Trains are always the best mode of travel to feel India closer. While traveling in a train you can meet different people, talk to them and also see the beauty of, fields and busy towns and cities of India. It is all the more enjoyable when you travel with your family and close friends. Trains, particularly for the long distance travel are the best choice. It is not so tiring as in cars and buses as it is more comfortable and you get more space to relax. While planning the journey, it is important that you check the seat availability because without it, traveling is not possible. If seats are available you can proceed further with your plans.
The availability of seats can be checked at the various reservation counters in the country. Now you have reservation counters at every town and city to make it easier for the customers. Then there are the 24-hour helpline centers where you can call at anytime of the day and inquire about the seat availability or any other matter dealing with the railways. With the introduction of computers and Internet, you can sit at home or the office and check the availability of seats, PNR status, train timings, train timetable and even book your tickets within seconds. The availability of seats is also obtained by text messaging through the mobile phones.
You can book tickets in any of the class of your choice, fitting your budget. For budget travelers, there are second-class non AC coaches that are the best suited. Those who can afford, choose the first class AC or non AC, or second-class AC. These classes are more expensive but offer more space, security and privacy. Then there are chair cars for short distance travels, which may or may not be air conditioned.
Males above 60 years and females above 58 years of age are treated as senior citizens and they are given concession of 40% and 50% respectively. Students are also given concessions and physically challenged people are allowed to travel free of charge in the trains. IRCTC has introduced a loyalty program called ‘Shubh Yatra’ by which you can book tickets for a whole year paying an annual fee and you also get a handsome discount. This offer is valid only for frequent travelers.
Group booking is possible for people traveling in groups. Students, pilgrims and sport persons often travel in groups and they can avail this option along with discounts. During vacation times there is heavy rush for ticket booking, so book your tickets 120 days in advance of your journey, confirm the reservation and seat availability and enjoy a safe and exciting journey with your family and friends in Indian trains.