Air, sea and land transport networks continue to expand in reach, speed of travel and volume of passengers and goods carried. Pathogens and their vectors can now move further, faster and in greater numbers than ever before. Three important consequences of global transport network expansion are infectious disease pandemics, vector invasion events and vector-borne pathogen importation. This review briefly examines some of the important historical examples of these disease and vector movements, such as the global influenza pandemics, the devastating Anopheles gambiae invasion of Brazil and the recent increases in imported Plasmodium falciparum malaria cases. We then outline potential approaches for future studies of disease movement, focussing on vector invasion and vector-borne disease importation. Such approaches allow us to explore the potential implications of international air travel, shipping routes and other methods of transport on global pathogen and vector traffic.