Budget Travel, Queer Culture, Safety Tips, Travel

Ease Your Travel Fears With The Whym App

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Ease Your Travel Fears With The Whym App

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Earlier this week I discussed some of the best travel safety tips for LGBT travelers. In that article, I mentioned the whym app (intentionally lowercase). The idea of whym is simple they connect travelers to a real bilingual human within 60 seconds over a smartphone app.

 

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For LGBT travelers this app is an absolute MUST.

Many LGBT people’s worst fear is being the victim of a biased based crime. Now let’s toss in some additional travel elements to this and it’s the stuff of anxiety nightmares. BOOM you’re traveling in a country where they don’t speak the language… BOOM you don’t know how LGBT people are viewed in this culture…. BOOM you’re gender nonconforming and aren’t sure which gender is safest in that moment.

These are some of the biggest reasons LGBT people stick to the gayborhoods and countries that advertise heavily to the LGBT community. We have the general travel fears of any traveler and then we have identity specific fears.

So what do we do? We use every step that we can to take precaution and be prepared.  

One of those steps should be to download the whym app.

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The whym app is the LGBT travelers emergency tool kit.

 

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Even if it’s not an LGBT identity-based issue, the app is super useful in an emergency.

You’re lost in a city.

You’re sick and at the hospital.

You’ve been the victim of a crime and need help reporting.

The app enables anyone to access a professional interpreter at the tap of their smartphone. It’s actually pretty innovative in its simplicity.

Reaching a real life genuine human being is actually pretty difficult these days. Ever try to call Comcast? #CaseInPoint

I can’t remember the last time a company encouraged real human interaction let alone built their entire tech business model around it. With whym, you’re still in a shitty and stressful situation, but at least you understand what’s happening around you. The difference between understanding and not understanding can be pivotal in an emergency.

Whym interpreters are bound by a professional code of ethics. I reached out asking what kind of policies they have in place to support LGBT customers. They responded, “The ethics code for any professional interpreter is that interpreters will not discriminate in any way -this includes racial, gender identity/expression, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation – or let their own feelings/thoughts/opinions influence their translation. We expect, as we aim only to attach the best interpreters in the world to our service, that all of our interpreters follow this code of professionalism at all times.”

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At the end of the day, I prefer to be prepared for bias when it arises. Download whym in case of emergency. Being able to effectively communicate what is happening and having an interpreter explain the context is essential for LGBT travelers who experience bias at higher rates. You’re talking to a real person. You’re not typing words into your phone and trying to read out the translation without butchering their language. All around it’s a great tool to add to your kit when you’re abroad.

Now for the details

How much does this cost? whym for Android subscription costs $0.84 per month. whym for iOS is an annual subscription. It costs $14.62 a year and you will be sent a reminder to renew at the end of your subscription. Oh and good news, you don’t need data or wifi to use whym. What more info? Check out their FAQ.

 

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MOTIVATION

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9 Travel Destinations for the Young, Queer, and Broke

 

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LGBT CULTURE

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“When We Were Invisible”- The Fight for LGBT Equality in Peru

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TRAVEL

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40 safety tips for LGBT Travelers

 

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This blog post was made possible via a partnership with whym. As always, I only recommend products I truly love and would use myself.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Natalie Tanner at 4:11 am

    Wow! Wow! And Wow! This is simply brilliant! It is sad that the need is there, but thankfully human ingenuity and technology have met in the middle for this addition to ANY emergency kit. I will download for my family trips. You never know when it might come in handy. Thank you for sharing this really valuable tip!

  • Reply Television of Nomads at 4:34 am

    This is really amazing! I think this app can give a lot of peace of mind while traveling. One of the most difficult parts of traveling to an unfamiliar place is the language barrier, and this could really help with it. I’m happy to hear that the LGBT community can benefit from this, too! LGBT travelers deserve to travel the world without fear.

  • Reply Abbie Sue Bauer at 7:25 am

    What are the stats on that app?? how many people use it?? I would have loved that when I got lost in costa rica!! Safety is always a must so it’s great that things like this app are out there. How did you come across the app?

  • Reply Joaquim Miro at 10:18 am

    This app is really something else. I will def have to try it! I’d say its really for everyone though not just LGTB travellers 😉

  • Reply [email protected] at 9:58 pm

    Wow what a great app and very affordable! Any traveler can use this (and without data or wifi….woohoo!). Will check it out.

  • Reply Clare Colley at 10:50 pm

    Looks like a great app to have, just in case. You never know what situations you might find yourself in and if you don’t understand the language and can’t communicate then it would be a nightmare. Great that someone has thought up a solution 🙂

  • Reply CHRISTIE ✈︎travel photographer at 11:41 pm

    What a helpful app to have.. I love that with the technology we have today we can have things like that. Totally agree with what Joaquim says below also! And that Comcast statement… OMG. Don’t get me going on their customer service 😛

  • Reply Kathy James at 12:38 am

    It is so sad that people have problems with who other people are. It is so sad. I think it is brilliant to have an app which can connect people to each other. A great recommendation. Thanks.

  • Reply SydneyFashionHunter at 11:25 am

    Whym sounds like a fabulous app to have in your toolkit. I can see it being useful for all travellers not just LGBT. I’ll be sure to download it before my next trip.

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