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What has been your experience traveling with your tattoos? Where’d you travel to?

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I used to be in a band called The Sick, and we spent 3 months in eastern Europe on tour in 2000. We lived in a small town outside of Prague in Czech Republic called Teplice (pronounced 'Teplitza'), and people told us that being tattooed as much as we were made the local residents think we were in the mafia. The Russian mafia had a presence there w/ prostitution rings. In general people seem to steer clear of you more - unless they're cops I guess..

Lala Blackheart likes this

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What about with airports? I feel like I get more than my fair share of "random" searches with visible tattoos. Do pigments in my skin make me more of a potential terrorist or is it just unluckiness? Anyone got any experience being hassled by airport security besides me?

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In general people seem to steer clear of you more - unless they're cops I guess..

In general, yes I'll be the last person on a bus, plane, or train with an empty seat next to me. But there are always those crazy weirdos who come and try to talk to me about "those sick tats bro" even when i have headphones in.

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i never get treated differently or searched, and the last few times i flew with equipment, they didn't even search it or ask about it.

Stax138 likes this

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Hubby & I have never been bothered at the airport!

Most of the people working there seem to be pretty cool about it!

I really forget most of the time that i am as visibly tattooed as I am....LOL!

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Weird. Must just be me. I've had the whole nine yards done. Patdowns, those chemical sensing swabs, rifling through every page of my notebook/digging through all of my stuff by hand, etc. Just this last time I had my carry-on searched three times on the way to LA. The weird thing is I pack light. I'd make a terrible mule! Haha.

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Weird. Must just be me. I've had the whole nine yards done. Patdowns, those chemical sensing swabs, rifling through every page of my notebook/digging through all of my stuff by hand, etc. Just this last time I had my carry-on searched three times on the way to LA. The weird thing is I pack light. I'd make a terrible mule! Haha.

Yep it is all you Jake! It is because of that record you recorded as a teenager with so much teenage angst and political disapproval that the government now has you on a list!!!

For reals though, I fly regularly and would say I have very little trouble with the airports or staff but more with the fellow travelers due to my tattoos. Unless I fly out of San Diego! San Diego is my all time most aggravating airport!! If I have my way it is fly into San Diego and fly out of HelLA if I have to go down that way which thank god is only a few times a year. I know my fair share of flight attendants and they say SD is known as one of the worst in the airport/airline industry. Is this because they are a major military city and so they are extra cautious? Just a potential thought from the other side?? The last I heard it is also up to the individual airport staff to set their security measures sensitivity and is not regulated by the government.

Mario, that is odd they didn't make you check in your equipment??? I know when I traveled for skateboarding and always had a skateboard with me everywhere I traveled I had all sorts of difficulties so would think tattoo equipment would cause the same nonsense. Though it has been awhile since I traveled with a skateboard.

Thanks everyone for weighing in on this and please keep it coming.....

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my machines stay in my back pack. all other crap i put in my luggage. and i never get hasselled either.

sometimes they make me take my gun case out of my bag and open it. but once they see whats inside they dont care.

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i check a case with needles, tubes, pigment, power supply, etc. and ALWAYS carry on my machines in my bag. they usually ask me to take them out, the last 4 times i flew, though, they didn't even bother. a few years ago i did fly with needles and tubes as a carry-on with no problem. i think i just got lucky.

also, my travel case (the one i check) has NO stickers on it. the reason is, if your case is covered in tattoo shop stickers, don't you think it just screams "steal me! i'm filled with tattoo equipment!" ???

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Since Mario and I travel to do shows together for the most part we pack pretty similarly, but one thing ive noticed if you carry on your supplies, ie. needles tubes and inks, keep your cards on you, im not sure about other countries but TSA workers love tattoos and as soon as you throw out a card and talk tattoos they are all about letting you through carrying on all your equipment. At least in my experience.

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For 15 years i toured with bands { new model army, oysterband , levellers} around the world, and never really experienced any negative responses to being heavily tattooed, however in Italy, Spain and Poland i was constantly asked if i had spent time in prison or if i belonged to a firm or organized crime outfit. This was in the early nineties and tattooing wasn't even nearly as popular as it is now in these countries, it was my opinion that tattooing can be viewed as a rebellious stance against the family { in the youth} but teenagers or young adults in predominantly catholic countries tend not to rebel against the family but focus their rebel tendencies on the state or the church.

Not making a big generalisation just on personal experience

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I think I have gotten more attention while traveling for having a big beard than I have for having tattoos. Haha.

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I think I have gotten more attention while traveling for having a big beard than I have for having tattoos. Haha.

Just saw the picture of your beard... Man I'd think you were smuggling something in there too! haha

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We should have a separate forum to discuss beards. Thanks to Scott's beard, we're often called "The Beards," and I will answer to Mama Beard.

Beard Thread Link

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I've never had a problem with tattoo equipment or Beards. However I did have some women from the bookstore at lax dis my neck tattoo's. They spoke to each other in their native tongue as they held their throats shaking their head in disgust. I had a moment of reactionary thinking regarding their decision to immigrate to the USA.

Lala Blackheart likes this

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can it be a beard fan forum? jackson (the one you see me smoochin') has a sweet ginger beard that i love, despite friends and family giving him crap about it.

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Just saw the picture of your beard... Man I'd think you were smuggling something in there too! haha

That picture is actually my passport photo, which I got just before the last time I traveled. The beard got trimmed pretty close at the beginning of the summer, but is on its way back to glory as we speak. Haha.

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I have had the complete opposite experience. Luck of the draw.

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As far as traveling with tattoos, I toured with my band all over North and South America and all over Europe and never had any problems at all at airports. The only place I had trouble was in Mexico. We pulled up to a military check point and were asked to step out of the van. Because I was sleeved out, the military assumed I was a junkie and moving heroin. The were grabbing my arms searching for track marks and pointing huge guns at me. They also tore our van and trailer apart. It fucking sucked.

As far as traveling with gear, Im relieved to hear they don't really give a shit at airports. Im about to start traveling as much as I can and figured it would be too much of a pain in the ass to fly, so I planned on taking trains everywhere. Although its cheaper... id rather take a 5 hour trip flying opposed to a 48 hour train ride.

Lala Blackheart likes this

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Being in the navy travel is part a big part of my job. But being in the middle east i get ton of dirty looks from the locals, it could be scantaly clad hula girl on my forarm (you know how they feel about women anything revealing lol) But to be honest, a dirty look is not the worst you can get here haha

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i def got some crazy stares when traveling through some rural towns in germany last year. keeps things interesting

Lala Blackheart likes this

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I know you are not allowed to be in bath houses in Japan with too many tattoos. I was kinda bummed about that when I went.

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