How I Travel: Allison Williams Thinks Bare Feet on Planes Should Be Illegal

In the new horror thriller M3GAN, Allison Williams plays an engineer at a toy company who creates a robotic doll that becomes a little too (homicidally) protective of the kid it’s been given to. The actor also executive produced the film, and is currently filming a new limited series in Toronto. Yet even as someone with a booked schedule, she finds it mystifying that people work during a flight. “I look around in the plane, and there are people who are just flying through their work! Their fingers are like, steaming, they’re writing emails, they’re doing spreadsheets, I just look at them in awe,” she laughs. “I’m staring at them, thinking, what would it be like to make good use of my time in the air?”

Allison Williams chatted with Condé Nast Traveler about the lighter way she spends flight time, as well as unforgettable trips she’s taken to South Africa and Peru, and the necessity of speedy room-service coffee delivery.

Her airport routine:

However early you’re allowed to be at an airport, I will be there. The idea of missing a flight is like… I can’t conjure in my imagination the sensation of, “Oops. I missed my flight.” I’ve never even come close. I have always been the first to board in whatever section I’m in. I’ve asked the people at the desk several times if we’re going to board on time. Part of this is that I’m a slightly nervous flier, even though I do it almost every week right now. I get there super early, go to the gate, make sure everything’s fine. Once I’ve made eye contact with people at the gate, I then go to a Cibo or Hudson News, where I’ll buy a gigantic bottle of water and snacks—I get sweet and savory, so my backpack is always full of three-quarter empty bags of Sour Patch Kids and gluten-free pretzels. They’re in my backpack as I’m talking to you! 

Her priorities when planning a vacation:

I like a mixture. Upon landing, totally guiltless vegging. I’m on a bed in direct sunlight doing nothing, reading occasionally, sleeping. And then, once I’ve acclimated to wherever we are, doing an actual deep dive, culturally learning about where we are, sightseeing, going to museums, etc. That’s my favorite combination.

How she spends flight time:

It depends. The flight from Newark to Toronto is usually an hour and 20 minutes. In my world, that’s about an episode of Bachelor in Paradise or The Bachelor. That’s what I do because it’s so short! If I’m reading a script, sometimes I can finish the whole script on that flight. Sometimes my brain needs to take a break. What I don’t do, most of the time, is join the Wi-Fi. I enjoy the time where I’m just unreachable and my inbox is frozen in time.

The best vacation she’s ever taken:

I went with my family to Kruger National Park and we stayed at three different lodges and got to experience safari. In terms of changing the way I see the world, that was up there. It’s hard to describe; it’s so humbling to just realize what a tiny piece of the world you are, just a small part of this vast machine that, by the way, with the airplane travel I’m talking about, we’re ruining. It is a profoundly moving, and obviously very privileged, experience to have. 

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