Travel Tips

25 Amazing Travel Tattoo Designs

25 Amazing Travel Tattoo Designs
Last Updated: July 25, 2019

When the travel bug bites, I wonder how many of you react towards it positively. I believe there is a traveller inside everyone but somehow we can’t relate to it. It is actually hard to discover “what kind of traveller we are” unless we have traversed a diversified skyline, landscape and culture. Some of us get psyched and travel everyday no matter what the obstacles are and others stick to saying, ‘…“dude…”, “bro…” OR “man…” I’ve got office on Monday/ had a busy week, too tired/ no money/ why should I travel with you? / I’m a girl, I can’t travel with you alone / my parents won’t allow…’. Then there are some crazy travel nuts (men and women) who wake up on a Monday morning and message his boss, ‘My grandma expired. I’ll be off for couple of days’. Well… actually his grandma expired long back but that morning the travel bug bit him and he was off to a backpacking trip. After returning from the trip, he just felt like he needed to commemorate the trip with something more than a photo album on Facebook. The trip seems to have sunk so deep into him that now it makes perfect sense to have it etched into his skin and he goes for the Road Trip Memories Tattoo.

Like him you will come across several travel nuts who want something more than a broken memento…which leads to thoughts of getting the ultimate reminder: getting a travel tattoo that represent time, places and events. Travel-themed tattoos can also be used to represent your travelling hopes and dreams for the future.

Check out some amazing travel tattoo designs here and get inked from the nearest studio. Ah! if you ask me… I’m going for one of them and will surely update a snap once done. Do you have some kind of travel tattoo like this or you think that it is stupid to draw maps on your skin?

1. Compass Tattoo


It is the most common travel tattoo that you will come across. A ‘compass tattoo’ boldly represents the direction of a traveller’s dream. A travel compass practically defines the four cardinal points – north, south, east and west and intermediate directions. A ‘travel compass tattoo’ can range widely from a simple design of the compass rose and cardinal points to an extreme complex design with feathers, aggrandized circle, arrow and many more. The ‘extremely complex designed tattoo’ often displays a form of oriental art and requires a skilled hand. You will often come across such tattoos etched on the arm of nautical lovers, fisherman and of course military personnel as well.

2. Compass & Pocket Clock Tattoo


Whether you are going for a basic or incredibly complex compass on the arm… the ‘pocket clock tattoo’ offers the ultimate capstone. A ‘pocket clock’ practically acts as an alternate device to a wrist watch that is generally used to calculate an accurate time of action. A ‘pocket clock tattoo’ generally depicts the classic Gold Chaika Pocket Watch, Wooden pocket watch XIX-XX OR the open faced pocket watch with a hunter case and a watch chain. Such ‘pocket clock tattoo’ along with ‘compass tattoo’ is typically etched on biceps OR arms and is found on travellers who believe in promptness.

3. Compass & Map Tattoo


Again quite a familiar one, the ‘compass and map tattoo’ is often inked on biceps, shoulders OR the chest. This pattern has been adapted since the time compass tattoos came into fashion and can be spotted mostly amongst nautical lovers and fishermen. The ‘compass & map tattoo’ designs range widely from simple delimitation to complex and elaborate. This sort of tattoo pattern typically signifies the dreams of a traveller who seeks to travel across the seven oceans and explore the most out of travelling.

4. Compass & Poppies Tattoo


The ‘compass and poppies tattoo’ design requires a skilled hand as it is one of most complexly designed tattoos you will come across. It is often inked on biceps and shoulders and is spotted on hardcore travel nuts having craze for travel tattoos. Well… if you are thinking of getting inked with one such tattoo, then be sure that it’s going to take long hours.

5. Wildlife Tattoo

Wildlife Tattoo

I know a few from my circle who will surely go for ‘wildlife tattoo’ designs. It ranges from the common elephant design to reptiles like monitor lizard snakes, cobra, alligators and more. A typical wildlife lover will go for designs like ‘king of beasts’, Royal Bengal Tiger, Elephant, Horse, Rhino, bear, chimpanzee, cats, barasingha and several species of birds. Wildlife tattoo designs are quite common nowadays but it is yet another extremely complex tattoo. In other terms, you might come across some crazy wildlife lovers inked on their back or chest… a scene of a jungle that includes animals in the midst of a dense wood.

6. Anchor Tattoo

Anchor Tattoo

Another typical travel tattoo design that was initially entailed by nautical lovers and fishermen… the ‘anchor tattoo’ is the simplest and most meaningful design one can go for. Today anchor tattoo designs are gaining a lot of popularity among the fairer sex. Such designs are mostly inked close to the ribs, shoulder, neck, chest/breast, ankle, hip region and back. Although nowadays it is also etched on thighs, arms, biceps, feet, wrist and fingers. The designs may vary from the simple anchor to a classy one with rope, ship wheel and compass. Also there are varieties of peculiar designs that can come along with anchor tattoo.

