Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, it is important that you sleep well while away from the comfort and routine of your own bedroom.
To assure the best chance of achieving vital, restorative sleep, here are some helpful tips for traveling with CPAP. Click here to explore our travel friendly CPAP section on our website.
What equipment to pack
Whether your travels take you to a hotel, condo, private mansion, or a bungalow off the coast of a tropical island (Dreamy, right?) make sure to pack all your CPAP necessities. This includes, masks, hoses, fittings, and most importantly an extension cord. Yes, an extension cord! Follow us closely, you go to plug your CPAP in beside your bed at night just to realize all the plugs are take up by alarm clocks, lamps, and dare we say, a mini fridge, lol. By having a trusty extension cord your power worries are a thing of the past. Simply plug in, connect your machine and boom you are off to the restful rockstar status you much deserve.
Traveling with a CPAP doesn’t have to be a headache. Before you go, just ask your doctor to give you a prescription for CPAP and the heated humidifier, mask, filters, and tubing. Pro tip: Keep the RX in your wallet just in case you find yourself outside of your insurance network and need to buy any CPAP equipment that might be damaged or stolen while you are away from home.
And don’t forget to ask your doctor to provide a letter of medical necessity on his/her letterhead. This is especially important if you think you’ll need to use your CPAP machine while traveling in flight, on a train or on other transportation mode. The letter should read something like:
Letter of Medical Necessity
- Patient name
- My patient has been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and requires CPAP therapy with heated humidification to permit adequate compliance to their necessary therapy.
- Doctor’s name, address, and telephone number
- Doctor’s signature
Getting through security check points
Are we ever really ready to go through airport security? Rules change every now and again, but for the most part, CPAPs are well-known in the travel industry. With air travel, generally speaking, your CPAP, BiPAP, and APAP must be removed from its carrying case to undergo X-ray screening. It's recommended that you bring a clear plastic bag to put your CPAP machine in so it can go in the X-ray bin that passes through the security check point. Facemasks and tubing may remain in the case. These are not inspected, which is good, since you always want to keep them clean, sanitary, and safe from handling by others. When it gets close to the point where it goes through X-ray, simply alert security that you have a CPAP. They appreciate the heads up, and it makes the process go quicker.
If your CPAP needs to be hand-inspected by TSA after it is X-rayed, you can ask the TSA agent to maintain the cleanliness of your CPAP by politely asking the agent to:
- Please clean the table where the inspection will take place.
- Please change your gloves before touching my CPAP machine.
- Please change the explosive travel detection (ETD) sampling media before testing my equipment (that’s the swab they use to test for explosives).
Bonus: You can still carry your roller bag and your laptop or purse (please check with your airline for specific rules, but your CPAP does not count as an additional carry-on).
When the nightstand in your hotel is full with a phone, lamp, and clock, there is often no room to place your CPAP machine. No problem. Just pull out the top drawer of the night stand, and place your CPAP there. If this is not an option, most hotels can provide you with a portable stand with a round tray top such as used in the delivery of food service. You just have to ask.
Traveling with a CPAP machine doesn't have to be difficult if you plan ahead These tips should help you get a good night’s sleep with your CPAP when you travel. Click here to explore our travel friendly CPAP section on our website.