Can I Travel with a New Piercing? A Guide to Piercing Care May 3, 2021 – Posted in: Default, Piercing Advice – Tags: , , , , ,

Traveling with a new piercing highlights:

  • When getting pierced while traveling, follow all of the same precautions as you would at home.
  • Take extra care of your piercing in hotels, buses, and planes.
  • Your metal piercing jewelry should not affect airport metal detectors.


When you go on the vacation of a lifetime, it’s natural to want a souvenir that’s a little more than a postcard or fridge magnet. Whether you want to get a piercing with a new friend or get pierced just so that you can say, “I got my nostril piercing in Vietnam,” you might find yourself longing for a piercing while on the road.

Just like at home, you need to make sure that you find a reputable piercer and are taking care of your new piercing. However, since you will be traveling, there are additional things that you need to consider in order to keep your new piercing healthy.

Here’s what you need to know about getting pierced on the road.

Person on a bus looking out the window

Photo by Milo Weiler on Unsplash

Do your research for a reputable piercer

Just because you’re in a new place doesn’t mean that the piercing studio should be any less hygienic than your piercing studio back home. Make sure that you take a look at past work they’ve done, check reviews, and that everything looks and smells clean. (You can find more information on how to find a reputable piercer here.)

The good news is that the Association of Piercing Professionals has members all over the world. When in doubt, try to find a place that has APP members on staff. 

Make sure that you continue to clean your jewelry every day

When you’re traveling, it’s easy to forego even some of the most basic hygiene habits, especially if you’re hopping from place to place. However, while you might be able to get away with wearing the same t-shirt two days in a row, you can’t get away with skipping your aftercare practices.

You should clean your piercing with a saline spray 2 – 3 times per day. An easy way to remember is to clean your jewelry every time you have a meal.

It might seem tedious, but with NeilMed’s fine mist aftercare spray, all you have to do is spray a cotton swab and gently wipe the front and back of your new piercing. Then, pat it dry with sterile gauze or clean paper towels. That’s it! Bonus: we also have a travel size that you can easily slip into your purse or carry on. We’re also found in locations all over the world, so you have the possibility of picking some up in multiple locations.

You can also buy NeilMed piercing aftercare here

Watch out for the linens in your accommodation

Linen cleanliness can be an issue even in the nicest of hotels. Often, they don’t have tons of time to clean the linens thoroughly, and they wash sheets and towels in bulk. Whether you’re staying in a hostel or hotel, do your new piercing a favor, and don’t trust the linens.

Instead, take a clean t-shirt to cover your pillow when you sleep if you have a new facial or ear piercing. You should do your best not to sleep on the piercing, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Your clean t-shirt keeps your piercing safe from any bacteria on the hotel pillow.

After you shower, don’t use the towel to dry your piercing. Instead, find a clean paper towel to gently dab your piercing dry.

No swimming or hot tubs with a new piercing

Vacations are the time to sit by the pool or enjoy a soak in a hot tub and forget about your troubles back home. If you decide to get a new piercing while you travel, then you’re giving up this aspect of your vacation.

It might be a good idea, then, to wait until the end of your travels to get a new piercing. You don’t want a brand-new belly ring to keep you away from the beach. Make sure that you keep your activities in mind when you get your piercing so that you don’t inadvertently ruin your vacation.

Be mindful when you fly or travel by train or bus

Germs abound in commercial travel. Even in plane travel, the staff doesn’t always have time to fully sanitize the seating area, leading to the spread of germs that can be harmful to your piercing.

Bring hand wipes to sanitize your area before you sit down. If you choose to go to sleep, make sure that you’re using your own pillow covered in a clean shirt or pillowcase. If your travel takes all day, make sure that you continue to clean your piercing when appropriate, and don’t touch your piercing with unclean hands.

(Psst… NeilMed’s Travel Size Piercing Aftercare is small enough to bring in your carry-on.)

Do piercings set off airport security metal detectors?

Short answer: probably not.

Quality piercing jewelry is made of materials that are unlikely to be picked up by the metal detectors used by security. Furthermore, they’re often small enough that they don’t raise an alarm. It’s similar to wearing an underwire bra or jeans with a zipper. Even heavily pierced people often walk through security without an issue.

However, it is possible that metal detectors might pick up your jewelry, and in this case, you need to know your rights. If you have a piercing in a sensitive area, like the nipples, you’re entitled to a private screening by security personnel of the gender of your choice. In the U.S., TSA has recently developed measures to safely and comfortably accommodate gender-neutral, non-binary, and trans passengers who require special screening as well

If you must take out your jewelry during this process, you should be the one to do it, not the security personnel. This is both for the safety of your piercing and out of respect for yourself. If you’re concerned, wear jewelry that you can easily remove by yourself, or switch out your metal body jewelry for non-metal options, like acrylic, as you travel. 


It’s more than possible to get a piercing while traveling, but you need to remain vigilant while you’re on vacation to make sure that your new piercing stays clean. If you can’t adhere to aftercare practices or keep your new piercing away from unclean surfaces, then wait until you come home. 

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