In our clinics we have two groups of people, those that take their equipment everywhere, or those that tend to leave the CPAP at home when it is inconvenient. We can say though, that no one wants to be exhausted on their holiday. Good news for both groups – it is now easier than ever to travel with CPAP.
Your CPAP Machine
Whether you have a family cabin or trailer, or you like more exotic destinations, your CPAP should be on your list to pack. CPAP machines have gotten a lot smaller and more manageable in the last few years, making it less cumbersome to take them on your holidays with you. With the changes to the Manitoba provincial program, it makes it easier to have a spare in an alternate location. Make sure that you have a plan for cleaning and powering you machine when you’re away.
If your trip involves a plane, be sure to check with your airline when you are booking your trip. Most allow CPAP machines to be claimed as medical baggage that does not count towards your carry-on allowance. And yes, you do need to carry your CPAP. Please do not trust your equipment to baggage handlers! You will need to take the machine out of its case for security, but they do not have permission to man-handle your equipment.
It’s also a good idea to look up CPAP stores near to your destination should something befall your equipment. But don’t worry, Medigas Manitoba is there to help. You can call, email or chat with us for extra support when you’re away.
Travel CPAP Machines
If you really don’t want to take your full-sized CPAP, there are some nice, new travel machines available for you. We won’t go into each in too much detail, you can see them here. Just know that they are small, convenient and have nearly all the features of your standard CPAP, and they’re available for purchase or rent depending on your needs!
Like we mentioned earlier, you want to make sure that wherever you go you have options for cleaning and powering your CPAP equipment.
Cleaning is easy. Remember, a damp cloth once a day and soapy water once a week. You may also want to bring along extra filters if your destination is sandy or dusty. There are CPAP wipes (72/pack) that make daily care easy.
Powering your equipment can be a little more complex. If you are traveling to a country that has a different voltage – don’t worry. All you need is an adapter to plug into a different outlet, the machine will do its own power conversion. You can pick up that kind of an adapter at any electronics store. If AC power is not an option or is inconsistent, all is not lost! The old go-to, and still a good option at a decent price point is a power pack. It is a type of battery that has an AC converter and plug in. New to the market, and very exciting is the Pilot-24 Lite battery. It can act as a power supply or backup power for many new CPAP machines, unfortunately, it is not compatible with some of the older units.
Note that most batteries will last about 2 nights, especially without the humidifier, so you will need some ability to recharge – whether by generator or DC source.
If you’ve read all this and taking your CPAP along is still not looking like a great option – do not despair!
There are some CPAP alternatives that may be effective for you. To see if one of these would work for you, please talk to your sleep doctor. They know you and your sleep apnea and what treatments you will respond to. These include Provent, positional sleeping and oral appliances.