Answered by The Fearless Shopper
Instead of carrying lots of cash, I always bring a couple of credit cards (for stores and hotels) and a bank debit card for cash. There are so many ATMs in most of the European countries—making travelers’ checks almost obsolete—that you can just take out what you need in the local currency as you need it. (You didn’t mention what countries you are going to, but not all the European countries use the euro.)
Unfortunately, the euro is at an all-time high against the dollar. So, like playing the stock market, it’s a risk. If you buy before you go, you might get a better conversion rate, but maybe you won’t. There’s no guarantee either way. Also, depending upon where you exchange your currency or use ATMs, be aware of the extra service charges that may exist. Shop around.
Check the exchange rates (at a bank or online) a bit closer to your departure to see how the euro to dollar is trending. If you need cash immediately upon your arrival, money machines are available at most major airports.
Have fun and stay safe.