Before buying a camera, it's important to decide what you wish to achieve with it. Are you going to print your photos? If so, are you going to print big? If not, you probably don't need a super high resolution camera. Unlike the early days, most cameras now have enough pixels that resolution isn't a real worry. For a travel camera, you may want to get one that has a long optical zoom range; we recommend at least a 5x zoom. DSLRs are great if you want the flexibility of having interchangeable lenses, the image quality that comes with a larger sensor, and you're able to live with their bigger body sizes. A good alternative is to get a compact, mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Such a camera is much smaller than a DSLR, but enjoys similar features, such as a large sensor and the ability to change lenses. Some mirrorless cameras are very close in size to point-and-shoot cameras.
If you're looking for a great compact you won't go wrong with the Canon PowerShot A3300IS, which combines great design with great performance. The PowerShot A3300 IS represents the high-end of Canon's budget series for the year, go one class higher and you have the premium performers like the PowerShot SX230 HS which cost more than $200 extra. Shoots 16MP with 5x optical zoom, a 3" LCD display and 28mm wide angle lens.
Not just one of the best compact cameras of 2010, the Canon PowerShot S95 is possibly one of the best digital compact cameras of all time. You should know that the S95's successor, the S100, has already been announced and should be on sale anytime soon (here's some early previews), but the S95 is still a good camera nevertheless (and now at a discount).
The Canon EOS 600D should appeal to enthusiasts looking for an easy to use DSLR camera in a reasonably-sized body. The camera handles well, is fast and responsive, takes great pictures and HD video, and has a gorgeous LCD screen which swivels. Shoots 18MP at a maximum speed of 3.7fps, full HD movie recording and has a 3" vari-angle LCD display.