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Traveling with CPAP

Many people struggle with the decision to travel with their CPAP unit. But if a good night’s sleep is important on your destination, we recommend that you bring your CPAP with you. Most CPAP units are quite small and portable. Smaller units designed for the frequent traveller are available.

Important Reminder

When traveling with any medical equipment, always plan ahead and carry a copy of your prescription. If you have any equipment difficulties or damage, you’ll need this document to obtain replacement supplies along your way.

Air Travel (Pre-flight)

Airport Security may require you to show a medical statement from your physician verifying that you are carrying medical equipment. Be sure to plan ahead and obtain this letter from your doctor, and keep it on hand for airport security.

  • Always carry on, never check your CPAP. As a medical device it does not count towards your carry on
  • Always bring a copy of your prescription when you travel - airline security may request it and if you need any supplies due to damage/loss/theft you'll have it to get replacements

Air Travel (In-flight)

  • Many devices are compatible with the power supply on airplanes. If you want to use your CPAP device on the airplane, contact the airline a couple of weeks before your flight to arrange seating close to a power supply, to confirm the type of power cord or adapter you need, and to ensure you have all the necessary documents. Please note that you cannot use humidifiers while on an aircraft.
  • Most devices automatically compensate for altitude changes. If you live in or frequently visit high altitudes, be sure to ask The Sleep Wellness Institute or CPAP2Go for a device that has this feature.

Traveling Overseas

  • Most devices automatically adjust to the various power supplies used in different parts of the world and will accept 100-240V, 50-60Hz, without any special adjustment. Please note that you will need to use the correct plug adapter for the outlets in the countries you are visiting.

Outdoor and Rural Travel

You can keep your CPAP running, even when electricity is hard to come by. Simply power your machine with a deep cycle marine battery. This is an ideal solution for campers, boaters and traveling to rural areas. To power your CPAP equipment with DC power you will need:

  • Battery: A 12-volt deep-cell marine battery is recommended because it will last longer between charges. A smaller12-volt battery will also work, but will need to be charged more often. A 12-volt battery charger is required for both options.
  • DC Power Cable: One end plugs into the machine and the other end plugs into the car. A connector may be required to hook the DC cable directly to the battery.
  • DC powered CPAP: Most CPAP machines are able to operate by DC power.

 Download our printable Battery to CPAP flyer (PDF)

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  Photos and copy provided by ResMed, Inc. used with permission.