Tips for Successful Tattoo Travel
This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s very easy to overlook or disregard.
A fresh tattoo will cause discomfort and become irritated easily – intensive traveling after getting a new piece may cause more pain than you want while on vacation.
But that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last day of your trip to book an appointment, either. Getting tattooed will take several hours, sometimes spaced across multiple sessions.
We suggest booking your session near the end of your trip with 1 or 2 days extra, in case the tattoo takes longer than expected. But be cautious not to get a sunburn or scarring or other types of skin damage prior to meeting your tattooist – we won’t be able to apply tattoo ink until you’re fully healed.
And make sure to get all of the major sightseeing and partying out of the way before your appointment rolls around, especially if this is your first tattoo.
Also keep in mind that after you receive your tattoo,
Tattoo aftercare is intensive and you should severely limit or eliminate your tattoo’s exposure to the sun. Swimming or any prolonged exposure to any body of water is also off-limits. Sun and water can break up the ink in your skin and distort your new tattoo.
You may be on vacation while traveling, but you shouldn’t be drinking until 2am the night before you arrive at the tattoo shop if you want the best tattoo possible.
Alcohol, coffee, and aspirin are all well-known blood thinners that may result in excess bleeding while getting tattooed – making it harder for your artist to be precise.
Your body interprets a tattoo as a small form of trauma and will release small amounts of adrenaline, causing a “heady” sort of high that can be intense but also relaxing. If you’re dehydrated, however, this experience may be very uncomfortable and more intense than usual.
Consume lots of water, herbal tea, gatorade, and other hydrating beverages the day before and on the day your tattoo session begins. And make sure to eat a full meal – you’ll be sitting in the chair for many hours and your body is better able to handle the “stress” of tattooing when well-nourished.
Tattoo aftercare can’t be overlooked and you should make sure to carry the essential items you need to begin the tattoo healing process immediately after leaving the shop. Without the proper materials, your tattoo is at greater risk of being distorted or flaring up with more painful inflammation.
Scabbing, flaking, and peeling are natural parts of the tattoo healing process, which is why the two most important items to have on-hand are tattoo-specific moisturizer and unscented, antibacterial soap. This type of mild soap is critical to have because you need to use it when showering (with lukewarm water) and when you wash your hands before touching your tattoo.
Your fresh tattoo will dry out but Aquaphor, Neosporin, Vaseline, Lubriderm and other OTC moisturizing gels won’t keep your skin hydrated – they may even clog your pores and possibly warp the inking of your tattoo. Lost Edge will provide you with our own brand of ointment – Black Market organic aftercare – to moisturize your tattoo. You can bring antibacterial soap or purchase it from a local store near the studio.
You’ll also want to pack loose-fitting clothes so that you don’t irritate your new tattoo design and can comfortably let it air dry while sleeping. Darker clothing is preferable because new tattoos tend to leak plasma and blood while they heal and scab during the first 24-48 hours.
Tattoo placement on your body will affect your travel plans – where you go, what you do, and how you get from our tattoo parlor back home.
Fresh body art is going to be tender and sore, which is why it’s recommended to avoid constant pressure on the area.
For example, if you have a 9-hour flight and you’re getting a tattoo on your back – especially a large piece – you’ll be in extreme discomfort most of the way home and may even need a touch up if it heals improperly. In this case, you’ll want to allow at least one day to pass, if not more, before traveling with excessive pressure on your inked skin.
On the other hand, if you’re getting your forearm or chest tattooed, then traveling immediately afterwards will be more tolerable.