Traveling over the holidays can literally be a pain for arthritis sufferers. Here are some welcome tips…Hydrate yourself. Drink plenty of water and keep a water bottle handy.Drink alcohol in moderation, particularly when flying. The dehydration properties of alcohol are magnified by air travel. The intoxicating properties of alcohol are also magnified. Not a good idea if you’re taking arthritis medication.Get an aisle seat on the plane. That will allow you to get up frequently to walk and stretch.If walking through an airport is going to be a chore, make sure you call and schedule someone to meet you with a wheelchair ahead of time. Airlines are usually very accommodating.Eat frequent, healthy, light meals and snacks. You can pack your own which is probably the best idea. Avoid heavy, sugary, fatty foods.Keep a complete medical history (allergies, medicines, eyeglass prescription, etc.) and your physician’s contact information with you at all times.If you’re going someplace sunny, ask your rheumatologist about whether you need to worry about medicines sensitizing your skin and causing rashes.If you are traveling to a foreign country, make sure you know who and where to call if you have a medical emergency requiring the attendance of an English-speaking doctor.Bring a travel pillow for your neck and low back.Travel vests are a great investment. These vests have lots of pockets to store stuff.Dress for comfort- not for style- and by all means wear comfortable shoes.Use wheeled luggage when possible.Ask for assistance when stowing your bag in the overhead bin. Better to get help than strain your back or shoulders.Travel increases your contact with germs. Make sure you take your nutritional supplements- particularly vitamin C. Airplanes and airports are loaded with bacteria (as apparently are some cruise ships!). Avoid drinking the water in countries where sanitation is suspect. That goes for ice in drinks as well.To ensure better sleep, use eyeshades and earplugs.Dress in layers.Use moisturizer on the face and hands. Use lip balm.Walk as much as possible if traveling on an airplane. This will help reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)- blood clots.