General Tips for Traveling with Your CPAP
CPAP users are not as consistent with their therapy as they should be, and travel is one of the big reasons why. It can seem like a great inconvenience to carry around your CPAP machine and coordinate therapy at an unusual setting. But you must be compliant with therapy even when you are traveling.
First of all, traveling is enjoyable, but it also tires you out. If you have sleep apnea and don’t treat it while traveling, you’re most likely going to be way more tired.
Secondly (and more importantly), you risk experiencing potentially dangerous effects of untreated sleep apnea.
But the good news is that it’s really not as difficult as you think!
When traveling, here is a list of what Health Sqyre thinks you should keep in mind:
- Travel with a travel-friendly CPAP machine
- Contact your travel carrier
- Always bring your documents
- Packing reminders
Travel CPAP Machine
When traveling, you always want to pack light for your convenience. Lugging around a heavy CPAP machine can be a pain, and not bothering to even bring your CPAP machine and deciding to skip therapy is a definite no-no.
A light, compact travel CPAP machine is a great way to easily carry around your therapy device anywhere you go and continue therapy everywhere you are.
Check out this list if you don’t have a travel-friendly CPAP machine yet: Best Travel CPAP Machines.
Contact your Travel Carrier
If you are traveling via public transportation (i.e. bus, train), keep in mind that each transportation company has their own guidelines and rules concerning what you can carry.
Prior to your travel date (several days in advance), call the travel carrier you are traveling with and ask about their regulations concerning the use of CPAP during the transportation.
- Some transportation have outlets, some don’t; contact the transportation company to see where outlets are located and reserve seats close to them if you will be using your CPAP machine during the transportation.
- Transportation companies have their own rules on baggage too. So be sure to check your transportation company’s regulations. And always try to carry your CPAP machine on board with you instead of putting them in checked baggage. You do not want to lose your machine when traveling, and you also want to protect your machine from damage by handling it on your own.
Wherever and however you travel, it’s always a good preparation to bring a letter of medical necessity from your doctor.
Ask your doctor to provide you with a prescription for CPAP and other necessary parts (heated humidifier, mask, filters, and tubing). Keep the prescription in your wallet or CPAP travel bag. Emergency, such as needing to buy any equipment that might be damaged or stolen while traveling, may come up, so it’s always recommended to stay prepared.
Ask your doctor to provide a letter of medical necessity. This is important to have for usage of CPAP machine during travel.
Remember to bring extra battery as back-up, whatever transportation mode you travel by. Bring extra mask cushions and masks, too. It’s always good to be prepared in case you lose or break any during travel.
Bring distilled water from home or buy bottles of distilled water when you are traveling. Avoid using tap water for your humidifier!
It’s also a good idea to bring a 10-15 foot extension cord when you travel to ensure that you can plug your machine while you sleep. It’s possible that there is not an outlet close to your bed at your destination.
Make sure to bring whatever you normally use to clean your machine and equipment.
- Pro Tip: Bring a small, travel-sized bottle of baby shampoo.
Have you drained the chamber? Always empty out the humidifier when packing.
Bring your CPAP with you when traveling and get restful sleep wherever you are!
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Your CPAP for all the pro tips and specific info.