Train travel in India can be intimidating and fun at the same time. While crowded platforms, stuffy compartments and smelly washrooms can be daunting, picturesque view, friendly co-passengers and nick-knacks sold in trains can make train travel a matter of excitement and leave you with umpteen memories to cherish. Much like this magnificent, colourful yet chaotic and baffling country, train journeys in India is sure to give you a roller-coaster ride. But it is important to be prepared and remain knowledgeable about certain things before you board on a long train trip in India. To ensure a safe, secured and enjoyable journey, check out the following tips:
- Book in advance: It is always recommended to book your train tickets well in advance depending on the time you choose to travel. Booking early helps you get a reserved seat or berth of your choice. There are, however, provision for RAC (Reservation against Cancellation), waiting list and Tatkal tickets for those who do not get a confirmed reservation. IRCTC train running status or NTES train status will keep you updated about live train status.
- Secure your Luggage: While travelling in Indian trains you must be careful about your luggage. It is advisable not to leave your luggage unsecured or valuable on display. Cases of petty theft is unfortunately common, so it is best if you carry a chain and padlock to fasten your luggage.
- Spending time: If you love chatting, you will have no dearth of people to strike a conversation with. From world politics to sports to weather – conversation during train trips can be informative, amusing and can be of myriad topics. But if you are a reticent kind, its best to carry your favourite book or a pair of headphones to listen to music. Gazing out of the window and witnessing the ever-changing landscape is a great way to spend time too.
- Carry your food: Though most long distance trains provide meals or have pantries, the food served by Indian Railways is neither inspiring nor lavish. With limited choice and deteriorated quality, it is better to bring your own food. You may also try some alternative food delivery services such as Travelkhana, Rail Restro and Yatra Chef that serve freshly cooked meals at your chosen station while on-the-go.
- Keep a track on Delay: The most frustrating thing about Indian Railways is their delay. So it’s always prudent to check NTES live train running status through Indian Railway live running status from IRCTC website. It is always better to stay informed about train running status than to keep waiting at the station for hours, which can be really vexing.
- Way to Washrooms: The most formidable part of travelling in Indian trains are its washrooms. There are two toilets shared by males and females at the end of each coach. Some are western toilets while others are squat toilets. It is advisable to bring your own sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes.
So if you are on your way to a train trip for your next vacation, do remember these tips to get the best out of your journey. Happy globetrotting!