Traveling with batteries and ordering gadgets online could soon get pricey

Here are two totally unrelated things I like to do: order gadgets and smartphones online, and travel with loads of spare batteries. Well, perhaps they’re not all that unrelated. Both offer a lot of convenience and save a good amount of cash, but with a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Transportation, that could all soon change.

We’ve all seen exploding iPods, cell phones and laptops thanks to faulty Lithium-Ion batteries and connectors, so the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration wants to make air travel much safer by changing the policies on shipping and transporting these dangerous goods. Ultimately, vendors and shipping companies would be forced to use stronger and safer packaging for LiIon batteries or gadgets which contain them. These costs would undoubtedly be passed onto us, the consumers.

But wait, there’s more! Tightening down on these battery rules would make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to carry spare batteries in your check-in luggage. It’s not just LiIon batteries in question as NiMH and alkaline batteries would be prohibited from checked luggage, too. I’m all about safety when traveling, but if these proposals pass, traveling could easily become a pain – more so than it is now.