Introduction

Are you looking to travel with your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine but are worried about the process of getting it through airport security, going on a camping trip with it, or using it while when riding various modes of transportation?

The process is smoother than you might expect! Traveling with a CPAP can be very daunting, especially if you’re traveling internationally – but that’s exactly why we, at Health Sqyre, have put this E-Book together. We want to help you navigate your way with a CPAP, regardless of wherever in the world you may be or whatever you may be doing.

It’s likely that not all parts of this ultimate guide is applicable to you, so feel free to skip to those sections that are relevant to you. If you need help picking the right machines/masks for travel, start reading the beginning few sections! If you want to know what you should do when traveling via various modes of transportation, skip towards the end. You get the idea.

If you have any questions along the way, or you want additional help/information in a particular area, please feel free to contact us, at https://healthsqyre.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new – we’d love to get your thoughts or to help you out!

We hope you feel comfortable with CPAP therapy on-the-go after reading this guide! Let’s waste no more time, and get straight into it…

Table of Contents:

1. Travel CPAP Machine

It’s Travel Time!
How long will I be gone?
What else will I need?

 

2. Travel CPAP Masks

What Makes a CPAP Mask good for travel?
> Compatibility
> Comfort and Travel
> Cleaning
> Accessories

 

3. Powering Your CPAP When You Travel

Let’s talk about CPAP Power
Batteries
DC Power Cord/Inverter/Converter
Solar Power
Powering your CPAP on a Plane
Powering your CPAP while Camping

4. Cleaning Your CPAP When You Travel

But… do I really need to Clean it?
Suggested ways to Clean when Traveling
Other Cleaning Methods/Tips

5. Flying with Your CPAP Machine

CPAP Travel tips before the Airport
To Carry on a CPAP or Check a CPAP?
Getting a CPAP through Security
CPAP Use on the Plane


6. Camping with Your CPAP
CPAP Supplies you need for Camping

Powering your CPAP
Will Insurance cover your Travel CPAP Machine?
CPAP Users’ thoughts on CPAP Camping

 

 

7. Traveling by RV with Your CPAP

Basics of a Traveling CPAP User
It’s all about Power (for your CPAP)
Packing Reminders

 


8. Traveling by Bus with Your CPAP

Travel CPAP Machine
Contact your Bus Company
Documents
Packing Reminders
Bus Guidelines regarding CPAP use

9. Traveling by Train with Your CPAP

Travel CPAP Machine
Contact your Train Company
Documents
Packing Reminders
Train Guidelines regarding CPAP use

10. Traveling on a Cruise Ship with Your CPAP

Travel CPAP Machine
Contact your Cruise Line
Documents
Packing Reminders
Cruise Ship Guidelines regarding CPAP use

 

11. CPAP Adapters and Plugs

Know your CPAP Machine
CPAP Plug Adapters

 

 

12. General Tips for Traveling with Your CPAP

Travel CPAP Machine
Contact your Travel Carrier
Documents
Packing Reminders

 


1. Travel CPAP Machine

 

It’s Travel Time!

resmed airmini CPAP machine and hose inside travel bag - Health Sqyre
Travel CPAP machines were manufactured to simplify travel for CPAP users. Whether you are a constant traveler or just want the ease of carrying around a portable machine while on vacation, owning a secondary CPAP machine, specifically designed for travel, will allow you to continue to treat your condition, no matter your location.

Auto altitude adjustments (for in-flight use), compliance reporting, humidification, and battery capability are key features that will distinguish which travel CPAP machine will work best for you. Let’s take a look at your options below…

Device

Auto Alt. Adjustments

Compliance

Humidification

*Battery Option

Z1 Travel CPAP

Automatic

SD Card

None

Integrated Battery

Z1 Auto

Automatic

App

None

Integrated Battery

Transcend CPAP

Automatic

Optional

Integrated

Direct Battery

Transcend Auto

Automatic

Optional

Integrated

Direct Battery

Transcend EZEX

Automatic

Optional

Integrated

Direct Battery

DreamStation Go

Automatic

App

None

Integrated Battery

AirMini Auto CPAP

Automatic

App

None

None

 

*Battery Option Definition: A CPAP machine that uses a direct battery will use a DC power cord or other alternative power source to charge the battery. On the other hand, an integrated battery would use the same power source as the CPAP machine.

Where Are You Traveling? If your destination has…

Unreliable power supply:

You will need a travel CPAP machine that is capable of running on a battery.

Direct current (DC) power is the type used in cars when power is delivered from a battery. A DC power adapter fits into the cigarette lighter of your car. Most CPAP battery kits use this common method of recharging the battery. There should be a cord available from the CPAP manufacturer that allows the unit to be plugged into its volt power source without an inverter.

 

Device

DC Option?

Z1 Travel CPAP Yes
Z1 Auto Yes
Transcend CPAP Yes
Transcend Auto Yes
Transcend EZEX Yes
DreamStation Go Yes
AirMini Auto CPAP No

 

Check with the manufacturer to determine if an inverter will be required if you have purchased a universal CPAP battery kit.

An inverter can be used to power a CPAP machine, which requires AC power by plugging the machine’s power cord into the inverter. You convert the power by locating the 3-prong outlet found at the end of the inverter.

*Also, it is recommended that you buy a Universal World Wide Travel Adapter Plug that works in any country if you are traveling internationally.

Reliable power source: 

Portability and functional features will be more important if your destination has a reliable power source.

ResMed’s AirMini Auto CPAP weighs only 0.66 lbs and communicates through a Bluetooth connection and its AirMini app.

One of the key features of owning a travel CPAP machine is that it is always ready to go.

Not all travel CPAP machines offer humidification, but if you have a CPAP with humidification, neatly pack your dry humidifier in a Ziploc bag.  Many CPAP users often forgo this option when traveling due to the additional weight and responsibility it commits.

white phillips respironics dreamstation go next to brown bag

How long will you be gone?

It matters for insurance…

Mask leaks, Apnea–Hypopnea Index (AHI), and overall compliance data are important for you, your Doctor, insurance carrier, and Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplier.

Continuing to monitor your usage is important if you are going away for more than 5-6 days. Make sure your travel CPAP machine is capable of generating this compliance data, especially if you have just begun CPAP therapy or your insurance carrier requires continuous monitoring for authorization of supplies.

