Buying euros is an important part of planning a European vacation, because you cannot use American dollars in Europe. Euros are used in 12 of the 15 European Union nations, including France, Germany and Belgium. Buy euros at the right time and you'll get a good exchange rate, starting your vacation off on sound financial footing.
At Your Bank
Speak to your personal banker about your vacation. He will recommend buying a certain amount of euros from the bank before you leave. If you have an account with a bank, you can usually get euros at a very good rate. If you are buying euros at your bank, make your purchase at least two weeks before your trip, as it can take some time for some banks to get euros.
From Your Card
To avoid carrying a lot of cash, and to be assured of the best and most up-to-date exchange rate, you can buy euros with your ATM card when you arrive in Europe. As long as your card is a Cirrus card, you'll find plenty of ATMs in Europe that will accept it. Most Visa, MasterCard, American Express and other major credit card and bank card brands are Cirrus cards. You can use your card at any ATM and get Euros directly from your bank account, but keep in mind that your bank might assign fees to transactions done abroad.
As a last resort, you can buy euros at the airport when you arrive in Europe. This should only be done if you have no other way of getting euros. Airport kiosks and other money vendors will charge high prices to change money, so you would be better off using the other two strategies.