Yep +whatever on the small Canon Powershots. What I'd suggest to a friend's kid travelling to Europe:
- wide angle lens. Try to get 24mm equivalent. Lots of Europe streets are tight and having a wide angle lens is better. 28mm equivalent is OK but
- don't obsess about 4x or greater zooms. I'll bet 90% of my best shots were taken at 70mm or shorter. So a zoom that goes from 24 - 120 would be fine. One that goes from 28 - 300 would be silly on a compact because as the zoom range gets bigger, the lens quality suffers more
- FEWER megapixels (10-12?) if at all possible. Fewer megapixels means each pixel captures more light, which is important for better night shots. AVOID 16+ MP. 20 MP is even crazier.
- if at all possible (but unlikely in the pocket camera range now) an optical viewfinder for sunny days when the sun washes out the screen and you're shooting blind
- a bigger than average sensor size. 1/1.7" if possible. Just remember sensor sizes are like fractions. 2/3 is bigger than 1/2.9
(see this diagram of sensor sizes)
Hmm, my wish list just described a Canon Powershot S110 - but it's $400.
Best Canon in your price range:
Good Nikon - bit more money but brighter lens means better night shots
Is your kid rough with gear, going to play on the water? A ruggedized Olympus or Panasonic might be a better bet but the optical quality is not as good as a plain compact P&S