It’s no secret that travelling can be a daunting experience. From planning what to bring with you to keeping your luggage within the airline’s weight limit, there’s a lot to think about. And if you’re one of the millions of people who use a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnea, travelling with your CPAP machine can add an extra layer of complexity to your trip.
But don’t let that stop you from exploring the world! With a little bit of planning, travelling with your CPAP machine can be a breeze.
With these tips, you’ll be ready to take on the world with your CPAP machine in tow.
1. Get a travel-friendly CPAP machine
The first step to successfully travelling with your CPAP machine is to get a travel CPAP machine. Traditional CPAP machines can be bulky and heavy, which makes them difficult to pack and transport.
Instead of lugging this bulky piece of equipment, look for a compact, lightweight CPAP machine that is easy to carry with you on your travels. This way, you can keep your CPAP machine close at hand without it being a chore to carry.
2. Medical equipment doesn’t count towards your carry-on luggage limit
Most airlines have a strict weight limit for carry-on luggage, which can make packing light a challenge. But did you know that medical equipment doesn’t count towards your carry-on luggage limit?
It’s normal for CPAP machines to exceed the weight limit for carry-on luggage, even travel-friendly CPAP machines. That said, contact your airline at least a day or two in advance to get their word on the matter. If they approve your request, these CPAP machines can be lifesavers during long-haul flights.
If you’re travelling with a CPAP machine, be sure to bring along a doctor’s note confirming that you need the CPAP machine for medical reasons. This way, you won’t have to worry about sleep apnea disrupting your fellow passengers. It also makes it easier to fall asleep faster.
3. Consider the destination’s voltage
If you’re planning on travelling to a destination with a different voltage than what your CPAP machine is designed for, you’ll need to take some extra steps to make sure that your CPAP machine can safely be used at that destination.
Some CPAP machines are designed for use within a specific voltage. Be sure to check your CPAP machine’s specifications before you travel. If your machine has a different voltage than what’s available at your destination, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter to safely use your CPAP machine.
That said, most newer models of CPAP machines have built-in voltage converters. These models are specially designed for use in multiple countries, so you don’t have to worry about bringing a voltage converter to your destination.
4. Prepare a clear plastic bag for your machine
Airport security requires you to put all of your carry-on items, including your CPAP machine, through the X-ray machine. If it’s your first time travelling with a CPAP machine, you may be wondering how to properly pack your machine so that it doesn’t get damaged during the security screening procedure.
Oftentimes, the security personnel will request you to take the CPAP machine out of its bag for individual inspection in a baggage tray. To prevent contamination, it’s important to bring along with you a clear plastic bag that you can fit the machine. This way, your CPAP machine stays clean and you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged during the security screening process.
An alternative to a plastic bag is to bring wet wipes. This way, you can quickly and easily disinfect your CPAP machine if it comes into contact with any surfaces during the security screening process.
5. Take everything you need and some extras
Before you set out on your travels, make a list of everything you’ll need to use your CPAP machine while you’re away from home. This includes the CPAP machine itself, the power cord, a mask, and any other necessary accessories.
But don’t stop there—it’s always better to be overprepared than under, especially when your health is on the line. So in addition to the essentials, pack some extra supplies just in case. This includes extra batteries, filters, and tubing. By packing extras, you can rest assured knowing that you won’t have to go without your CPAP machine even in the event something goes wrong.
6. Empty your water chamber before travelling
If your CPAP machine has a water chamber, it’s important to empty it before travelling. This is to prevent any accidental spillages during the trip. Plus, it’ll reduce the weight of your luggage, making it easier to carry everything around with you.
Once you’re through security and at your gate, you can fill up the water chamber again so that it’s ready to use when you land at your destination. Instead of using tap water, opt for distilled or sterile water to fill up the chamber. This is a much cleaner option and will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re using clean water in your CPAP machine.