Edward: They say free advice is sometimes worth what you pay for it, and this is free advice from someone/me who isn't an expert and isn't a financial consultant. Walking around on a trip with $8000 cash isn't something we've seen proposed here in the last year. If you do this, see Rick's why to wear a money-belt writeup Money Belt 101Note that the $ actually improved against the € in the last few days, from $1.59 to $1.564 interbank rate on Friday. If you'd bought €5000 a few days ago at the higher rate, under the assumption the dollar was going to keep falling between now and the time you go, you'd have already lost about $150. If you decide to carry $8000 around with you, what Mike said is important to think about. A bank may say they don't charge a "fee"--but the bottom line is, if the bank "buys" €5000 at the interbank rate of $1.564, they pay $7820, and if they turn around and sell the €5000 to you for more than $7820, the "spread" or difference is their profit. Now, they won't sell them to you for the interbank rate because that's the bank rate for $1 million transactions and you can't get that rate (assuming you don't have huge financial resources). You can't get the $1.564 rate, but by using your ATM card to get say €300 cash as you go, or your credit card to pay a hotel bill, you can today, if you were in Europe now, get the $1.564 rate + roughly 2% or 3%, let's say 3%, that would be $1.61. €5000 x 1.61 = $8050. Bottom line: If your bank buys currency at $7820 and sells to you for more than about $8050, you could get that rate yourself from ATM's when you're there--and you wouldn't have to carry $8000 cash around with you. (Note: this discussion excludes changes in the exchange rate between now and then to simplify the discussion).