Shelley and Andrew Green took an epic road-trip after their wedding in 2005 – here they share their plans to recreate the adventure for their 10 year anniversary
What made you decide to take a second honeymoon?
Our honeymoon was probably the most magical three weeks of our lives! We went on a 3,000-mile road trip around America's Deep South - we arrived in Miami, spent a bit of time in Orlando, over to New Orleans, up to Memphis, across to Nashville and Savannah, and finally back down to the Florida Keys. We've had holidays since, of course, but the feeling of total freedom; of being on the road and able to go wherever the mood took us, is something we've been looking forward to re-creating ever since. So in a couple of years, for our tenth anniversary, we're planning on re-tracing our steps.
How will it be different to the first honeymoon?
The biggest difference is that we now have two daughters to take with us. Our eldest, Zoë, will be nearly nine, and our youngest, Ava, will turn five while we're out there. They're good travellers, though, and we're sure they'll cope just fine! But nonetheless, we'll need to pace ourselves a bit more carefully. The first time around, we drove non-stop from Orlando to New Orleans - exhausting!
Especially with the kids, we'll definitely want to take a night's break. Our original visit to New Orleans came just weeks before Hurricane Katrina. The city and its people had been wonderful to us, and its determination to recover from the devastation has been nothing short of spectacular. We're looking forward to returning.
What do you have planned for your honeymoon?
We're all of us theme park junkies - Zoë in particular is utterly fearless when it comes to roller coasters and thrill rides. So we'll be certain to spend a lot of time in Orlando. We'll stay, as we did before, at the Hard Rock Hotel on the edge of Universal Studios, but this time we'll take in some of the action (SeaWorld, Wet n Wild, the Disney firework shows) that we missed before.
What do you think it makes it unique/ different to other honeymoons?
There's nothing quite like having everything you've got in the boot of the car, and hitting the road for a fresh adventure.
What are you looking forward to the most about your honeymoon?
A massive highlight of our first honeymoon was staying in a secluded log cabin high in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We might skip the heart-shaped bathtub this time, though. It was a short drive from there to Dollywood - a brilliant theme park we've been evangelising to Zoë for her whole life. We've been saving our return visit for our second honeymoon.
What tips would you give when planning a second honeymoon?
I guess it's about deciding what it is you're looking to recapture, and making your plans based on that. For us, we had so much fun last time round that the prospect of repeating that with our kids is just irresistible.
Shelley and Andrew funded their honeymoon by creating buy-our-honeymoon.com, which has since become the leading independent honeymoon gift list service in the UK.
Decide when you want to go: Most couples choose to take a second honeymoon to mark a special anniversary but you don't have to stick to a particular landmark - perhaps you've had a busy period at work or managed to save some money for a longer honeymoon than you managed the first time around.
Plan the details together: Think about what you both want to get out of the trip - whether that's re-creating your experience, trying out something new or just taking time to spend with each other. If either of you normally takes charge when it comes to planning a trip, step out of the role and do it together!
Go it alone or take family? For many couples taking a second honeymoon ten or 15 years after their first, deciding whether or not to have their kids in tow is probably the biggest decision to make. Think about why you're having a second honeymoon - is it to get a spark back in your marriage, to create new memories or just spent time together? Depending on what you want the honeymoon to be will help you decide if you want children, or teenagers, along for the ride.
Don't have too many expectations: It can be easy to get caught up in the romance and expect to have the same experience as you did as newly weds, but the reality might be quite different. That restaurant you fell in love with could have closed, the weather might be different or your favourite hotel fully booked. Just remember that a second honeymoon doesn't have to be a carbon copy of the first; half the fun is experiencing new things!
Looking for your perfect honeymoon? Try our honeymoon finder and search some of the best tour operators available.
Unique Honeymoons readers can save 10% on online purchases with Stanfords
Unique Honeymoons readers can save 5% on travel insurance with Insure & Go
Unique Honeymoon Ideas sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!