Steps for Better Sleep When Traveling with a CPAP Machine

Setting an itinerary for a vacation is exciting. Packing and trying to figure out how to travel with a CPAP machine is less exciting. Whether you are going on a road trip or flying for business, traveling with a CPAP machine can be challenging. Finding space to pack it, remembering to use it every night and ensuring you have the necessary supplies can be overwhelming. Cross off a big vacation to-do with our tips for traveling with a CPAP machine

A man sleeps comfortably at a hotel while traveling with a CPAP machine.

1. Pack a Portable Machine

Even on the bedside table, CPAP machines can be bulky. Travel lighter with a portable CPAP machine. This encourages you to bring it along while you travel and makes it easier to use while you’re away from home. Sleeping without a CPAP machine on vacation can be disruptive by worsening your sleep apnea and diminishing your quality of sleep. Whether you are flying with a CPAP machine or going on a road trip, extra equipment can be a challenge. Portable CPAP machines can help provide high-quality sleep on the go without the bulk of a standard CPAP.

2. Ensure You Have Compatible Electricity

Before traveling with a CPAP machine, ensure that your destination has working, accessible electricity. If you are going to an international destination, learn what outlet adapters are required. Many CPAP machines have adapters that allow you to plug them into a variety of outlets, but some do not. Check your cord and learn what your destination’s outlets are like to ensure they are compatible.

If you are camping with your CPAP machine, you have a few options to ensure you have electricity and can use it. First, you can rent a campsite with electricity. Many sites have options with electrical outlets available. This works great if you have a corded machine and are able to work your machine into the tent, camper or cabin. You can also hook up your CPAP machine to a car, but this option is a little trickier for overnight camping. Campers or RVs make this option more practical. Finally, you can invest in a cordless CPAP machine for camping. Battery-powered CPAP machines are excellent alternatives to traditional machines when you are traveling or camping. 

3. Pack Your Machine the Smart Way

Most CPAP machines come with designated travel bags. These bags make storage and transportation easy and convenient. They can fit most of your supplies inside, keeping everything safely together. Label your CPAP travel bag with your name and phone number in case it is lost or left behind. Traveling on the road? Pack your machine last, away from doors. This way, you know how to access it easily, and you are confident that it won’t fall out accidentally when you open the car door. 

If you are flying with a CPAP machine, carry your documents or a note from your doctor on you. While airlines are required to allow these necessary medical devices, they still may need to manually check the bag at TSA checkpoints during the trip. Having documentation can help expedite the process and make security and other checks go quickly. If possible, do not check your CPAP machine as luggage. While it is rare, you could risk damaging or losing your machine this way. Keep your machine with you on the plane to ensure it is handled safely at all times. 

4. Bring Extra Supplies

Finally, make sure to pack extra supplies. Hoses, nasal pillows and even masks can be lost or damaged easily. Pack extra supplies when traveling with a CPAP machine to ensure you are good to go on vacation or other trips. Taking extra steps ahead of time will help you feel comfortable and consistent while you’re traveling. Neglecting your machine while traveling can have negative effects on the quality of your sleep, so develop a travel routine that helps maintain your sleep habits on the road. 

Sleep Better While Traveling

Whether you’re driving or flying with your CPAP machine, remember to take steps to get quality sleep while traveling. Avoid stress when you pack by making to-do lists (and, if necessary, to-do lists of to-do lists!). Double and triple check that you have everything packed, and schedule reminders in your phone to set up your machine and use it every night. Regular equipment use is key to sleeping better, even while you are on vacation. As you are planning and packing for your trip, keep these tips for traveling with a CPAP machine in mind, and enjoy traveling!

If you are looking for ways to get quality sleep while traveling or at home, contact Whitney Sleep Center. With sleep centers in Plymouth and Burnsville, we help diagnose and treat sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Contact Whitney Sleep Center and get on your way to a good night’s rest.