Accessing Qantas QStreaming on Windows — June 6, 2016

Accessing Qantas QStreaming on Windows

There are a number of Qantas flights where you can stream movies and TV shows directly to your personal device via the Qantas QStreaming app. Unfortunately this app is only available on IOS and Android. So, if you are like me, and travel with a work computer/tablet – which is a Windows – you miss out.

Follow these steps to enable the QStreaming service on Windows (tested on Windows 8/10) – and you don’t even need an app – just your browser.

On board, connect to the “Q Streaming 1” or “Q Streaming 2” network.

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Once connected, open your browser. I have tested on Firefox and Internet Explorer – however it doesn’t work on Microsoft Edge.

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Your browser should automatically take you to the Qantas QStreaming home page – if it doesn’t – type in http://www.qstreaming.qantas.com.au/ in the web address window.

You can now browse and view anything and everything that is on the Qantas App.

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Note: The first time you try and watch a video it will download and install a player. This doesn’t need to be pre-downloaded and will happen when you start to view something.

Enjoy all Qantas has to offer – on any Windows device.

 

8 Solutions for bored children — February 11, 2015

8 Solutions for bored children

Having just had 2 primary school aged boys at home for 8 weeks over the summer/Christmas break, the following a few of the tricks that served me well. My boys are 9 and 6 years old, so the activities are probably better suited for younger kids rather than teenagers.

1. Treasure Hunt: I hit upon the simplest treasure hunt template, that can be used either outdoors or indoors. Get a sheet of paper and divide into 8 squares – easiest is to fold it half lengthways and then fold twice breadthways. In each square either write a random letter or a colour. The kids then have to find items that start with the particular letter or are that colour and then draw them in the square. You can make it as easy or complicated as you want and even allocate areas in the house where each kid can “hunt”. I have also sometimes, for older kids, put in simple maths, and then armed them with a ruler to find items that are of that length.

2. Chalk and Draw: A box of chalk goes a long way on a warm day with nothing much to do. Either get the kids to draw welcome messages to the driveway to the house, or do shadow drawing of each other. I, sometimes, get the kids to do alien drawings of themselves. One kid draws the outline of the other kid lying on the ground. The kid whose outline it is, then fills in the bits of the body. Being an alien the eyes and ears etc can go anywhere and can have as many. They can also draw antennae or zappers or contraptions and can keep them entertained for a while.

3. Cubby Houses: Good for cold or wet days – give the kids a bunch of blankets, pillows and cushions and let them create their own cubby/hideaway houses.

4. Cooking/Baking Together: Another good activity for wet days, is to bake together. My wife is a much better baker than me and includes the kids in making cookies, muffins, tarts etc. I usually get the kids involved in making meals – like putting the toppings on the pizza or helping mix and stir.

5.Board Games: Probably the most under utilised and under appreciated mode of entertainment in our house – but it can easily fill in a couple of hours. A game of monopoly or scrabble is entertaining for all.

6. Story Telling: This involves a lot of effort from the parents, however is a great way to spend a large part of the day. I get the kids to make up a story, one sentence at a time. I start it off with something innocuous like “Once upon a time there was a little boy called ZZZ”, and then the kids take over saying one sentence at a time. Usually I record the story on my phone and then after its told, I get them to draw pictures of the main bits of the story. Later in the day, we do a show for my wife, with the story being played from the phone and the kids holding up the pictures at the appropriate times.

7. Local Library: Australia is very lucky to have well stocked local public libraries all over the country. They are all free to join and have a collection of books for kids of all ages. A lot of them also run activities and story telling sessions during holidays.

8. Music and Dance: Probably the easiest of the lot, turn on some dancing music and put on your dancing shoes. Each child gets to dance solo and impress the others and at the end of each song, the best voted gets to pick the next song. The secondary advantage of this is that it tires out the kids as well.

Travelling with kids … 2 … The Destination — November 20, 2014

Travelling with kids … 2 … The Destination

As a follow up to my previous post on some tips on travelling with kids, this time I focus on some tips on how to deal with kids at the destination. These are some of the things we always try to do when travelling with our 3 little kids and it seems to work well for us