What else will you need?

Don’t leave home without making a list of the items you will need to effectively use your travel CPAP machine while away. Always carry your prescription and letter of medical necessity (LMN) if you are going to be using your travel CPAP machine during the flight.

CPAP Travel Checklist

  • Machine
  • Power
  • Humidifier
  • Mask
  • Filters
  • Cushions/Pillows
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Comfort Supplies
  • Prescription/LMN

 

Traveling with your CPAP should not be difficult. CPAP manufacturers have developed amazing technology to help users remain compliant with therapy.

 


2. Travel CPAP Masks

dreamwear nasal, dreamwear nasal pillow, airfit f20, and airfit P10 CPAP masks - Health Sqyre

Not all masks are made for travel. With the rising costs of carry-on and checked baggage, choosing the right travel CPAP mask to use is just as important as choosing the right travel CPAP machine.

So, think about it for a moment…when you pack your clothes and toiletries, you select the easiest and most compact items for your luggage, without sacrificing the comforts of home. Right?

It’s the same with your CPAP mask.

 

What Makes a Good CPAP Travel Mask?

 Choose a CPAP travel mask that has these 3 C’s

  • Compatibility…with your CPAP machine
  • Comfort…soft, lightweight, and easy to pull apart and put together.
  • Convenience…easy to clean.

Compatibility

Not all masks can handle higher CPAP machine pressure settings. So make sure to test your travel CPAP mask with your travel CPAP machine to ensure you are able to get the right pressure setting before you leave.

Comfort

When traveling, you need to feel like you are using your machine just like you do at home. But, you still need a travel CPAP mask that can come apart easily, fit inside your CPAP travel bag, and won’t break during travel. CPAPs from ResMed and Philips Respironics are designed so that it’s easy to take apart. Also, they have comfortable, travel-friendly CPAP masks that are among the most popular in the market.

tinted image of hands washing cloth - Health Sqyre

Convenience & Cleaning

Cleanliness of your CPAP machine and equipment is important not only for your health but also for the proper functioning of the machine to give you the therapy you need.

Your mask should be wiped down daily to remove oils and sweat. Doing so will give you a great seal every night.

You can purchase cleaning mask wipes or a CPAP mask cleaner to make cleaning easier and more convenient, traveling or not. However you clean your mask, make sure that it thoroughly air dries before the next use. 

Other Accessories

  • If you use pillows or cushions at home, bring replacement items with you on your travels.
  • When traveling to a dry region or using higher pressure, you should consider purchasing a nasal moisturizing gel for quick relief of dryness.

 

Traveling with your CPAP machine needs to be easy and comfortable. Having the right mask when you travel is a key component.

 


3. Powering Your CPAP When You Travel

 

Every CPAP user that travels has to consider how their travel CPAP device will be powered. Whether your power need is on an airplane, in a hotel, or out camping in the woods, today’s CPAP manufacturers have designed multiple ways of powering CPAP machines, depending on your need.

Powering CPAP Machines

Most manufacturers like ResMed and Philips Respironics know that a CPAP user can not skip a few nights or even one. Hence, the creation of the battery kits. Long life lithium-ion batteries have been developed so you can hook up your home or travel CPAP anywhere you go.

Make sure you understand the power options of the machine you are buying so you can plan accordingly. Check out our list of best travel CPAP machines and their power capabilities.

A direct battery operation is external but can be used with your machine once the appropriate cables, inverters, and/or adapters have been purchased. An integrated battery is designed specifically for the CPAP machine (see image below) and does not require additional cables, inverters, and/or adapters. It simply attaches to your CPAP machine, using the same cord the CPAP machine uses for power. Once it is charged, it is ready for portable use.

 

White Phillips Respironics dreamstation go portable battery system - Health Sqyre

Device Direct Battery Operation Optional DC Cable Integrated
Battery
AirStart 10 CPAP Yes Yes No
Z1 Travel Yes Yes Yes
Z1 Auto Yes Yes Yes
Transcend Travel Yes Yes No
Transcend Auto Yes Yes No
AirMini Auto CPAP No Yes No
AirSense 10 Auto Yes Yes No
AirStart 10 APAP Yes Yes No
DreamStation Go No Yes Yes

 

blue and red cords and HDMI cable plugged into machine - Health Sqyre

Ways you can power your CPAP machine

1. Batteries


Most CPAP machines can accept battery kits. ResMed and Philips Respironics have developed their own
battery kits, specifically for their machines, while battery specialty stores have manufactured universal battery kits to work with all types of CPAP machines.

The charge is good for one night, maybe two. But if you are planning to stay away for longer, a deep-cycle marine battery can be used and will provide power for up to three days, maybe more (depending on usage). You can re-charge the battery various ways but the most common is from using the DC outlet or an inverter.

2. DC Power Cord/Inverter/Converter

If your CPAP machine has a DC outlet, you can use a DC power cord and connect it to a cigarette lighter plug. A DC adapter cable with converter clips can be used with a deep cycle marine battery to offer direct power. If you do not have the DC outlet, you will need an inverter to convert your DC power to AC power.

Adapters have become necessary for traveling with a CPAP when power is derived from a battery. Some DC converters are even strong enough to power both the machine and the humidifier. However, the use of humidifier can drain the battery life by 50%. The DreamStation Go does not even offer a humidifier option.

3. Solar Power

Solar power is the newest option to recharge your battery kit. The Transcend Travel CPAP machine has a solar power option for those going off grid or do not expect to rely on an available power source.

The catch? You must have at least six hours of sun. But, this truly portable and sleek-designed charger is ideal for camping trips.

SunPower has also manufactured a solar panel that allows you to charge their Freedom Travel Battery Pack and is compatible with many popular CPAP machines.

 

bright, pretty, yellow lightbulb filaments - Health Sqyre

Powering CPAP Machines on a Plane


U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policies state that CPAP machines are allowed as a carry-on. However, not every airline permits in-flight use of these machines. For those that do, your CPAP machine must be battery powered. Most travel
battery packs are sold separately but also offer useful optional components like built-in USB ports.

