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

We peek into the airport routines and bizarre quirks of the world's most well-traveled people.

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. 

A place that she’ll never forget:

I got to go to Peru and visit many parts of the country. When I was in college, I studied the Inca culture quite a bit, took a lot of anthropology classes. To get to Peru and actually see what they made and what they built and be able to see Saqsaywamán and Machu Picchu; to see the domes in person that have stood the test of time. And then go to Lake Titicaca, which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been—that was an unbelievable trip. I absolutely love Peru. 

The place she could return to a million times and not tire of it:

There's a lot of answers to this. Everywhere I go. The big joke in my family is that I always say, “I could live here.” They're like, “You could not.” But I always think I could! There is a ranch outside of Bozeman in Montana that I grew up going to that I just love. I could go there an infinite amount of times and never get sick of it. It's just so beautiful, a gorgeous part of the world.

Her travel pet peeves:

Bare feet. Illegal! I should never see your toes, ever. If I don't know you, I don't need to know what your toes look like. Now, I understand flip flops are a necessity in warm climates. We get it. Do not put your naked foot on any chair surface. My other pet peeve is the naked droplet [from a] cough into the air, in 2023. We know now! We've all seen the diagrams of where the droplets go. Wear a mask. It's like, don't make me turn around and passive aggressively look at you after you cough and then put a mask on. But bare feet, I will get nauseous. We’re not flying in suits anymore, I get it, it’s not the ‘60s, but a foot covering is all I ask. 

The best hotel she’s ever stayed in:

Amangiri. Let me be the first to say [Williams says with a wink], Amangiri is an extraordinary hotel that I've been lucky enough to stay at a few times. It's very aspirational, as they say. It kind of feels like you're on Mars. It's so minimalist and yet cozy at the same time, and it really feels like you're away from anything familiar. You can go into caves, go hiking, horseback riding. And you can also do nothing. It’s so beautiful that it's calming.

An aspect of hotels she cares a lot about:

The speed at which you can bring me coffee in the morning is one of the only things that matter. Am I calling down for a pot of coffee and it's a 45-minute endeavor, or am I barely hanging up the phone and it's showing up? That's a five-star hotel in my book. Pretty crucial. Other than that, I really only take baths in hotels, so if a hotel has a nice, big bath, I'll take a bath. And not-super loud doors. I hate being woken up by the sound of someone else opening a door.