Prepare for an International FlightIn most cases, traveling to a foreign country is an exciting experience. However, the one step many people don’t look forward to is the first: the long international flight to get there.

Don’t let the idea of a long flight stress you out as you start your adventure. Here are a number of things you can do to make your experience much more comfortable:

1. Leave your home in good hands
Many people spend an entire flight worrying about what is happening without them at home. Make sure that your pets are being tended to, that you have left a list of emergency phone numbers in case loved ones need to get a hold of you and that you have either put a stop to your mail or have someone collecting it for you. A flight should be a time to relax and prepare for the excitement of what awaits, and it shouldn’t be spent worrying about what you are leaving behind.

2. Reserve the best seat to fit your preferences
If you are tall and need more leg room, an aisle seat is probably best for you. If you know you are going to want to get some sleep, a window seat offers more space to prop yourself up. Also, avoid seats near the bathrooms so you don’t constantly have people lining up right next to you. Most airlines will allow you to select your seat online, so take advantage of the opportunity to reserve your optimal seating arrangement.

3. Bring something to entertain yourself
A long flight could be a great opportunity to do some reading that you might not normally have the chance to do. You should also consider bringing an iPod or other media player to keep yourself entertained with the music and movies you like, rather than the ones selected for you by the airline.

4. Think about bringing your own food
Airline food has been the butt of jokes by stand-up comedians for years, and often for good reason. Consider bringing your own food so that you’ll have much more control over what you eat.

5. Feel free to move around
If you stay seated for the entire flight, you are likely to wind up feeling quite stiff afterwards. Get up and walk up and down the aisles a couple times if you can, just to keep the circulation moving in your body.

6. Drink plenty of water
The air on board a plane can be very dry, and you can become dehydrated much more quickly than you might realize. However, do not drink the water from airplane bathrooms, as it may contain bacteria. You may purchase bottled water after you pass through security, or bring an empty water bottle to fill later at a drinking fountain in the terminal.

7. Have a plan for what you’re doing upon arrival
When you get off of a long flight, the last thing you want to do is run around frantically trying to make plans and reservations. Take care of this before you even get on the plane for a worry-free and enjoyable flight.

With these tips, even the most nervous flyers can relax and enjoy the first leg of their journey. Once you are calm and collected, you can focus on the most important part of your trip: the destination and all the fun that lies ahead.

This post was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance consultant for Expedia. Erika loves her life of world traveling, she writes about her experiences as she has traveled to over 30 different countries.