If you are planning to fly, make sure you read our section on CPAP Travel: Flying with a CPAP Machine to ensure you are following the airline’s regulations. The guidelines vary significantly, and we list out the policies for most major airlines, domestic and international.

Powering CPAP Machines while Camping

Camping with your family and friends is an adventure that CPAP users often miss due to lack of resources at the camp site. However, there are several economical choices for PAP users.

Powering your CPAP while camping will depend on several factors – whether you have access to power, what kind of power (AC or DC), and whether or not you have a CPAP battery kit.

 


4. Cleaning Your CPAP When You Travel

 

Did you know that it is possible to travel light and take proper care of your sleep apnea while continuing to clean your CPAP products when away from home? So which cleaning supplies should you take? Taking care of your CPAP machine in an unusual surrounding may be a pain, but worry no more! Health Sqyre is here to guide you through with some pro tips and other useful info.

BUT…DO I REALLY NEED TO CLEAN IT?

The answer is always YES.

Your CPAP consists of a heat tubing and humidifier. With moisture build-up, these parts are a perfect breeding ground for mold, yeast, or fungus. These growths can result in illnesses, along with other symptoms, such as irritated throat, stuffy nose, coughing, and other eye and skin irritations/infections.

In order to ensure a quality therapy, you mustn’t get lazy about cleaning these parts of the machine! A vacation from home does not mean a vacation for your CPAP therapy. Cleaning your CPAP is also no exception when away from home.

 

Suggested Ways to Clean When Traveling

CPAP Cleaning Wipes

CPAP cleaning wipes, such as the AG Unscented CPAP Mask Wipes, are a great way to keep your CPAP machines clean on a daily basis with minimum effort.

Carton of AG CPAP Mask wipes - Health Sqyre

Pro’s Con’s
– Convenient – Many experienced CPAP users say unscented baby wipes get the job done at a cheaper price…
– No need to rinse and dry your machine. – Does not replace regular cleaning
– 100% pure cotton  
– Fragrance, latex, & alcohol free  
– Biodegradable  
– Gentle on skin  
– Natural cleansers  

 

A 62-count container of these unscented mask wipes retail for around $9.99.

Although these wipes may be the perfect solution for traveling and in between regular cleaning, they do not replace regular cleaning – you must clean your machine properly aside from using these wipes!

Automated, Portable CPAP Cleaner

A portable CPAP cleaner is a quick, easy solution to cleaning your mask, headgear, tubing, and water chamber. (This would be ideal for camping when you’re trying to conserve water.)

virtuox virtuclean cpap cleaner - Health Sqyre

Pro Con
– Compact and travel-friendly (SoClean 2 Go: 1.3 lbs; VirtuOx’s VirtuCLEAN: 0.5 lb) – Pricey (Retail price for SoClean 2 Go$179, VirtuOx’s VirtuCLEAN: $279)
– Convenient – no need to disassemble to  clean – Some users say it leaves an odd smell/taste
– Does not require water or any chemicals  
– Uses natural, activated oxygen to get rid of 99.9% of the bacteria, viruses, and mold.  
– Uses same sanitizing process as water purification and hospital sanitizing  
– Connects with all types of PAP equipment (CPAP, Bi-PAP, BPAP, and VPAP)  
– Battery operated/wire-free  
– Time-efficient  

 

person pressing button on black soclean 2 go - Health Sqyre

Although automated CPAP cleaners are quite pricey, it’s an investment considering the time it will save you and all the infections/sickness it will protect you from.

Other Cleaning Methods/Tips

Cheap Alternative & the Good ol’ Ingredients

Mild soap (i.e. baby shampoo) and warm water will get the job done without special CPAP cleaners and wipes.

Also, you can dilute vinegar (i.e. 2:3 ratio of vinegar to water) to disinfect your CPAP supplies.

Baby wipes (alcohol-free, fragrance-free) are a cheap alternative to the CPAP Mask Wipes on the market.

CAUTION with H2O

Using distilled water is always recommended; avoid using tap water as much as possible.

If tap water is all you have, boil it (and of course wait until the water cools before cleaning).

Did You..?

  • Make sure to clean your machine at regular intervals of once a week even when traveling?
  • Clean your mask cushion too?    There can be a nasty build-up of dirt and facial oil which will not allow the cushion to seal properly, therefore affecting your air therapy.
  • Wash it thoroughly everyday when you had the flu (or other respiratory illness) until you were better?
  • Replace your CPAP supplies at the right time?

When to Replace CPAP Supplies:

 

What

When

Nasal, nasal pillows masks 2 weeks
Air filter 2 weeks
Full face masks 1 month
Frame system 3 months
Tubing 3 months
Head gear 6 months
Humidifier water chamber 6 months

 

Don’t Forget to…

  • Avoid using petroleum jelly, alcohol, aloe, perfumes, or any other cleaning solution to clean your machine. Doing so will not only irritate your lungs and cause you to fall ill, but they also have the potential to corrode your machine!
  • Thoroughly air dry each part of the equipment before assembling them together when you wash your machine equipment with water.

Being consistent about cleaning your CPAP even when traveling is a must not only for the longevity of your product but also for your health and the quality of your therapy.

 

Safe travels and happy cleaning!

 


5. Flying with Your CPAP Machine

 

Are you looking to fly with your continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine but worried about the process of getting it through airport security and onto the plane?  The process is smoother than you might expect!  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents have plenty of experience handling CPAP machines, as well as other medical devices, efficiently and safely. Here is Health Sqyre’s list of what you need to know to get you flying through security and flying with your CPAP.

Health Sqyre has organized a chronological list of everything you need to know about traveling with a CPAP:

  1. CPAP travel tips before the airport
  2. Carrying vs. checking a CPAP machine
  3. Getting through security
  4. Using your CPAP on the plane

After reading this section, you will be flying through security and flying with your CPAP without any worries!

 

tinted image of airplane in the sky - Health Sqyre

CPAP Travel Tips Before the Airport

How to make your life more enjoyable and less stressful while away from home: Make sure that you take time to plan for the trip!

Before going to the airport…

1. First of all, if you don’t have one already, you may want to consider investing in a CPAP machine specifically designed for traveling.

