Journeying on Indian railways is quite exhilarating and liberating. As the world’s fourth major railway network, Indian Railways has invariably been an integral part of India. To get a feel of India in the truest sense, you should take a long train ride across the country. For those unfamiliar with Indian trains or travelling solo, embarking on an Indian Railways journey may seem daunting.
However, you should grab the opportunity to travel solo on the Indian Railways. Some key points to remember are double-checking train schedule and route before booking tickets, checking the PNR status of your reservation, arriving at the station at least an hour before your train is due to depart, and more. Keep reading to learn about crucial tips for making the most of your solo train trips.
Seven Essential Tips for Solo Travelling on Indian Trains
Trains have consistently surpassed aeroplanes as the most popular mode of transportation for long-distance journeys in terms of adventure, affordability and relaxation. While you’ll feel the thrill of commuting on buses and planes in India, taking a solo train trip is a whole new kind of enjoyable experience. Follow the below-mentioned tips and feel the difference of travelling solo on the fascinating Indian Railway system.
- Staying Safe on Board
So, first things first. Okay, so you’ll be able to board the plane, locate your seat, purchase tickets, and make it to your destination. But how will you ensure your overall safety? Something like this would cross your mind if you were to travel solo on a train, especially for a lady taking a train alone in India.
However, you shouldn’t bother much about your safety on trains; regardless of the absence of companions or loved ones on board. Also, women travelling alone in India should not be concerned about their safety on the train. Indian trains are usually so full that you can count on being seated next to a family or a group of women who will make you feel secure.
- Protecting Your Possessions
The security of your items, like laptops, cameras etc., may also be your concern. The question is how to secure such valuables.
By consolidating your items into a small space, you greatly increase the security of your possessions. A backpack with your laptop and other electronic devices can double up as a pillow. And don’t forget to secure your primary bags with a chain and lock! You can travel stress-free if you put your big bags under the lower berth and secure them with a chain. Many passengers have been doing that for years, and it seems to have been passed down from generation to generation.
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- Using Washroom Breaks
You can’t afford to lose your phone, passport/identification, and money, especially while on vacation. Therefore, bring these in a tiny sling bag every time you use the restroom. Alternatively, take bathroom breaks smartly by placing all your stuff into one corner of the bed and covering it with a hoodie, a pillow, or whatever is handy to make your backpack invisible.
If you are a solo female traveller, your safety at night is just as crucial as the security of your valuables if you have to use the restroom. It’s better to use the restroom when the train’s in movement. Also, you should stay on guard throughout your bathroom trip for any suspicious passenger activity. Raise the alarm by shouting aloud or using pepper spray.
- Ensuring Overall Travel Comfort
The basics of a train trip may vary from traveller to traveller. Thanks to this list of must-haves, you can have a stress-free journey on the long train ride.
- Hand sanitiser
- Wet tissues
- A first- aid kit
- Paper soap/hand wash
- Stole/ light jacket(in winter or if your bogie is air-conditioned)
- Long charging cable
- Novels/Movies/Songs on your e-devices for your entertainment
- Choosing Your Preferred Seat
The upper berth is the way to go. Not only are your possessions safe, but so is your privacy. Because most people like to sit throughout the day and use their top berths for naps and sleep, you can always find a quiet place to rest when you book one.
The opposite is true for the upper bed, where you won’t be offered a window seat. So, a lower berth is the way to go if you want a good view.
- Purchasing Tickets and Carrying Vital Identity Proofs
The official website of the Indian Railways allows for online ticket purchases. But always refer to the IRCTC train timetable on the RailMitra platform for better insight into train routes, ticket charges, open seats etc. Also, keep your ticket and photo ID handy while on the train for a stress-free encounter with the Ticket Collector.
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- Getting Food Delivery on Trains
Did you know that now it’s possible to pre-book delectable meals via a food on train app? Certain e-catering applications will deliver your lunch to your compartment if you book it in advance. Instead of the trouble of bringing along home-cooked meals or beverages, choose the RailRestro app for the most gratifying and wholesome journey on the train.
Extra Tips and Tricks for travelling by Yourself
- Try to be friendly with your neighbours on the train. Interact with the children and be courteous with the elderly.
- Bring a pair of flip-flops as they are more convenient to put on and take off on the train.
- Use wet wipes for wiping your face and hands after using the restroom.
- Put on some socks and go! Trains with air conditioning might be cool at night.
- Arrive at the departure location one hour before the train leaves.
- While you wait for your boarding, keep an eye on your luggage.
- Use your PNR or train number to follow your train’s progress through apps like RailMitra.
- Consider checking the online train route to verify your current location.
- Get in touch with the railway staff for queries regarding your trip while waiting for your train.
The Indian railway system is easy to navigate, even for those travelling alone. Proactively seeking assistance when you need it is at the heart of this concept. People in India are always eager to lend a helping hand, and their enthusiasm only increases if they learn that you’re not a local. So, if you need guidance and don’t know whom to turn to, seek support from local families, women passengers, railway staff or attendants.
In addition, use RailMitra to stay well-informed about your train updates, such as train routes, seat vacancy, PNR status etc. Your solo travelling experience will get enhanced with this state-of-the-art railway app.