So you got diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and was prescribed a CPAP machine. You set it up at home and try it out and you have the best night of sleep in ages.
Weeks pass by and you continue to enjoy your sleep apnea free nights. You hit upon a great idea though, what about you take the family out on a great vacation?
It’s a wonderful idea and everyone is for it, but the night you are packing up you realize that you’ll have to take your CPAP and have no idea how to properly pack and care for this quintessential device for your night’s rest.
Don’t fret though, here are a few tips on how to travel with your CPAP machine?
1. Use The Traveling Case
Most CPAP machines come in a convenient traveling case. These cases adequately fit the CPAP machine and all accessories.
Try to use this traveling case over just lugging your CPAP in with the rest of your luggage to prevent damage or losing any accessories. These traveling cases give your CPAP machines a secure and snug place to be stowed away for any of your trips.
2. Go Through The Airport
If you plan to take a flight for your vacation then there are few things you should know. First of all, avoid putting your CPAP in your luggage.
Airlines aren’t exactly gentle with the luggage they are handling and baggage can come out battered and your CPAP damaged! Not to mention the risk of losing your CPAP machine because your luggage was lost or stolen is a real fear. Instead, you should bring your CPAP machine as a carry-on. Your CPAP is a prescribed, medical device and under the American Disability Act, it can be brought onto the plane without it counting as a carry-on item.
It is also important to consider bringing your prescription for TSA screening.
Though it is rarely asked for it is better to be ready for anything. Also having your prescription on you will allow you to get another CPAP machine abroad in case yours gets damaged.
3. Traveling Internationally? Bring an Adapter
If you plan to travel outside the United States make sure to bring the proper adapter or power cord that might be used at your final destination.
If you have room to spare in your luggage you should also bring a battery backup if you plan to camp or going to a location with an unstable electrical grid.
4. Bring Backup Accessories
You never know what might happen on your trip. You might lose a piece for your CPAP machine or, even with your due diligence, something might get damaged. If possible bring back up accessories like an extra hose or humidifier chamber.
This will give you the extra peace of mind you are seeking during the big trip.
5. Distilled Water
The humidifier chamber is essential in making your CPAP machine a comfortable experience and it is important to use the right type of water.
Calcification—the solid residue left behind when water is turned to vapor, can damage your CPAP machine and make it harder to clean. Distilled water does not contain the minerals that might cause calcification, therefore, being the safest option for the longevity of your CPAP machine.
Carrying a gallon of distilled water might be a bit much to put in your luggage but packing a two-liter of water would give you some peace of mind, holding you over until you buy distilled water to use on your vacation. Just make sure not to use tap water from any place you are going to.
If you don’t have distilled water it would still be better to use bottled water.
5. Extra Cleaning Supplies
It is important to keep your CPAP machine regularly clean, especially during long trips. This is not only concerning the regular use of your machine but also the type of bacteria and germs that the machine and your accessories might come in contact with during TSA screening.
You can bring the standard soap and wipes to clean your CPAP machine but these cleaning supplies are mediocre at best.
Other than traditional cleaners you can bring a Lumin Bullet. The Lumin Bullet is a lightweight, portable device that is used to clean your CPAP face mask hose, the most difficult portion of your CPAP to clean.
Using UV light you can pass your hose easily through the Bullet and kill harmful bacteria in less than 60 seconds. It uses a USB charger so no need to worry about getting the proper adapter to use it outside the country.
When thinking about bringing your CPAP make sure to put a Lumin Bullet on your checklist of necessary items to pack!
Enjoy that vacation!