India is the favourite tourist destination and the land is well known for exotic wildlife, forests, vegetarians and many forts. Travelling in India is really a great experience, but you must know certain tips while travelling in India. Train travelling in which most people prefer to travel solo in India, and is pretty tough as well.
You must have to deal with many issues while travelling by train like never-ending ticket booking process, deal with unclean stations and finding out carriage car. In spite of all this, it is really a great adventure where you can also meet people who are friendly. Train travelling is really fun and safe as well.
Here are the tips for travelling India by train solo:
- Booking your train ticket:
The population in India is high, due to which the competition for the reserved seats is too high. The queue for the ticket booking is too high, especially during the festival timings. So it is advised to buy the tickets online, which is the easiest way. There will be an IRCTC official website for booking tickets online in India. If you exactly know about the date and time of your journey, you can even buy the train tickets 6 months prior, without even landing in India.
Most of the foreign cards may not be accepted by the IRCTC website and sometimes you need to pay commission. The easiest way to book tickets is by using 12go.asia, where the ticket will be emailed by just taking a fee of 50 cents. You may also opt for an agent, who can book the tickets online for you, just by taking Rs.100/-.It is always advised to buy the tickets beforehand to avoid any last minute tension.
- Which Train Class is to be Booked?
If you prefer to have a short journey, then there will be no difference between the 1, 2, 3 AC. The air conditioning and the quality of the bed are the same. During the day time, everyone usually sits on the bottom berths. A carriage 3 AC means that there is a 3-level bed in each compartment, on each side
For an overnight journey, 1 AC is to be recommended. The chances of sleeping, bedding and the quality of the food are a bit better in 1 AC. You may also get a private fan, curtains for privacy and a charging point in the 1 AC.
2 tier AC contains two beds on either side of the compartment which looks like a bunk bed. There will be a facility of curtains, but there will be no private fans and charging slot is to be shared. Either, you can book the Palace on Wheels train for safe travelling in India.
3 tier AC contains 3 beds on either side of the compartment. It is always preferred to choose the upper berth because you will get a quality of sleep and don’t have to wait for anyone to sleep. There will be no curtains available in 3 tier AC.
- Keep tracking your train:
You must keep track of the train, in order to avoid the missing of the train. The best way to track your train is with the help of a trainman app. This app is completely free and is available in the app store. This will really help to track all the Indian trains. All you need to do is to enter the train number on the app and let the app tell you the location of the train. This will also track the delay of the train. You should definitely use this app if you are on the upper berth.
- Be prepared with food:
There will be kitchens and pantries available on the train. But if you feel not used to the Indian food, you can purchase food from outside. You can buy some snacks and cool drinks like coca cola, crisps, cookies and cold water bottles in the station which are available at cheaper prices.
You may also get free water for the train tickets you purchased. You will be offered 1 litre for every 12 hours journey. There will also be ‘meals on wheels’ company facility for some trains like Shatabdi. Luxury trains like Palace on Wheels also provide the food facility onboard the train
- Keep your valuables safe:
It is highly recommended to keep your valuables safe always. To make your valuables safe, use lock wires, luggage locks and keep your valuable items near to you. It is during the time of sleep, you must really keep your valuables safe.
- Be prepared for the toilets:
You must be really prepared with the Indian style toilets on the train. The western style toilet may or may not be available in the carriage class you are travelling. Although the trains are quite sturdy on the tracks, they are rather bumpy, so you need to make sure you can keep something. You must keep a roll of tissue or baby wipes with you.
There will be many stores in India, who sell a single toilet roll. You should definitely pack them, which saves a lot of hassle.