'Small' and 'Light' are two words that help describe the ideal camera for the traveller, or at least the vast majority of us. And the current state of the art in digital compacts allows us to use one for almost any kind of 'snap' we could ever imagine, or even a camera-phone.
But what about those with more than a passing interest in the photographs they're taking, and when do you need something more capable?
The two other most popular categories of camera right now are Digital SLRs and 'bridge' cameras - those with an 'ultra'-zoom lens and whose size is typically between compact and DSLR.
SLRs used to be the preserve of professionals and enthusiasts, but diminishing sizes and prices have brought them into the reach of mere mortals, whether we need or understand all of their features or not. Ultimate image quality and interchangeable lenses are their two most important features.
A bridge camera is possibly the most flexible of all-rounders - at its heart is a compact camera, but with a versatile 10x, 12x (or more) zoom lens stuck on, the downside being that it won't slip into your pocket like a compact, so might be harder to hide when you need to.
I'd say your choice boils down to what you intend to do with your images once your travels are over. If all you'll ever need is something to record memories with, then a compact is perfect. A bridge (or ultrazoom) will give you more options and allow you to zoom right into a scene and capture more detail - remember though, animals and buildings don't care about privacy, but people might.
In the right hands, compacts and bridge cameras can produce spectacular results - even images capable of being used at large sizes or sold in various formats.
If you want the best quality and flexibility though, you should think seriously about a DSLR, especially if you have any thoughts of submitting images for publication. But be prepared to carry the extra weight and take more precautions with security and safety.