Finding the right accommodation for an enjoyable holiday can be a difficult task for anyone, but if you have obsessive compulsive disorder, the chances are you’ll find it even harder. Worrying about making the right choice can even make your OCD worse in the run-up to your break, so that it’s hard to relax when you get there. What can you do to resolve these problems? With the right planning, it might be easier than you think.
What Type of Accommodation?
When choosing your accommodation, the first thing to do is to think about the type of place you want to stay. Most people with OCD find camping or caravanning very difficult due to issues in relation to security, cleanliness, and the breaking of routines. This leaves two principal choices: self catering accommodation or a hotel.
Self catering accommodation has the advantage of being adaptable. You can usually rearrange things in it to suit your needs without the fear that they’ll be put back the way they were by a cleaner. It can also be comforting to know that no-one other than you and your group will enter the premises during your stay. On the other hand, it isn’t always as well maintained as hotel accommodation and looking after it will be your responsibility.
Staying in a hotel means that a lot of things will be taken care of for you, and you can demand a certain level of cleanliness, though you should be aware that this might still not meet high standards you set for yourself at home. As a rule, the more you pay, the more willing staff will be to adapt to your particular requirements. You will, however, be more exposed to other people’s scrutiny, which can be awkward if you have compulsions you’d rather weren’t seen.
Choosing Your Accommodation
Once you have decided on the type of accommodation you want, it’s time to start looking. Of course, what you see in a brochure won’t always match up to what you find when you arrive, so it’s often better to use familiar agencies you know you can rely on. Chain hotels can be helpful because their rooms and service provision are often standardised all around the world.
If you find it really difficult to get accommodation where you feel you can relax, try to arrive early at your destination so you have time to make changes as required. It’s even possible to travel around a place and view several possible pieces of accommodation before booking one at the last minute, but to get away with this you’ll have to travel during the off season and there’s still a risk that you could end up having to settle for a less appropriate place.
In making your choice, think about public areas as well as your room. Any good holiday accommodation provider should be willing to send you pictures on request. Make sure you can be comfortable with bathrooms and with public dining spaces. Remember that, if the latter are awkward, you can usually arrange to eat in your room.
Who Takes Responsibility?
For many people with OCD, one of the most difficult things about going on holiday is dealing with worry. Worries about the security of your home whilst you’re away can be alleviated by getting friends or family members to check on it for you. Worries about responsibility for your holiday accommodation can be harder to deal with.
If you’ve suffered from OCD for a long time, you’ll know that identifying such worries as irrational won’t make them go away. What can help, however, is understanding that, even in the worst case scenario, things can’t really go all that wrong. Holiday accommodation providers always have insurance to cover any loss or damages. What’s more, they frequently deal with careless and irresponsible guests, so even if you make mistakes you’ll probably seem great by comparison.
The other thing to remember is that your accommodation provider has a responsibility to you. They are required to make reasonable adjustments to work around difficulties relating to your condition. What’s more, it’s in their interests to make sure you have a good time, as that means you may come back or recommend them to your friends. It’s their business to help you relax, so accept their good intentions, set your worries aside, and enjoy your holiday.