2. Bring a copy of your CPAP prescription in case TSA asks you for additional information.

Pro Tip: Take a picture of your prescription with your smartphone so that you have it where ever you go.

3. Remember to bring all necessary
adapters and plugs

  • If you are travelling internationally, don’t forget to carry a power plug adapter, which will allow the US plug to fit into a foreign socket. The voltage level might be different in another country, but most of the newer CPAP machines can adapt to various voltages.

4. Bring any other accessories, such as back-up batteries and extra masks and mask cushions (in case they are lost or broken during travel).

5. Empty out the humidifier chamber to prevent spillage!

6. Each airline has a different policy for in-flight use of your device, so know your airline’s protocol.  Check below:

Domestic Airline CPAP Machine Policies

o Federal Aviation Administration (“The FAA encourages airlines to include M-PEDs in their carry-on baggage programs and/or personal items policies in order to increase accessibility in air travel for people with disabilities”)

o  Alaska Airlines (“We no longer require advance notice to use a personal ventilator, respirator, or CPAP machine while onboard”)

o Allegiant Air (“CPAP machines that can be stowed in compliance with FAA safety regulations, will not be counted toward your one carry-on plus one personal item limit. If an assistive device cannot be stored safely in the cabin, we will tag your device and transport it in the cargo compartment.”)

o  American Airlines (“A 48-hour notice is required to approve electronic medical devices for use during a flight….All approved medical devices must be battery operated”)

o  Delta Airlines (Located under special concerns–>assistive devices; There is a list of approved devices, but “all other C-PAP, Bi-PAP, and V-PAP machines may be carried on, but may not be used during flight”)

o  Frontier Airlines (“must not exceed allowable carry-on dimensions”)

o Hawaiian Airlines (“Allows the use of a respiratory assistive device (e.g. BiPAP, CPAP, respirator and ventilator) that bears a label stating the device has been approved by the FAA for use inflight.”)  Hawaiian Airlines has a list of Pre-Approved Respiratory Assist Devices.  If your device is not listed or if you have questions or concerns, you can contact their Reservations Department or complete their Contact Us Form (select Special Services).

Note: If you want to use the device on your Hawaiian Airlines flight you need to get signed-documentation from your doctor.  Just print out the Hawaiian Airlines Respiratory Assist Device and CPAP Use Form and take it to your physician.

o  Jet Blue Airlines (“CPAP and BiPAP machines approved by the FAA may be carried and used on board JetBlue”)

o Southwest Airlines (“CPAP machines that can be stowed in compliance with FAA safety regulations, will be given priority onboard stowage, and will not be counted toward your one carryon plus one personal item limit.”)

o Spirit Airlines (“CPAP supplies do not count towards your baggage allowance and can be brought on board free of charge.”)  However, if there are any personal items in a bag along with your CPAP then you will be charged for a bag.  Spirit Airlines also requires that the device fits in the overhead compartment and doesn’t exceed 22 x 18 x 10 inches (56 x 46 x 25 cm).

o Sun Country (“Mobility devices and medical equipment needed by travelers are not counted as additional carry-ons and must be stored in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations.”)

o United Airlines (“A forty-eight (48) hour minimum advance notification to the Accessibility Desk (1-800-228-2744) is required”)

o Virgin America (“Virgin America does accept certain carry-on respiratory assistive devices that assist with an individual’s respiratory functions including CPAPs.”)  However, if you want to use your CPAP on your Virgin America flight you “must inform Virgin America their intent to use the Respiratory Assistive Device in-flight a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours prior to their flight.”  Virgin America’s Care Team Desk will ensure the device you are planning to use in-flight is an approved device.

If you would like to fly on Virgin America with a respiratory assistive device, please print the Respiratory Device Medical Authorization document. It can either be used by your physician to provide the required statement, or provide guidance as to what should be included in such a statement.

To contact a member of the Virgin America Care Team and obtain more information about Respiratory Devices or submit your medical authorization please contact them here.

International Airline CPAP Machine Policies

o Aeromexico Only has restrictions when the CPAP device is used in conjunction with oxygen.

o Air Berlin (“Special baggage for medical purposes (ventilators, inhalers, walking aids, etc.) is transported free of charge on presentation of a medical certificate.”)

o Air Canada (“No medical approval is required for customers travelling with a CPAP or BPAP machine that is required for the treatment of sleep apnea only. However, you must contact Air Canada Reservations if you plan on bringing the machine on board with you, even if you will not be using it.”)

o Air China (“Passengers who need to bring electronic medical equipment [such as oxygen generators, suction devices, apparatus respirators, etc.] on board because of health conditions must contact our company’s reservation office at least 48 hours before departure to explain the passenger’s condition as well as complete the advanced notification procedure.”)

o Air France (“Medical clearance delivered by Air France’s Medical Service is mandatory only in the following case: You need oxygen therapy at a rate exceeding 2 liters/minute.”) So, you can use your PAP device without prior medical clearance, as long as supplemental oxygen is not required.

o British Airways (“Medical clearance is not required to travel with or use a CPAP Machine for sleep apnea. The device can be carried in your hand-luggage, and forms part of your two-piece hand baggage allowance. If using your CPAP machine on-board (and you have the appropriate battery, or access to in-seat power) this can be carried in the cabin in addition to your two-piece hand baggage allowance. If you won’t be using your machine, and want to carry it on-board then it forms part of your two-piece hand baggage allowance.”)

o Cathay Pacific (“Passengers who intend to use medical devices inflight should submit medical clearance (MEDA) to ensure they are fit to fly. Exception: Passengers who only require the use of a CPAP or BIPAP machine inflight do not need medical clearance.”)

o China Southern Airlines China Southern considers a PED (Personal Electronic Device) an unsuitable item for a checked baggage and restricts the on-boarding limitation of lithium batteries to 2 pieces per traveler.

o China Eastern Airlines China Eastern does not specify regulations regarding the use and/or travel with medical equipment (unless it is used with oxygen) and recommends, (“If you need special assistance due to age, health, a disability or other reasons, we recommend that you contact our local Reservation office 72 hours before departure so that we can make special arrangements for your flight and arrange assistance with connecting flights.”)

o EasyJet (“You can take any medicines and medical equipment that you need to have with you. This includes gel packs or cooler bags to maintain the temperature of your medication, food and specialist devices such as dialysis machines (subject to size regulations), CPAP machines and nebulisers.”)

