A 3 day long weekend is a perfect duration to plan a getaway to Rishikesh from Delhi but since it is just 5 hours of train journey, you'll find the place crowded with people across age-groups. So, it is not for those who enjoy quiet peaceful spots. My friend and I planned to head towards Rishikesh. The trip was all about mistakes so read on if you want to save a few bucks.
We decided to travel by train whose estimated travel time was 5 hours which apparently became 8 hours since the train was late by 3 hours. So, as a free advice, never book a seat in Haridwar Express 3AC. Always go for Dehradun Shatabdi, which is on time, has a pantry and fulfills the promise of a comfortable journey. It's good to book your tickets in advance, specially if you are planning to go on a long weekend when the whole working population decides to evade metro jungles.
You can travel via a bus as well. You can book it through Redbus.com or through MakeMyTrip.com. The process is smooth. However, the bus journey too was extended by 3 hours due to traffic congestion. This was expected since it was a long weekend in April. The bus did stop for half an hour to break the journey. It stopped at Fortune Grand, midway stop en route to Delhi on NH 58 near Muzaffarnagar. It was a pretty comfortable journey, except that the bus was devoid of any plug points. So, it is always good to carry your own power banks.