For a given aperture, reflectors (which gather light using a mirror at the bottom of the main tube) are generally the least expensive of the three basic designs, but they’re also the largest and require periodic adjustment of their optical alignment especially if they’re moved around a lot. Refractors (which have a lens at the front of the tube) have somewhat greater ruggedness and maintenance-free optics, but they get expensive fast as the aperture increases. Compound or catadioptric telescopes, which use a combination of lenses and mirrors, offer compact tubes and relatively light weight; two popular designs are called Schmidt-Cassegrains and Maksutov-Cassegrains.
But beware: A tripod that’s good enough for taking family snapshots may be too wobbly for astronomy. As a very rough rule of thumb, a photo tripod will support its own weight nicely when used for astronomy. If the tripod weighs more than the scope, that’s better still I even try for a weight ratio of 2:1 or more if possible. And while a common photo tripod might work well with smaller scopes, once the aperture hits 3 inches and larger, you'll probably need a specialty telescope mount to get enough steadiness. Here’s another consideration: the higher powers afforded by compound telescopes require even more steadiness and thus a sturdier mount which may negate the size advantage of their compact tubes.
Finally, remember to leave room for your accessories: eyepieces, extra batteries, any tools needed, your star atlas and sky guidebook, notebook, pencils, and a dim red flashlight so you won’t ruin your night vision. Many manufacturers make custom cases for their telescopes, often with spaces for accessories.
When sorting through all these possibilities, remember that a small telescope that gets used often will show you more than a large one that gathers dust in the garage waiting for that perfect night when you have lots of time. This is especially true of a travelscope. A small, lightweight scope will tend to get used more. And the less setup you have to do, the better. Best of all is a telescope that can be packed and picked up in one piece with one hand.
On the other hand, if you're planning on staying someplace for a while, forget about packing a scope and ship it instead! Most hotels will hold packages for you at the front desk. If you’re going to a remote location, try shipping to one of those packaging stores (like the "UPS Store"); these will generally receive and hold packages for a small fee, if any. This way you can ship a larger scope than you’d be able to carry on a plane and saves the hassle of dealing with large cartons at airports (and unpacking and explaining a strange metal tube to airport security). Be sure to save all the packaging that your scope arrives in you’ll have a ready-made shipping container if the need arises.