India’s transportation, unlike many other modern countries, is hectic and confusing. The moment you land, you will notice mopeds left and right, tuk-tuks squeezing through tight spaces, and a miraculous amount of vehicles.
After taking a month-long trip to the Northern part of India, I was able to understand how to navigate.
India at first will be very unfamiliar to you, and nothing like you are accustom. Once you get a grasp of how navigation works, you’re going to feel more confident and be able to go to more places.
Coming from Los Angeles, I am used to Lyft or Uber to get to my destinations. When I arrived in India, I thought I was going to spend a fortune on cabs.
Despite the typical stereotype indicating India is behind in technology, they too have a ridesharing app called Ola.
To use it, you must register the application under an Indian phone number. Either way, I suggest getting a sim card while you are there, so if you have one handy, you’re able to register that same number. The Ola Application has different levels of service, just like an Uber or Lyft.
Regularly, I would use the tuk-tuk option. On top of being affordable, the tuk-tuk option allowed me to immerse myself in India’s culture. This option does not contain AC or car doors. It merely has four wheels, a tiny motor, a roof, a backseat, and a driver seat. If you’re not comfortable with open-aired transportation, the Ola Application offers regular full size and SUVs.
Lastly, the best part is that you’re not required to enter a credit card, and you can always pay cash at the end of your ride.
The truth about booking train tickets in my experience: it’s hard. Though, that doesn’t eliminate trains as an option for transportation.
Many times, passengers book tickets in advance or get wait-listed consistently if they’re too late. When it comes to booking train tickets in India, I suggest doing it ahead of time.
In the past, I’ve waited too long and forced to take the sleeper class or take a bus. I didn’t mind it at all since it was merely my fault. But, it would have made my trip more comfortable if I had an upper class with AC or a faster route to my location versus a bus.
Taking a train is the best option when traveling one city to another, especially navigating transportation. The train offers a different level of classes that are affordable with meals and AC, including night trains for extended trips.
Do your research! It’s so important to understand which trains you need to take to get to your destination. The last thing you would want is to make the incorrect one and end up someplace unfamiliar.
Once you have nailed that, go ahead and click here for detailed options.
The only time I took a bus was when I waited too long to book a train ticket from Jaipur to New Delhi. Please note, there are several other local busses in the city. However, you would want to avoid those.
The reason why is that per my research and also, whenever I would see one: they were overcrowded, run-down, and seemed unsafe for a solo woman traveler.
The buses I am talking about are for extended trips like the one mentioned above or sleeper buses. Taking a bus does take longer to get to your destination but, sometimes this option is the only one available if there are no train tickets for your particular trip.
The Red Bus website is user-friendly and super easy to book seats with amenities available. Just like trains, there are several levels of class, depending on your comfort and expectations.
If you’re taking an extended trip, I highly suggest the AC seater/ AC sleeper option. The heat in India is no joke, and it’s worst when you’re trying to nap in it.
Secondly, which is the most important and suggested by a local – always go for the option that says ‘Volvo.’ The Volvo brand has clean buses and usually have a better chance of a smooth bus ride.
Despite how difficult it can be, the transportation part of your experience is important. To get to the places you want to explore, you need to have reliable transportation.
The only reason why it could be challenging and frustrating to understand is unfamiliarity. It’s utterly understandable that there will be times where you might feel hopeless when needing to book a train, and there are none available to you.
One piece of advice I would have to pass along is being patient and don’t be afraid to ask. Remind yourself that the best tour guides are the locals. Numerous times, people helped me when I asked.
Once you have nailed down your transportation research, you can be at ease, that once you arrive, it’ll be somewhat familiar.
If you haven’t already, get more detailed information on how to book train tickets here.