Can I travel with my CPAP machine?

Travelling with Sleep Apnoea | Intus Healthcare

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Last updated on June 10th, 2024 at 03:24 pm

We understand it can be challenging to travel when you have Sleep Apnoea, but hopefully, this article will provide you with the information to make it a little easier. 

Did you know that travelling with Sleep Apnoea is more common than you might think? As awareness of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) grows, it’s becoming increasingly recognised that you can take your machine to most places worldwide. To make your travel experience even more convenient, our CPAP machines come with specially designed carrying bags that are perfect for use while on the go.

We understand that wherever you go, your Sleep Apnoea follows; here are some helpful tips:

The Best Way to Travel with a CPAP Machine

5 Top Travel Tips

  1. Take a CPAP travel battery with you: CPAP batteries allow you to continue your treatment wherever life takes you. Our Pilot Lite batteries are lightweight and airline-approved, so you can continue receiving effective therapy while camping, travelling by plane, or during a power outage.
Pilot-12 Lite CPAP Battery for Philips DreamStation | Intus Healthcare

Pilot 12

This complete pack includes cables for the AirSense 10, AirMini, and Prisma machines. The battery is also compatible with other specific machines but will require an additional DC cable (not included), please see the description tab to find a list of additional compatible devices.

Medistrom Pilot 24 CPAP Battery & AirMini Machine | Intus Healthcare

Pilot 24

This complete pack includes a DC cable for the Philips DreamStation and DreamStation 2 machines. The battery is also compatible with other specific machines but will require an additional DC cable (not included), please see the description tab for a list of other compatible devices.

2. Use a portable CPAP machine: We understand that travelling with your regular device can be cumbersome and take up significant space. That’s why we recommend a travel CPAP device, which offers the same performance and productivity as your daily therapy.

ResMed AirMini Travel CPAP Machine | Intus Healthcare

ResMed AirMini

The ResMed AirMini travel CPAP is a compact device, weighing only 0.66 lbs (299g). The AirMini features HumidX Waterless Humidification, simplifying your journey by eliminating the need for a separate humidifier. This innovative technology ensures that you can enjoy the benefits of humidification without the hassle of carrying additional equipment or water chambers.

BCM M1 Mini Auto Travel CPAP Machine | Intus Healthcare

M1 Mini

The BMC M1 Mini Machine is one of the smallest devices, weighing slightly more than the AirMini at 400g. The M1 is a stylish device that is compatible with any mask, features quiet operation, unique pressure sensitivity, and more! It can also be combined with BMC masks that use HU Waterless Humidification, to provide added comfort to your therapy.

 

3. Take back-up supplies: When you’re travelling far from home, packing extra supplies ensures you always get a good night’s sleep. Consider taking extra filters and choosing an ultra-slim tube to help you travel light.

CPAP Mask Wipes | Intus Healthcare

Mask Wipes

CPAP Wipes remove dirt, bacteria and skin oils from your mask. If you travel to hotter climates, bacteria and fungi grow faster, meaning cleaning your equipment is essential. Cleaning your equipment increases its longevity, essentially making it last longer – saving you money.

Fisher & Paykel Solo Nasal Cushion CPAP Mask FitPack | Intus Healthcare

Mask Parts

Consider replacing your mask parts before travelling.

Replacing your mask cushion, headgear or elbow ensures your mask sits comfortably without the need of purchasing a new mask. We offer replacement parts for most masks from leading brands.

Please visit our comfort & cleaning range for more cleaning accessories.

4. Take your CPAP documents: Taking a copy of your documents stating your requirement for CPAP therapy will help you have a smooth journey should a problem arise.

5. Empty your humidifier: If you’re travelling with your everyday machine and using a humidifier, remember to empty and dry your water chamber to prevent bacteria and mould from growing in your equipment. This precautionary step helps prevent any potential leakage that could damage your equipment during transit.

Travel Video Guidance

Watch our YouTube travel guide, presented by our Clinical Services Manager, Jay.

