Rates are still pretty low for consolidation, I think. At least, I keep getting mailers about consolidating, even though I can't consolidate any further.
I had LASIK in 2001. Best thing I ever did, though I'd been wearing glasses, and thick ones at that, since kindergarten. I didn't have any money saved for it either, so I used my employers FSA to pay for it. It gave me a tax shelter and allowed me to pay for the surgery over time, since at that time I could take out the entire accrued account and replenish it through my paychecks. If you have any option like that, I would definitely recommend it.
Think through the travellers cheques thing. They have fees involved too, and if your account earns interest the time that the money is tied up on the cheques will cost you something as well.