Good Camera Price Recommendation - SONY Nex-3N
I have used Sony nex-5 camera before and it takes wonderful photos. If you do not wish to carry the bulky DSLR on your trips, the Sony Nex series of cameras offer DSLR quality images in a lightweight and compact camera. This is because the Nex series uses a large image sensor almost similar to the entry levels DSLR and much larger compared to other higher end compact cameras (e.g. Canon S110) that are almost similar in price. In these days, size of image sensors are what it matters in producing quality images, it is no longer the megapixel count. If you want superior images, size of image sensors are what you should be considering instead of megapixel count.
Plus you have the option of changing lens on the Sony Nex camera like a DSLR, except that the lens are somewhat pricey and proprietary to the Sony Nex system only.
For this low price of $650 now, it comes with a 16-50mm lens which is sufficient to cover most of the angles you would be taking on a holiday trip, i.e. good for close ups portraits of people/animals/plants/interesting objects (50mm), near distance group photos as well as wide angled scenery (16mm).
If you are going for image quality without breaking your bank, this is a good camera to invest in. I am still using mine which was the first generation of Nex-5.