Tips for Traveling with Your CPAP during the Holidays

by Medical XPress

CPAP machine with mask and hose on gray backgroundIf you’re traveling to visit family during the holidays, you likely already have your trip booked. You have your itinerary. You’re making your packing list—and your CPAP is on it. Naturally, you’ll need to bring your CPAP with you for restful, healthy sleep during your trip. But traveling with a device like this can be stressful. Here are some tips to make it a bit easier to bring your CPAP along.

Don’t Put It in Your Checked Bag

If your flight is short and you’re not planning to sleep, it seems natural to put your CPAP into your checked baggage. But have you ever had an airline lose your luggage? If so, you know how stressful it can be to go without your clothes, toiletries, and other essentials. Now just imagine how much more stressful it would be if it was your CPAP that got lost.

Bring your CPAP on board with you. Because this device is considered to be medically necessary, it doesn’t even count towards your carry-on allowance, so you can bring your CPAP without worrying about taking up space in your carry-on baggage. Simply store it in the overhead bin, and grab it when you disembark; you won’t have to worry about your CPAP getting lost at any point in your journey.

Check with Your Airline for Regulations

In relation to our above tip, we’d also encourage you to check with your specific airline to see if they have any regulations regarding bringing medically necessary devices on board without it impacting your carry-on allowance. For example, in some cases, they might require that you provide a doctor’s note. If this is the case, and you don’t bring a note with you, you might not be able to bring your CPAP on board with you. Check well ahead of time so you can get any necessary documentation in advance of your trip.

Prepare Your CPAP for Security

TSA is probably everyone’s least favorite part of airline travel. It feels like you have to unload practically everything from your bag. You have to remove your shoes, jacket, and belt. The whole process can feel very invasive—but it goes much more smoothly if you’re prepared for it. If you have a CPAP machine with you, make sure you know how to prepare it for the security check.

The CPAP machine itself will need to be taken out of its case and placed into a bin; if you’re concerned about germs, put the machine in a clear plastic bag (you’ll have to bring one with you) before placing it in the bin. The face mask and tubing can stay in the CPAP case and placed in a separate bin. A TSA agent may need to swab your CPAP for an Explosive Trace Detection test, but this only takes a moment, and your machine and equipment will be return to you as soon as it’s completed.

Book a Flight with Outlets If You’re Sleeping

If you’re intending to sleep on your flight, you’ll want to book a flight that has outlets. You can contact various airlines to determine whether or not their planes have outlets available next to the seats. Some will have outlets in economy class, while others will only have them available in business or first class. If you’re booking a flight that only has outlets in business and first class, it’s probably worth the extra cost to get one of these seats. You’ll then be able to plug in your machine and sleep a little more soundly through the flight. Plus, your fellow passengers will be grateful to not hear the loud snoring that likely comes along with your sleep apnea.

Pack Backup CPAP Supplies

Finally, make sure you pack more than enough CPAP supplies for the duration of your trip. This includes cushions, headgear, filter, CPAP wipes, and even some bottled water. Remember, you should only use distilled water in your CPAP, and sometimes, it might be a while before you have access to distilled water after landing. If you need to use your CPAP in flight, you can pack up to 3.4 ounces of distilled water to use for this purpose. Many flights can also provide you with bottled water as part of their in-flight service.

If you’re in need of extra CPAP supplies, need a new CPAP machine, or are interested in investing in a travel CPAP to make traveling with your machine easier, contact MXP4U today.