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Getting a Tattoo On Vacation: Your Questions—Answered

Getting a tattoo while on vacation is a great way to create a permanent memory of your trip. However, deciding when to get your new ink will determine how you're able to enjoy the rest of your vacation. Sun, sand, ocean water, chlorine, and sweat affect the healing process, so it's important to understand how your new tattoo will impact the rest of your vacation. Here's what to keep in mind before booking a session at our Orlando, Florida, tattoo shops.

What Should I Avoid Doing After Getting a Tattoo on Vacation?

A tattoo is an open wound that will take a few weeks to heal. During that time, you'll want to avoid certain activities, such as:

  • Exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight

  • Submerging it in water (for six weeks)

  • Wearing tight-fitting clothing over the tattoo (such as a bathing suit)

  • Using harsh chemicals

How Much Time Should I Set Aside for my Session?

There are likely many events and reservations you don't want to miss when getting a tattoo on vacation. Larger pieces with more detail take longer than smaller pieces with a single color palette. When designing your new tattoo, you'll want to consider how much time you have to visit our Orlando, Florida, tattoo shops to get inked. When you book a consultation with our Fine Ink Studios team, we'll consider your vacation plans when booking your session.

Can I Go to the Beach after Getting a Tattoo?

We highly recommend avoiding the beach after getting your tattoo. One of the primary reasons is the increased infection risk. Ocean water is filled with bacteria you wouldn't want to expose any open wound to—especially a tattoo. Although rare, there is also an increased chance of contracting Vibrio Vulnificus when exposing an open wound to warm sea waters. V. Vulnificus is a fancy word for "flesh-eating bacteria." Need we say more?

Can I Go Swimming After Getting a Tattoo?

Although the risk of infection is less in chlorinated water than in salt water, you'll still want to avoid fully submerging your tattoo for several weeks. Getting your tattoo wet for a prolonged period can lead to fading and discoloration. Chlorinated water may also cause the ink to leak from the tattoo, distorting lines and dulling otherwise vibrant colors. Also, chlorine can sting and irritate your tattoo, making swimming a painful experience.

If you swam or went to the beach without protecting your new tattoo, you'll want to look for signs of infection such as rash, tenderness, inflammation, or scabs that don't heal. You'll also want to look for bubbling, which is when scabs over a tattoo don't heal correctly due to excessive moisture.

What If I Can't Avoid Water or the Sun After Getting a Tattoo?

We get it. It's Florida, you're on vacation, and you want to soak up every minute of your time here. If you can't avoid the beach or prolonged sun exposure, there are several things you can do to protect your new ink. First, wear clothing that offers UV protection over the tattooed area. If there's no way to cover the tattoo, you'll want to apply heavy-duty sunscreen (we're talking 60 SPF or more). You can protect your new tattoo from water with a waterproof bandage. There are a variety of clear, waterproof bandages specifically designed for tattoos that will keep the area sealed and (mostly) free from water exposure. Ensure the entire tattoo is completely covered and sealed before getting it wet. Apply the bandage directly before exposing it to water. Take it off immediately afterward, patting the area dry before removal. Keeping the tattoo covered for too long will delay the healing process.

You'll also want to follow a solid tattoo aftercare routine, like cleaning the area with mild soap and lukewarm water multiple times a day.

How Do You Travel with a New Tattoo?

You'll want to consider your new tattoo when flying or driving home once your vacation is over. The tattooed area will be sore for a few days afterward, making carrying luggage or backpacks difficult. You'll also want to avoid friction between your new tattoo and your surroundings, such as airline seats. Wear loose clothing like sweat pants or athletic attire to ensure you're as comfortable as possible.

When is the Best Time to Get a Tattoo While on Vacation?

While your instinct may be to run to the tattoo studio as soon as you arrive in town, there are benefits to waiting to get your tattoo. We recommend getting your new ink at the end of your vacation, one or two days before you leave. This will allow you to spend time enjoying the theme parks, beaches, pools, and other activities you may want to avoid with a fresh tattoo. Once your trip wraps up, you'll come home with a brand new tattoo.

Fine Ink Studios: Orlando, Florida, Tattoo Shops

Our eight tattoo and piercing studios are located throughout Central Florida, near Orlando's most famous attractions. Whether you're visiting Disney, Universal, or attending a convention on I-Drive, you're never far away from getting fine inked. Book a consultation to get started!

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