If you need a CPAP machine—a device commonly used to treat sleep apnea—you need it when you travel as well as when you’re at home. Fortunately, travel with a CPAP machine doesn’t have to be a problem, but it’s easier with some devices than others.

Whether it’s for vacation, work, or other reasons, there are many who think they can just leave their CPAP machine at home for a few days because they mistakenly believe they can go without using positive airway pressure during their time away. The idea of packing and bringing their equipment with them.

However, sleep apnea occurs whether or not you use your therapy. Without CPAP machine, you run the risk of experiencing all the unwanted, sometimes even dangerous, affects of untreated sleep apnea that CPAP is there to mitigate.

The good news is, traveling with CPAP machine is much easier to do than you might imagine. In some cases, you don’t even need electricity in order to use your therapy.

traveling with CPAP machine

It does not take loads of preparation when traveling with a portable CPAP machine. However, there are a few things that you should take care of before your travel date;
Most newer machines are small, lightweight, and come standard with a carrying case so traveling with them shouldn’t be a burden. However, there are travel specific CPAP machines that are even more convenient and easy to bring along. If you travel often, it may be worth the money to purchase a secondary, travel specific machine.

Make sure you have all the proper adaptors and plugs for where you’re traveling. International travel shouldn’t be a problem as nearly all newer machines have universal power supplies that can adapt to various voltage.

  • If you are traveling by plane, make sure you have a printed copy of clearance from your airline. Having one means your machine is in compliance with the regulations and rules of the carrier. This will facilitate ease in dealing with check-ins and X-ray machine, TSA agents, and flight attendants. Always carry a medical certificate that you require CPAP therapy.

Depending on your preference, you can check-in your travel CPAP with the rest of your luggage if you’re traveling by plane. However, CPAP machines are considered medical devices so even if you bring one in the airplane cabin, it is not considered as a carry-on bag. And, it is best to bring your device on the plane in case of lost luggage.

Newer model CPAP machines are more compact and light and comes with a travel case. Commonly called “mini”, this variant is even easier and more convenient to bring when traveling. The ResMed Airmini is a fine example under this category.

  • You may want to consider purchasing or renting a back-up battery pack. These are great if you plan on camping or simply as a precaution against power outages.

You may want to check with your airline’s policy regarding CPAP usage in flight. Some airlines require a minimum of 48 hours notice of use of inflight CPAP machines to verify that your model meets FAA standards and regulations. Many airlines require that your machine is properly labeled indicating that it meets FAA safety regulations and is approved for use on an aircraft. For FAA regulations concerning CPAP use and some indivdual airlines policies click the links below: