Tired Teddies Take Bavarian Break


Everyone needs a vacation from time to time, so why should your loyal bedtime companion -- teddy bear or otherwise -- be any different? Exactly, thought one German couple, who have started a unique business.

Teddy bears are hard workers. Whatever you're going through -- illness, exams, unrequited love -- your teddy is always there, ready for a cuddle. Their quiet stoicism deserves a reward, say German entrepreneurs Christopher Böhm and Elke Verheugen. And they've got just the thing -- a nice, relaxing vacation in the Bavarian capital, Munich.

"Often, bears or other stuffed toys have gone through a lot," Böhm said. "They've been squashed, their ears have been chewed, or they've got a small tear along a seam. A vacation is a great opportunity for those button-eyes to see something different for a change."

For a fee, Böhm and Verheugen will host your favorite toy in their Munich apartment for a week. And there's no need to worry about Teddy's wellbeing during his stay.

The couple have worked out an action-packed itinerary that includes sightseeing, game evenings, a visit to a beer garden, and a mini language course to become acquainted with the local lingo.

Other activities are chosen according to the bear's personality, and include things such as fishing, golfing, painting, or for the more adventurous type, bungee jumping and paragliding.

A photo album documenting your bear's vacation is included in the price, which ranges from 99 euros ($122) for bears from Germany, to 149 euros for toys travelling from overseas.

Böhm says Teddy-in-Munich's main clientele are women between the ages of 30 and 60. And business seems to be booming -- around every four weeks, the couple hosts a tour group of between eight to 12 toys.

"The people like this crazy business," Böhm said.