International travel can pose various risks to health, depending on the characteristics of both the traveller and the travel. Travellers may encounter sudden and significant changes in altitude, humidity, microbes, and temperature, which can result in ill-health. In addition, serious health risks may arise in areas where accommodation is of poor quality, hygiene and sanitation are inadequate, medical services are not well developed and clean water is unavailable. International travel is on the rise, as millions of people travel for professional, social, recreational and humanitarian purposes each year. All travellers must prepare for the variety of health risks they can be exposed to in unfamiliar environments before, during and after they travel. People planning to travel should seek advice on the potential hazards in their chosen destinations and understand how best to protect their health and minimize the risk of acquiring disease. Forward planning, appropriate preventive measures and careful precautions can protect the health of travellers, and minimize the risks of accident and of acquiring disease. Although the medical profession and the travel industry can provide extensive help and sound advice, it remains the traveller’s responsibility to seek information, to understand the risks involved and to take the necessary precautions to protect their health while travelling.