Emirates (“Approved CPAP/PAP devices are permitted onboard for use during your flight and do not count towards your carry-on baggage limit. In accordance with UAE General Civil Aviation Authority regulations, if you wish to use a CPAP/PAP device on board your flight, you must submit a physician’s statement to an Emirates reservations agent at least 48 hours prior to travel.”)

Interjet (“Passengers in need may carry and use their respiratory support system in the cabin area, provided that the equipment is certified by the FAA and fits under the seat in front of the traveling passenger.”)

o Japan Airlines (“The customer does not need to prepare a Medical certificate for Japan Airlines. Contact Japan Airlines Priority Guest Center in advance to advise us the name of the CPAP, product and manufacturer, the model number, size and the battery type. Please be aware that not all CPAP is compatible onboard.”)

o KLM Medical clearance is required if you depend on the use of your CPAP device anytime during the flight. (“You may bring certain pieces of medical equipment or aids with you on board provided that such an item can be stowed under a seat or strapped to an adjoining seat. We can not guarantee power supply on board, therefor you need to bring an adequate number of fully charged batteries onboard.”)

o LATAM (“Portable electronic medical devices (automatic external defibrillators or AEDs, nebulizers, continuous positive airway pressure machines and other equipment) that contain lithium or lithium-ion batteries can be transported”) The CPAP device can be stowed in your carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or worn onto the plane. It also requires prior approval from LATAM. Call 1-866-435-9526.

o Lufthansa Your CPAP device must be stowed in your carry-on baggage.

o Qantas (“Onboard use of Continuous Positive Airways Pressure (CPAP) devices (both battery operated and electric) requires Qantas clearance, however it does not require clearance from a medical practitioner. Simply download and complete the CPAP Travel Clearance form. and fax to +61 (2) 9490 1830 and we’ll review and make the necessary arrangements. This form also lists the current CPAP devices authorized for use on Qantas aircraft. Normal carry on baggage regulations apply to any medical support equipment to be used in flight.”)

o Ryanair (“CPAP machines are not permitted for use on board. Should you wish to carry an assistive or non-oxygen generating support device such as a respirator, nebulizer, ventilator, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or BiPap machine in the cabin of the aircraft you must contact our special assistance line.”)

o SAS (“Medical equipment necessary for life preservation can be taken on board free of charge.”)

o Singapore (“You don’t need approval to use these devices [continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machines] on board our flights. However, we may not be able to provide inflight power supply on all your flights with us.”)

o Turkish Airlines (“Certain types of medical equipment that you may need during the flight are kept as standard in the cabin. You can use some types of personal medical equipment during the flight.”) You can call 1-800-778-4838 to speak with a Customer Service Representative.

o Volaris (“If you are traveling with a CPAP, it is considered as carry-on baggage, therefore it must comply with the weight and measurement policies.”)

o WestJet PMED (Portable Medical Electronic Devices) are allowed to be stowed in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. (“Automated External Defibrillators (AED), Nebulizer, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), etc.) containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries may be carried. The approval of the operator (Westjet) is required.”)

 

dim airplane aisle - Health Sqyre

To Carry-on a CPAP or Check a CPAP?

  • Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a CPAP machine falls under the medical equipment category. Therefore, a CPAP machine inside a travel case does not count as a carry-on bag.
    • Pro Tip: Save money and double check to make sure that the airlines are not charging you extra for your CPAP travel carry-on bag!
    • Label your CPAP travel case with a medical equipment luggage tag.
  • If the flight is long and you are interested in sleeping during it, having your CPAP machine conveniently with you is a major bonus.  On the other hand, checking a CPAP machine runs the risk of being damaged or misplaced as a lost baggage during transit.
  • Unfortunately, luggage is lost from time to time; losing your CPAP machine would be a hassle to rectify especially during traveling.
  • Due to these dangers, bringing the CPAP on the plane is highly recommended. You may want to keep your contact details inside the CPAP travel bag in case it becomes lost or stolen. 

Getting a CPAP through Security

  • TSA agents have been specially trained to identify CPAP machines. They should be able to screen quickly to get you through the security line.
  • Airport security recommends that you take the device out and place it in a plastic bin separately, like you would with a laptop.
    • Pro Tip: These bins are gross. Most airports now offer new plastic bags to put your CPAP in before it is X-rayed.
  • TSA reserves the right to perform an Explosive Trace Detection test, where a small swab is rubbed across the machine and then analyzed in order to maintain security protocol.
    girl looking out airplane window at clouds in the sky - Health Sqyre

CPAP Use on the Airplane

Now that you got your CPAP through security it’s time for you and your CPAP to get on the plane…

Find those electrical outlets!

Which Airlines Provide Power Outlets:

  • Virgin America: Virgin offers one standard outlet between each seat (including economy class).
  • Delta: Select Delta aircraft have 110 volt power outlets.
  • US Airways: There are 110V AC ports in some Envoy and First Class seats. The 330-300 aircraft also has 15V DC ports in economy seats, for which you’ll need an adapter.
  • United Airlines: All United international fleet have 110V power available; for their domestic fleet, only certain seats have power available.
  • American Airlines: American has AC power outlets on most of their planes. First and Business Class seats have outlets at every seat, and the economy cabin has outlets between seats on certain rows.
  • Air Canada: Most Air Canada aircraft have a 110V power outlet.
  • JetBlue: JetBlue has power ports accessible from all seats on their Airbus A321 aircraft. Everyone in Mint Experience (premium cabin) and certain A321s will have access to two power ports.
  • Alaska Air: Most Alaska Air aircraft have power outlets at every seat in their main cabin, premium, and first class.
  • Southwest airplanes do not offer power outlets.
  • It’s always a good idea to call and check if your select aircraft has an outlet you can use.
  • Bringing any fully-charged batteries to power your CPAP during the flight and not having to depend on an in-flight power outlet is always a reassuring preparation.

Fill the humidifier with bottled water, NOT bathroom tap water.

 

Yes, you can use your CPAP machine in-flight.

