I actually think, happysmileylady, that your situation is absolutely on topic. The topic is about utilizing credit and your dd is a perfect example where it makes sense, but because of your rabid aversion, she is likely going to be the one that will "pay" the price. This, IME, is an example where people who refuse to utilize credit responsibly (*not debt... this is not about spending money you don't have, but the means of spending money you do*) hurt themselves in the end because of a distorted mindset about not using cash. Many people here have told you the following things:
- it will be difficult to cash the traveler's checks
- she will pay a hefty fee to use them
- they are not widely accepted anymore
- she will have to cash them at banks (and in Europe they can be hard to find and are open odd hours)
- she will have to separate from her group to get cash frequently and have a chaperon along
- she's probably going to figure out that it's best to just cash them all in at once and keep the cash handy, anyway
- other forms of currency can also be replaced quickly
- traveler's checks are not necessarily replaced in 24 hours. It can take up to 3 days
- the chaperons will have to deal with the issues, not you
I cannot wrap my head around why you are so opposed to using something like a pre-paid visa - it's no different than using a traveler's check, except it's accepted almost everywhere! You said that your dd was the most responsible 15 year old you know. You said she is responsible with money. Why do you insist that she is going to lose her money when she's over there, then? That seems to be your one and only reason for using traveler's checks - they can be replaced. If she's so responsible, she can be trusted with a debit card or pre-paid visa. Let her decide.
ETA: I just got off the phone with another parent from dd's school. (She attends an International language-immersion school.) My friend's son is about to go on the 5th grade trip abroad with the class. When I asked my friend about traveler's checks, she said that they are not allowed to bring them because of the difficulty using them and the time that it takes just to convert to cash. You might want to first check if she is even allowed to bring them.