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Converting dollars to euros in the States before trip?

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Everything is coming together and we're almost ready for next week's departure. The exchange rate today is 1 dollar to 1.11 euro. My dad went to our local bank here in New York City and paid 1,547 dollars for 1300 euro. That's a hefty commission. Almost 100 dollars. He thought he would get a better deal at home, but that doesn't sound so great to me.

Do most of you convert your money in Europe? Or do you do it in the States? We'll be in Barcelona, Rome, and Sorrento. I've always recalled that it was a much heftier commission doing it at our hotels etc.

Will restaurants/ taxis even accept American dollars? I usually like to arrive in the country with some of their currency and convert more as I need it.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

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