There are tons of methods people can use to choose their next travel destination. While cities call to some, natural phenomena call to others. The following will explore a few tips and tricks for those who are using one specific kind of natural feature to direct their travel: waterfalls.

Ticket Combos

In many instances, waterfalls are a little off the beaten track. The good news is many travel companies provide ticket combos that provide you with transportation to and from the waterfall. Oftentimes, guides can provide you with additional information or backstories for the falls you’re about to see, which can really add to your experience. Travel lovers at also point out that many waterfalls are located within National or State/Provincial Parks. Booking tickets can provide you with access to several elements within one tourist destination. 

Be Prepared For A Trek

Not all waterfalls are far from roads, but many of them are. Prepare for a decent hike. Wear sturdy footwear and weather-appropriate clothing and bring hydration with you. There’s a Danish proverb that is perfect when it comes to outdoor sights: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad outfits. Dress appropriately and avoid carrying too many big or heavy bags, as this can make the trek to the falls brutal. Be sure to research ahead of time how difficult the climb is and pay attention to any weather warnings released by local authorities. This is especially prudent in areas where flash flooding is common.

Give Yourself Time

When planning your trip, you want to allocate lots of time for simply sitting near the falls. Studies have found that being near natural, moving water is excellent for your health. It reduces stress, boosts mood, and can even increase your life expectancy. If you’ve gone through the trouble of organizing your trip and getting all the way to the waterfall, why not give yourself the time to soak in all the benefits? If you’re traveling with others, don’t be surprised if sitting near the falls lulls everyone into a quiet state. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t having fun or that you’re not a great conversationalist. It simply means that water has a profound effect on the human psyche. Many people describe the experience as trance-like as the waterfalls soothe them into an empty-minded presence.

Be Careful When Taking Photos

Waterfalls, by their nature, imply heights. Every year, a ridiculous amount of people die trying to take selfies or photos in unsafe positions or at heights. This is not a joke. Be cautious when taking photos, and never sacrifice your safety or comfort for a good shot. It’s not worth the risk. Cameras are pretty bad at capturing the majesty of massive waterfalls anyways.

Clean Up After Yourself

When you’re ready to leave the site of the waterfall, make sure to take all your belongings with you. Any type of garbage left behind is a threat to the local wildlife, but, in particular, things with plastic in them are a major issue as they’re contributing to the obscene levels of microplastics in the water system. If you’ve brought along a furry friend and are cleaning up his or her skat as you go, make sure to use biodegradable bags (there are lots of options that feel like plastic but are actually biodegradable).

Understand Nudity Laws

Depending on where you’re traveling, you might be struck by the urge to skinny dip in the waters beneath the falls. This can be an exhilarating experience that you remember forever, but it can also be a legal nightmare if you get caught naked in a country where this is a punishable crime. Make sure you know ahead of time what type of clothing is culturally and legally appropriate to avoid any trouble.

Be Wary Of Sunscreen

While protection from the sun is important if you don’t want to burn, you need to think long and hard about the sunscreen you’re using. It turns out that the vast majority of sunscreens are causing serious damage to water systems (so much so that Hawaii has banned most conventional sunscreens). Beyond this, many sunscreens are actually toxic for you and increase your risks for certain cancers. Do your research and get a sunscreen that isn’t harmful (zinc-based sunscreens without any toxins are often best). 

The above information should help you plan wonderful waterfall-focused trips. It’s important to be honest with yourself about your physical capabilities when choosing falls to visit. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself past what’s comfortable and manageable for you.