  • It is prohibited for the flight crew to prevent or hinder your use of a CPAP machine.  You can file a complaint with the Department of Transportation if you have any problems.  Here is their contact information:

Department of Transportation

Email: airconsumer@ost.dot.gov

Mailing address:  Aviation Consumer Protection Division U.S. Department of Transportation Room 4107, C-75 Washington, DC 20590.

If you follow these tips, traveling with your CPAP will be a breeze!  

 


6. Camping with Your CPAP

 

This section is for all of the CPAP users who love to hit the road and go camping with a CPAP.  Or maybe for users who finds themselves in the middle of a camping soiree and got roped in for a night underneath the stars for better or worse…

Well, we’re going to make it as pleasant for you as possible because, in this post, we’ll give you all of the tips and tricks that you need to know to get a solid night’s sleep when camping out in the woods.
Let’s get to it…  someone has a tent to pitch.

I went camping the other week and I didn’t take my machine. Well I tell you, that’s 5 days of shit sleep”
– David H., a CPAP User

 

orange tent pitched in scenic place - Health Sqyre

CPAP SUPPLIES YOU NEED FOR CAMPING

1. Pick the right CPAP Machine – (Hint: Make it a Travel Machine)

This is important…  It may be wise to get a travel CPAP machine.  They are significantly smaller and lighter than traditional CPAP machines.  So, if you value portability and convenience then you, my friend, should purchase a travel CPAP machine.

There are a handful of these machines on the market and they’ve received rave reviews from CPAP users.  The top 4 in our book (check out our reviews of each) are the Z1 Auto by HDM, AirMini CPAP by ResMed, Sometics Transcend Auto miniCPAP, and the DreamStation Go by Philips Respironics.

2. CPAP Masks

You want a soft, lightweight mask that can easily come apart, and the right mask accessories for camping. Check out our blog on Travel CPAP Masks for more information.

3. CPAP Accessories

Carry around a couple of extra supplies in case you lose/break any parts or just to be safe (eg: an extra filter – it can get quite dusty when you’re camping out)

Also, it might be good to have some portable cleaning supplies handy (eg: mask cleaning wipes) so you can clean your CPAP equipment on-the-go. SoClean 2 Go also makes cleaning your CPAP supplies extremely easy on-the-go.

POWERING YOUR CPAP MACHINE

Option A: Find the right campsite… one with Power!

campsite with multiple tent - Health SqyreIf you’re lucky, you may be able to find a campsite with an electricity source (a generator). That would make life a whole lot easier. Try looking for RV sites, and call the place beforehand to check that they have power!

Remember to bring a lot of extension cords – you don’t want to be snuggling up right next to the generator at night. Also, in case the generator is loud, you may want to consider bringing along earplugs for a quiet night’s sleep.

Option B: Power Generator

bright, pretty, yellow lightbulb filaments - Health Sqyre

There are some good reviews online about using the Paxcess 100-watt portable generator power inverter with a 12/24 volt (depending on the CPAP machine) adapter to power a CPAP machine. It can be charged with a wall outlet, car, or even the sun, if you purchase a compatible solar panel as an add-on. This should power your CPAP for around 3+ days, depending on your settings.

Many people also like to use a Marine/RV Deep Cycle Battery with an inverter. There are ones on Amazon which cost less than $100, and it usually keeps your CPAP working for around 3 days without a humidifier.

Having a generator can be useful outside of the camping scene too – for example, if there is a power outage or an emergency situation.

Option C: CPAP Battery packs

phillips respironics dreamstation go connected to portable battery - Health SqyreSome of the main CPAP manufacturers make CPAP battery kits for certain CPAP machines:

ResMed Power Station II (for S9, AirStart 10, AirSense 10, and AirCurve 10) – This will power your ResMed device for 13-14 hours at a pressure of 14 cmH2O.

  • Note: this power station is NOT compatible with the ResMed Travel CPAP Machine, the ResMed AirMini.

Z1 PowerShell and battery – this is an accessory made just for the Z1 Auto Travel CPAP Machine, so it can be used overnight. The battery is expected to last 8+ hours at a pressure of 14 cmH2O.

Somnetics Transcend Multi-Night Battery – This can be used exclusively with any of the Transcend miniCPAPs. The battery is expected to last 14-16 hours on a full charge, at a pressure of 14 cmH2O. For an extra upgrade, a foldable solar panel for the Transcend can also be added on.

Respironics Travel Battery Kit for System one and DreamStation CPAP Machines – This battery is expected to last around 14 hours at a pressure of 10cmH2O or less.

 DreamStation Go Overnight CPAP Battery Pack – Designed exclusively for Respironics’ travel CPAP, the DreamStation Go, this battery has an average run time of 13 hours.

Though these can often become pricey, they are usually small, light, and portable. Moreover, these battery packs were designed by the manufacturers specifically for their products

Pro-tip: Using your humidifier when your CPAP machine is powered with a portable battery pack will shorten the battery life. Going without a humidifier should be fine for a few days.

Option D: CAR BATTERY

shiny blue and red car engine and motors - Health SqyreAs a last resort, you could connect your CPAP Machine to a 12-volt car battery the same way you would to a generator, using a DC converter. However, this runs the risk of draining the car battery power (you may need to jump start the car!)

Will Insurance Cover Your Travel CPAP Machine?

Another thing to note is that these travel machines are covered by insurance if your insurance company doesn’t already cover your CPAP machine. Typically, insurance companies will only cover one primary CPAP device. The bottom-line is, if your insurance is already covering a CPAP for you, then your best bet is to pay out-of-pocket. If they’re not, then you can use your insurance to buy this machine. We’ll tell you exactly what you can do.  Just chat us or create an account.

people around a campfire at night in a forest - Health SqyreCPAP Users’ Thoughts on Camping with a CPAP

“I wouldn’t go without, I thought it would be a camping nightmare but it went very smoothly”

“Unless you’re full on roughing it camping, there’s always power available. Just run some outdoor extension cords.”

