GUEST POST OVERVIEW: It’s probably been a decade since I last used a traveler’s check. ATMs are everywhere and they provide much more ease and better rates that checks. That’s why I find this new post by my buddy Travis so fascinating.


Traveler’s checks were once standard, and even considered required, for international travel. Instead of worrying about accessing your bank account or carrying around huge amounts of cash, you simply needed enough traveler’s checks for your trip.

However, they are an outdated and unsafe way to handle your cash whilst traveling. It’s time to leave the travelers checks behind – an ATM card is all you need. I’ve been traveling just with an ATM card for years and I’ll never look back.


Travelers Checks
I’ll be honest… I almost forgot what these looked like

. . .

Why You Should Never Touch Another Travelers Check

Let’s face it – checks are outdated. Whether we’re talking about traveler’s checks or standard bank account checks, they are no longer relevant in the modern world. In fact, I was about to travel to Korea with traveler’s checks until my friend pointed out there are much better options available. So, I thought about setting up an international bank account that would allow me to access my funds anywhere. Now I feel like I’m living in the modern world and not the 90s!

“I’m going to fax my travel agent some information before heading over to the bank to get some traveler’s checks!” Don’t be the traveler that lives in the past.

Not only are less and less businesses accepting these ancient notes, but they carry certain risks that can be easily avoided by relying on ATM cards instead. Imagine carrying around your entire traveling budget in traveler’s checks, and then losing them all. What do you do? Your only option is to cut your losses and have a friend wire you some money.


Regardless of where you are in the world, all ATMs speak English. (this one was in Taipei, Taiwan)
Regardless of where you are in the world, all ATMs speak English. (this one was in Taipei, Taiwan)

. . .

The Case for ATM Cards

ATM machines are appearing in even some of the most remote locations. From small villages throughout Thailand to the remote corners of Uruguay, ATM machines are found almost everywhere. Good luck trying to cash a travelers check in one of those places.

Many of them, especially those in popular vacation destinations, will accept any bank card from any country. Granted, you will be charged a usage fee, but you’ll have access to all of your finances from anywhere in the world.

If you lose your ATM card, what do you? You call your bank, let them know – and experience no loss of funds. Then, you just use an ATM card from your other bank or a credit card. Worst case scenario, you can have a friend wire you some money.


This ATM lets you withdraw gold in Dubai, UAE
Don’t want cash OR travelers checks? In Dubai, you can use an ATM card to withdraw gold bars!

. . .

Have More Than One Account

Before you embark on your travels, it is well worth opening up a second or third bank account just in case you do happen to lose your primary ATM card. Then, you can simply transfer funds from one account to the next. You should also consider specifically opening a bank account with an international bank, such as Lloyds TSB International. This will allow you to receive the best rates possible from your ATM withdrawals.

Let’s face the facts – there’s no reason to use traveler’s checks any longer. That’s like using a dial up connection on an eMachine – it just doesn’t make sense. Get with the times and travel solely with an ATM card or two. Because in the end, it’s the easiest and fastest way to get money!


The South Korean Won is valued at 1,131 to $1 at the time of writing this post
The South Korean Won is valued at 1,131 to $1 at the time of writing this post