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Tattoos while traveling

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Did you get a tattoo while traveling? Recommendations? Horror stories?
15 years ago, October 6th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #50981  
The thought of getting a tattoo has crossed my mind a few times while on the road, though I´ll more than likely wait till I get home. Maybe I´m just being cautious, but I would rather not have the consequences of a language barrier permanently imposed on my body.

I was just wondering if people have had good experiences with it, find more meaning in those tattoos, etc.

On the other hand, anyone have a horror story of the wrong thing being inked, infections, etc.? Reply to this

15 years ago, October 7th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #50989  
I would personally consult websites like citysearch or yelp to get the user reviews of tat shops in different cities before taking that chance. Reply to this

15 years ago, October 7th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #50992  
Been thinkin bout that too, if I'm gonna get one it'll be while I'm away, but then you have to think where you are goin to get it? I want mine on my foot but it would mean not wearin shoes for a week!
Reply to this

15 years ago, October 7th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #51043  
Hello Kyle 😊

I personally would only get a tattoo from somebody who is recommended by people I know. I have one that was done in Dublin. The guy I went to did the tattoos of most of the people in the gym where I used to go and and had a very good reputation.

I think the best thing to do is make sure you go to somebody who can be recommended by somebody who had a tattoo done a few years ago. If tattoos are not done properly they fade and have to be redone.

Mel Reply to this

15 years ago, October 7th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #51080  
I've gotten 2 tatts while travelling, and they've both been great experiences.
I fought 2 artists in Thailand whose work is spectacular. Reply to this

15 years ago, October 19th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #51986  
I got 2 tattoos in Puebla, Mexico without any dramas, although I did have the benefit of having a local direct me to the more reputable studios in town who were just as professional, clean and talented as anywhere else. There are dodgy studios though wherever you go, particularly in developing countries, who operate without a licence and to a lower standard so I wouldn't get it done just anywhere, be picky and suss them out first. Reply to this

15 years ago, October 24th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #52426  
B Posts: 6
I try to get tattoos whenever I travel to a new place. I usually just try to head to the seediest bar I can find. You know the places usually filled with gang members, or bikers. The happy bars. I find the guy with the best tattoos I can find and ask him where he got his. After talking about tattoos for a while even the scariest guys open up and treat you like family. Since these guy have a lot of tattoos, they can tell you who does the best work, and who sterilizes their needles. If they like you, they will usually tell the tattooist that you are a friend and your prices drop considerably. I have gotten a number of free tattoos that way. The licensed shops are always cleaner, and prettier, but I have found that their tattoos aren't always the best. The hoodlum tattoo shops are not as pretty, but they always sterilize their equipment, and they are usually the best tattooists in the city. Reply to this

14 years ago, September 22nd 2009 No: 8 Msg: #86978  

14 years ago, September 22nd 2009 No: 9 Msg: #86997  
Actually, I ended up getting on in Buenos Aires and couldn't be happier with it. I went to Well Done Tattoos, it was recommended to me by an artist in Chicago and they did a great job. It was really clean, while we communicated mostly in Spanish, they spoke English so nothing was misunderstood. It took four and a half hours covering my shoulder (front, back, top and then down my arm a little ways) and was only about $125. It was a great experience and would recommend it to others...

That said, my friend went to a random shop in Bolivia where they didn't speak any English, he drew what he wanted, communicated it in broken Spanish and isn't too happy with the outcome. So, I would just say be selective with where you go. Sounds obvious, but maybe not. Reply to this

14 years ago, September 22nd 2009 No: 10 Msg: #87015  
I have 31 tattoos by 26 artists in 14 countries so far.I want to be covered from all over the world.I have met some incredible artists and would be happy to give advice on artists in Australia ,New Zealand England ,Scotland ,Germany ,Peru ,Bolivia (Best black n grey artist I've met) ,Paraguay ,Uruguay ,Argentina ,Chile ,Ecuador ,Colombia (Best colour realism artist I've met) and Panama Reply to this

14 years ago, September 23rd 2009 No: 11 Msg: #87054  
I recommend Eagles in Dublin, Ireland. That is where I got my tattoo. All the women in the gym I used to go to got theirs there too. If the same guy is still there, I recommend it. Pity I cant remember the name of the street. Reply to this

14 years ago, September 23rd 2009 No: 12 Msg: #87059  
1 posts moved to this new topic: Your tattoos Reply to this

13 years ago, June 4th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #112471  
I have 4 tattoos; I got 1st and 2nd in Spain, 3rd in Thailand and 4th in UK... never had any problems. The guy who did the 3rd was thai and didn't speak any English, and I love the result, it's actually my favourite!

