I’ve been traveling a lot recently and have grown frustrated with the lack of hotel room USB jacks necessary to recharge my iPhone and other devices. J.D. Biersdorfer of the NYTimes.com shares some tips for emergency charging when it seems like there is no place to plug.

TV Input-Output Jacks

First | Look for USB jacks on your TV

No, these jacks aren’t on your TV to serve as a re-charger, but for reasons like displaying photos on your TV. However, on many TVs, those USB plugs can supply a small amount of power to gadgets connected with a USB cable. According to Biersdorfer, “Phone manufacturers recommend that you charge your phone’s battery with the cable and electrical adapter that came with the device, and you use other options at your own risk. However, travelers who remembered their phone’s USB cables but forgot their wall charger cubes have been tapping power from functioning television USB ports for years.”

If the television has a functioning USB port on the back,
you can probably get enough power from it to juice your phone in a pinch.

However… | The phone’s battery won’t charge as quickly as it does with your standard power adapter and the television may have to be on. But the TV’s USB port can do in a pinch if you have no other options and the hotel’s front desk does not have a charger to lend you.

A warning about those built-in hotel room USB ports | Some hotels include USB ports in the rooms. However,  some security experts have advised against “juice jacking” — not plugging a USB cable directly into a public USB jack because of the slim chance of data theft or malware.

Best advice | Always keep a spare travel charger tucked in your suitcase.

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Photos | GettyImages

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