About ATMs: A note about money and avoiding fees for international travelers
(ik its a lot to read but it can save some serious $$$ and headaches)
Tl;dr : Using ATMs, debit, and credit cards can be: 1. verrrry expensive, 2. absolutely free, or 3. somewhere in between. Do your research to find the cheapest option. Don't let the bank fees cost more than the trip. Younger people talk to your parents.
ATMs can be a great or terrible to get money abroad, depending on your account. For a lot of people the bank will charge both a fixed foreign ATM usage fee (like $5 per use) and a foreign transaction fee for some percent of the transaction (generally 1%-3%) on top of the fee the ATM itself charges. That can add up to be a lot of money really fast and for people with these accounts it can be a terrible way to get money.
GOOD NEWS: A bunch of banks (especially online banks and credit unions) have the perk of free ATM usage where they will refund any fees from the machine, and will even refund those fees internationally. If they are refunding the normal ATM fee they also shouldn't charge their own international usage fee, but most will still charge the small foreign transaction fee.
If you are lucky enough to have an account like this where you only have to pay, say 1% to use the atm, it could be MUCH cheaper than using a traditional currency conversion, and could be cheaper than the fees on a credit card as well. Check the terms on your bank account to see what charges you will face at a machine or by using the card at a store. This should be available online in the details of your account or by calling and asking.
Credit cards are a similar story. While you do not use a credit card at an atm, most cards will have the foreign transaction fee for anything you buy. Many premium and travel cards have no foreign fee at all, so if you have one, bring it. For most of you who probably don't have a credit card, talk with you parents about all of this. They can help you out and may know what the best option for you.
It all depends, personal example: the last time I went to Canada the cash exchange fee was huge, my credit card had a 3% fee in store, my debit had a 3% fee in store, but only 1% at ATMs and refunds all other associated fees. So my best option was to pay for everything with Canadian dollars I got from an ATM after I got to the country. My best friend would have been charged $8 plus 3% every time she used an ATM with her card.