I have a memory of myself as a small child—it must have been right before we headed out for a family vacation—having a somber talk with an array of teddy bears, stuffed pigs and polar bears. I carefully explained that I could only take one bear with me on the trip. Amidst the imagined tears and hysteria of those left behind, I frantically explained that teddy would write, he’d take pictures, he’d tag them in Facebook…all to no avail. (Just kidding about that Facebook part—it didn’t exist back then). If I could go back in time, I’d console those poor ragged beasts with one caveat: just wait twenty years, and Japan will come out with a travel agency for you guys.
In all seriousness though, this is a pretty sweet idea. Unagi Travel, which calls itself a “travel agency for stuffed animals,” has been leading these trips for the last three years. For the most part, the plush animals belong to physically impaired customers, who use the trips as a way of living through proxy. With trips under $55, it’s an affordable way to get out and “see” the world.
Gadling.com has interviews with some of the customers and more details about the trips themselves. This part warms my heart:
“And just in case your stuffed animal likes the element of surprise, there are mystery tours, where your stuffed friend takes off to an unknown location.”
What do you think? Would you send your teddy on a trip?