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Advice on charging my phone during the day in Paris

I will be in Paris for two days very soon. I plan to use my iPhone 4s extensively for maps, information, translations, saved travel tips, audio guides, etc. At this rate of use my phone won't last the whole day. I'm looking for any suggestions on how I might be able to charge my phone during the day. I'm wondering is cafés or bistros allow people to use an outlet near their table while having lunch or on a coffee break? I really don't want to spend another $100 on a special battery booster case and I also don't want to have to haul my iPad around with me all day as a backup. Maybe those are my only options though.

Posted by
934 posts

I have plugged mine in at a pub/ cafe.
That said would you get enough charge over a coffee.
RadioShack, have mains charged booster packs that give enough to completely recharge a battery(1800mAh) for $30ish

Posted by
2081 posts


go old school.

Buy/Get a paper/laminated map. you can buy them here before you go so you dont waste time looking for one when youre over there.

you can also look for "offline" map apps too.

my first time over in Europe i spent 4 weeks without an e device other then a inexpensive cell phone i got in the middle/end of my trip. Even after i bought it, i was only using it to learn how/what it did.

happy trails.

Posted by
5792 posts

In view of discussions about pickpockets and Roma on other pages of this trabel forum site, and given the rise of "Apple picking" here in the States, I wonder if it is a prudent thing to leave your phone plugged into a outlet in a public space. Getting a paper map is cheap compared to replacing your phone.

Posted by
16883 posts

If you are waiting around at a café or train station, you may be able to charge your phone while it's in your control, but spending time searching for a connection sounds like a waste, to me. Don't go without some paper maps and traditional materials. You can usually get free city maps at your hotels. Rick's Audio Europe app does not require any data use, if you have downloaded your preferred topics before leaving home; and it offers PDF maps that you can print at home, similar to those in the printed guidebooks. There are some downloadable phrasebooks that don't need a data connection, as well as the All Metro map app; see also

Posted by
4957 posts

I would look at how to preserve battery on your phone. Here are some tips specifically for your phone:

However, the most important one is probably turn off all the radios - that is, data and WiFi - when not needed, because those really eat up your battery. With my Android phone in Europe this month, I simply got into the habit of putting it in airplane mode (which turns all of that stuff off) all the time unless I needed something online - then I'd turn off airplane mode, look for whatever I needed - a map, a museum website, quick email check, etc. - and then turn airplane mode right back on. Simply viewing documents saved on the phone (I had scanned most of my Rick Steves Germany book into the phone) does not consume much battery, nor does listening to an audio guide.

The other thing to do is reduce the screen "automatic off" time because your display eats up battery, too. If you are in a museum listening to an audio guide, you don't need your screen on.

Even though my cheap Android phone has lousy battery life, I never had any trouble running out of battery any day I used it, as long as I charged it every night.

Posted by
8997 posts

Battery boosters are quite cheap these days. For thirty bucks you can use this small lighter-sized battery to charge your phone inside your purse:

I own one and it works great with the added benefit of having having a light built into it for flashlight duties. There is a smaller capacity model also available for only $20 bucks!

Posted by
2251 posts

Alyssa, check out Maps With Me, offline maps for all of Europe that you can mark places on and make notes with colored pins for ranking or categories of sights, restaurants, etc. You only have to download the area/countries that you want, which you do before you leave, in a wifi area. Then you can just pull it up whenever, it's a great app. Other than that, I would encourage you to minimize phone use and maximize looking around time.
By the way, my Grandfather was born in Oregon, WI back around 1890 or so.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
4612 posts


Step away from the electronics.... You're going to be in Paris for two days...just two days! Look at the options ahead of time, decide what your top choices are during your flight over, mark them on a small printed map, and enjoy the view, enjoy the experience! it will pass too soon to be recharging electronics in a café.

Posted by
71 posts

I have a small phone battery charger for my Iphone 4s. You can find them anywhere. I bought one recently at my local Kroger grocery store. It is handy, expecially if you travel and are sitting in an airport all day and need to charge your phone or ipad. Sometimes even if I'm at a sporting event, whatever, it's small enough you can keep it in your purse, the charger ...while charging your phone. I find it handy. At some point, you do have to charge your charger. Some advertise that they can do two -six charges before needing to be charged themselves.

Posted by
21863 posts

With all of the data downloads you are anticipating make absolute sure you have a data plan to handle your downloads or that will become the most expensive part of your trip.