7. Wave Tattoo


A soul surfer will surely go for the ‘wave tattoo’ designs. It is one of the colourful and lively travel tattoo designs you will come across that holds crest of a wave, surfer and surfboard. Some typical wave tattoo designs will have a scene of a violent storm OR a silent sea with two dolphins and a sailboat.

8. Skyline Tattoo

Skyline Tattoo

One of the rarest travel tattoo designs is the Skyline tattoo. Amongst the people having ‘skyline tattoo’, the common designs are the skylines of New York City, Barcelona, Dubai, Manhattan and Chicago. Well… according to me if anyone is going to pick the skyline of one Indian city, then the Mumbai skyline is highly recommended to get inked on the chest OR from one shoulder blade to the other. A skyline tattoo signifies a traveller’s attachment to a city. So he can be termed a city lover.

9. Landscape Tattoo


This is one sort of travel tattoo design that usually exhibits a diversified landscape. Hardcore travellers, who are mostly passionate about the bountiful nature – mountains, lakes, waterfalls, rivers and forest – will obviously consider getting landscape tattoo. Moreover, nowadays landscape tattoo designs vary from lighthouse designs to highways. This sort of tattoo designs are also lively and colourful and mostly etched on the chest/breast area OR one shoulder blade to the other.

10. Globe Tattoo

Globe Tattoo

Perfect for amateurs, ‘globe tattoo’ is quite a common design that can extend from a simple outline to complex designs with world maps, latitude and longitude lines and polar points. A typical traveller will go for the globe tattoo design having ‘the world map delineating the voyages of Robinson Crusoe’ OR route maps of Christopher Colombus, Vasco Da Gama, James Cook and Amerigo Vespucci. But one can also go for globally popular tattoo designs along with travel compass, sail boat, air plane and popular landmarks like the Statue of Liberty from USA, Big Ben from UK, Eiffel Tower from Europe, Pyramids from Africa, Taj Mahal from India and Sydney Opera House from Australia. GHOSHH!!! That will be a detailed and tough one.

11. Landmark Tattoo


Landmark tattoo designs are often spotted on travellers keen for heritage landmarks like the Taj Mahal, India Gate OR Sun Temple from India; Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Leaning Tower of Pisa OR Colosseum from Europe; Great Wall of China, Petronas Towers from Malaysia OR Burj Khalifa from other Asian countries. Such ‘landmark tattoo’ designs are mostly complicated designs and require a skilled hand. A good ‘landmark tattoo’ design on one’s chest portion or back portion… depicts the artwork of a tattoo designer. Landmark Tattoo designs can also come with ‘compass tattoo designs’ and ‘road trip memories tattoo designs’.

12. Map Tattoo


A ‘map tattoo’ is also a common travel tattoo design nowadays that can range from a world map outline to any particular country’s map with its states. A world map tattoo design may be simple as an outline OR a complex and colourful one having outlines of countries with flags. Similarly a ‘map tattoo’ can also come with ‘compass tattoo designs’ and ‘globe tattoo designs’. It may also comprise designs of flags, airplane OR ocean cruise routes and coordinates.

13. Flag Tattoo

Flag Tattoo

It is one of the simplest travel tattoos that are very common nowadays. It signifies the traveller’s patriotism towards his/her own country OR if the person has etched a flag of some other country’s then that depicts his respect towards that particular country. A flag tattoo design may come with other travel tattoo designs like ‘map tattoo’, ‘globe tattoo’, ‘landmark tattoo’, ‘skyline tattoo’, ‘compass tattoo’, ‘route 66 honeymoon tattoo’, ‘travel quote tattoo’, ‘road trip memories tattoo’, ‘wanderlust tattoo’, and ‘coordinates tattoo’. A sole “Flag Tattoo” design is mostly etched on arms OR the shoulder area.

14. Airplane Tattoo

airplane tattoo

A painless one and hence a simple one is the Airplane Tattoo that is mostly inked on arms, finger, feet and ankle. One who is going for the complex one will go with ‘globe tattoo designs’, ‘landscape tattoo designs’ and ‘compass tattoo designs’.

15. Hot Air Balloon Tattoo


When you think of etching a unique travel tattoo design, the ‘hot air balloon tattoo’ may just knock your mind. A ‘hot air balloon tattoo’ may represent a variety of different things that often relates to our day to day life and on the other hand symbolic values. A ‘hot air balloon tattoo’ is one of the lively and colourful tattoo designs that one may try out with different colour patterns and add some cartoon characters OR stuffs like suitcases and cars. A typical ‘hot air balloon tattoo signifies a traveller’s freedom, uplifting, achievement, inspiration, flight, celebration and happiness. This sort of travel tattoo designs may come with ‘compass tattoo’, ‘landscape tattoo’, ‘skyline tattoo’ and ‘road trip memories tattoo’.

