Just back from a week (including 2 days in DC). Thanks to everyone who helped on this forum, you may not even know you did! and for the questions I had which were all answered and much appreciated.
From spending months on this forum, I've picked up loads of things and instead of a probably boring trip report, ill give a view points about things I didn't pick up here that might help others.
- If you're taking the AirTrain in from JFK, make sure to have some small notes before. (We had all 20's) and don't forget. you pay to exit at Jamaica and then buy your MetroCard downstairs at the subway station. (The 00000 trick for your zip code works perfectly)
- Don't expect a dream New York taxi ride. Out of about 6 taxi rides, 5 of them were very rude and I felt robbed tipping them. The drive itself can be very uncomfortable and traffic in New York does not move!!
- Take the advise of locals when it comes to food on this forum and you can get some great food ! ( I would certainly recommend 5 napkin burger or Del Friscos)
- If you want to shop I would go somewhere like Jersey Gardens (very easy to get to via bus 111 from Port Authority) where we went as shopping in the city can be very unproductive.
- To anyone taking Amtrak from Penn, I loved it. Very easy and comfortable. You will have no problems.
- The subway is narrow and confusing so bring a map, it helped a lot. Also, the trains are a lot slower than the tube in London, I found.
- 9/11 museum was a fantastic moving tribute but to really appreciate it, leave three hours or more especially if including the memorial as well.
Hopefully someone might find one of my comments helpful at least! Had a fantastic time and thanks again to everyone who helped in my planning, you all are fantastic for the NYC tourism :)