Oh, that sinking feeling. You're out and about when you notice that your smartphone's power is running low. If you're near home, it's relatively easy to recharge your device in an outlet, car, or computer.
But when you're on vacation, your phone becomes a hardworking traveling companion and power gobbler. It can be even harder to keep your phone powered up if you frequently check your e-mail, do Web searches, or use GPS and social media apps that suck up large amounts of juice. Do your kids love streaming videos and playing game apps? You'll want to think about battery solutions for the entire family.
Photo Gallery: Essential Travel Gear for Family Vacations
Along with helpful strategies that can make your cell phone battery last longer, a simple solution is to buy a power pack that lets you recharge devices on the go. Two of my favorite portable rechargers are the wafer-thin myCharge RazorPlus, which takes up scant space in a purse or day bag, and the SeCur Sun Power Bank 6000, whose solar panels make it perfect for getaways off the grid.
If you're traveling overseas, it can be important that your smartphone doesn't lose power at the airport. In 2014, the Transportation Security Administration announced it is requiring passengers at some international airports offering direct flights to the United States to power on their cell phones and other electronic devices at the security checkpoint. The TSA said devices that won't power up won't be allowed on planes, and those travelers may have to undergo additional screening.