Reply to this

13 years ago, June 4th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #112474  
All we'd recommend is not to get drunk in a bar in Thailand where they do tattoos!! We both woke up the next morning with that whole "oh no did we really do that" feeling.. and yes we did!

Not a good idea but it's a funny reminder for us both of a good night out in Krabi! 😉



Reply to this

13 years ago, June 6th 2010 No: 15 Msg: #112566  
B Posts: 897
I try and collect a tattoo as a reminder from each country I travel - I had my Papua New Guinea frog tattoo'd here in Aus because there are no tattooists in PNG and i didnt fancy the traditional methods. Ive had some bamboo work done in Thailand which didnt hurt as much as I thought it would. Agree with Sophie and Dale re not getting tattoo's while drunk, good memories but my partner woke up with lightning bolts across each side of his neck - and hes 52 years old....

I wanted to get something from Cambodia but the only animal I could see lots of were water buffalos and as ive been collecting tatts for 25 years im kinda running out of space and didnt fancy a giant water buffallo head on my one remaining inkless shoulder so took a picture of some of the carvings at Ankor and will have the design done here next week. Reply to this

13 years ago, June 7th 2010 No: 16 Msg: #112603  
I always wanted to have a tattoo.. bu the thought of having it forever with me makes me want to stop from having one once i get sick with it. Reply to this

12 years ago, April 11th 2011 No: 17 Msg: #133526  
Littlewing, I am having my own tattoo gun made, in Colombia, so if I am in a country without tattooists I will be able to mark myself .
Reply to this

12 years ago, April 16th 2011 No: 18 Msg: #133973  
B Posts: 897
LOL Paul, great idea, you could do a quick map of the country and PAUL WAS HERE! :-) Ive actually seen some quite good work people have done on themselves. My son just got his first tattoo at one of his fathers studios here in perth and I did have a laugh at the look on his face when he felt the needle bit bone for the first time (Evil Mother that I am!)

John, the thing about it being with you forever doesnt always have to be the reason to not get tattoo'd - you can renovate! I have a lot of cover ups, I started getting tattoo'd something like 27 years ago. My partner also had a collection of tatts from 30 years renovated, re coloured and worked together into sleeves. Depending on my dive days I will be getting the back of my neck revamped either in thailand or borneo in a couple of weeks..anyone know of any good artists in either Sabah or Kuching? Reply to this

12 years ago, April 20th 2011 No: 19 Msg: #134257  
Ok-- here's a perspective from a nurse.

As Mel and others have pointed out it is best to go to a place that you know as reliable.
You've heard of people getting hepatitis and other diseases from parlors not changing the needles in between tatoos. That problem has resolved itself for the most part. Still-- it is good to see them provide fresh equipment.

These days the real health problem comes with the ink. Many parlors are buying large jugs of colored ink and reusing them. If you are the first person that is not a problem but because the ink part of their over head a few parlors are pouring the unused ink back into the big bottle until the next day when they start over. Once they pour the ink back in the entire jug of ink is contaminated by your skin and blood.
So-- the key is to watch them open fresh ink. If they are re-using their ink stay away.

Studies now show that 30% of people with tatoos have Hepatitis C

No reason not to get a tat-- just be careful and use some common sense.


Reply to this

12 years ago, June 20th 2011 No: 20 Msg: #138769  
N Posts: 1

In response to: Msg #87015 I am traveling out of the U.S. for the first time to Ecuador and would love to get a tattoo as a memory. I have never had one before...what I want is not very complicated. Any suggestions on where to go or just in general?? Reply to this

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