Why You May Want To Avoid Using This Popular Travel Battery Hack

There are two main types of travelers: those who like to relax at a quiet destination and those who like to fill their days with sightseeing and tourist attractions. If you're a relaxer who stays close to the hotel, maybe venturing to a nearby beach or restaurant, then you usually don't have to bring a lot of stuff. 

For those of us who fill our schedule, we carry a few extra items. In addition to IDs, phones, and credit cards we'll likely bring along items like sunglasses, a jacket, or sunscreen. There's one important item that's a must if you plan on being out all day: batteries. Maybe you're camping and need a flashlight that requires batteries, or you have a point and shoot camera that's battery operated, or a battery-powered toy to entertain your child. Naturally, you don't want these batteries to die while you're out, but you also don't want to carry around heavy batteries all day, especially in the heat. One possible solution is to increase the battery life. There are some strategies for this, but one common myth you should avoid includes putting them in the refrigerator.

Where to store your batteries, and what to do when you're traveling

It might sound odd, but this busted hack has been circulating around the internet for years. The idea is that storing your batteries in the refrigerator will dramatically increase their lifespan. While it sounds great, this isn't the best idea because the fridge has lots of moisture in it — something that's not so great for batteries.

The big name brands of batteries advise that you store your batteries in places that are dry, cool, and room-temperature, not somewhere moist and cold like a fridge. Other places to avoid include garages, basements, and attics since they experience fluctuating temperatures and high humidity. You're better off keeping batteries in a cabinet or drawer inside of your home. 

When you're traveling, you obviously don't have access to those places. The simple solution is to replace all of your batteries the day before your vacation, even if the current ones are still working. That way, you can be confident the brand-new batteries will last the duration of your trip.

Other tips to prolong the charge

Over time, battery life will naturally decrease. However, storing them properly can minimize the rate of discharge to 3% per year, on average, for a single-use alkaline battery. For other types of batteries, like lithium, the rate of discharge is even less. 

If you can't keep batteries in their original container, avoid storing them in or near metal because metal can potentially make the batteries leak. For proper storage, gather them together so that the negative ends are facing the same direction. You can tie them with a rubber band to keep them together and then place them in a plastic container. Additionally, make sure you sort out the old batteries from the new ones and avoid mixing the two together in storage. By taking these steps and storing batteries properly, you can maximize their lifespan and not have to worry about them suddenly dying while you're out traveling.