Tips for Travelling with Sleep Apnoea

Family on a cliff looking at mountain scenery

We understand it can be challenging to travel when you have Sleep Apnoea, but hopefully, this blog will make it a little easier. 

Travelling with Sleep Apnoea is more common than you think. There is a growing awareness of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). You can take your CPAP machine to most places in the world. Our CPAP devices all include carrying bags that can be used while travelling. 

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

Purchase a travel CPAP

If you have Sleep Apnoea travelling with your machine is essential. Travelling with your daily device can take up quite a bit of room. 

You could consider a travel CPAP device as they provide the same performance and productivity.

The difference and benefits of travel devices:

  • Portability – these devices are easy to take on your travels (easily used in a car or plane and weigh significantly less). 
  • Compact – The smaller dimensions of travel CPAP make it convenient to pack (like in a backpack).

The ResMed AirMini travel CPAP weighs in at only 0.66lbs (299 g). It is a similar size as a can of coke! The AirMini has quickly become a popular travel device for Intus. You can find out more here – and find our universal CPAP hose adapter for the AirMini here (so you can use ANY mask with your AirMini).

The AirMini offers HumidX waterless humidification to make your journey simpler. Or you could add waterless humidification to your daily CPAP machine.

It is valuable to remember that as these devices are smaller, their volume can be a little louder than a standard CPAP machine.

If you travel with your daily CPAP machine, ensure your humidifier chamber has been emptied of water.

Travelling by plane with your CPAP?

Airplane

If you are a CPAP user travelling by plane, ask your airline if you are able to use your CPAP on the plane. Enquire whether you can plug into the plane’s power or need to use a battery.

If you have a letter stating your diagnosis/requirement for CPAP, then we would suggest taking a copy of this with you when you fly.

Informing your airline can make the build-up to your journey simpler. If you receive a letter or email stating you can travel with your CPAP, take it with you.

Keep in mind you can carry your CPAP as hand luggage, so it doesn’t take up any packing space.

There is no need to worry about going through airport security with your CPAP, 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 speed up the process for you.

If your device is battery-powered, you may be asked to turn it on by security – so make sure it has enough battery beforehand.

You can also contact your airline for a floor plan to ensure you sit by a suitable power outlet. Checking the power cable and adapter used on the flight will help save confusion.

It is advised that you take important documents (a letter/prescription from your doctor explaining your need for CPAP therapy) to avoid more complications if something happens.

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

Mains power and batteries

When travelling with your CPAP machine, you should inquire about available mains power. This ensures you can always have use of your device wherever you are. 

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 or carry bag.

You could purchase a CPAP battery pack if you travel away from mains power – you will need a 12v battery.

  • If you plan on taking a battery on a plane, consider  ION Compact 12V CPAP Battery Pack. Ion batteries have great portability as they do not weigh much (1.2kg) and charge CPAP machines quickly. Please remember that some airlines require that your battery has a longer capacity than your flight time. We currently do not supply an Ion battery.
  • If you do not plan on taking a battery on a plane, consider – Atom Pro 12V CPAP Battery Pack. This battery can power your device 4 times the capacity of the Ion. But keep in mind that when charging a humidifier, this will significantly drain the battery faster – as humidifiers use more electricity than CPAP machines. The Atom Pro is great for camping as it can be charged by solar panels.

If you would like to take a battery with you on a flight, please inform your airline and check if you can.

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

If you plan on travelling in a car, boat or another vehicle, consider a DC power adapter.

If you’re travelling internationally, consider purchasing a country-specific adaptor to ensure you can power your CPAP.

For those with positional or mild Sleep Apnoea: You could consider a Mandibular Advancement Device; this is a short-term Sleep Apnoea suppresser- and does not require any mains power.

CPAP cleaning wipes

It is always encouraged to keep your CPAP equipment in good hygiene wherever you go – taking cleaning wipes makes life easier!

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. 

CPAP cleaning wipes are affordable and efficient when travelling. They confidently disinfect surfaces and remove face oils from your CPAP mask.

Need more tips?

Contact us if you need more tips or visit our Travelling with CPAP FAQ’S. 

Author daniellemyatt