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My cat went on a Stuffed Toy Tour of Poland with Panda Tours! Travel agency for toys in Europe.

For me, 2015 has been all about voyage-voyage. It’s only September, and I’ve already flown to a dozen countries this year.

It’s too bad my Scottish Fold cat can’t travel with me… Basil Farrow always likes to look out the window, his round face full of curiosity.

However, thanks to an innovative tour company, he got to have a foreign adventure of his own. Read on to find out how Basil visited a country I’ve never been to, with a group of furry friends!

Basil and I got an intriguing “press trip” email from Panda Tours, a travel agency that creates vacations for toys. The owner, Agnieszka, offered to send one of my stuffed animals on a customized tour of Poland. 

Basil convinced Panda Tours that he’s a “plush kitty” (the above photos are proof enough) — so I put him in a box, and mailed him overseas. A few weeks later, Panda Tours emailed me to confirm he had arrived and was napping soundly.

And so, the journey began! I looked forward to waking up every morning and checking the PandaTours Instagram, where I could see Basil’s day-to-day activities. 

I’m usually the one posting updates from foreign countries, so it was fun to have the tables turnedI’m sure you will smile at these photos… so read on.  

The tour leader, a friendly panda bear, took my cat to off-the-beaten-path destinations all over Poland. Agnieszka writes, “After the arrival of Basil, we went to Skarzysko, a cute town south of Warsaw by the Kamienna river. Panda took Basil and friends to her country seat.”

“It was a very hot day, so they cooled off by eating fresh raspberries, currants and cherries. Basil met three new friends: the tour leader Panda, a dog called Pikus, and red Pluto.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the similarities with “human” group tours, complete with a welcome picnic and orientation. 

Panda Tours does a brilliant job at documenting the plush toy’s trip, with high quality photos and adorable poses. I was delighted to see Basil picking berries with the help of his tour guide!

The day continues with an educational detour. “We visited the White Eagle Museum (Polish: Muzeum im. Orła Białego), which has a large outdoor display of military equipment. Most of the aircraft dates back to the World War II period.”

I would have never known about the museum in Skarzysko, if it weren’t for this local tour company. Seeing Basil in the cockpit made me want to visit Poland for myself.

The day after we went to Krakow, which was the capitol of Poland from 1038 to 1569.”

Isn’t it adorable how Panda Tours dresses the toys in different costumes, and shows them riding the train?

While it may be strange to see a stuffed toy tour in action, the reaction is always positive. The company founder, Agnieszka, says people love to be in the photos (such as this street performer), and enjoy seeing the results on social media (@pandatours on Instagram).

This little girl probably wishes she could join the fuzzy tour!

“We saw The Cloth Hall (Polish: Sukiennice) in Cracow, once a center of international trade. At its height in the 15th century, traders from the East flocked here to exchange exotic goods.”

How adorable is Basil, posing in front of the historical trade hall? Panda Tours’ photos truly capture the joy of exploring a new city, and you almost forget that the clients are stuffed animals.

“On the way to the Old Town, we took some pictures with the iconic Roman Catholic church. St Mary’s Basilica was first built in the 13th century, in the Brick Gothic style. Every hour, a trumpet plays from the tallest tower.”

“We also took pictures in front of Adam Mickiewicz monument. He is regarded as the national poet in Poland.”

I laughed out loud at this image, since Basil really likes to eat! It seems even stuffed toys take photos of their food these days.

“Our last stop of the Krakow tour was the 14th century Wawel Castle. Panda told his group about the huge Main Building, and then led them home by Polish rail.”

“The day in Warsaw we spent was very intensive. First we went to the Old Town – the oldest part of the capital city – and like any tourist, we took photos under the Sigismund’s Column.”

“We also visited one of our favorite restaurants in Warsaw. Basil’s smile says everything.”

Such a quaint lunch spot. The images made me want to go to Poland and try local places like this.

“We went to the opening of the restaurant in the newly established club in Warsaw, called The View. If one day you will be in Warsaw you absolutely need to visit. It is situated on the 31rd floor, with wonderful views.”

Yes, they are wearing VIP wristbands and chains! So shiny, so chrome.

My mind is blown: the toys were featured as attendees of the Sunday Liquid Brunch.

I love how bystanders simply go along with the fantasy, serving them mojitos and engaging in conversation. I’m sure the ladies gave these two a lot of attention too.

“Finally, we took a spontaneous trip to Wladyslawowo, a town on the south coast of the Baltic Sea.” Panda Tours takes care to keep the toys clean, such as by seating them on towels.

This looks like a Facebook profile photo. Beach buddies for life.

“On the way back we also visited Gdynia, where Rasmentalism (the band that created Polish hop-soul music) played a concert on the beach. Basil lifted up his paw and aroused considerable interest among the fans and artists.”

Raising the roof — these wild-cats party harder than I do!

“As the sun set, they took a few goodbye pictures by the yachts, and finally returned to Warsaw.”

I think the photos speak for themselves — the stuffed toy tour was a success, full of new friends and memories!

