I was given a bare-basic Trac Fone for emergencies to keep in the car. It’s up and running. I get 30 minutes a month. I have used it only once. I am wondering, I leave it out in the car in case I have to call AAA while upside down in a ditch, but should I be charging it up nonetheless? (please don’t get technical or yell at me, I know nothing of cell phones, hard as it is to believe.)
It probably varies with the particular model of phone. I have an LG840G from Tracfone. I leave it on all the time, and have to recharge it every three or four days. If it were left off, I expect it would go two to four times as long between charges.
I suggest you experiment to find out with your phone. Charge it fully, then check its state of charge every day (if you normally leave it off, turn it on to check then turn it back off). When it gets down to the last battery indicator bar, or around 20% if that’s how it reads, you’ll know how many days you can go between charges.
If you can charge it on a regular easy-to-remember schedule it may be less likely to get overlooked. For example, once a week may be easier to keep track of than once every 11 days.
ETA: It should work with the charger plugged into it even if the battery gets too low to function. Be sure to keep the car charger in the vehicle with the phone.
Batteries last longer when they aren’t left outside in freezing temperatures, but if you don’t have a briefcase/purse/whatever you can keep it in then it is probably better off in your car so you’ll have it with you when you’re traveling.
If it’s just an emergency phone, turn it completely off. The battery will last quite some time. (Many months, but it’s a good idea to top it off every 2 or 3 months to be sure.)