“I was out camping and I used my CPAP to blow up my air mattress…”

Other Tips & Tricks

  • As you may have read in the quote above, your CPAP machine can conveniently be used to blow up an air mattress! Try this at your own discretion, though!
  • As an alternative to the CPAP machine therapy, you could also check out Provent Therapy, which “uses the power of your own breathing to hold the airway open and enable natural airflow.”
  • If your CPAP equipment smells like smoke from the campfire after your trip, try rinsing the mask with diluted vinegar (1 or 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts water), then rinsing it with water, and changing the filter.

Final Thoughts

Look, if you’re a CPAP user and you want to go camping with a CPAP, then GO CAMPING.  Don’t skip CPAP therapy and leave your machine at home. And don’t let your CPAP slow you down or intimidate you from enjoying a night outside in the great outdoors.  There are plenty of options for you to power your CPAP and get a great night’s rest.

If you have any questions feel free to chat us and we’ll be happy to give you our two cents.  Our quick advice – get a travel CPAP.  That’s the easiest and will save you from hassle.  If that’s not in the budget, just get extension cords and a deep cell battery.  You can do it!

 


7. Traveling by RV with Your CPAP

 

Almost everyone dreams of owning, or at least vacationing once in their lifetime, by RV.

CPAP users have found that traveling by RV for cross country trips and camping is the perfect way to remain comfortable. We are going to cover the ways you can remain compliant in your CPAP therapy while you are traveling in your RV.

Basics of a Traveling CPAP User

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.

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.

 

close up shot of left vehicle tyre - Health Sqyre

It’s All About Power (For Your CPAP)

What type of power will you be using? You can charge the CPAP machine battery and use your CPAP machine while you are driving using a simple DC power cord that plugs into the cigarette lighter. But, once you get to your destination, will you have power and will it be used as a direct source for your CPAP? Or, will it be used to recharge the battery kit you have brought along? Or, are you completely off-grid and have no electric power source? Let’s start with the first scenario…

If your plan is to simply to plug into the campsite, hook it up with an extension cord and use it directly into your machine (no other additional power components necessary).

Most campsites offer standard 110 volts, which is the exact same volts supplied to your house. However, call your campsite to confirm availability.

If you are using a battery kit to power your CPAP machine at night, you will have to recharge the battery, at some point, depending on usage and your length of stay.

  • Deep cycle marine batteries have been the reliable go-to power solution for many years, for many CPAP users. The downside is that is it heavy and bulky. But, that may far outweigh any negatives since it holds a very long charge. In order to use a deep cycle marine battery you will need a DC to AC Power Inverter. Plug the male end of the DC cable into the inverter. The inverter has a DC receptacle on one side and red/black clamps to connect to the posts of the battery on the other side. Finally, connect the red clip to the red post of the battery and connect the black clip to the black post on the battery. This is a great solution for dry camping.
  • DC cables/converters plug into a power/cigarette lighter outlet while the other end plugs into your CPAP machine. You can recharge the battery in a very short time. Philips Respironics CPAP machines are only compatible with their DC cords so make sure you are buying the correct one.

 

two people resting in car trunk in meadow during sunrise - Health SqyreSome RV’s even come with a 12v outlet under the bed. If this is you, all you would need a converter. Plug it in while you are using your generator or while the RV is in use, and it will re-charge your battery for another night’s sleep within an hour or two.

If you are going completely off grid and don’t want to tow the deep-cycle marine battery, you can always use a solar power battery kit. They require only sunshine. Check out our section on Powering Your CPAP When You Travel to find the right power solution for you.

Packing Reminders

Remember to also bring your own battery as back-up.

Bring bottles of distilled water for your humidifier.

It’s also a good idea to bring a 12-foot extension cord when you travel to ensure that you can plug your machine while you sleep.

Make sure to bring whatever supplies you normally use to clean your machine and equipment.

  • Pro Tip: Bring a small, travel-sized bottle of baby shampoo.

 


8. Traveling by Bus with Your CPAP

 

No matter where you are traveling, it’s important to get quality sleep.

Traveling via bus is one of the cheapest ways to travel. When traveling for hours by bus with your CPAP, here is a list of what Health Sqyre thinks you should keep in mind:

  1. Travel with a travel-friendly CPAP machine
  2. Contact your travel carrier
  3. Always bring your documents
  4. Bring necessary accessories
  5. Your Bus Guidelinesdark airplane aisle - Health Sqyre

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 Bus Company

Each transportation company has their own regulations and rules concerning what you can carry. Prior to your travel date (several days in advance), call the bus company you are traveling with and ask about their regulations concerning the use of CPAP on the transportation.

Documents

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.

brown travel bag on wooden floor - Health SqyrePacking Reminders

Some buses have electrical outlets for charging your machine. In this case, you will need to book in advance to reserve these limited seats.

In case the bus company can’t provide you with an outlet, bring your own battery.

Bring a bottle of distilled water for your humidifier.

It’s also a good idea to bring a 12-foot extension cord when you travel to ensure that you can plug your machine while you sleep.

Bus Guidelines Regarding CPAP Use

Greyhound, one of the largest bus carriers in the country, suggests that you keep your medicine with you on the bus at all times. They recommend to not put it in your checked baggage because they can’t take any responsibility in case it gets lost or is not accessible for you when you need it.

Their carry-on allowance is up to 25lbs, and it must fit in the overhead compartment or under seat in front.

For checked baggage, you can have up to two bags, 50lbs max each, and it must be a maximum of 62 inches length, width, and height added together.

Keep all of this in mind when thinking about how to pack!

 


9. Traveling by Train with Your CPAP

 

No matter where you are traveling, it’s important to get quality sleep.

Traveling via train is one of the most comfortable ways to travel. When traveling for long hours by train with your CPAP, here is a list of what Health Sqyre thinks you should keep in mind:

  1. Travel with a travel-friendly CPAP machine
  2. Contact your travel carrier
  3. Always bring your documents
  4. Bring necessary accessories
  5. Your Train Guidelines

red train at station - Health SqyreTravel 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 Train Company

Each transportation company has their own regulations and rules concerning what you can carry. Prior to your travel date (several days in advance), call the train company you are traveling with and ask about their regulations concerning the use of CPAP on the transportation.

Documents

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.

 

person standing in front of fast passing train - Health SqyrePacking Reminders

There are electrical outlets for charging your machine throughout the train (Amtrak). In this case, you should book in advance to reserve these seats.

