We will be in Italy this November. Should I get some "walking around money" before I go? I think my bank has reasonable rates.
I know I take the risk of the Euro dropping or the dollar rising. Maybe I should wait until a closer time?
I know this question was asked a long time ago, but since it just recently pass the 10,000 view mark, it might help others in the same situation.
One thing I forgot to mention is that we arrived on a Sunday in Venice. Which made things a little more difficult because we had problems. We have TWO different ATM cards and I called BOTH banks and told them we would be in Italy during those times. Both banks said no problem! Got to Italy and our cards didn't work!!
OK, so I tried calling the bank's 24/hour service. Guess what? My AT&T phone also didn't work! I had called AT&T and told them my phone (and my wife's phone) would be in Italy during those times. "Sure! No problem!".
So we had no local currency. And our cards didn't work. By some lucky streak or something, my wife's phone did work. So we were able to call the banks and have them turn on the ATM cards.
Moral of the story...it was getting late on a Sunday and we didn't have cash or cards to get to our hotel. If I had taken 100 Euros or so, I could have at least paid a water taxi to take us to our hotel where we could have used their phone, etc. We got lucky...but it could have been worse. Next time, I'm paying the penalty and taking some walking-around money before we go.