Exchange rates from home
For convenience, I wanted to have some cash in my pocket when I arrived in Europe. I know that the ATMs and exchange companies at the airport and train station don't give very good rates. My first 2 countries do not use the Euro, so that means I would have to exchange cash 3 times in my first 3 countries: Swedish Kronor, Danish Kroner, and Euros. So I decided to get some cash before I left. That might not have been a good idea. I got some pretty bad rates here.
There's a good tool called x-rates.com. They will tell you what the exchange rates were on any day in the past. I compared it to what I got from the bank. I paid something like 7% more.
Not only that, I think I got screwed a bit by the bank. My first attempt was at the Bank of Oklahoma in downtown. They said I had to be a member, which I'm not, otherwise pay a $5 fee. I didn't have the cash on me to exchange anyway. So I went with a friend who is a member to a different branch. This time, they said that there would be a $10 fee if I didn't exchange more than $250. The more I spend with them, the more I use their bad rate and the more money they make.
Maybe I saved some time and hassle by getting the cash here, but next time I think I may just wing it and just go and get cash when I get there.