Do you typically get foreign cash from your bank before you travel abroad, or do you wait until you arrive at your destination? Why?
My bank (BMO Harris Bank) in Wisconsin has Pounds, Euros, and Pesos in envelopes, like petty cash. If you need more than they have at any one time, it only takes a couple of days to get it. They always have the "freshest" versions of currency, and they'll buy back any paper notes you have left. Their exchange rates (IMO) are very fair. The hotel we stayed at in Wales had a large piggy bank at the front desk. Foreigners, checking out, would unload all their coins into it. I got lucky buying Pounds months before my trip: the dollar was at a high. When I was at the Manchester airport on the return leg from a wonderful RS photography tour of Wales, the Pound had recovered quite a bit and I ended up making enough money to more than cover all the fees involved in both sets of transactions!