We've all been there. Chilling out in a beachside backpacker ghetto, hanging out with new friends and thinking, 'Hey, you know what? A tattoo to remember my travels by is a really good idea.'
Travel blogger and photographer Seattle Dredge has been there. And has the ink to prove it. Below she lists the pitfalls to avoid to ensure you get a tattoo you'll be happy with. For the rest of your life.
Don’t get caught up in the whims of having a good time or potential peer pressure from your travel buddies; think it through and go with something that you’ve been wanting for a long time. Spontaneity is fine for a road trip or booking a last minute flight, but not for getting ink permanently embedded into your skin.
There’s nothing worse than being permanently branded as a tourist. I’m not going to call any specific tattoos out on this one, but I’m sure you can think of a few. As with any tattoo, go with something personal and meaningful that 20,000 other backpackers aren’t going to share with you.
Don’t get work done at a tattoo parlour that doesn’t appear clean and hygienic on the surface. If the counter is dirty just imagine what the needles are like. On that note make sure you ask to see the needle coming out of a sealed package so that you can be sure it is unused.
Remembering to care for a tattoo can be difficult at home, but throw in a beach and full day of sunshine and things can get messy. Literally. If you’re not careful to keep it out of the water, sun and general dirt, it could become infected or heal improperly. Grab an inexpensive Bepanthen (a common cream) or an unscented moisturiser from the local pharmacy and keep it as dry, shaded and clean as possible.
If you're unable to return to the same artist for multiple sessions, it is probably best to stick to a small tattoo while you are travelling. Most artists will not want to continue on someone else’s work and if they do, it probably won’t be in the same style.
Have you ever got a tattoo while travelling? Any advice for those considering getting inked? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Get the very best of Wanderlust by signing up to our newsletters, full of travel inspiration, fun quizzes, exciting competitions and exclusive offers.