How did Agnieszka begin this creative business? A few years ago, she found Panda in an Amsterdam shop. The bear became her favorite toy, and never left her bedside. Then, she acquired the vintage brown suitcase (which appears in the photos) at a charity auction organized by one of her favorite Polish musical groups, Rasmentalism.

One fateful day, Agnieszka saw a TV program about travelling with soft toys. She was already taking Panda on all her trips, and realized the meaningful possibilities. “Many tours for humans are too expensive, and some people can’t travel for reasons such as illnesses or physical restrictions. But they might have a fondness for a stuffed animal, and can experience the world through them instead.”

She says her clients love the whimsical photos, and learning about lifestyles in different countries. (I can vouch for this — I was smiling at all her updates, and discovered so much about Polish culture through Basil.)

Agnieszka began by taking her friends’ plush animals on Poland tours, and sharing their adventures on social media. Soon, more people discovered Panda Tours, and she expanded her itineraries to other European countries. 

“The cheapest tour costs US $35 with shipping, and it is a tour to Warsaw. We also offer trips around Europe, such as to Berlin, Norway and London. Panda Tours also offers a Double Tour: their stuffed animal will visit Warsaw and other city, such as Paris. This trip is longer than a day, and toys can see much more.”

Panda Tours also gives back by dedicating a special tour to students. “The toys help the children learn about geography, history and English in a creative way. For school classes, we offer low prices, and teachers can send one large parcel of toys to Warsaw. Kids loves cuddly animals like Panda, and track her steps on social media with pleasure.”

I asked her, what is the best part about running a toy travel agency?

“Working with Panda is fun and joyful thing to do. When I’m with the stuffed animals in public places, people’s reactions vary but are usually positive. Sometimes they have a stuffed animal with them, and ask if they could take pictures with Panda too.”

I’m excited to see Panda Tours keep on developing. The founder says, “We have customers from all over the world, and interest is rising day by day. People from Japan are especially interested in the Warsaw Museum of Chopin because they love his compositions.”

She’s full of passion for her company, and keen to create unique tours upon request. Panda Tours will also soon hold a competition, where you too can experience a stuffed animal tour — find out more on their Instagram (@pandatours) and Facebook.

Panda Tours puts such heart into each step of the tour. When Basil arrived home, the package came with custom tshirts, a DVD of photos, and souvenirs from Poland! I know I’ll be looking back at these memories and smiling every time.

After a long journey, Basil is ready for a bath and a long sleep.

But now, he’s looking out window again…  Where will Basil journey next? Perhaps you’ll find him taking selfies in a new country, if you check Panda Tours’ Instagram and Facebook!

Have you heard of “stuffed toy tours” before? Would you send your favorite mascot on a European vacation with Panda Tours

SHARE & COMMENT

38 Comments

  1. Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Hes so so so so so so cute!!! Weee!

  2. Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Amazeballs and i want to send my cat on a stuffed toys tour now….

    • Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      Check out Panda Tours, they have tons of options !

  3. Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Poland?? :) enjoy!

  4. Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    How sweet, Basil
    Squee!

  5. Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Love it

  6. Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    джентельмен

  7. Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    magical place

    • Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      I want to go to Poland now.

  8. Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    You’re really cute, basil :3

  9. Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Too cute, I love the heart shaped nose.
    Panda is a sweetie too.

  10. Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    LOVE IT

  11. Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    oh! Can witches join Panda tours also? XD

    • Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Hmmm, maybe stuffed witches can go? hehe

  12. Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    These pictures are purrrfect. So funny and cute!

    • Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      So happy you enjoyed this one!

  13. Posted September 16, 2015 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Sweet idea for toys to vacation hehe

  14. Posted September 16, 2015 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    That’s adorable.

  15. Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    VERY LOVELY..GREAT

  16. Posted September 16, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Awwwwwww! Panda Tours is what a cute idea.

    • Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      They are doing a fabulous job.

  17. Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    XD fat macaroon sideways paws!

  18. Posted September 18, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    That is so funny! What a great idea.

  19. Posted September 18, 2015 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    How cute!
    :)

  20. Posted September 18, 2015 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    There are lovely places all over the country… Enjoy your time there!

    • Posted September 18, 2015 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      He had a blast with his toy friends!

  21. Posted September 19, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    cool

  22. Posted September 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    J’ai conquérir le monde! – Basil

  23. Posted September 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    we are always happy to have you here ;)

  24. Posted September 21, 2015 at 4:57 am | Permalink

    This was stunning. I loved it. I just wonder if this should have been over on Basil’s blog- rather than yours. But I can’t quarrel about the effect of the post. Is it possible to hug and kiss a World-Wide Web article? If so – this is the article getting that treatment.

    • Posted September 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Ahh good point -I should update Basil’s blog. I have been so insanely busy, it’s been impossible to keep on updating it regularly. Glad you <3 the article!!

  25. Posted August 20, 2016 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Toys is looking amazing. I have passionate about that types of toys. I have always find that kind of toys, for More info @ http://www.dealbindaas.com/

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