Fresh produce in the back of the car in a cooler

9 Ways to Transport Frozen Food While Travelling in a Car


It can be difficult to keep your food frozen when traveling, especially if you're traveling long miles in remote places or camping outdoors. When the temperature rises, the food begins to thaw and rot. You don't want to get food poisoning while you're away from home. Fortunately, there are various options available to meet your cooling requirements.


Keeping Food Frozen When Traveling


How do you keep perishables fresh and frozen when traveling in a car? To find out, continue reading.


1) Pick a Cooler

 A person taking a red apple out of the blue cooler

Credit: fishysam


Foam chests are inexpensive and effective at keeping food cold, especially for shorter journeys. A sturdy cooler constructed of fiberglass or plastic is a more durable option for a long road trip or if you're going camping. 

Coolers are the best way to transport frozen food. They not only keep warm air out, but they also keep cold air in. There are options to choose from, but the best coolers can be distinguished by their insulation. The high-quality coolers are well-insulated, allowing them to keep the temperature stable for a long time.


2) Use Dry Ice Packs

 A dry ice pack from Nice Packs

Credit: Nice Packs


Regular ice melts fast, leaving a sloppy mess behind. This water will not only ruin your food, but it will also serve as a breeding ground for bacteria, causing your food to spoil even faster. Instead of using ice cubes in your cooler, use a dry ice pack from Nice Packs. These packs are designed to stay dry and do not create a mess when they melt. They're also much cooler than conventional ice and last much longer.

Place dry ice packs at the top of the cooler so that the cooler maintains a consistent temperature. As the cold air sinks, the cooler will continue to remain cold.


3) Use an Insulated Bag

 A black insulated bag with red trim that has food inside

Credit: zoodmall


If you don't have a cooler, cooler bags or insulated bags should suffice. They're also useful if you're short on space or don't have much food.

Once again, you want something durable to withstand the duration of your journey. Foods stored in poor-quality bags survive only a few hours, whereas high-quality bags packed with dry ice packs can keep food frozen for days.


4) Pack Wisely

 Some frozen produce in bags and containers

Credit: Stand Up Pouches


A useful tip is to pack frozen food into the cooler as soon as it comes out of the freezer. Consider using zip-lock bags or airtight Tupperware containers. They help in keeping the food dry. Moisture can cause food to spoil faster. 

Foods that defrost fast, such as chicken, should be packed separately in an insulated cooler bag. Before placing vegetables or greens in storage bags, they must first be wrapped in damp paper towels. This keeps them fresh for a longer period of time.


5) Keep Your Cooler Out of the Sun

 Reflective window blinds in a car window to keep out the heat.

Credit: Luna’s Nature


Make sure that you keep your insulated bag or cooler in a shady spot away from direct sunlight. Since the sun moves around while you travel, you may need to move them accordingly. Reflective window blinds can be used on hot days to reflect sunshine and heat, keeping your automobile cooler. 


6) Don’t Drain the Cooler

 A grey cooler full of ice and cold drinks

Credit: Travis Rainey


Avoid draining the cooler water even if the food thaws. The water will ensure that the food continues to remain cold. To avoid frozen foods from getting soggy, place them at the top of the cooler/insulation bag and place frozen water bottles and drinks at the bottom.


7) Use a Thermometer

 A silver thermometer to control the temperature

Credit: Coolview


Check the temperature inside the cooler insulated bag with a thermometer. This is a quick and easy way to keep your frozen items safe. Pick up a simple fridge thermometer and place it inside your insulated bag or cooler. It'll show you if you're at an acceptable temperature.


8) Make Sure Your Car Is Cool

 A grey cooler with black trim with fruit and drinks inside

Credit: Best Advisor


Keep your car as cool as possible. If your car is overheated, your food will melt faster. To avoid this, use your air conditioner to reduce the amount of hot air.

Remember to keep your cooler in the seating area of the car and not in the trunk, where it will heat up since it will be away from the air conditioning.


9) Pre-chill Your Insulated Bag and Cooler

 A white cooler with ice on the lid waiting to be put inside

Credit: Yeti


If left in a hot car, even a high-quality cooler with excellent insulation can trap heat. This could cause your ice to melt and your food to spoil.

Pre-chill your insulated bag/cooler at least one day before your journey. You can accomplish this by putting the entire cooler in the freezer if it fits. If it won't fit, buy ice blocks, dry ice packs, or gel packs and stuff them inside the cooler. Keep the cooler in an air-conditioned room away from any direct sunlight and your cooler will be pre-chilled and ready by the time you need to leave.




We hope that this article has given you some useful advice on how to keep food cold while traveling. Frozen food does not have to be difficult to transport. To keep your food fresh, all you need are a few critical things like proper containers and insulated bags and a bit of advance planning. If you follow our tips, you'll have no issue enjoying all of the food you packed for your special trip!