Lots of good info here, as a salesman on the wholesale side of the equation from the outdoor industry, I'll weigh-in.
For most travelers looking for a waterproof jacket, a 2.5-layer constructed jacket is perfectly fine, avg price is $99. Inexpensive to make, inexpensive to buy, packable, wide range of colors and styles available...well suited for going abroad. The technology across all the brands are the same: a basic, liquid applied polyurethane that stretches, and tends to breathe better than Gore-Tex in conditions above freezing. Most popular styles by a wide margin:
The North Face Venture
2-ply constructed garments are the most familiar; basically a waterproof jacket that has a hanging liner on the inside. Not terribly light or, packable, but a wide variety of textiles are used and you won't get that crunchy/crinkley sound or, sensation.
If you're insistent on a Gore-Tex shell, the technologies come in a several varieties, most useful and popular is PacLite, Active and ProShell. PacLite is Gore's competitive answer to the above mentioned company's 2.5L technologies: lightweight, packable & durable. Gore-Tex is a ePTFE laminate and will be heavier (we're talking grams here) compared those above BUT, will use nicer, more upscale textiles for the face fabric, so the hand is nicer and not as crunchy. The most popular of those styles:
Outdoor Research Foray
Arc'Teryx Beta SL
The North Face Dryzzle
Gore's Active laminate is mainly found in the running & backcountry activities, it's simply Gore-Tex laminate that's thinner than the standard Gore. Features like pockets are kept to a minimum as the intended use is for aerobic activities. I find Active suitable for travel however, most will not like it's spartan feature-set.
Pro Shell is 3-ply technology. It'll breathe and hold up, under all wet and cold conditions, mainly found in garments intended for mountaineering and skiing, durable but, packable. This technology is also prohibitively expensive, those garments using ProShell are using the top fabrics, the top zippers, very detailed in design piecing and overall a very well considered garment. Most people don't need a ProShell garment however, if you've got the funds and/or, want the best...
The lone exception to all of the above is in The North Face's Apex Flex-series of jackets. The secret hasn't been revealed but, there's much speculation to how it's constructed. Gore-Tex is inherently NOT stretchable, however, the fabric that is used, DOES stretch. The idea was to combine the soft feeling, stretchable properties of a soft-shell to the waterproof technology of Gore-Tex. Decades ago Arc'Teryx and Mountain Hardware tried to do this but, gave up after a few seasons of returns and warranty problems, TNF did it, and today the Apex Flex is one of the best selling rain jackets on the market. It is heavier than a 2.5L or, 3L, comes in around $225 and doesn't pack like a 2.5L BUT, admittedly is the most comfortable Gore-Tex jacket I've ever put-on and if you're wearing all the time, weight isn't an issue. No crunch, no crinkle, no feeling like a soaked potato chip, it's a very good option for an every-day rain jacket.