Travelling and the permanent souvenir - the tattoo!

Working at a hostel - in reception and the tour desk, it is literally part of my everyday job to think about travelling. With my upcoming trip next year to Ireland, Scotland, England and Holland I've been thinking more and more lately about the growing trend of Tattoo's to mark where you've been – leaving you with a permanent souvenir of your travels.

I have seen many Tattoo's over the years and it seems that most people heading overseas come back with a little extra ink. Having a few tattoos myself, I'm not an ink prude by any means (two of my uncles were tattoo artists back in their hay days too) but I wonder if it's a growing trend that we might regret when we're 95 with our bits hanging around our knees trying to work out what that blob near our foot used to be- or worse having to explain the sleeve of 'tribal skulls' to the grand-kids.

So here's some reasons for and against getting a tattoo as a permanent souvenir of your travels.

Reasons to NOT get inky with it on your holidays!
  • You're drunk. Never a good idea to put needle to skin when you're sloshed! Firstly you're probably going to pick out something that you normally wouldn't get, secondly even though it probably won't hurt very much it will probably bleed like crazy, also when you're boozed - trying staying still, fat chance. More likely you'll end up with a mess followed by expensive laser treatments later.
  • You haven't thought it through. If you're on holiday and you get a tattoo for the sake of it you are probably going to end up regretting that Mickey Mouse flipping you off at some point of time- no matter how funny it seemed at the time.
  • You're being pressured into it. Yes the guy you met 3 days ago and fell 'madly in love with' might seem like the real deal now but remember you have to return home eventually and having "I heart Barney" across your back might not look so sexy back home!
  • Because it's cheaper Tattoos are not something you should be trying to save some bucks on. It's all well and good to be in a country where you have a good currency conversion but check out the artist, are they reputable? Are they clean (nothing worse then a dirty tattoo artist – Hepatitis is not a good souvenir)? How long have they been in the biz? And most importantly can they even do your design?

Reasons TO get inky!
tattoo swallow
  • If you're on the trip of a life time that you've planned for ages then having a tattoo to mark the occasion is great, but make sure it's something you're going to be happy with and something that actually has a meaning to you. Instead of getting a map of Australia why not get a boomerang if you threw a boomerang or a kangaroo if you saw one or the VB logo if you spent your time boozing it up!
  • If there is a particular tattoo you've wanted for a while and you find a very reputable artist to do it for you then go for it!
  • You have found a really amazing tattoo artist in a certain area and you happen to be nearby, go for it! I have heard of many people taking their holiday to locations specifically to get a tattoo - you can bet if I'm ever in Miami I'll be popping into Miami Ink! – Chris Nunez yum!

Ultimately it's of course your choice, but think before you ink and you'll have an amazing tattoo that you'll cherish for the rest of your life!


Get 10 nights or more to spend at any of our hostels with the Bed Hopper Accommodation Pass