MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.
The year is winding down, and the end of the coronavirus pandemic can’t come a day too soon. Unfortunately, that day likely won’t come with the new year; experts believe that COVID-19 may be here to stay for some time longer.
For months, travelers have had to rely either on their own research, on travel experts such as TPG or a combination of both to stay abreast of constantly changing coronavirus restrictions for entering country or state borders. Many international destinations now require negative COVID-19 tests before travel, while others also enforce curfews or additional requirements.
And with government mandates changing weekly in some cases, keeping up with coronavirus guidelines can be exhausting.
Related: A country-by-country guide to reopening
Enter DragonSlayer, a subscription-based membership that tells you exactly which countries and states are open to U.S. travelers right now — and what you’ll need to prepare to go there.
“Our mission is to provide both travelers and their trusted travel advisors with centralized, real-time information to regain the confidence to book their next trip,” DragonSlayer founder and CEO Peter Wells told TPG.
Related: A country-by-country guide to Caribbean reopenings
Primarily designed for travel agents, DragonSlayer’s database uses a proprietary algorithm called SAFE-T (Smart Analytics For Educating Travelers) to rank all 50 states as well as 124 countries to help travelers decide how safe they feel about visiting a potential destination.
Most useful for current-day travelers, DragonSlayer constantly scans for changing mandates regarding COVID-19, ensuring that you always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.
Interested in visiting New York City this fall? Chances are high that you will be subject to a 14-day quarantine if you enter from one of more than 30 states and territories that are on the Empire State’s current restricted list.
The DragonSlayer interface neatly displays a series of links to official government guidance on the matter, plus a categorized breakdown of restrictions for restaurant dining, public attractions, social distancing requirements and more.
But while COVID-19 is a current top focus, DragonSlayer doesn’t stop there. The tool also keeps members up to date on local unrest, areas of danger and many other types of safety concerns that travelers need to prepare for.
You can further filter countries and states by your personal comfort level with risk, whether COVID-19 related or otherwise. DragonSlayer customizes its destination recommendations, helpfully delineated with green, yellow or red risk scores, depending on your responses to a simple set of three multiple-choice ranking questions.
DragonSlayer is available as an app in the Google Play store, or via a mobile-enhanced Web version on iPhones (there is no Apple Store app equivalent). Although the system was built for travel agents, tech-savvy travel experts used to planning their own trips are also welcome.
Related: A complete guide to maximizing Google Flights
DragonSlayers, as members are called, are encouraged to share personal experiences with the DragonSlayer team and fellow travelers as well, to enhance the existing technology with additional crowd-sourced resources and tips.
Interested travelers can sign up for a 14-day free trial. After the trial expires, membership costs $9.99 per month.
Featured photo by Anna Tamila/Shutterstock.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.