Nola, yes, there are lots of iPad models available now. The iPad that is available online from Apple is the iPad 4. It's a nicely sized screen, fast and an all round excellent device. The iPad mini is smaller, much lighter and thinner but just as fast and just as good quality.
The mini could easily slide into a handbag whereas the iPad 4 is a bit bigger (we carry it in a backpack). Both have an excellent camera and come with the same Apps preinstalled.
If you're travelling I would recommend getting a 64gb model as you're likely to want to take photos and movies and edit them on your new iPad. 64gigabytes is the largest capacity they make, and should give you enough space to store all your pix and vids.
If you want to be online while travelling you will want an iPad with cellular capability (so you can put a phone SIM card in and be connected via the mobile phone network).
I would not get an iPad 3 or 2 if you can get the iPad 4, as they are slower than the 4, but the iPad mini is even more portable than the 4 as it's smaller, but the 4 gives you MUCH more screen space for viewing.
It's all about physical size really, as the Mini and the 4 are both great devices.
I'll post a photo now of the two iPad models together on out Facebook page, so have a look at them.
And feel free to ask about anything else before you buy (or after), we're happy to help!