During the "Frog Days Of Summer", you may be out of town on vacation. And as that iconic TV commercial used to say, "Don't leave home without them". Without what? That was a line said by actor Karl Malden reminding people to make sure they always took travelers' checks on vacation or when out of town. Some of you may be asking, "What are travelers' checks"? 

Up until last year, I always went to my bank or credit union and purchased travelers' checks (or cheques as they say in Canada and England) to take on vacation. The advantage over cash was that if you lost them, you could stop payment on the checks, and then get new ones. Travelers' checks are still out there, but from what they tell me, fewer and fewer restaurants and retail stores accept them; some don't even know what they are.

Here's one of those classic American Express Travelers' Checks commercials from 1975, featuring Karl Malden, former star of the 1970s TV crime drama, "The Streets Of San Francisco".

So, this year on vacation, I will leave home without them. Thank goodness for plastic!