  1. Have a Home Base: The first time my wife and I travelled with our son (3 years old then), we planned out trip as if it were just the two of us. We travelled across the breadth of Switzerland, starting in St Moritz and ending in Geneva, spending one night in each location and sightseeing/travelling during the day. This was a terrible idea and we haven’t done it since. Now when we travel we usually stay a few days in one hotel and one location. We then do day trips or tours from here. This means the kids have a “home base” to come back to every night. It also provides some consistency during the trip.
  2. Plan for Down Days: While there is always the desire to plan as many activities as possible on every day of the holiday, plan to have some “down days”. Days when you don’t have any tour or activity planned and you can have a lazy breakfast, go to the park or just wander and recover.
  3. Find parks: Research your destination before you get there and find parks or play areas that might exist near your hotel. Some shopping centres have kids play areas too. This is a great activity to do during the down days, when the kids can just be kids and run around.
  4. Themed Restaurants: Try and find a couple of themed restaurants in every city you visit. These are great experiences and also allows you to have a unique dining restaurant. Some of the themed restaurants we have visited include Alices Teacup (New York), Charlie Brown Cafe (Hong Kong), Dragon Feast (Macau) etc.
  5. Kid Friendly Tours: Research the tours that you want to go on and find ones that are accommodating of kids. There are tour companies (like Paris Muse) that run kid themed tours, and their tour of Louvre was a highlight of our visit to Paris. Also look for tours that the kids will enjoy doing – like activity tours, themed tours etc. In our recent trip to Hong Kong we went to see Pink Dolphins, a food tour visiting various restaurants/cafes and a harbour boat cruise.
  6. Travel kids: Get the kids to keep a travel journal. This is a great way for them to spend a few minutes each morning to write about their highlights of the previous day. Our kids have started writing a journal from when they turn 5 and can write. There are travel diaries for little kids that you can buy from book stores that have questions and activities for each day and place to draw pictures etc. The older kids usually take a blank journal and write what they liked and enjoyed about each day. In our last trip, my 9 year old, who is obsessed with the “Diary of a Wimpy kid” series, wrote his journal titled “Diary of an Awesome Kid” with himself as the main character. It is a great memento of the trip and makes a great keepsake of the trip.
  7. Buffet Breakfast: Invest in a buffet breakfast for the family in whichever hotel you are staying in. Buffet breakfasts around the world have consistent foods like cereal, porridge, toast etc. Especially if you are travelling to exotic locations where the food is quite different, the breakfast buffet serves as comfort food. It is also handy to use the buffet to pack some snacks for the rest of the day – especially for little ones. In our last trip we would make a ham/cheese sandwich and take a boiled egg for the little one for a mid morning snack as we were out and about.
  8. Use Public Transport: Kids love buses, trains, trams, ferries, etc etc. Whereever possible use public transport, they will be entertained, and it will save you a lot of money than having to use a taxi/hire car everywhere.

The final tip is to always travel with baby wipes and a small towel – you just never know when you might need it. And anyone who has travelled with kids will tell you – you need it more than you realise 🙂

Happy Travels….

Travelling with kids — November 3, 2014

Travelling with kids

My wife and I have always loved to travel and we haven’t let having kids slow us down. As we live in Australia, travelling anywhere overseas (US or Europe) involves atleast one or two long haul flights. We have done numerous trips across Asia, Europe and the US with all three kids and following tips/strategies seem to have worked well for us.

1. Never travel with kids aged between 6 months and 2 years. Travelling with a baby is easy, as they fit in the bassinets on the plane and pretty much sleep the whole time. They are easy to manage and settle and just need food every few hours. Kids over two are again relatively easy as they can understand, and can be negotiated with. Also, they get their own seat making the flight a lot easier for all involved.

2. Toys and Entertainment. The older kids are usually entertained by the entertainment on board – however a couple of books or activity packs are always good to have. They are especially handy during take off and landing when the entertainment system might not be accessible.

For younger kids, get some cheap little toys from any toy store and wrap them individually in newspaper or wrapping paper. The first time we travelled with a 30 month old we took about 10 toys like tops, puzzles, cars, etc all individually wrapped. The wrapping makes it a surprise and also takes longer for them to unwrap. Little short books like the Mr Men or Thomas the Tank Engine series are also great to have.

3. Spare clothes. Always pack a spare set of clothes for the kids in your carry on baggage. You never know when a drink will be spilled or disaster will strike.

4. Long stopover. Flying to Europe from Australia usually requires two long haul flights – one to Singapore/Bangkok and the next to your final destination. We try and plan to have a long stopover whenever we can. After 8-10 hours on the plane, the kids are ready for a break. Also, airports are great as they are quite spacious and they all have some sort of a kids play area. A long stop over means they can play for a while and then you can have a proper meal in any of the airport cafes, before boarding for your next flight. If they are tired enough, they will fall asleep soon and give you a few hours of peace.

5. Prescription medicine. Finally, keep some kid friendly sedative or sleeping aid handy – speak to your doctor or pharmacist to recommend one. They usually work for kids over 2 years and we normally use it for overnight flights. We give the kids a dose as we board the plane and by the time we are in the air they are asleep. Make sure you test it at home before your trip as some sedatives could have the opposite effect….

6. Ear care. Kids struggle to pop their ears, particularly during landing, and this can cause a lot of discomfort. For tiny babies, breastfeeding or a bottle works best. For older kids have some sugar free lollypops handy as the sucking motion will pop their ears.

7. Food. Most airlines have special kids meals, and they bring them out right at the start of the meal service. However, it is prudent to have some snacks with you as well. Breakfast bars, dried fruit and biscuits/crackers are a great option. Stay away from chocolates or sugary drinks as you might not want to deal with a kid high on sugar in the air.

8. Prepare the kids. Before departing we always sit the kids down and tell them the route we will be taking, how long each flight is and so on. We also set some ground rules as to how long they can watch movies, when they need to rest etc. I also make sure that the kids are extra-polite to those sitting around us and to the cabin crew. You will be amazed how much help you get if you have kids who are well behaved and polite.

The bottom line is, don’t put off travelling because you have kids. We have taken our kids everywhere and they now love to travel as much as we do.

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