The Best and Worst Backpacker Tattoos

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Helen Winter

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Written by: Helen Winter

A Great Idea, or a Great Idea at the time? You be the Judge

Backpacking is a huge life event – it’s probably one the most expensive and adventurous things that you’ll ever do. It’s unlikely that you’ll forget your little adventure, but sometimes it’s nice to have a permanent souvenir in the form of a backpacker tattoo. But before you jump on to this bandwagon, remember that it can go either very well, or very, very badly.

The ones you’ll regret

1. A good slogan keeps you motivated on your travels – but, er, just make sure that the tattooist knows the difference between his ‘wanders’ and ‘wonders’Wonder

2. Ooh dear, maybe this person should have laid off the tequilas and the burritos on that trip to Mexico.

Burrito tattoo

3.A little something to remember that dolphin boat trip in Bali…maybe they should have just stuck with the photos…


4. And that tattoo most definitely should have stayed!

vegas tattoo

5. Getting drunk and having the name of the girl/boy you’ve just met is not the smoothest ice breaker there is.

Name tattoo

6. Another US memorabilia, but next time I’d choose an artist who’s skilled when it comes to proportion- and shading for that matter.


7. Is travelling a tradition in your family? If it is, here’s a tip – don’t wear it as a moustache. It will not look as awesome as you pictured. And never, ever, get one on your face.

Family tradition face tattoo

And the ones you’ll love forever

Not all travelling tattoos are a bad idea. All it takes is some common sense, and checking the credentials of the ‘artist’ behind the ink is always a great idea.

1. The thinking process behind this travel tat is amazing and original! A word you don’t hear much around tattoos. She got her passport stamps scanned, blown up and inked on her arm.

Tattoo travel stamp

2. Not much represents travel more than a large world map, but this is a unique take on it. As you experiences different countries, get that one shaded in. It’s much more imaginative than collecting magnets anyway.

World map tattoo

3. If you’re a fan of the city breaks, this is one for you. Some cities have amazing landscapes, New York, Tokyo and Singapore, just to name a few, so why not get this amazing architecture on your body’s canvas.

Skyline tattoo

4. It’s a plane. The thing that takes you from A to B! This one is for the minimalist, but it sure gets the love of travel across.

Plane tattoo

5. If you’re into hoarding, including ink on your body, then here is an idea for a design that isn’t too ‘in your face’ if you end up with 50! A simple poststamp of the places you’ve been, and that’s it!

Postcode tattoo

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