Most people with body jewelry don’t think twice when traveling within the United States since piercings are prevalent stateside in nearly every area. That can change when you decide to travel internationally. Travelers who are considering an international journey typically take the time to research cultural norms and expectations as they pertain to food, behavior, and clothing.
Travelers with piercings need to take these considerations a step further, since the international location may have specific rules about body jewelry. While planning your trip, think about the culture of the country of travel plus the process of the travel itself and plan for any hiccups accordingly.
Airport Security and Customs
Individuals with multiple piercings, especially those whose types of piercings draw a lot of attention like facial piercings, need to consider the logistics of airport travel. Although many pierced travelers who have not flown before are worried about going through a metal detector, it is typically not an issue with the actual equipment.
Multiple piercings on the face can still be considered a stigma, especially in more conservative locations. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of possible additional screening, you could take out your jewelry and store it in your carry-on before the security check.
International travel involves passing through customs, which is a process that is daunting for even non-pierced travelers. Depending on the destination, a pierced traveler could run into problems while being cleared through customs. If your destination is open to piercings, it may not be an issue at all.
In countries that stigmatize piercings or where it is not commonplace to have piercing jewelry on the face, you may want to consider removing your jewelry while passing through customs. If your piercing is new and you are afraid the hole will close up, you can purchase clear, subtle retaining jewelry that will keep your piercing open.
Local Culture Awareness
Traveling to international destinations involves knowledge and respect for the local culture. In many cases, the local cultural norms are enforced for the individuals of that culture only and are not expected from the tourists. In others, especially in areas that are known for strong religious traditions, it is expected that residents and visitors alike will follow the rules for clothing and behavior.
Some cultures ban tattoos and piercings altogether, while others have one set of rules for men to follow and another for women. It’s important to do your research before you travel to an unfamiliar country since not following the rules could fall anywhere on the spectrum from frowned upon to illegal. Some areas will deny entry for individuals who are not in accordance with the local rules, so to make sure you are able to enjoy your destination keep retaining jewelry available or remove jewelry completely if necessary.
Consider Your Audience
Pierced travelers headed to impoverished areas should take into consideration that it is often inappropriate to wear flashy or expensive jewelry. Your piercings could fall into this category. In addition to possibly being considered disrespectful, in some areas wearing expensive items can be dangerous and set you up as a potential target.
Piercing Before Travel
If you have done your research about your destination and want to freshen up your look with a new piercing, drop by Almost Famous Body Piercing to select your perfect piece. If you know your location will involve the removal of some of your jewelry, ask about clear jewelry called “retainers” that will hold the hole open while being next to invisible or ask any questions you may have about your options while traveling. Drop by or contact Almost Famous Body Piercing to browse your options or check out the online gallery for ideas.