BACKGROUND The number of international travellers is currently estimated to exceed one billion annually. To address travel related health risks and facilitate risk reduction strategies, detailed knowledge of travellers' characteristics is important. METHOD In this cross-sectional study, data of a 20% sample of travellers visiting the Academic Medical Center (AMC) travel clinic Amsterdam from July 2011 to July 2012 was collected. Itineraries and protection versus exposure rates of preventable infectious diseases were mapped and reported according to STROBE guidelines. RESULTS 1749 travellers were included. South-Eastern Asia, South-America and West-Africa were most frequently visited. 26.2% of the population had pre-existing medical conditions (often cardiovascular). Young and VFR travellers had a longer median travel time (28 and 30 days) compared to the overall population (21 days). Young adult travellers were relatively often vaccinated against hepatitis B (43.9% vs. 20.5%, p < .001) and rabies (16.6% vs. 4.3%, p < .001). VFRs were less often vaccinated against hepatitis B (11.6% vs. 30.6%, p < .001) and rabies (1.3% vs. 9.0%, p .012) compared to non-VFR travellers. CONCLUSIONS Pre-travel guidelines were well adhered to. Young adult travellers had high-risk itineraries but were adequately protected. Improvement of hepatitis B and rabies protection would be desirable, specifically for VFRs.