Why do we like traveling by train though it takes very long hour’s journey?
Well, the reason is no other than for economic reason. Spending a lot of our budget for accommodation and transportation is definitely not my choice. When you are a scholarship student and your monthly allowance cannot afford your expense, but the charming of the country enchanted you to come out from your comfort zone, what else can we do? Pack our bag and catch the train!
India has a vast railway track around the country, you can reach many places in the country by train. Rather than spending a lot for transportation and accommodation, I would rather choose economic transportation and expand my destinations. The train is definitely my option. It offers you many things; comfort, cheap, and new friends. During the long journey, you can witness the changes of the landscape from one to another. Chatting with local travelers is a point plus for traveling by train. You may be disturbed by the constant voices of “Chai Coffee Chai coffee” from the chai wallas who sells chai (Indian name for tea) and coffee or the sound of “panni bottle panni bottle” from the sellers who offer you mineral water or some other sellers with their typical Indian snacks and foods. When the travels end, those sounds are like the dum dum of the drum beating in my heart, as if saying “let’s go for another discovery!”
Here are some tips if you choose to travel by train in India to save your budget and accommodation:
1. There are 5 different Indian train compartments: 1AC, 2AC, 3AC, Sleeper and general class.
The AC classes are mostly quite expensive but if you can afford it, 3AC or 2AC are nice options. But if you want to travel in budget sleeper class is my recommendation. The compartment is quite oke and you can sleep comfortably, you may feel a little bit hot during the day (especially summer) with only 3 fans in each compartment. Yet, you can always open the window on the side to get the fresh air and nice scenery. General class is the cheapest among of all. To get to this class you do not need to book in advance like other classes. However, it is usually very rush and crowded.You have to be fast to get your seat (it is not reserved seats by the way), sometimes quarreling with other passengers is inevitable. Better not to take the risk, but if u want a challenge, why not?
2. Choose the night train.
Traveling in night train can benefit you in many ways. First, you can rest well during the journey and when you reach the destination on the next day, you are ready for your exploration. Second, you will feel that the journey does not take long. you only need to come to your compatn=ment sleep and when you open your eyes, you already in different places. Choosing night train also can be an alternative for you who do not want to spend your budget for hotel and accommodation. The train can be your motel (moving hotel). Worrying about how to freshen up? Well, you always can use the toilets in the railway station. For my experience, railway stations are my shelter and my hotels. We can take shower and take some rest in the waiting room. If you do not want to carry your heavy backpack, you can easily post it in the clock room. You also can recharge your energy in every food corner available in the stations. But I have to say this, not all stations in India support for this kind of daring travel so be aware of your belonging and yourself especially if you are traveling during night or if you are a girl (for girl, do not travel alone)
3. Take with you some wet wipes and hand sanitizer for mostly the toilets in the train are not so hygiene.
4. Take with you some books or store some movies on your devices for your entertainment if your journey takes too long. The train journey can be so boring sometimes especially if you have to travel more than 40 hours and alone. Well, I experienced that 42 hours from Mangalore to Delhi and alone. You will feel the sensation as if you are taken into another world.
Travelling can be so interesting at the same time challenging. The choices are either dare to face the challenges or sit idle doing nothing. The roads of passages are there waiting for you to explore it!