Travelling Overseas with Your CPAP

Whether you’re planning a cruise trip or travelling by plane, we have tips to help you.

Can I bring a CPAP machine on an aeroplane?

Yes, you can take your machine on a flight as it is a medical device.

If you are travelling by plane, please ask the airline you are travelling with if you can use your machine on the plane. Enquire whether you can plug into the plane’s power or whether you need to use a battery. You can also contact your airline for a floor plan to ensure you sit by a suitable power outlet.

  • If you have documentation confirming your need for a CPAP device, we highly recommend carrying a copy of it with you when you travel. Informing your airline in advance about your CPAP requirement can help streamline the process leading up to your journey.
  • Remember that you can carry your machine as hand luggage so it does not take up any space in your checked-in luggage.
  • There is no need to worry about going through airport security with your device, as they can safely go through x-ray scanners. When going through security at the airport, we advise taking your CPAP out of its carry case to avoid any delays. If your device is battery-powered, you may be asked to turn it on by security, so ensure it is fully charged beforehand.

Can I take a CPAP battery on a plane?

Yes, you can take specific types of batteries on a flight with you.

If you would like to take a battery with you on a flight, please inform your airline and check if you can. Our Pilot batteries and Powerpack Ion Pro are airline-approved, but we recommend checking with your airline before setting off to prevent any confusion.

  • When taking a battery on a flight, ensure it is charged before you go. A Lithium-Ion battery is estimated to have a life span of around 2-3 years or 300 to 500 charge cycles. Test and charge your battery regularly to keep it going!

The Sleep Apnoea Trust have more information on UK airlines and Sleep Apnoea.

How to run a CPAP machine when camping

Camping and CPAP therapy can work in unison with the correct preparation. Like any getaway, you need to plan in advance to ensure your trip is smooth sailing. Here are our camping tips:

Research where you are going

Depending on where you decide to go camping will determine if you need a travel adaptor and what type of battery you can take with you.

If you travel outside the UK, check the available power supply voltage level to ensure your device can be powered through it.

Stay at a campsite with a mains power outlet to make powering your machine simple. If there is no available outlet, you may need a battery pack. If you do not plan on taking a battery on a plane and still require a power source, consider the Atom Pro 12V CPAP Battery Pack. This battery is much larger than the Pilot options but is a great option for travelling off-grid.

If you have access to mains power, taking an extension cord helps avoid the struggle of plug placement—simply pack it in your travel bag.

Use a DC cable

To help power your device, you can use your car battery or another available source by connecting a DC power adapter cable.

These allow you to power your device off a cigarette lighter port in a boat, caravan, bike or car. 

Please note: 12V cables are only compatible with other 12V sources. 

Use a CPAP alternative

Depending on the severity of your Sleep Apnoea, you could use a CPAP alternative

Those with milder forms of OSA can use an alternative treatment. It’s much easier to pack an oral appliance or positional therapy trainer when you travel as they do not rely on mains power, making it a convenient solution for short-term use.

Oniris mandibular advancement device for sleep apnoea

Mandibular Advancement Devices

Oral appliances – Also known as Mandibular Advancement Devices, are mouth guards or dental appliances clinically proven to treat milder forms of OSA. They gently pull the lower jaw and tongue forward to reduce breathing pauses (apnoeas) and snoring.

Somnibel Positional Sleep Therapy Trainer

Somnibel Positional Therapy

Sleeping on your side can help prevent Sleep Apnoea events; the Somnibel Positional Sleep Therapy Trainer encourages the user to sleep on their side. The small forehead device lightly vibrates while sleeping on your back or stomach.

Please note: It is encouraged to return to using your CPAP machine if your doctor or sleep specialist advises. 

Pack a disposable CPAP humidifier

When camping, you may find your humidifier drains your battery too quickly. An alternative to using your usual humidifier chamber is a waterless disposable humidifier. 

These do not use water and eliminate a dry mouth, throat and nose like your standard humidifier tub. 

Need more tips?

To have comfortable travels, always treat your OSA. Please contact us if you need further assistance.

Machines Suitable for Aircraft