A train journey is usually associated with long distances, romantic stories, idyllic villages, lush fields and beautiful memories. But if you’ve travelled in a train in India or know someone who has, you would agree with us that though train journey through diverse country can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your India trip
, it is often unnerving to take a journey in Indian trains for issues that range from safety to hygiene. But should that stop you from taking one of the most memorable train rides you are ever going to take? Absolutely not!
Here are five easy tips to follow to stay safe on a train in India, and make the most of your time aboard:
Keep Your Luggage Locked at All Times
This may sound like conventional wisdom, but you wouldn’t believe the statistics that say that every passenger who has travelled in Indian trains for more than five times has lost a belonging at least once in their lifetime. While this could be a measure of carelessness, it also says a lot about general safety in these trains. To avoid being a victim, keep your luggage chained to your seat at all times and your keys in a hand bag that you should carry with yourself at all times. Don’t make an exception to this safety rule even if you are travelling the first class.
Take Your Own Food or Pre-Order
Though a majority of trains travelling long distances in India serve meals, the food served is not always of the best quality or offer many choices. To avoid getting sick while you are still travelling toward your destination, take your own meals to the trains or rely on one of the many catering services that deliver freshly cooked food to you at your seat on the station of your preference.
Do Not Forget Your Ear Plugs
Be prepared for the fact that you will have a hard time sleeping, reading or concentrating on beautiful views outside because of the consistent noise, especially if you are travelling to India for the first time. Consistent movement from washrooms to seats, and from one berth to another as well as noisy hawkers selling food, pens and other products are common on Indian trains. If you don’t want to disturb your Zen, keep your earplugs handy at all times.
Befriend a Family on the Train
One of the most common tips followed by frequent travellers, especially women is that they strike a conversation and befriend a local family on the train. It is brilliant move as local families will always be in a better position to protect you against the unwanted elements in a foreign country. Indian families are known to go out of their way by offering food, travel advice and a safety net once they realise you mean well.
Always Dress Modestly While Travelling
Though this tip applies to all places you travel in India, it is especially useful when you are in close contact with locals at places such as trains. Because there’s always a chance to find a leering eye, and curious gaze directed in your direction, try and wear clothes that are deemed appropriate by locals. Adapt to your surroundings and dress in a way that doesn’t offend local sensibilities. Though largely valid for women, men are also advised to tone down elements in their dressing that might attract them unwanted attention, and consequently danger to their safety.