Travel tattoos can be great reminders of the experience of seeing a new place, and many people have started replacing traditional souvenirs with small tattoos that are unique to their destinations. While some countries are less friendly about tattooing than others, these are 7 of the best countries to get creative tattoos at prices that won’t ruin your budget.
Thailand has several unique ways to get tattoos, including in the streets of Bangkok. However, perhaps the most unique way to get a tattoo in Thailand is from a Buddhist monk in Wat Bang Phra, west of Bangkok. There, monks give tattoos in animal forms that are infused with spiritual meaning.
One of the first places that tattoos emerged, Tahiti still retains its original traditions related to the tattooing process – although those who don’t want ink tapped into their skin via a bone tip can opt for modern machines.
3. New Zealand
For a unique tattooing experience, travelers to New Zealand opt for a traditional Maori tattoo – or ta moko – that has a rich history and tradition in the area. These have been used for centuries to decorate warriors and important members of the Maori community, and can still be done using the traditional method – carving the skin with a bone chisel.
There are a number of incredibly old tribes still located in Brazil’s forests that continue to historical art of tattooing. While many travelers may not be able to travel the Amazon to get to these tribes, there are plenty of tattoo artists who have learned the art that are happy to work on vacationers.
5. United States
While tattooing is highly regulated in the United States, the diversity of cultures within this country means that there are many options for getting unique tattoos. Whether you want to work with an up and coming artist in New York City, or a more traditional tattoo on the beaches of Hawaii, the United States has unique options just about everywhere you look.
Amsterdam has a truly diverse culture, but it is also home to a major tattoo museum. Visitors can take in the history of the art form and see some of the earliest modern tattoo machines, but can also get a truly unique souvenir by one of the tattoo artists onsite at the museum.
For something really different, India has a temporary form of tattoo made from henna ink. There are plenty of places around the country to find artists for henna tattoos, and they can be an affordable – and removable – way to remember a significant trip.
Remember, it is never a good idea to be intoxicated or to rush into a tattoo, even if you want a memento of your trip. Be aware of hygiene and safety precautions, since many countries do not regulate tattooing. There are plenty of options for fake temporary tattoos that you can customize or design to perfectly capture your experience – without the permanence!