Bedtime Story: 1-in-4 Grown Men Travel With a Stuffed Animal

Teddy bears and stuffed dogs are packed in businessmen's suitcases.

ByABC News
August 23, 2010, 5:23 PM

Aug. 24, 2010— -- When Scott Hardy hits the road, he always makes sure to leave room in his suitcase for his stuffed animal.

That's right, the 34-year-old businessman always travels with Barkley, a stuffed beagle. No, it's not for his two daughters. No he doesn't sleep with a nightlight and no he isn't smuggling drugs.

Seven years ago Hardy's then girlfriend, now wife, gave him the doggie as a reminder of her.

"I travel enough that it's a nice reminder of home," said Hardy who runs an online legal notice company, Top Class Actions.

Housekeepers like to put it on top of his pillow or prop it up prominently on the night stand.

Even when Hardy travels on an annual guys trip -- a beach trip to Mexico this year -- Barkley comes along.

"I've had some friends who are like, 'What's with the stuffed animal?'" the Phoenix-area man said. "It's just a reminder of my beautiful bride."

"Barkley stays in the suitcase when I'm home," Hardy added. "He only comes out for trips."

Hardy isn't the only adult traveling with a stuffed animal. In fact, as many as one in every four grown men might just have a teddy bear tucked away in their suitcase.

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How do we know this?

Well, in the last 12 months, British hotel chain Travelodge has reunited more than 75,000 bears with the owners. That's a lot of stuffed animals left at its 452 hotels in the United Kingdom and Spain. So the company decided to investigate a bit further.

Travelodge surveyed 6,000 Britons and discovered that 35 percent of adults admitted they sleep with their teddy because they found cuddling their bear comforting. Additionally, many said the calming feeling of a bear hug helped them lower their stress level after a hard day.

And it turns out that a large number of the bear-toting travelers are men.

Travelodge said that 25 percent of men reported they take their teddy bear away with them when going away on business. The stuffed animal supposedly reminds them of home and -- some say -- helps fill a cuddle-void left by distant partners.