We decided on two cameras, the Nikon P530 (42X zoom) and the P600 (60X zoom). These were affordable (one more so than the other) along with the advantage of their wide-ranging zoom lenses being integrated into the camera body (not removable--no sensor cleaning issues). I also wanted two similar cameras so we always had a backup, and for Lisa to have one in her bag so she could do a lot more shooting.
As it turned out, the choice was perfect for us. The bodies on these cameras are smaller--much smaller--than my hefty D7000 (a half pound difference!) Lisa could tuck hers into her "mule bag" and I fit mine comfortably into my messenger style camera bag (I didn't want to advertise my presence as "photographer"). We loved that these cameras were intuitive (even considering their wealth of menu controls) and easy to use; they were lightweight (becoming part of my hand via a wrist strap); and their "Super Zoom" lenses meant we didn't have to miss shots or carry a traditional DSLR with a variety of lenses (in the past, up to 8 lenses!)
There are currently two other Coolpix "Super Zoom" models I'd like to recommend:
Our P600 had a 60x zoom while the P530 had 42x range with both capturing 16 megapixel images. The newer Coolpix B700 ($447 on Amazon) also has a 60x zoom range, but bumps up the capture size to a whopping 20 megapixels with an added bonuses: it captures in RAW file format (this is the ultimate digital "negative" to capture) and 4K video. It offers a great combination for this price range.
Consider the Coolpix P900 ($559 on Amazon) as the B700's much larger cousin. Although it has only a 16 megapixel file size, it offers an amazing 83x zoom range (24-2000 mm equivalent)! With B700, you trade-off a higher zoom range for a larger file size (a great thing when zooming), and although the P900 has a lower file size, it affords a larger zoom capability. Just look at the what the P900 can do...
Personally speaking though, I'd go for more compact B700 with the larger file size. The 60x range of my P600 or with the B700 is plenty (35mm equivalent range of 24 – 1440mm) for most people, and for quality photos it's always better to have a larger file size. Keep in mind that if you do want to use the extreme end of these "Super Zoom" cameras to capture the highest, sharpest image possible, set the camera's ISO rating down low (under 200 for normal outdoor lighting) and use a tripod.
Here's an incredibly compact, sturdy, small-packing tripod that I highly recommend if you trying to save on space... the compact, folding Cullman Magnesit Copter (Click the Photo to see it on Amazon). It's great for propping up on stone walls, tables or vehicles for a steady platform. I upgraded the head on mine to a Giottos Mini-Ball Head.
You can also connect to compatible smart phones and tablets with Nikon's Snapbridge, sharing and editing photos or even controlling the camera with your device. And thankfully, these "Super Zooms" come with a vibration reduction feature to lessen motion blur when you're zoomed in (shut this feature off to prevent unnecessary battery drain when not needed.)
I personally see little use for the GPS feature. This has to be turned on from the menu and will tag photos with lat/long coordinates. Useful for posting photos on Panoramia and Google Earth, I suppose. It also has a feature which lists points of interest near your current location. Sorry, but I don't really need it to tell me that the Colosseum is nearby. I'd recommend keeping the GPS turned off until you really need it... it's a real battery drain.
The camera has a multitude of shooting modes for all levels of photographic expertise. If you want full manual control, you've got it. If you want full-auto, it's there too (and does an excellent job). If you prefer selecting Scene modes, here's a sampling:
Backlighting, Bird Watching, Beach, Black and White Copy, Close Up, Dusk/Dawn, Easy Panorama, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Moon, Museum, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Snow, Sports and Sunset. Scene Auto Selector is another option that analyzes the scene and selects the most appropriate one automatically.
That's about it... all you need to take fantastic photos and travel with with a new "Super Zoom" camera. Here's a tip though: If you are planning a trip in the near future and want to buy a new camera, make your purchase well in advance your Voyage--perhaps 2-3 months prior to departing. This will give you enough time to become fluent with all the features and settings of the camera. They are very powerful tools and can capture amazing images, if you just take the time to learn all of their functions.