Getting a tattoo on holiday

Getting a Tattoo on Holiday

One of our most asked questions on the Benidorm Seriously Facebook group, is where to get a tattoo done whilst here in Benidorm, so here are some tips and safety guidelines.

The healing process takes about 4-6 weeks. Get your tattoo done towards the end of your holiday to give you time to enjoy the beach beforehand. Find a shop early in your trip and make an appointment for the day before you leave.

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1.  Choose a tattoo parlor that’s clean, reputable and has some talented artists working there. Not the first one you wander past just because your feet are aching and it’s getting too hot to be wandering around,  do your homework and have a chat with the tattooist first before making an appointment.  See below for some recommended places.

Needles should be new, unwrapped and opened in front of your eyes. Also, he/she should wear Latex-one-way-gloves at any time when using the machine on you. Everything should be disinfected.

Note - If you are in any doubt about the tattoo parlor you are visiting ask to see their licence, as Authorisation is issued by the individual City Councils. 

2.  One of the most important things when deciding on getting a tattoo is choosing a design that you know you’re going to love seeing every single day for the rest of your life.

A good artist will find the time to answer your questions and to talk about your ideas.

Check the spelling and grammar and speak up if you spot a mistake, it’s your body that will have to bear that misplaced apostrophe or spelling error forever.  If you’re getting something written in a foreign language, make sure it says what you think it says.  Also, respect the culture of the country where the tattoo originates from. make sure it’s placed the right way up.

Have a look at plenty of the tattoo artists previous work.

3.  Price. When you’re on your holidays you may be on a budget or at least looking to get a deal so that you can have more money for booze.   But when deciding on a tattoo that will be on your body for life– price shouldn’t be an issue.  If it’s a large piece you’re planning, obviously that’s not going to be cheap.  If you have a copy of the art work get a couple of quotes and book with the tattooist that you feel most comfortable with.  Remember cheapest is not always best!

4.  Don’t even think about doing this drunk or off your face on who knows what.  A reputable tattooist won’t even let you in their shop in this state.  Alcohol is a blood thinner as is coffee too much of either in your blood stream and you may start to bleed very quickly (and maybe a lot), which then effects the colour of your tattoo. In addition it effects your blood circulation and could make the process a lot more painful.

5.  Eat a full meal to make sure your blood sugar levels are fine, have a shower (hygiene works both ways) and depending on how long you’re going to be sat in the tattooist chair take something to distract you such as your iPod and headphones.

6.  Aftercare - Wash it properly, put the anti-bacterial crème given by your artist and follow his/her instruction. Protect your tattoo from sand, dirt, dust, salt-and chlorine water.

Don´t scratch it so much it bleeds.

Leave the clingfilm wrap on for as long as you’ve been told, only touch it with clean hands,

Stay out of the sun, avoid swimming and when it’s healed always try to keep it moisturised and covered in high factor sun cream on future holidays.

Questions and answer's

What age can you get a tattoo in Spain?

The regional laws differ in Spain but in Benidorm you must be over 18 to obtain a tattoo.

Can you get a tattoo while you have a sunburn?

When you have a sunburn, your epidermis gets red, painful, and in some cases, blisters. This could also penetrate down to the dermis which is where your tattoo will be. Your body is already trying to heal your sunburned skin, so more damage will only mean trouble for a fresh tattoo.  So the answer is NO, try to avoid getting sunburnt.

Can you travel after getting a tattoo?

The general rule is it is fine to get a tattoo shortly before flying, however one thing to remember is you will be in some discomfort on the plane. You will also want to ensure you are not allergic to the ink, as the last thing you want to do is land the plane early due to you becoming severely ill.  What to do and where to go if you need medical assistance.

How long after getting a tattoo can I go in the sun?

Keep your tattoo out of the sun altogether until the tattoo has completely healed. After the tattoo has completely scabbed and peeled, you should then be able to start applying sunscreen to the area and expose the tattoo to the sun. It's recommended to wait at least 3-4 weeks.

How long until you can swim with a tattoo?

Think of the tattoo as an open wound at risk of infection.  Don't go swimming or immerse your new tattoo in water until every bit of scab and dry skin has fallen off. This can take as long as four weeks. There is a big difference between getting your tattoo wet (during a normal shower) and entirely submerging or soaking your fresh wound in water.  It is OK to get a new tattoo wet; – you just can't soak it. Fully submerging your tattoo for any extended period of time into a body of water like a hot tub or bath in a bath will often cause serious damage.

Share you experiences of your holiday tattoo in comments below.


0 # Ian Forrest 2020-05-21 15:22
RKA is the BEST tattoo parlour in Benidorm I wouldn’t trust anyone else
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0 # Bobby Kerr 2019-05-18 17:10
Part of me thinks I just wouldn't trust it. I'm very heavily tattooed and take getting one done pretty seriously. Don't take risks, be smart and be aware if you are getting it done do it at end of holiday. Fresh tattoos and sun do not mix.
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