  • Superliner and Viewliner sleepers have one outlet in each Roomette, two in Bedrooms and the Accessible Bedrooms.
  • Most Superliner coaches have two outlets at every seat.
  • Amfleet I and II, and Acela Express cars have electric outlets at every pair of seats.
    • Pro Tip #1: Many chargers won’t fit the recessed outlet on the Superliner I cars, so bring a short 3-prong extension cord or a surge protector with you.
    • Pro Tip #2: You can always explain your situation to a Red Cap, and they may be able to help with your accommodation.

Remember to also bring your own battery as back-up. Trains may experience power outages.

Bring a bottle of distilled water for your humidifier.

It’s also a good idea to bring a 12-foot extension cord

Train Guidelines Regarding CPAP Use

Amtrak is one of the biggest railroad service providers in the country. For Amtrak, required medical devices, such as CPAP machines, may be carried on the train and will not count as a carry-on baggage.

Passengers can have up to two carry-on baggage that must be in your custody, stored in overhead racks, under seats, or in designated baggage areas. There is a 50 lb. limit, and your carry-on baggage cannot exceed the 28” x 22” x 14” dimension on most trains.

You can also check up to two bags free of charge (cannot exceed 50 lb. limit and must be 75 inches length, width, and height added together).

Keep all of this in mind when thinking about how to pack!

 


10. Traveling on a Cruise Ship with Your CPAP

 

No matter where you are traveling, it’s important to get quality sleep.

Going on a cruise ship for a vacation is an exciting time, and you want to make sure you are well rested every night to enjoy every day. If you have sleep apnea, definitely continue your therapy and bring your CPAP machine on the cruise with you!

When traveling on a cruise ship with your CPAP, here is a list of what Health Sqyre thinks you should keep in mind:

  1. Travel with a travel-friendly CPAP machine
  2. Contact your travel carrier
  3. Always bring your documents
  4. Bring necessary accessories
  5. Your Cruise Ship Guidelines

large, white white cruise ship - Health SqyreTravel 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 Cruise Line

Cruise lines are generally very accommodating of medical needs and devices, including CPAP machines.

However, each transportation company does have their own regulations and rules concerning what you can carry. Prior to your travel date (several days in advance), call the cruise company you are traveling with and ask about their regulations concerning the use of CPAP on the cruise.

Documents

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. Emergencies, 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 in order to use your CPAP machine during travel.

On another document-related note, certain cruise ships will require you to fill out a form saying that you will be bringing your CPAP machine on the cruise. This is to let them know what you will be bringing, as well as how and what they can provide for you.

 

boat near island during warm sunset - Health SqyrePacking Reminders

Battery

Remember to also bring your own battery as back-up, in case there is a power outage.

Distilled Water

Many cruise ships will provide distilled water for your machine for free or for a low price (Carnival charges $3 for a gallon). Check with your cruise line on what they can do, and if you don’t want to pay for it, bring your own distilled water for your humidifier.

Extension Cord

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. When contacting your cruise line, let them know that you will be bringing your own extension cord because normally, extension cords would not be allowed on board. If they say no to you bringing one for yourself, they will provide one for you.

Cleaning Supplies

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.

Cruise Ship Guidelines Regarding CPAP Use

Carnival Cruise Line is the world’s largest cruise line based in the United States. They require that you bring your own equipment on board.  They advice passengers to hand-carry these items, not place them in your checked luggage.

There is one electrical outlet around the desk/vanity in each stateroom. The outlet has a 3-prong 110 volt (North America Grounded) and a 220 volt (Europe German-Style).

If you will also be traveling by air, check with your airline as well about their own guidelines and regulations on bringing/using CPAP machine.

Keep all of this in mind when thinking about how to pack!

 


11. CPAP Adapters and Plugs

 

While we have already spent some time talking about the best CPAP travel practices, the travel CPAP adapters and plugs can be somewhat confusing, especially if you are traveling internationally.  However, fear not!  Health Sqyre is here to tell you everything you need to know about CPAP travel adapters.

Know Your CPAP Machine

The United States and Europe have different standard voltages on their power outlets.  The U.S. typically utilizes a 110-120V, while Europe’s standard is 220-240V.  Fortunately, all of our top 3 travel CPAPs have a voltage range of 100-240V.

  • Newer CPAPs typically have the ability to be used within a range of 100V to 240V (known as “dual voltage”), which allows for use on both continents.
  • Unfortunately, if you are traveling to Europe, many of the older CPAPs only work with the 110V outlet, and an adapter is required. Time to upgrade your CPAP?

blue and red cords and HDMI cable plugged into machine - Health SqyreCPAP Plug Adapters

Know the power outlet style of the destination country/area that you’re traveling to!  

  • Many CPAP plug adapter kits come with plugs that will fit into the wall outlets in Britain, Northern Europe, and Southern Europe.
  • Having the right power adapter will not help very much if you do not have the right plug adapter!

List of Major Countries’ Standard Voltage

  • Argentina – 220V
  • Australia – 230V
  • Bahamas – 120V
  • Brazil – 127V/220V
  • Canada – 120V
  • China – 220V
  • France – 230V*
  • Germany – 230V*
  • Hong Kong – 220V
  • India – 230V
  • Indonesia – 230V
  • Italy – 230V*
  • Japan – 100V
  • Mexico – 127V
  • Nigeria – 240V
  • Puerto Rico – 240V
  • Russia – 230V
  • South Africa – 230V
  • Spain – 230V*
  • Sweden – 230V*
  • United Kingdom – 230V
  • United States – 110-120V
  • Vietnam – 220V

*Most of Europe is 230V

 


12. 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.

Why?

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:

  1. Travel with a travel-friendly CPAP machine
  2. Contact your travel carrier
  3. Always bring your documents
  4. Packing reminders

People transiting while holding travel bags - Health SqyreTravel 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.

Documents

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.

person hiking in mountains - Health SqyrePacking Reminders

Extra, extra, extra!

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.

Distilled Water

Bring distilled water from home or buy bottles of distilled water when you are traveling. Avoid using tap water for your humidifier!

Extension Cord

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.

Cleaning Supplies

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.

Humidifier

Have you drained the chamber? Always empty out the humidifier when packing.

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