If there were one tool I deem necessary for travel photography and outdoor shooting in general it would have to be a Polarizing filter. Polarizing filters work their magic by eliminating stray light and glare from reflective surfaces, which in turn greatly amplifies color saturation and allows for unobstructed views of whatever is lying beneath the ocean’s waves.
Polarizers come in 2 flavors – linear and circular. They look identical, but if you’re shooting with auto-focus lenses make sure you buy a circular Polarizing filter. Linear Polarizers are designed for manual focus lenses, and while they usually work with auto-focus lenses they have a habit of confusing AF mechanisms, which can ruin an otherwise perfect photo-op. Conversely, linear Polarizers can be used on manual or AF optics with equal results. (They otherwise look and work the same).