NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Even if you're a seasoned business traveler, going it alone takes some getting used to. Quiet hotel rooms, lonely hotel lounges and the constant tables for one can lean heavy on the heart and make days away from home feel like weeks or even longer. But once it's mastered, you may have a difficult time traveling with a spouse, partner or family ever again.
Here are 10 cures for the business traveler blues:
10. Go dutch on the jet.
A growing number of private jet operators are offering shared route programs in which a flight is shared and the overall cost of private air travel split. There's also Share A Jet Exchange, an electronic jet-sharing program that operates a social network and Web marketplace where consumers split the cost of posted flights. Like a private jet matchmaker, Share A Jet Exchange doesn't actually own the available planes, which range from privately owned to corporate and charter jets with titleholders looking to offset their operational charges. Aside from also being eco-friendly and with no upfront costs or membership fees for users, this system provides a flier with company that can take the chill out of sometimes-isolated private air terminals and solo flights.
9. Remember that expensive isn't always better.
When traveling on someone else's dime it's often a question of "What's the fanciest, most expensive hotel I can stay in?" But more often than not, it's the fanciest hotels that are the most confining for solo travelers, with their too-fancy restaurants that require enduring a three-hour tasting menu and bars overflowing with fellow suits and few actual locals. If you want a true taste of a city, book into chains such as Standard Hotels, Andaz Hotels by Hyatt and Morgans Hotel Group off the usual business travel-planner map. They offer more casual, stylish facilities conducive to solo and single travelers.
8. Less hotel means more outside the hotel.
A number of hoteliers from Ace to Stockholm's Story Hotel offer smaller accommodations ideal for single travelers that may make you forsake in-room dining with a price tag that will have you feasting in the city's best eateries with the money you save. Many hotels also help single travelers find late-night restaurants and cafes popular with visiting professionals. If paying for your own trip, book directly through the hotel's website and look at the entry-level single accommodations that often come with a price 30% to 40% less that double-occupancy rooms.
7. Keep your routines.
If you're a Type A personality that has a double espresso at 6 a.m. followed by a brisk walk or morning paper over breakfast, try to keep your routine the same as you would at home. Waking up in a new environment can be jarring, but familiar routines can create a sense of home as well as integrate you faster in your new setting. Go the extra mile to ensure your rituals stay in place by leaning on the hotel concierge to have your coffee or breakfast pre-ordered through room service so there's no need to scour the neighborhood for a Starbucks that may not be open when you want it.
6. Skip the sedan service.
You awaken in an air-conditioned room in a hotel that could just as easily be in London as Las Vegas. You make your way to the hotel door only to get inside another air-conditioned space, likely with blacked-out windows and a silent driver who whizzes you as quickly as possible through the city and to your location. Instead, try renting a bike, walking or using public transportation to get to your business meetings or temporary office location to get a feel for the city, its inhabitants and anything you might want to revisit that you see along the way.