Riding the Delhi Metro During Crush Hour

The Delhi Metro.

 

Holy Moly, you guys.

 

A bit of advice for expats braving the Delhi Metro.

 

Hands down, riding the Delhi metro is the most chaotic traveling situation I’ve ever been in.

 

Important Travel Tip:

 

If you ask directions, ask a minimum of three people for the same bit of advice.

 

Never forget that your culture travels with you only in your heart. You may very well find that while traveling in Asia you’ll never hear the words “I don’t know”. If you ask a question, you will be given an answer. Regardless of if the person knew the answer.

 

Aaaaand, that’s how we find ourselves a little lost on the Delhi Metro on a recent day trip. Thankfully it didn’t cause a problem for our schedule but we did waste a good hour.

 

Delhi Metro Sign

Also, it comes in handy to know how to read Hindi. I realize most tourists won’t have that skill at their disposal. I read Hindi like a kindergartner but it was encouraging to be able to read “You are here” once or twice. Of course, after painstakingly reading this Hindi metro sign, I found a sign in English at the other end of the platform.

 

I was feeling pretty hard core for riding the metro in Delhi, in standing room only, until we switched lines. Nothing can prepare you for the Blue Line during rush hour. Or as it’s affectionately called, crush hour. It looks a lot like this.

 

delhi metro rush hour

People clawing their way out. People pushing their way in. Intense is an understatement.

 

Once you’re in the crowd to get on, you couldn’t not board if you tried. Everyone behind you pushes in a collective effort to cram as many sardines people as possible onto to train. I never could have imagined that so many bodies could fit in one compartment. “Standing room only” doesn’t properly describe it. You’re packed in so tightly, if someone passed out, they’d continue to stand upright.

 

Also, fair warning – there may be groping. My fifteen year experienced some wandering hands.

 

But that’s not the hard part. The truly scary bit is trying to get back off. After you’ve been squished into the train, at every stop after that you continue to somehow get forced further and further away from the door. And there’s nothing you can do about it. Seriously zip.

 

So you’d better be good and ready when your stop comes. Elbows out, people. You yell and push to get to the door because you only get one chance. We barely got all six of us off, with my husband pulling up the rear and kicking the doors back open.

 

riding the metro

In hindsight, not a great way to travel with kids. There’s a very real chance of getting separated, I would think. Jeremy and I both clung desperately to our youngest two so they wouldn’t get trampled or left behind.

 

The picture to the right is my daughter when we only thought we were crowded. Soon after that the Blue Line put us in our place.

 

Whew.

 

Have you ever ridden the metro anywhere?

 



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Jessica

How to Save Money on a Family Road Trip

How to Save Money on a Family Road Trip and other road trip tips.

Planning a road trip with kids? Here are the three best ways to save money on a road trip. Plus a couple extra road trip tips that will keep you sane.

 

We’ve done it several times. In fact, we’ve crossed the country three times with little ones. Yes, you’re going to threaten to turn the car around a time or two. But it’s totally worth it for the memories that are made.

 

Road Trip Money Saving Tips

 

Our family traveled more than 3000 miles in a week’s time this summer for our big fat Canadian move — and doing it frugally was our top priority.  So how did we do it?  I’m glad you asked.  Without further ado, the Bohemian Bowman’s top tips for a road trip with a big family.

 

1. Stay with friends.

 

How to Save Money on a Family Road Trip and other road trip tips.

This one thing can save you hundreds of dollars on a long road trip.   If it’s practical, map your route and stops according to friends who are willing to put you up.  We stayed nearly half of our nights on the road at the mercy and hospitality of others.  And more of those than not I only knew from internet friendships!

 

In 2013 we took an epic road trip that included 13 stops. We spent only one of those nights in a hotel! We have, literally, saved thousands of dollars on our three cross-country road trips staying with family, friends, friends of friends, and internet friends.

 

How to save money on a road trip.

 

It’s true, staying with a host rarely affords the comfort and privacy that a hotel would, but it’s a lovely communal, stretching experience in our culture of selfishness and individuality.  And it saves you on food and lodging for a night, as it generally includes free dinner in addition to the standard continental breakfast. :)

 

2. Picnic for lunch.

 

Road Trip Tips

 

Not only does packing a picnic every day save you money on your road trip, it’s almost always more healthy than hitting up the drive-thru.

 

You can make this as complicated or simple as you like.  Personally, we went the peanut butter and honey route every day.  I didn’t want to have to worry about keeping things like condiments, cheese, or lunch meat cool during the day or finding space for them, so peanut butter was our preferred sandwich.  With a side of water and some trail mix.

 

3. Don’t go to McDonalds.

 

Road Trip Tips
 

Just trust me. (<- click for embarrassing bathroom story)

 



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4. Splurge on the suite.

 

Road Trip Tips

Saving money on a road trip for a big family can be tough. Hotels won’t typically house more than 5 people in one room for safety reasons, but never you fear – there’s more out there in the big wide world than just connecting rooms.

 

If you have 6 or more people in your family, stay in a suite. Suites not only give you at least two rooms to stretch out in, depending on the quality of the digs, you’ll also get at least a kitchenette or possibly even a full kitchen.  Which can save you even more money if you choose to cook your own dinner.  And the best part? Suites are almost always cheaper than booking two adjoining rooms.  Crazy, eh?  Do it.

 

5. Stop for the scenic moments.

 

Road Trip Tips

You can’t make all the stops and detours you’d like on a road trip, believe me I know.  But make the best of what you can do.  If you’re like us, it’s easy to focus too much on pushing your nose to the asphalt grind each day, pushing, pushing to cover more ground.  Don’t let the trip become a blur in the rear-view mirror. Make at least a couple of scenic stops to stretch your legs and your camera clicker.

 

 

 



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How to save money on a family road trip. Three tips that can save you hundreds of dollars!

-Jessica