Train Benefits for Senior Citizens
When it comes to commuting by trains, the Indian Railways provides a flat 30 per cent rebate on fares in all classes of coaches of all trains. This includes Sleeper Class, First Class, Air Conditioned (AC) Chair and First Class AC in all trains including Shatabdi and Rajdhani Expresses. The minimum age defined for senior citizens for this particular rebate is 60 years.
The government has also created special booking counters for senior citizens to prevent extreme discomfort and health problems caused by standing in long queues. The line here is quite short and allows them to book a ticket in relative comfort. Senior citizens also have the option of booking tickets through the online reservation system of Indian Railways. After a few days, the tickets are home delivered.
Apart from this, special coaches have been introduced for senior citizens who use a wheel chair. These coaches have provisions such as space for wheel chairs, handrails and a specially designed toilet. Special ramps for wheel-chaired seniors have been constructed at numerous railway stations, so that they don’t have to face the discomfort of crossing the rail tracks or climbing up stairs. Wheel Chairs for the use of older persons are available at all junctions, District Headquarters and other important stations.
Air Benefits for Senior Citizens
Today, air travel is more common, easier and affordable than ever before. The Indian provides a rebate on normal economy class fare airline tickets for senior citizens who have attained the age of 65. Other airline companies also offer similar rebates to senior citizens. These rebates allow the elderly to afford to travel the same way as they did while they were working.
Booking tickets is done through the particular airline’s website. Flight staff checks that first time flyers are aware of boarding procedures and have a comfortable flight. Senior citizens in wheelchairs are allowed to board the plane first. Moreover, blind senior citizens are escorted throughout their journey so that they don’t face any problem.
Air India also provides discounts to senior citizens who are 60 years of age and over on all domestic flights and international flights to the United States and Europe. In order to avail these discounts and rebates, senior citizens have to show proof of their age at the time of booking.
Ship Benefits for Senior Citizens
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd or SCI manages and operates passenger vessels belonging to the Andaman and Nicobar Administration and the Lakshadweep Administration. The Liner and Passenger Ship Division of SCI also operate two passenger vessels owned by the Shipping Corporation of India in the Andaman and Nicobar Sector.
Regular passenger ship services are available to Port Blair from Chennai, Calcutta and Visakhapatnam. There are three to four sailings every month from Calcutta and Chennai to Port Blair and vice–versa. There is one sailing a month from Visakhapatnam. The voyage takes around 50 to 60 hours and the ship normally berths at Port Blair for about two to four days. Ships to Lakshadweep are available from Kochi. Discounts are available for islanders.
Private Cruise Ship companies and travel agencies offer a variety of cruises to Lakshadweep and the Andamans. From time to time they have special offers, discounts and tailored packages for senior citizens. Before booking such a trip it is always a good idea to bargain for extra discounts and freebies.
Loan for Financing Trips
Planning a vacation is always a fun experience. Whether you are looking to go on a pilgrimage, travel to an exotic tourist destination or visit your grandchildren – there are a wide range of travel options available. However, sometimes you may find yourself having to postpone or cancel your travel plans due to a lack of sufficient funds. Don’t worry too much though. Today, banks are offering special travel loans to senior citizens to help you make it to the places you have always dreamt of. These travel loans help pay for all sorts of travel related expenses right from booking tickets to the cost of staying at a hotel.
One such loan is the ‘Desh Videsh Yatra Loan’ of the Bank of Baroda. This loan allows senior citizens to repay the borrowed amount in as much as 36 easy monthly instalments as on March 31, 2007. Other banks including private banks offer travel loans along similar lines. You can also take a regular personal loan to pay for travel related expenses through banks such as the State Bank of India.
Apart from this, travel agencies provide special travel packages and repayment schemes for senior citizens. Such travel packages include fewer and longer stops at tourist attractions. They also involve less walking and have special buses to accommodate wheelchairs. This is available to ensure a comfortable and memorable trip.
In foreign countries, senior citizens are offered discounted rail passes for train travel, rebates at hotels and lower entry fees at tourist attractions. If you are planning to travel abroad, you can ask your travel agent about these facilities and bargain for a discount on available packages. Senior citizens may also go in for travel insurance. This is useful in case of accidents or emergency hospitalization while travelling out of your home city or country. ICICI Bank provides such an insurance plan for senior citizens called the Senior Citizen Travel Insurance plan.