Holidays and travel if you have OSA
If you have OSA and use a CPAP machine, travelling can take a bit more planning. On this page we explain some of the things you should consider before booking your holiday.
Preparing for your trip
When you’re planning your trip, think about:
- how you will travel and where you will stay
- your travel insurance
- the power supply to run your CPAP – specifically the voltage if you’re going overseas
- taking extra equipment or spares, such as extension leads and masks, and plug adapters
- any health or hygiene risks.
If you’re travelling abroad, your sleep clinic can give you a letter explaining your CPAP machine for customs and security officials.
If you’re flying:
- carry your CPAP as hand luggage. Check with your airline to see if you’ll get the usual allocation of hand luggage as well
- check if your airline can provide power for your machine during flights, especially long-haul flights
- avoid alcohol, sleeping tablets, and sedatives before and during your flight.
Travelling by sea
Ask about using CPAP on board, especially if you’re planning a cruise. Ask about the availability of power, voltage, plugs and the position of the power supply.
Where you’re staying
Check if your CPAP has a power supply that matches the supply at your destination. Some CPAPs have a switch to change voltage, or you may need to take a power adapter if you’re travelling abroad.
Ask for an extension lead if there’s no plug socket near your bed. Or take one with you.
If you’re camping or staying on a boat, some clinics will lend you a machine that runs off a 12-volt DC supply. Or you can use an inverter or converter unit so your CPAP can operate from a battery.
If you’re staying with friends or family, it might be a good idea to explain about your CPAP, especially if they have children.
Useful things to bring with you
- extension lead
- travel adaptor, suited to the country you’re visiting
- insulating tape for repairing hose damage
- surge protector (a type of electrical socket that protects devices from an electrical surge) – these are recommended for home use with CPAP.