Wherever you have to travel in India, the train is the most accessible mode of transport. You can easily travel from one end of India to the other by train; it is comfortable and cheaper than any other transport medium. Although the government predetermines the train ticket fees, and some are based on dynamic fares, here are some tips using which you can smartly save money on train tickets when travelling in India.
Tips to Save Money on Train Tickets / Bookings
Save Money by Booking a Ticket in Advance
The optimal time to buy your tickets is 60 days before your trip, but booking even a week in advance can make a big impact. If you have pre-planned your journey, get your tickets 120 days in advance when the Indian railway ticket booking window opens just to avoid the rush. Tatkal tickets are more expensive, and the chances of getting a confirmed ticket are less. Also, their cancellation policy is quite strict.
Split your Journey
If you are taking a long train journey that passes through multiple junctions, it may be cheaper to buy separate tickets for the two parts of the journey than to buy a single ticket for your destination. For example, if you travel from Patna to New Delhi and the train stops at Prayagraj Junction, buying two single tickets (Patna Junction to Prayagraj Junction and Prayagraj Junction to New Delhi) from two different trains, rather than buying a direct ticket can be economical. Surprisingly, even though the trip is similar, it can sometimes be less expensive. Using this trick, you can easily reach your destination even on holidays and festivals as people often take the direct route.
Get Extra Cashback on Train Tickets
Before you book tickets directly on the IRCTC website, it is worth noting that you can potentially get extra cashback on the amount paid if you visit cashback sites like CashKaro.com first. Booking through the cashback site can result in a certain amount of cashback on train tickets, and there is also the possibility of getting promotional discounts.
Use IRCTC SBI Card to Save Money
IRCTC has launched a platinum credit card by collaborating with the State Bank of India (SBI). This card helps you get discounts and rewards. When you use this card to purchase train tickets for AC1, AC2, AC3, and AC CC via IRCTC Mobile App and Website, you will earn up to 10% Value Back as Reward Points. In addition, you will save 1% on transaction fees when booking train tickets.
Avail a bonus of Rs 60 by signing up on the CashKaro app and enjoy exciting discounts and Cashback on every purchase.
Get a Senior Citizen Discount
Senior citizens can save a lot of money on train tickets. Male Senior Citizens must be at least 60 years old, and Female Senior Citizens must be at least 58 years old to qualify for a fare reduction on all Mail/Rajdhani/Express/Jan Shatabdi/Shatabdi/Duronto trains operated by Indian Railways. For men, the concession factor is 40%, whereas, for women, it is 50%. Passengers using the Senior Citizen discount must travel with proof of age.
Travel in Sleeper Class
If the weather is good, skip the air-conditioned travel and opt for sleeper class. While travelling in sleeper class, you can enjoy the fresh air, experience a different ambience, and meet the real India that gets lost somewhere in the AC bogie, where everyone either falls asleep or gets busy on their laptop or mobile. Travelling in sleeper class will refresh your mind and save you money on train tickets.
Go for Price Optimised Trains
Travel in value optimised trains that offer true value for money. Go for Rajdhani/Shatabdi and other superfast trains only when you are in a hurry or during an emergency. Because spending unnecessarily on travel is not worth it. If possible try to book tickets for trains like Garib Rath. They are less expensive than the conventional fast trains and are also equipped with AC facilities. These trains often run on high operational priority like Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Vande Bharat Train.
Book Food Online at a Low Cost
There are many such websites and mobile apps that provide food catering services on the train. Through these apps, you can order your favourite food anywhere. These apps also provide discounts and extra cashback so that you can save your money. Passengers can order food on the train by entering travel details like train name, PNR number, berth/seat, catering service provider app will deliver your favourite food to your seat at the next station. Here are some of the best online train food catering service providers:
Carry Food and Water
The food offered on trains is quite pricey, so pack your own to save money. Large trips often cost a lot on water consumption. If you carry water bottles from your home, you can avoid unnecessary expenditure on water and save money.
Opt for a Flight Ticket if a Train Ticket is Expensive
During festivals or holidays, there is a lot of crowd on trains and it is very difficult to get tickets. Sometimes the first AC ticket of the train is more expensive than the flight ticket. In this case, if the flight ticket price is less than or almost the same as your dynamic train ticket price, then opt for budget flights. Because saving time is also equivalent to saving money.
Check if Tickets are Available for the Previous Halt
When you are in a hurry and need tatkal tickets. Before opting for Tatkal, it is better to check whether tickets are available for previous halts of your desired destination. Many times there is a chance for Indian railways seat availability. It happens that tickets are often available at the next or previous stops of major stations. You can easily save money by taking those tickets.
Moderate Speed Trains can be a Money Saver
If you look at the train ticket pricing, you will find that the train which takes a little more time than the superfast trains to reach its destination costs quite less. If you can sacrifice some of your time by choosing those trains, you can save money.
Use Coupon Codes
Look for Coupons. By using coupons while booking train tickets on booking websites, you can get a discount on the charges paid. CashKaro.com is India’s largest Coupons & Cashback website that can help you get the best discount coupons and offers from booking apps like Paytm, ConfirmTKT, Goibibo, Ixigo, and more.
Cancel on Time
If you are thinking of cancelling your travel plan due to any reason, then take this decision in time. Because more refunds are possible before seats are confirmed. E-tickets can be cancelled on the website till the train chart is prepared. If the user wishes to cancel his e-ticket, he can do so till the chart is ready for the train. No refund will be given after chart preparation.
The most accessible and cost-effective mode to travel by land is the railway system. By adopting some smart habits as a passenger, you can cut down on the expenses on your train journey. Some ideas and tricks have been given in this article, by following which you can get tips to save money on train tickets.
Other Money Saving Ideas:
How to save money on train tickets?
By using coupons, cashback apps like CashKaro and using an IRCTC platinum card, you can save money on train tickets.
What are the best apps to save money on train tickets?
There are various apps to save money on train tickets such as Paytm, Goibibo, Ixigo, and ConfirmTKT. You can get extra cashback and discount coupons for all these apps on CashKaro.com.
What are the best catering service providers offering online food delivery on trains?
There are various railway e-catering service providers such as Railrestro, Railyatri, Zoop India, TravelKhana, and Rail Recipe, which take online train food orders and deliver them to the passenger’s seat.
What is the official website for Indian railway ticket booking?
IRCTC.co.in is the official website for Indian railway ticket booking.