Traveling by train is surely exciting and among the most budget-friendly ways to traverse the country. In many cases, it is also faster to take the train than the road to reach your destination. But the task of boarding a train can be daunting if you aren’t prepared well enough. Feeling underprepared for your journey? Come aboard as we take you over essential train travel tips that will come in handy for your commute.
Whether you’re going to be traveling by a local train or express, you shouldn’t be waiting till the last minute to book tickets. The ticket is the main protagonist of every train journey. If you have a ticket then your trip is peaceful because it gives you guaranteed confirmation that you have a seat and aren’t on the waitlist.
To book your tickets you should turn to the most trusted IRCTC website. Generally, for most trains, you can book your ticket 60 days in advance. But for certain special trains, you can book up to 4 months in advance as well.
Booking your tickets in advance has another advantage which is you have the window of opportunity to book a coach for the group you’re traveling with. So you don’t have to deal with the loneliness of being in a separate coach.
If you opt for booking train tickets at the last moment, you have to try for ‘tatkal booking’. This is nothing but trying your luck to book tickets on short notice. The prices for tatkal tickets are much higher so you also end up paying way more than required. There’s also a risk that you don’t get a tatkal ticket because the seats are extremely limited. This can easily ruin your holiday so make sure you book at least 120 days in advance.
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Indian Railways have different compartments, each having its own benefits. Let's give you a quick breakdown of the coaches because it can help you understand the differences.
First class AC or 1A - These are fully air-conditioned coaches and the coach for which you will have comfort but at a cost! Compartments also get a door, so if privacy and traveling in luxury matter most to you, ensure you book a 1A ticket. It is best to take this ticket if you’re traveling with pets so you have your space and comfort.
Second class AC or 2A - Again this is another fully air-conditioned coach for which you can opt for if the 1A tickets are sold out. Consider it the second-best seat in the house with equally quiet conditions like the first class.
Third class AC or 3A - Your next air-conditioned class is 3A, the prices for these tickets are not exorbitant. In terms of privacy, you won’t have any door or curtain and it can be a bit more compact than the 1A or 2A classes.
AC Chair Car - This is your fourth air-conditioned coach option. But as the name goes for the compartment, it is completely of chairs and not bunk beds. The only downside is that you have to sit in an upright position in a chair-like seat. It is comfortable for short journeys but not long ones.
Sleeper Class - The sleeper class are the coaches without air conditioning. The upside is that it is the most economical but the downside to that is you might have to forget about having your own personal space.
Second Seating or 2S - This is again a Non-AC coach and is packed with seater chairs. It can be friendly on the pocket but it isn’t the most comfortable coach to pick. This is simply because the amount of chaos created by people who enter this compartment without a fully reserved seat.
This breakup of the main coaches should help you with picking the compartment where you will feel most comfortable.
Also read: Goa Travel Guide.
The free entertainment you can give to yourself while traveling on a train is mostly by making new friends by having conversations with your fellow passengers. Having people around you on a train with positive vibes can be of much help throughout the whole journey.
Even if the journey is for hours or longer, the mantra is to keep yourself occupied. If you are someone who is awkward and does not enjoy chit-chatting with strangers, worry not! Reading a book, watching a movie, or listening to some tunes can come to your rescue.
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A train journey can easily turn hectic if you have a couple of heavy bags along with you. To avoid the pain of carrying and keeping track of luggage, the solution is to pack light!
This way your train journey is more comfortable rather than worrying about the luggage that is with you. The best way to ensure you’re not overpacking is to make a tight travel checklist. Having a list will help you pack all your essentials.
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You don’t want to fall sick during the train ride and the best way to avoid having a stomach upset is to carry healthy snacks. A couple of items you can consider carrying include:
If you have a sensitive stomach, it's best to avoid having any food from the vendors that serve food and drinks on the train. Carrying packed snacks and meals is the best option.
Also read: Taking Trains In India During Covid
If you love scrolling through your phone all day then carrying a portable charger is mandatory. No doubt trains have charging points but then again you won’t be the only one who wants to use them. There are other passengers as well who love scrolling through their phones or playing games just like you. So make sure you carry a portable charger for your own convenience.
Also read: Pushkar Travel Guide.
This might sound obvious but you have to ensure that your bags is within your sight at all times. You should also consider using your bag as a pillow while sleeping or loop the handle of your bag on your arm. This is one way your valuables are close to you and can’t be taken away without you realizing it.
Also read: Delhi Travel Guide.
These were the train travel tips to keep you on the right track. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination because train travel truly is an experience in itself. Your ride will surely give you a bag full of unforgettable memories.
How Do You Prepare For A Train Journey?
You must prepare for your train journey by ensuring you have your ticket and your identity with you. Make sure you also pack all your valuables in a sling bag that you can keep close to you at all times. Lastly, ensure you arrive way before the departure time so you’re not rushing.
What Precautions Should We Take While Travelling By A Train?
When you travel by train you should be mindful of your belongings and surroundings. The platform could get crowded so be patient at all times. Make sure you also avoid eating food from the platform if you have a sensitive stomach.
What Things Are Not Allowed In The Train?
Anything that is inflammable by nature cannot be carried on a train because it is a risk for the passengers.
What Should One Do In Train?
To pass time on a train you can read a book, listen to music, watch movies, snack on munchies, play games, or interact with fellow passengers.
How Do I Make My Train Journey More Comfortable?
One can make his or her journey cozy by wearing comfortable clothes. You should also wear flip-flops if you like, carry your own pillow and blanket, and a neck pillow if needed.
What Is The Best Train Trip In India?
The Mandovi Express route from Mumbai to Goa is among the best scenic train trips in India. The Himalayan Queen, Island Express, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and Sethu Express are other best train travel routes in India.
Which Is The Most Luxurious Train In India?
The Maharajas’ Express organized by IRCTC is the most luxurious train journey in India. You have four destinations to choose from if you wish to explore this luxurious express train.
Do We Need To Carry a Physical Ticket In Train?
No, now no carrying a physical train ticket while traveling, if you have booked the tickets online beforehand then you can show a softcopy as an ID proof to the ticket collector.