A quick thread update, I have not found Traveler's Checks very helpful. They were very difficult to cash in Colombia and they are almost worthless in the Philippines. Since I am headed next to the Philippines, I decided to sell them during the few weeks I am in the USA. I don't have a local bank account where I am currently located in the USA (as would be expected from most travelers). So I went to the bank (even the same bank branch) that issued me the traveler's checks some time ago, on a previous visit, and they would not cash them. Sorry, no account here, sir, we can't cash them even if you bought them here! I went to the next closest bank listed on American Express web site, sorry can't cash them here, no account! They both said the reason is that without an account they have "no recourse" (e.g., collecting the money from you later in case the checks turn out to be fraudulent) -- I think Traveler's Check fraud must have become more widespread.
Finally, the third bank cashed them for me (Citibank), mostly as a favor. I may never get Traveler's Checks again.
I did pick up the Pacsafe Travel Safe 100:
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products
Actually, I got two, one for a friend. I got a barely used one on Ebay ($35) and a new one for $40 including all costs from an obscure outfit called Tamper Seal: TSA Luggage Locks, TSA Locks, Luggage & Travel Supplies Free Shipping
I also tested xoom.com for sending money to someone overseas and it worked like a charm. It took about 4 hours from going to the web site until the friend picked up the money overseas. They take that time to approve the transaction. It gets faster as you use it more often. I plan to send money to myself next time.
I talked with the two relatives who would send me money in a crisis and already told them the personal information, something that only they and I would know, that I would share with them in a message in the event I needed money in an emergency. So they could be sure it was me.