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Fresh produce in the back of the car in a cooler

9 Ways to Transport Frozen Food While Travelling in a Car


Keeping your food fresh and frozen during long journeys or outdoor camping adventures can be quite a challenge. As temperatures climb, the risk of your food thawing and spoiling increases, which is the last thing you want, especially when you're far from home. The thought of food poisoning in the middle of nowhere is daunting, to say the least. But don't worry, there are plenty of solutions to keep your food safe and cold.


how to transport frozen food while travelling in a car


How to Keep Food Frozen When Traveling?


How do you keep perishables fresh and frozen when traveling in a car? Scroll below to find out:


1) Pick the Right Cooler

 A person taking a red apple out of the blue cooler

Credit: fishysam


To make sure your food stays cold while you're driving, it's important to store it properly in the right cooler boxes. Your choice will depend on how long you'll be on the road and the weather. For short trips, foam chests are a cheap and effective option to keep things cold. But if you're going on a longer drive or camping, you should use a stronger cooler made of fiberglass or plastic.

If you're carrying frozen food, coolers are a great option to keep warm air out and cold air in. There are many kinds, but the best coolers can be differentiated by their insulation. The high-quality coolers are double insulated, allowing them to keep the temperature stable for a long time.


2) Use Dry Ice Packs in the Cooler

 A dry ice pack from Nice Packs

Credit: Nice Packs


Besides choosing the right cooler, you also need something to keep the temperature cool when you transport frozen food. 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, a good alternative to consider are dry ice packs, like those from Nice Packs. These packs stay dry and don't make a mess as 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 Instead

 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 or insulated bag 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. And if you're packing vegetables or greens in storage bags, wrap them in damp paper towels first. This keeps them fresh for longer.


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.

Remember to place your cooler or insulated bag in a spot where it's not in direct sunlight. As the sun changes position during your trip, you might need to shift them to keep them in the shade. To keep your car and cooler cool on sunny days, consider using reflective window blinds to reflect sunshine and heat.


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 or insulation bag and place any frozen water bottles and drinks at the bottom.


7) Use a Thermometer

 A silver thermometer to control the temperature

Credit: Coolview


It's a good idea to use a thermometer to check the temperature inside your cooler or insulated bag. This way, you can ensure your frozen items stay at a safe temperature. A basic fridge thermometer will do. Simply place it in your cooler or bag and routinely check on it.


8) Make Sure Your Car Is Cool

 A grey cooler with black trim with fruit and drinks inside

Credit: Best Advisor


To keep your food from melting too quickly, it's important to keep your car cool. If your car is overheated, your food will melt faster. To prevent this, turn on your air conditioner to reduce the hot air inside. Also, make sure to place your cooler in the seating area of the car, not in the trunk. The trunk tends to be hotter since it's away from the air conditioning, and that's not the last thing you want for your frozen items.


9) Pre-Chill Your Insulated Bag and Cooler

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

Credit: Yeti


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

To prevent this, pre-chill your insulated bag or cooler ahead of time, ideally a day before your trip. If it fits, you can place the entire cooler in the freezer. If not, use ice blocks, dry ice packs, or gel packs and put them inside the cooler. Keep the cooler in an air-conditioned room away from any direct sunlight. This way, 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!

And don't forget, for the ultimate solution in keeping your food cold, consider using Nice Packs' dry ice packs. They're a game-changer in maintaining freshness and eliminating mess. Shop with us today.



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