Background Information regarding the prevention and treatment of travelers’ diarrhea (TD) is available to the public from various sources, such as medical personnel, travel clinics, personal contacts, and the Internet. This type of information may help travelers avoid this illness or help those afflicted minimize its duration.

Methods We collected questionnaire data from 104 travelers at departure gates for flights to Mexico from Calgary, Alberta on their knowledge of symptoms and treatment of TD and food risks associated with this illness and sources of information used.

Results Almost half reported they received some information on travel-related diseases and on TD prior to the flight. When education level was controlled for, the mean score for people who had obtained information on TD was significantly higher than that for those who did not have such information. College or university-educated travelers scored better than did other travelers. A high proportion of travelers correctly identified risk levels associated with specific foods consumed during travel, and many recognize that they are at an increased risk of acquiring diarrheal illness while traveling in a developing country.

Conclusions Information on TD appears to improve the level of knowledge on its prevention and treatment among travelers from southern Alberta.