Transportation in India
Local airplanes are pretty expensive if you buy it online yourself. The price also does not include meals; a small snack would cost as much as a proper lunch in a standard Western restaurant. It might be smart to bring your own snack with you.
A good value for your money. The disadvantage is that it’s not easy to get tickets. For long-distance trips, you must book a ticket in advance. You might encounter fraud at the railway stations (I have heard about this, but have not been in such a situation myself.).
After getting your SIM card, you can subscribe to the travel website MakeMyTrip and try your hand at booking a train/flight ticket from there.
If you bought a ticket with a sleeping berth, you will get bed linen in the train.
Advantages of a bus: cheap, relatively easy to get a ticket. The main disadvantage is that travel agents sell overpriced tickets to foreigners and the bus you will get is not necessarily in the best shape. Also, a trip in a bus at night is less comfortable than in a train. However, some busses are designed to provide sleeping places, just like in a train. There are even double beds in some of them. That makes your trip more comfortable. There is no any bed linen in there, so it’s advisable to take your own pillowcase and a sheet from home. Sometimes an additional payment is required for luggage. You won’t get a receipt for that, so write down in your notebook how many pieces of luggage you have and ask the loader to sign it. Normally they will do this without protesting.
· Taxi: The cars are national and international brands; most have air conditioning. Not cheap. Drivers use a navigation system via smart phones.
Tuk-tuks are exotic; natural ventilation because there are no windows and doors. The drivers do not have a navigation system, so for your own convenience you must have a printed map with a clear address and telephone number for your destination. Ask your hotel in advance for tuk-tuk prices from the railway station.
Rickshaws are good if you are shopping in the bazaars or for very short trips; however, their recommendations might be very subjective; they could advice to you the shops of their friends or relatives. Normally illiterate.
Tips for local trips in the city:
· Agree on the price before getting in the vehicle.
· Take a small notebook with you. That will be useful not only for making notes but also for writing a negotiated price for your trip by taxi, rickshaw or tuk-tuk driver. Write it in front of the service provider; this will be proof of your agreement with him. Otherwise, your driver might quote a different price at the end of the trip, which happens quite often.