What Allison Janney Can’t Travel Without


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Jake Michaels for The New York Times

With seven Emmy Awards to her credit, the actress Allison Janney is best known for her roles on “The West Wing” and “Masters of Sex” and her current turn as a recovering alcoholic with a dark sense of humor on the CBS comedy series “Mom.” She’s also starring, with Ellen Page, in the film “Tallulah,” to be released on July 29.

Ms. Janney travels most often for work, making the trip from her home in Los Angeles to New York. “I really could use a vacation,” she said. “I haven’t had one in a long time. When I think of vacation, I want to go somewhere warm where there’s a beach. I’ve been to Cabo a bunch of times, and I love to go there and just walk out of my room onto the beach,” she said, referring to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

For a less sunny holiday, she heads to England. “I have friends in London and I go whenever I can,” she said. “I go to the theater there every single night. I’m a big shopper, and that’s a great town to go shopping in. I always go to Gwyneth Paltrow’s site first to see where she shops in London, and then I go check out her suggestions. I love to find things, especially perfumes and lotions, that you can’t find anywhere else.”

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Allison Janney.

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Mike Windle/Getty Images

At the top of her list of “someday” vacation spots is Bora Bora. “The Emmys gifted me a four-night stay, but of course I have to find the time to do it. But I’ve always wanted to go there. If I can’t go far, I go to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and just unplug for a bit. Really, I never go on vacation, because of work, though I’m very happy to be working! But talk to me five or 10 years from now and you won’t be able to get me off the beach.”

Here’s what she packs on every trip.

Her handbag. “There’s always a big bag involved. Anna Faris [her “Mom” co-star] gave me this beautiful Chanel bag as a present. It’s huge, like a Mary Poppins bag. You put something in there and you’ll be lucky if you find it 10 years later.”

Young Living Essential Oil. “I like the ‘Valor’ and the ‘Thieves’ blends, to ward off germs on the plane. They come in teeny little bottles, so they’re great for traveling. And I take Kleenex to drop some on. This is disgusting to talk about, but people act like their gas doesn’t stink on the plane. So you need to bring some oil that’s strong enough to knock out any odors you don’t want to smell. The Kleenex does double duty because I always cry on planes. I don’t know if it’s fear of death or what, but I just feel this existential something. So it’s essential that I have Kleenex with me.”

Her iPhone, for music. “I love a good playlist for the airplane. Sometimes my music choices can be very odd. I’m really into Claptone right now. I like LCD Soundsystem. Or anything from Carole King, if I really want to lean into my cry.”

Susanne Kaufmann hand cream. “I usually bring a little tub of this hand lotion. It smells absolutely delicious, and I love to put it on all throughout the flight. It’s divine.”

A stack of paper. “I always bring a book, but I never read it because I’m usually looking at Elle Décor or Architectural Digest or cooking magazines. I usually have an NYT crossword puzzle from Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, which are the only ones I can do. Inevitably, there’s a script to read, or I’m learning lines.”

An extra pair of socks. “I don’t like to wear shoes when I travel, so I take off my shoes and put on a really comfortable pair of socks, like the cushy ones from Barefoot Dreams. A flight attendant friend told me he hates it when people take their shoes off on the plane, but I always think, you’ve got to know if you have clean feet or not! I would like to be the kind of person who would say, ‘I’m so sorry, but your feet are so stinky you must put your shoes back on.’ ”

Correction: July 11, 2016

An earlier version of this article partly misstated the name of an oil that Allison Janney carries to ward off germs. It is Young Living Essential Oils, not Young Loving.

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