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Travel with CPAP

Travelling with CPAP

Do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance or advice on our products and services.

Whether you travel by air, sea, or land, travelling with your CPAP machine is not difficult as long as you are careful and plan ahead. We are here to support you at your local VitalAire clinic, on the phone, and at our affiliated clinics around the world.

Do I need a travel CPAP machine to travel?

You can travel with your everyday CPAP machine as long as you plan ahead.

For short trips or if you travel frequently, you can also get a special travel CPAP machine (portable CPAP) which is smaller, runs on a battery and is designed for travel convenience. A travel CPAP machine can be ordered at your local VitalAire clinic or through the phone.

When you go for longer periods we recommend you take your everyday CPAP machine for its durability and better humidity settings.

Preparing my CPAP machine for travel

Before you move your CPAP machine anywhere, always remove the humidifier chamber first – even if the humidifier chamber appears to be empty – to prevent water getting inside the machine.

Assess the state of your CPAP machine for possible issues or needed replacement parts. You can bring it to your local VitalAire clinic for assessment; just schedule your appointment for at least 10 days before your departure so we can ensure your machine is fit to travel. We also have carrying cases to make your travel easier.

How should I prepare?

We recommend taking these steps to ensure you travel safely and in comfort.

Camping with CPAP

  • Away from power mains, you can power your CPAP machine using a 12V deep cycle marine battery and a DC battery adapter cable or shielded DC power cord; you can also use an inverter if your CPAP device does not have a built-in transformer.
  • It is a good idea to test your CPAP machine's performance for a night or two, by running it on your battery at home a few days before you leave
  • Do not power your CPAP device with your standard car battery, or an outlet in your car - it will flatten the battery before morning
  • Note: Do not power your CPAP device from a battery if you use oxygen as part of your therapy. A spark from the battery terminals could create a fire hazard

Flying or taking a cruise, a bus or a train with CPAP

  • Once you book your trip, alert your airline or transit company if you want to use your CPAP onboard, and confirm the following:
  • Most airlines treat CPAP devices as medical equipment and allow you to carry it on board in addition to your regular carry-on luggage quota.
  • You may need a medical approval to use your CPAP machine in transit. Not all airlines allow it.
  • Check that there are outlets onboard and the type of sockets. If there are no outlets, confirm that you can use your battery
  • It is a good idea to carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor when you travel far.

Once you arrive at your destination

  • Quickly test your machine to ensure everything works well before going about your day. It will give you time to make any needed arrangements before nighttime.
  • Buy distilled water to use in the water chamber of your CPAP machine. If you are planning to stay at a resort, call them in advance to check if they can provide it for you.
  • Use bottled water when you can’t access distilled water. However, be aware that it contains minerals which will crystallize in your hose and mask after about a week of use. You can clean that with a bit of white vinegar.
  • Most CPAP machines can be used worldwide (110V to 250V) provided you have the correct plug adapter for the country you will be visiting.

Tips for frequent travellers

Many people who travel overseas and regularly with their CPAP device carry a universal adapter and also an extension cord in case their hotel does not have a spare power outlet close to the bed.

Why choose us

  • 01

    Coast-to-coast support network

    With over 100 clinics across Canada and 35 VitalAire affiliates around the world, we can support you locally and when you travel

  • 02

    Safety first

    We focus on your safety, comfort and wellbeing in every choice and recommendation that we make

  • 03

    There for you

    Our therapists and support teams genuinely care about your health and well-being and will help build your confidence throughout your journey

  • 04

    Reliable

    You can rely on us to support your CPAP therapy at every step of the way