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Passport and ID? Check. Toiletries? Check. Swimwear? Check. A trip to the sunbed before jetting off on holiday? Great idea!

Have you been wondering about whether there are any benefits of using sunbeds before going on holiday? Perhaps you’re unsure about how many sunbed sessions you’ll need to top up your tan. Either way, take this as your sign to learn more about the process.

In this guide, we’re going to cover the benefits of using a sunbed before your holiday, how best to prepare and some practical tips for home tanning newbies.

6 benefits of hopping into sunbeds before the holiday

There’s a reason why the pre-holiday tan is a perennial topic of conversation among holidaymakers; we all want to look our best for these special occasions. In fact, according to the Sunbed Association, 38% of sunbed users take to the tanning beds in order to develop a pre-holiday tan. This means you’re not alone in your pining for a dewy, golden appearance.

But besides getting your glow on to cultivate healthy-looking skin, there are plenty of impressive benefits to using a sunbed as you’re about to find out.

1)      Look good, feel good

As you might expect, the primary benefit of using a sunbed before your holiday is to convey that healthy glow in your holiday snaps and feel both comfortable and beautiful in your own skin. According to research, people who are perceived by themselves and others as more attractive are more likely to feel more confident. In other words, when we look good, we feel good, which is all the more reason to try angling for the tan we always admired but were too hesitant to aim for.

2)      A high-maintenance look via a low-maintenance process

When compared to the copious amount of time required to maintain a consistent spray tan, sunbeds are the clear winner. Not only are they convenient (particularly when hired for use in the comfort of your own home) and straightforward to use, there’s no need to worry about your tan fading unevenly or to fit a lengthy, possibly messy process into your schedule.

With a sunbed rental, all you need to do is hire the right type of sunbed according to your preference and ensure you’re available for collection and delivery. The process of tanning itself takes mere minutes, so you can be wonderfully flexible.

3)      Tailor your tone

Another powerful advantage of tanning beds is their ability to allow you to control your skin tone. Modern sunbeds have been built with customisability at heart with specialised features for facial tanning, intensity controls, in-built fans and timers, which work towards a higher quality, safer tan.

This means that you can take it as slow and gentle as you want, or gradually build up to the deep tan you were envisioning. Of course, this latter example will take time – typically up to several weeks or months, depending on skin type.

4)      Keep skin conditions under control

One of the most famous advocates for home sunbed tanning is Kim Kardashian. The beauty world went into a frenzy when she revealed that she had a tanning bed in her office in a recent social media video.

When providing more context, she explained that she uses the device to help treat her psoriasis – a common method to help clear up the condition. Interestingly, she’s not alone, with many sunbed users opting for them as an alternative source of light or because they are too embarrassed to sunbathe in public due to their skin problem. Thus, sunbeds have the dual benefit of supporting skin treatment, restoring confidence on top of providing a lovely tan.

5)      A cost-effective way of making a bronzed appearance last

When compared to other methods of indoor tanning, hiring a sunbed for home use is one of the most economical ways to get golden. With the average cost of renting a sunbed being affordable and the results lasting up to 2 weeks and more (depending on skin tone), it’s certainly less expensive than regular spray tanning sessions.

6)      Avoid panic-tanning

Picture this: you’ve got to your holiday destination, but you feel so pale on arrival that the temptation to panic tan rears in the back of your mind. Obviously, this is a bad idea. Panic tanning often translates to panic burning, and it’s always unhealthy to suddenly expose your skin to high-intensity sun.

With a pre-holiday tan, it’s much easier to fight the urge to get a bit of colour on your limbs, and you can follow the regular advice – suncream, wide-brimmed hats and seeking shade between 10 am and 12 pm – without worrying about looking too pasty.

a woman using a sunbed before a holiday

Understanding the process

While these key motivations behind why so many people opt to use sunbeds before going on holiday are a drop in the ocean, it’s time to move on to the process.

For those unacquainted with tanning bed rental, it can look daunting from the outside perspective. But we promise you, the process isn’t as scary as these contraptions look – quite the opposite.


The key to safe and successful sunbed preparation lies in how you create your tanning program. After choosing your sunbed, you’ll need to think about:

  • How long to set your first session for – This will vary between skin types and whether you are a more seasoned sunbed user or beginner.
  • How to build up the duration of your sessions gradually over time – Typically, you can lengthen your sessions after you hit the 6th session milestone increments of a few minutes.
  • When is most convenient to hire your sunbed – If you’re topping up a tan, a few sessions the week before your trip will suffice, but if you’re starting from ground zero, it can take significantly longer.
  • Priming your skin with exfoliation, SPF and moisturiser – This will ensure a high-performance tan and keep you healthy.
  • Staying hydrated before your session – Hydrated skin tends to tan more evenly and effectively.


With all of the planning accounted for, you can begin to use the sunbed. For beginners, start with 1-3 minute periods and gradually build up to 4-8 minutes once you’ve been in the tanning bed at least eight times. Always leave 48 hours between sessions as this allows your skin the time to rest and rejuvenate.

No one is immune to overdoing it – so make sure you set a timer whenever you step / lie down into the tanning bed. Consistency is key.

If you’re uncertain about your timings, don’t hesitate to reach out to a specialist. They’ll be able to provide detailed advice tailored to your skin tone.


After you’ve completed your tanning make sure to look after your skin by locking in moisture with creams, gels and drinking plenty of water. We also suggest waiting a short while before showering as it will help your tan develop more deeply.

When you’re on holiday, you can also protect your skin by wearing light clothing that covers up the most vulnerable part of your body. This way you can create the illusion of your skin appearing darker thanks to the contrast and you can avoid the full intensity of the sun’s rays.

a woman on a beach enjoying the benefits of sunbeds before holiday

Sunbed safety tips and the “base tan” myth

There are numerous myths about skincare and tanning – for instance, many don’t realise that dark-skinned people need to take the same precautions as fair-skinned folks – so it would be remiss if we skipped over this part.

You’ve probably heard of the idea of a “base tan”. It’s pretty logical: before you make your way to the poolside resort, cultivating a tan ahead of time might help prevent burning, plus there’s the added benefit of looking the part when you arrive.

This is where you might be surprised. Dermatologists estimate a tan is the equivalent protection as wearing an SPF around level 4 (the lowest available.) On the scale of sun protection, this isn’t much. So when you travel further afield to say Majorca or Bali, this means you can’t rely on your existing tan to stay safe. You will still need to protect your skin with a high-performing suncream and take the following advice:

  • Use suncream liberally, or SPF 30 if you plan to be under the sun for most of the day, reapplying every two to three hours.
  • Wear protective clothing on hot days, including sunhats, glasses and long-sleeved pieces.
  • Stay out of the sun when it’s at its peak intensity.
  • Drink plenty of water and apply aftersun or moisturiser in the event that you catch the sun and end up burning.

The bottom line

From tan lines to the bottom line: Incorporating sunbed sessions into your pre-holiday preparations can offer numerous benefits, from achieving a natural tan to boosting your vitamin D levels.

By following these tips and tricks, you can safely and effectively enhance your glow before embarking on your travel plans. Remember, responsible tanning practices ensure that you not only look fabulous but also maintain the health and vitality of your skin in the long run.

So, why wait? Get ready to shine bright and make the most of every moment under the sun on your next holiday adventure. To learn more about how you can hire a sunbed at home, get in touch with our friendly team of professionals.