The Sony RX100 iv (buy it from Amazon) is a miraculous little camera. It's amazingly small, yet it has a fairly large sensor and a versatile zoom lens. It takes great pictures in just about any situation ... and you can fit it into your jeans pocket.
A good travel camera is all about being small and light. If it's big, you'll start leaving it in the hotel ... at that point, you might as well just keep using your iPhone (remember, it takes great pictures, too!). Beyond your smartphone, the Sony RX100 IV is the best combination of small size and high picture quality ever made.
If you want to learn more about photography, then get my favorite small DSLR. You'll get even better pictures for less money - but you'll also be carrying around a much bigger piece of equipment (and that's the smallest DSLR!) ... if you're getting into photography, you're still going to want to carry this Sony in your pocket (after all, why have just one camera?!?)
The cheapest option is not to travel with a standalone camera at all - just use your iPhone. It takes great pictures.
Otherwise, find the RX100 i, ii, and iii on Amazon. They're all great cameras, even if they're not the latest model.