The prevention of infectious diseases by vaccination and by counselling about malaria prophylaxis is a central aspect of travel medicine. Besides mandatory vaccinations required for entry to certain countries various vaccinations may be indicated depending on destination and type of travel as well as on individual risks of the traveler. In addition, pre-travel counselling should always include a check-up of standard vaccinations. Protection against mosquito bites is the basis of malaria prophylaxis. The addition of chemoprophylaxis is warranted in high risk areas. When regular chemoprophylaxis is not applied it is recommended to carry an appropriate antimalarial drug which can be used for emergency stand-by treatment in case of unexplained fever and when medical attention is not available within 24 hours. Travelers should realize that self-treatment is a first-aid measure and that they should still seek medical advice as soon as possible.