How to Keep Food Frozen While Traveling

When going on a long vacation or a short trip if you want to carry frozen food then the first and common question that comes to your mind is how do I keep the food frozen while traveling? Well, to ensure your frozen food remains frozen and safe throughout your travels you need some tips and proper planning.

Maintaining the right temperature for keeping food frozen while traveling depends on the duration of your travel, how much frozen food you are traveling with, the weather, and many more.

Here we will discuss some useful methods on how to keep frozen food frozen for a long time and those are listed below.

1. Choose the Right Frozen Food for Travel

Choose the Right Frozen Food for Travel

Not all kinds of food are right for frozen. So, the first step is to select the right type of food for frozen, which is suitable for travel. Try to pack pre-cooked frozen food that is solid and not so soft to touch. Avoid raw and undercooked frozen food because it can spoil quickly and might not be frozen for a long time.

2. Use the Right Cooler

Use the Right Cooler

It is a great option to use a cooler, to keep frozen food frozen while traveling. But it is important to choose a well-insulated cooler. Choose a cooler with thick insulated walls and a tightly fitting cover which can reduce heat transmission and maintain the frozen temperature. Make sure it is the appropriate sized cooler for the quantity of frozen food you want to store. The right-sized cooler can prevent empty spaces that can lead to quicker temperature loss.

Pack your food in the cooler with plenty of ice packs or dry ice. After packing the frozen food keep it in a cool and shaded area. 

Try to open the cooler as little as possible to maintain the temperature. Avoid packing too much food in the cooler, as this can reduce its ability to stay cold.

3. Use an Insulated Bag

Use an Insulated Bag

Insulated bags or cooler bags are sufficient enough if you don’t have a cooler or have less food to carry. 

Keep frozen items in a group and put them together in the bag. Pack some ice or gel packs with your food to keep it frozen. Store the bag in a shaded area cause direct sunlight can impact the bag’s ability to maintain a lower temperature.

4. Pre-chill The Insulated Bag or Cooler

If possible try to pre-chill your insulated bag or cooler at least one day before your journey.

You can do this by placing the entire empty cooler or bag in the freezer. But if it’s not fit in the freezer, use some ice blocks, dry ice, or gel packs and put them inside the cooler. Then keep the cooler in an air-conditioned room away from any direct sunlight. By doing this, your cooler will be pre-chilled and ready for packing your frozen food items.

5. Pack Strategically

When packing the food you must pack them strategically. Pack your different items of frozen food individually in a ziplock plastic bag or an airtight Tupperware container. Then simply place them in your cooler or the insulated bag.

You can also wrap your frozen items with several layers of newspaper, bubble wrap, aluminum foil, freezer paper, or a thick towel. To keep the wrapping secure, you can use tape. Make sure that there is no air leakage. Then place it in your cooler or cooler bag. It may help to keep your food nice, cold, and frozen for a long time.

6. Keep Frozen Items Together and in the Right Order

It’s important to keep frozen food together while packing. When your frozen food is grouped, it helps to keep the food cold and prevents it from thawing.

Try to pack your frozen and non-frozen food separately. By putting them together, the frozen food can melt and spoil very quickly.

Also, store your frozen food in the right order as you need; it will help you to find specific items easily without having to mess up everything.

7. Use Regular Ice Packs

Use Regular Ice Packs

You can use regular ice packs while packing your frozen food. Ice packs are like little frozen blocks that you can put in your cooler very easily and they will keep your food from getting warm.

Place the ice packs on top or around your food items and close the cooler. It keeps them frozen, and cold and prevents thawing during traveling.

8. Use Dry Ice packs

When you need to pack your frozen food with dry ice,  here the first step is to insulate the dry ice with newspaper or cardboard. Place the dry ice in the bottom of the cooler. Then add your frozen items to be frozen and place dry ice again on top or around the food. Close the cooler and store it in a cool dark place.

Be sure you have a well-insulated container, and don’t store dry ice in an airtight container- As the gas expands, it may cause the container to burst. Use gloves or ice tongs when handling it in the cooler.

9. Avoid Draining the Cooler

Avoid draining the cooler water that accumulates from melting ice or ice packs inside. Because draining the cooler water increases the air space which can lead to quicker warming and this may spoil your frozen food. Leave the water inside the cooler, it ensures that the cooler continues to be cold for a more extended period and keeps your food frozen and fresh.


It can be easier to carry frozen food while traveling if you follow these simple tips and maintain a bit of planning.

You just have to be careful about the right cooler or insulated bag, the right way of packing frozen food, using regular ice or dry ice and finally keeping them in a shaded area. By ensuring this, you can easily keep your frozen food frozen, cool, and fresh throughout your travel and can enjoy your favorite food on your special trip!

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