchasing, be sure to check out the specs for these individual portable phone chargers. Based on the device you use, you may need specific cables and ports as part of the charger (or separate from the charger).
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Portable Phone Chargers To Stay Powered Up on the Go
When you purchase and pack a portable phone charger/external battery for travel, it’s important to know the rules for flying with them. TSA / FAA rules state “Portable chargers or power banks containing a lithium-ion battery must be packed in carry-on bags”. Therefore, you aren’t going to be able to pack these in your checked bags.
There is also a limit to how powerful the batteries can be, even when in a carry-on bag. Check with your airline if you have specific questions, as this can vary by airline.
Phone Charging Cables
Even when traveling with a portable phone charger, you should carry your phone’s charging cables with you. That’s because you’ll often find outlets on some of the newer airplanes – even in the economy cabin. Using them means you are able to keep your fully charged portable phone charger for later use.
In addition, some portable chargers require the use of cables. An external charger with no way to connect to your phone is useless.
Away Carry On Suitcase With External Battery
One of the easiest ways to bring along an external charger on a vacation is to use an Away carry-on bag. Many of the colors of both the regular carry-on and the bigger carry-on can be ordered with an optional external battery pack.
It can be used to charge up your phone or tablet and includes two USB ports (one fast charging, and one slower charging). The Away charger comes with both a wall adapter and micro-USB cord, and like other portable chargers, needs to be fully charged in advance of your trip. According to Away, it can charge your phone up to 4 times before it needs to be recharged.
Because your carry-on bags may sometimes need to be checked, the Away luggage battery is easily ejectable. If you have to check the bag, just eject the battery, and put it in your carry-on bag. It can be recharged both in and out of the bag, and you can always tuck it in your purse when traveling.
To save $20 on your first Away bag, use this link.
Mophie is one of the more popular and best portable phone charger brands. The Powerstation line is available with a variety of different configurations and price points.
Some options include USB C PD, a wireless version (it can be charged wirelessly but does not charge a device wirelessly), and micro USB. Look at the various options before purchasing, keeping in mind that one with a larger capacity will be able to charge your device more.
Anker is another popular and trusted brand for portable phone chargers. This line, like Mophie’s, contains a variety of different types of chargers at various price points.
One of the most popular Anker chargers is the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux, which comes with a USB C cable. It can provide at least two full charges for an iPhone XS and is a great combination of price and size.
When looking at these chargers, look at the size and portability, the amount of power it offers (ie: how many charges you can get out of it), and which cables it comes with.
FuelRod’s interesting concept makes it a viable option for travel. They can be purchased as a kit, with the charger and cords, from many central travel locations, like airports and theme parks.
When you receive the FuelRod kit, it’s fully charged and can be used right away. The beauty of this item is that it can be exchanged at these kiosks as well. The FuelRod you receive in exchange will be fully charged, but won’t include the cables.
FuelRod has kiosks in theme parks (including Walt Disney World and Disneyland), as well as airports. You can see a list of locations on their website.
There are a few caveats to using FuelRods, however. Unlike some of the portable chargers listed above, they don’t hold a large charge. So, you may not get a full charge on your device when you use it.
In addition, the prices for FuelRods vary depending on location and are typically a little more expensive than the chargers available on Amazon. Depending on where you exchange them, you may also pay a fee for the exchange.
I like having the FuelRod for my Walt Disney World vacations because they are lightweight and are so easy to exchange. It isn’t my primary portable charger, however.
If you are considering purchasing a FuelRod for your Disney vacation, I’d recommend buying it at a different location, because they are usually cheaper. I purchased mine at Logan International Airport and saved a few dollars on the purchase.
Keep in mind that you can also use the included cables to charge the FuelRod, so you don’t necessarily have to exchange them. But it is nice to have that option.
My favorite portable phone charger is the myCharge HubMax Charger. It’s a bit more expensive than other portable chargers, but it includes everything you need.
When you receive the myCharge, you’ll get a full charger that includes a foldable wall charger plug as well as two cords to attach to your phone (Micro USB and iPhone lightning). Because of that, it’s easy to pack and use because you won’t need anything else besides the device.
If you’ve also got an Apple Watch to charge on vacation, you may consider this portable charger from Time Traveler. It includes an Apple Watch charger, and a cord that can attach to your iPhone.
While I don’t use this device as my primary portable charger, I always have it when I travel. I can use it to charge both my watch and my phone. It’s lightweight and easy to pack.
Other Products for Charging
There are a few other devices I like to bring along on vacation for charging devices. While these aren’t portable chargers, they are good to have when traveling.
If you are traveling out of the US, you may need a foreign adaptor for your trip. I really love this charger, which includes four USB ports. It comes with both the UK and EU plugs.
You will need a separate adaptor for items that don’t charge with a USB cord, and you will need your cords.
PortaPow USB Data Blocker
Do you charge using public USB outlets? If so, it’s important to know about juice jacking. This practice can put your devices at risk.
Luckily, you can purchase data blockers to use. These go between your cord and the USB outlet and stop juice jacking. Tuck them in your carry-on bag and use them at the airport and hotel.
Do you have a favorite portable phone charger?