For years and even today in India, the best and most economical way to travel for families is by railways across the country. Indian railways allow a child under the age of 5 to travel for free if they do not take a berth.
Here are some tips for parents who want to travel with their babies and toddlers by train across the length and breath of India where the railways have a very good coverage.
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1. Book your tickets in advance:
Try to book your train tickets well in advance to avoid any last-minute rush and ensure that you get the seats of your choice. Indian trains can get crowded, especially during peak travel seasons. It is advisable to plan your journey well in advance, especially if you have specific dates or a preferred class of travel in mind.
2. Carry necessary documents:
Carry all the documents for your child such as ID proof, birth certificate, etc. to avoid any inconvenience during the journey. Carry a valid form of identification, such as your passport or a government-issued ID, during your train journey. You may be required to show it when boarding the train or during ticket checks.
3. Pack essential items:
Keep a small bag with essential items for your child like diapers, wipes, snacks, and toys to keep them entertained during the journey.
Some essential items to pack for your train journey in India include:
– Comfortable clothing and footwear.
– A blanket or shawl, as train compartments can get chilly, especially at night.
– Toiletries and personal care items.
– Snacks and drinks, as the train may not always have food options suitable to your taste.
– Chargers for electronic devices.
– Medications, if required.
4. Choose lower berth:
It is always better to choose lower berths as they are more comfortable for kids and easy to access. Indian trains offer various classes of travel, such as AC First Class, AC 2 Tier, AC 3 Tier, Sleeper Class, and General Class. Each class has its own facilities, comforts, and costs. Based on your budget and preferences, choose the class that suits your needs.
5. Keep the child engaged:
Carry books, colouring books, and other activities that will keep your child engaged throughout the journey.
6. Be prepared for motion sickness:
Train journeys can be bumpy, so if your child is prone to motion sickness, carry medication or natural remedies that can help alleviate any symptoms.
7. Keep an eye on your child:
Train stations and compartments are crowded places, so ensure that you keep a close eye on your child and don’t let them wander off.
8. Carry hand sanitizers:
It’s important to keep your child’s hands clean, so carry hand sanitizers and wet wipes to clean their hands at regular intervals. Indian railways provide onboard meals, but the quality may vary. If you prefer, you can bring your own food or purchase meals from reliable vendors at train stations. Additionally, maintain good hygiene practices by carrying hand sanitizers and tissues.
9. Be courteous to fellow passengers:
Remember to be courteous to fellow passengers and avoid any loud noises or causing any disturbance during the journey. Train journeys in India are a great opportunity to interact with locals and learn about their culture and traditions. Engage in polite conversations, ask for recommendations, and embrace the chance to connect with fellow passengers.
10. Make the train journey enjoyable:
Train journeys can be long, but try to make the journey enjoyable for your child, by playing games, singing songs, and telling stories.
11. Stay Hydrated:
It is essential to stay hydrated during your train journey, especially during warmer months. Carry a water bottle and drink plenty of fluids to stay refreshed, both you and your baby.
12. Secure Your Belongings:
Keep your belongings secure and within your sight at all times. It is recommended to lock your bags and secure them under your seat or berth. Avoid displaying valuable items openly to minimise the risk of theft.