Subject: Re: Staying healthy on holiday
Good afternoon, Ziners - I know here in Canada one can visit their local health unit which has a section on "travel" and depending on where you're going, they will not only recommend what shots you should have, but provide immunization and I don't believe there is any charge. You do have to go 6-8 weeks before your holiday however.

We once traveled to Cuba and a medical doctor was part of our group. He told us that a lot of people get sick in tropical locations because 1) they are not following the same routine they do at home every day e.g. one possibly starts imbibing alcohol earlier or in a greater quantity and is also eating different food and drinking different water 2) we spend too much time in the sun right off the bat 3) sanitary conditions in the countries we are visiting and 4) we don't get enough rest.

We are great fans of Mexico - we sprinkle lime on everything we eat as we have been told it aids digestion and kills microbes in the intestines (don't know how true it is) and we stay healthy. We also wipe the rims of glasses and beer bottles with lime. My husband has always taken the position that it's safer to drink beer than water and that in any event, water rusts one's pipes (a sad attempt at humour to justify beer drinking!) Sanitary conditions in Mexico have improved dramatically since we started visiting the country and we don't take near the precautions we used to. Most hotels will provide you with drinking water and if they don't, ask for it.

As for winter vacations, friends of ours did a long stay in Portugal and loved it so that might be another area to suggest for an extended winter visit.

Pat in Chatham, Ontario