With currency exchange, invariably there's a few golden rules - the first to not be lured by 'commission free' offers on the High Street or in the airport. Don't have any warm fuzzy loyalty feelings towards your bank with currency exchange either.... they'll charge you the same as any 'joe bloggs' off the street that walks in.
So, as with anything financial, it's best to compare a few providers for currency exchange and give yourself plenty of time prior to needing the money!
Currency exchange deals
As a rule, High Street banks will look like they are offering preferential rates or even commission free deals, likewise building societies operate in a similar way. But this doesn't make them the cheapest nor the most convenient. There's quite a few alternatives for currency exchange that you may want to consider. For example, Bureaux de Change, travel agents and most often the best, the Post Office.
Also in this day of online trading, consider buying online with someone like Travelex and then get the money delivered to your home or even to pick up at the airport. One other thing you may want to consider.... Traveller's Cheques. Have you considered them?
One of the most secure ways of carrying 'money' you buy in the UK before you go and then when you need money abroad, you present with your passport and get local money back. A bit cumbersome and not as popular as credit cards or cash, but they are a lot safer in some ways and if you don't use them all, you can return with no fee (in some cases). Again compare a few places to order before you choose the best deals.
Probably the main benefit of travellers cheques is that if they're lost, you can report them and receive replacements in resort. Why not read our currency advice for more information on a range of topics relating to foreign currency.