Last month I travelled to two different countries to get tattooed. This may sound extreme to you, but if you find an artist you love, travelling to get to them might be your only option.
I’m lucky enough that I’ve managed to book in with some of my favourite artists this year, but travelling on your own can be a daunting experience, even without adding in getting to a studio. So I’ve put together my tips on travelling to get tattooed, the do’s and the don’ts.
Tips on Travelling to get Tattooed
Do Your Research
When you’ve found your preferred artist, find out where the studio they work at is or where they are doing a guest spot, this info will usually be on their social media or website.
If you are going to their regular studio, check if their books are open! Loads of tattooists have bookings for months and if their books are closed the reality is you won’t get tattooed until they reopen bookings. If you are heading to where they are doing a guest spot, check that you can actually get there during the time they are tattooing! Check if you can get days off work/don’t have any other commitments.
Contact them with your idea, placement and ask relevant questions but don’t bombard them. They may have a set procedure on their socials or website so follow it. Always contact the artist or the studio via their preferred method. Usually, this will be pretty clear on their social media, but if it isn’t, check the studio where they are working and their website to see if there is a preferred contact method there. Usually, it’s via email but not always. They may not respond straight away, again, don’t bombard them. I know you want an answer but be patient, tattooists are usually a one woman/man show!
Plan Your Travel
Book flights and make sure you have enough time to get to the appointment if your flight is delayed, I’d recommend going the day before. That means you can get your bearings and relax the night before.
Book a hotel or apartment that’s near the studio, I prefer walking distance but as long as you plan a travel route before the day then you’ll be fine. No point in adding extra stress to your day!
If you do have to travel from your hotel to get to the studio then make sure you plan a route beforehand, no point in waking up in the morning and realising that it’ll take an hour longer than you thought!
Be on time, don’t rock up to your appointment late. It’s extremely bad manners and best to not piss off the person who’ll be marking you for life before you even meet them.
Take a friend with you if you like but don’t turn up with like 15 people and expect them to be able to sit with you. You wouldn’t turn up with a group of friends to get your hair done so why would you take them to a studio? You might be travelling to get tattooed for the first (or 70th) time, but you can still get nervous. Have a friend wait in reception sure but don’t expect someone to be holding your hand. It’s good to be aware that some studios don’t like having people wait around the reception, respect that.
If you don’t speak the same language as your tattooist, and you might not, but make the effort to try and find some common ground. It may be hard to hold a conversation but make the effort. On the flip side, don’t force anything! If the conversation isn’t flowing, don’t push it.
Now, this isn’t one for everyone…but I like to take a little gift for my tattooists. I never know what to do tipping wise, depending on what country I am in or how well I know them. So this is just my awkward side coming out, I’ll take a gift instead of tipping. It might not be the preferred method, but I find it 100% less awkward. I always do a little social media stalking before I pick out a gift for someone. It’s best to play it safe so I go for something I know they love from their social media, or if I can’t find anything, I go for a Lush gift box.
I hope these tips on travelling to get tattooed help if you are thinking or planning on it in the future.