16. Route 66 Tattoo


It is a very uncommon tattoo… although ‘Route 66’ is a popular highway in America that is also known as Will Rogers Memorial Highway. Route 66 that covers a distance of 3,940 kilometers from Chicago to Santa Monica, was once a silk route used by those who migrated to the west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Well… when it comes to the TATS world today, ‘Route 66 Tattoo’ signifies a long journey or a pleasing road trip undertaken in any country or a traveller who is dreaming to go for such a road trip. Route 66 Tattoo is a typical travel tattoo that you will hardly come across but if you did… then you may see a detailed one like that of the ‘road trip memories tattoo’ design.

17. Travel Quote Tattoo

Travel Quote Tattoo

Travel Quote tattoo designs are a type of travel inspirational quotes that is mostly etched on the arms, shoulder region, ankle OR belly of a woman. It is very simple and easy to make.

18. Birds Tattoo

Birds Tattoo

A typical bird lover will go for such tattoo designs. It is very simple and easy to get etched with ‘bird tattoo’ designs but becomes complicated when one goes for a bird tattoo design along with skyline tattoo, landscape tattoo and wildlife tattoo.

19. Bicycle / Motor Bike Tattoo


It is a common travel tattoo design that, nowadays, is mostly seen on road runners, mountain bikers and cyclists. The Bicycle/ Motor Bike Tattoo may range from a simple design to a complex one with other travel tattoo designs like ‘road trip memories tattoo’ and ‘Route 66’. A ‘bicycle / motor bike tattoo’ design is mostly seen on a person’s biceps, arms OR extending from one shoulder plate to the other (if it’s a detailed one).

20. Ship Wheel Tattoo

Ship Wheel Tattoo

Another typical travel tattoo design that mostly fits a nautical lover is the ‘ship wheel tattoo’. Such types of tattoo designs came into being a long time back along with ‘travel compass tattoo’ and ‘pocket clock tattoo’. It was first discovered by the European sailors and later became popular to all the crazy travel nuts around. A ship wheel tattoo designs is also a simple one but can be complex when etched in details along with the sail boat as background, wave crest, sea storm and travel compass designs.

21. Sail Boat Tattoo


Another design that represents a nautical lover, fisherman and sailor… a ‘sail boat tattoo’ is one of the most echt and oldest tattoo designs. But over the years it became a popular one and can be found etched on bodies of all crazy travellers. A ‘sail boat tattoo’ design itself is a classy and complex one and can also come with travel tattoo designs like travel compass, wave, anchor, globe and ship wheel. It is mostly inked on the shoulder blade, chest and lower rib area.

22. Road Trip Memories Tattoo

Road Trip Memories Tattoo It is one of the most prominent travel tattoo designs that fit all travellers. The ‘road trip memories tattoo’ design usually represents a journey already undertaken OR going to start. It comprises all the memorable scenes and images of landmarks, hotels and people you come across. It is not that complex… but a detailed one can cover half of your body. It is generally etched from the chest to the waist OR shoulder blades to back. “Road Trip Memories Tattoo” designs often comprise most other travel tattoo designs that include the wildlife tattoo, landmark tattoo, hot air balloon tattoo, landscape tattoo, bicycle / motor bike tattoo and travel quote tattoo. Well… the Manali to Leh Jeep Safari, which is one of the top routes for jeep safari in India could be a perfect road trip memories tattoo.

23. Wanderlust Tattoo

Wanderlust Tattoo

Another simple design that goes well with women travellers… is the wanderlust tattoo. Wanderlust itself means an intense desire to travel and explore and hence it is one of the prominent travel tattoo designs you will come across. Wanderlust tattoo designs are usually etched in stylish English letters and along with it one can add tattoo designs of birds, ship wheel, anchor, motorbike, compass and more. Such tattoos can be etched on any part of the body but are mostly seen on the arms, wrist, shoulder blades, belly and breast.

24. Coordinates Tattoo


This is a very rare one. You will hardly find one having ‘coordinates Tattoo’, which usually signifies a code that can be of latitude and longitude of a particular place, airport, highway number, hotel address, vehicle number and travel dates. Such coordinates tattoo although can be noticed in ‘road trip memories tattoo’ designs.

25. Trekking/Mountaineering & Trekking tools Tattoo

Trekking/Mountaineering & Trekking tools Tattoo

This is quite a peculiar and typical one that depicts the mountain lovers. It displays any strenuous journey undertaken in the mountains… like mountaineering, peak climbing, trekking and hiking. Such tattoo designs also comprises trekking tools. Quite similar to ‘road trip memories tattoo’, the Trekking/Mountaineering & Trekking tools Tattoo may also carry a story behind it, which may be about conquering the summit of a peak OR peaks you have spotted during your trek. For a traveller, trekking in Manali and Ladakh region OR anywhere in the Indian Himalayan region… and the memories captured from the trip could be a better option for trekking/mountaineering & trekking tools tattoo.

Published: 22 Aug, 2014
Swairik Das


Brought up from the cultural capital of India, Kolkata, Swairik Das is a passionate traveller who seeks to travel and explore the length and breadth of the country. He is also a dedicated travel writer, blogger and photographer who by heart is also an adventure freak. His focus is mostly into exploring and writing on trekking, jungle safaris and several adventure activities; religion, festival, heritage, people and cuisine.

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