The Top Five Ink Choices Aussie 'Tattourists' Get Overseas

The rise in tattourism is undeniable with one in three young Australians sporting ink they got overseas, with many saying the decision to get a travel tatt came down to cost.

According to online booking platform Hostelworld's 'Tattourism' report, the view that travel tattoos are impulsive and result in disappointment down the line has been debunked.

Instead, their survey of 1000 Aussies aged between 18-35 found many who get inked abroad put a lot of thought and planning into the permanent fleshy souvenirs of their wanderlust.

Sixty-five per cent of those surveyed, from all parts of the country, said they had no regrets after their decision to get an overseas tatt.

Travellers across the world are not only collecting passport stamps and soul-stirring stories, they’re also preserving travel memories through wanderlust tattoos.

Fraser, 21, said he got five tattoos while travelling.

One of the five tattoos Fraser had inked while overseas. Image: Supplied

"I like that it gives you a lasting memory of each place," he said.

Three in five already-inked Aussie travellers claim that they thought about their design for a substantial amount of time.

Melinda, 28, said her travel tattoos were an expression of herself and periods of time in her life.

"It's not just a piece of art you put on a wall, it's my history," she said.

Melinda shows off her travel tattoos, she said the eye on her chest came from Vietnam. Image: Supplied.

"My favourite is the tattoo of an eye on my chest. I drew it myself and it represents awakening and kindness. It’s on my heart and always reminds me of travelling. I got it in Vietnam in 1984 and it’s my favourite tattoo," she said.

When asked the reasons for getting a tattoo overseas, 20 per cent of the surveyed Aussies revealed that the lower cost was the most important factor.

"It’s actually cheaper to get the plane ticket from Melbourne and get a tattoo here (Siem Reap, Cambodia) than it is to get the tattoo at home," Katie, 18, said. 

Image: Getty

Katie said she'd also saved $2,000 just for a tattoo budget for her next trip.

The survey found Bali tops the list of preferred tattourist destinations with the most body art flying home from there.

It's so popular that some hostels across the globe have opened in-house tattoo parlours to take advantage of the rise of tattourism among young travellers.

An in-house tattoo parlour at Wanderthirst Hostel in Nepal. Image: Hostelworld.

Hostel tattoo parlours will no doubt prove popular among existing tattourists: 58 per cent of Americans, 57 per cent of Australians, and 49 per cent of Brits say they're interested in getting a tattoo next time they travel.

And if you're wondering what tattoo's tattourists get ... here is the top five choices for overseas body art:

  1. Inspirational quotes
  2. An animal that symbolises the home country of the traveller
  3. Lyrics from a song
  4. A character from a TV show
  5. The logo of their favourite sports team

The Project


Backpackers Share Their Most ‘Straya Tatts

Members of a Facebook backpacker group have shared their Australian themed tattoos.



Tattooed Eyeballs, Split Tongue... Meet The World's Most Modified Young Person

One afternoon after school, Ethan Bramble's sister suggested they stretch his ears.