How to best carry and access your travel funds
Plastic and ATMs reign around much of the world now—this hotel in Milan, Italy, not only accepts credit cards, but will even process the payment in U.S. dollars (note: don't bother; the rate isn't as good).
Money makes the world go round—and will make your travels go smoothly, no matter in what form you carry it.. and here are the best methods, starting with the cheapest and easiest:
As much as this site is devoted to ways to travel to on the cheap, you gotta spend money at some point (though there is quite a lot of sightseeing you can do for free; see Europe for Free).
There's also a page on how to find a credit union, local bank, or other finanacial institution that will not charge you an arm and a leg in foreign trasnaction fees (and, as a bonus, will provide better, cheaper banking in your daily life back home as well).
This section will also cross over with the shopping section by giving you the skinny on getting VAT taxes refunded, dealing with U.S. Customs regulations, and figuring out when duty free shops are a good deal (not to mention everybody's favorite page in this section: how to haggle).