The love of travel is intrinsic to human nature. The fact that we have successfully managed to explore new lands is partly due to our ability to carry food that can sustain us on such long journeys. Keeping this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most efficient and inexpensive ways of keeping foods frozen when traveling.
The necessity of traveling with food can look different for different activities. There are a number of tricks for ensuring that foods remain frozen for a considerable amount of time. Some of the best tips are listed below.
Going on a long vacation on a shoe-string budget? Below slides give out some neat ways to keep your food frozen while traveling:
- 1 Affordable Tricks to Prevent Frozen Foods from Thawing
- 2 Keeping Foods Frozen When Traveling by Air
- 3 Wrapping Up
Affordable Tricks to Prevent Frozen Foods from Thawing
I. Select the Right Cooler
The best way to select the perfect cooler is to decide based on the duration of your trip and the amount of frozen food that you are traveling with. This will help you determine the type and size of the cooler you want to take with you.
For lightweight items and short distance travel, an insulated cooling bag or Styrofoam cooler box is sufficient. They are easy to carry around and just large enough to carry around a few meals or snacks for a day trip like a visit to the beach or a picnic in the park.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something that will last for a few days of travel, then it is better to opt for stainless steel or plastic coolers with tight lids. The tightness of the lid will allow for very little air to seep in, keeping food frozen for longer periods of time. In addition, if you are camping in an area next to cold water or snow, then you can keep the airtight cooler in the water or snow to increase the life of your frozen goodies.
II. The Size of Ice
Both small and large ice chunks are capable of ensuring that your frozen food remains frozen. However, you can achieve the best results by combining the two types. Small chunks are better at reaching all nooks and corners. Larger ice chunks, however, do not melt as fast, thereby ensuring that frozen goods remain intact for longer. While you can always buy ice bags from the store, you can also freeze ice using ice cube trays or water bottles in your freezer.
III. The Right Order
If you store your food in the cooler properly, then it will be easier to find specific items without having to take everything out. So, take your time and freeze the food in the correct order so that you can quickly find what you need and then shut the cooler lid tightly. This will prevent too much air from getting in and spoiling the food. Deciding on the correct sequence of your meals can help you manage their frozen status much more efficiently.
IV. Keep the Water
It is common knowledge that when ice melts it turns into water. Most of us may have a tendency to drain out that water without realizing that warmer air will replace that water. So, the next time you are looking at keeping foods frozen when traveling for longer, leave the water in the cooler when the ice starts melting. In fact, cool water will reach all surfaces of the food including the ones out of reach of the ice cubes. Just make sure that all the food is properly sealed to prevent water from entering the bags.
V. Extra Insulation
If you are running short of ice, then placing frozen food, like ham, can also act as an effective technique for keeping foods frozen when traveling. Lining the bottom of your cooler with flat frozen foods can act just as effectively as ice without the risk of melting into water. Also, you can pack more food in little space.
Additional insulation is especially helpful if you are carrying lightweight cooler bags like a tote. Adding a layer of Styrofoam can make a considerable difference in extending the usefulness of your ice. You can also keep a frozen dishcloth or towel at the bottom to increase insulation.
VI. Alternatives like Dry Ice
Dry ice is an excellent way of keeping foods frozen when traveling for longer than usual. But you have to be very careful while handling dry ice. Also, make sure that your cooler is equipped to store dry ice.
Your accommodations must be capable of storing the frozen food you are traveling with. This can be cumbersome if you are staying in a hotel, since many hotel rooms only have small freezers or none at all. Therefore, a number of travelers are opting for vacation rental properties instead. These accommodations are fully functional residential properties equipped with kitchens, laundry machines, and other such amenities. You can browse the options and pick the best ones at www.rentaltrader.com.
VIII. Keep the Cooler Away from Direct Sunlight
Where you store your cooler also goes a long way in determining the viability of your frozen food. As a rule, avoid keeping your cooler in direct sunlight at all times. Instead, look for a cool shaded area to store the box. This also means that you should not keep your cooler in the trunk. Typically, the trunk of your car tends to get hotter than the center of the vehicle. So, make space for your cooler on the seat especially if you are driving in hot and humid climates during the daytime.
IX. Plan Before You Travel
Traveling with frozen food may not seem very easy, but the key lies in proper planning. Significant factors of planning include selecting the right type of cooler as well as freezing the food properly before taking it out for the trip. Food that has been thoroughly frozen for a long duration in an airtight bag is more likely to stay that way for longer than food frozen just for a few hours.
Also, prepare the cooler bag or box properly. You can do this by pre-cooling it before you load it up with your frozen items. One way to pre-chili is to allow half a bag of ice cubes to melt inside. Or you can also leave a few frozen dish cloths inside and allow them to thaw and bring down the cooler’s temperature.
Keeping Foods Frozen When Traveling by Air
For those traveling by road, bringing along frozen food can be relatively easy. However, if you are flying, then carrying frozen foods can be a tricky proposition, especially if you are not properly prepared. Here are a few tips for keeping foods frozen when traveling by air.
It is always a good idea to go through the rules and regulations regarding the flight you are taking. Most airlines are extremely particular about the kinds of food and liquid items that they allow you to bring in carry-on and checked luggage. While the central regulatory authority may not have any issues in regard to frozen foods, individual airlines may have their own rules as to what is permitted and what is not. Also, they may have guidelines on how much dry ice you can carry and how it should be stored and secured. So, read up on the instructions regarding the restrictions on the airline that you have booked your flight with.
Once you have confirmation that you can travel with frozen food, it is time to prepare it properly. It is important to remember that the food must be frozen when it undergoes the scanner in the security check. There are a few ways of achieving this. First, you can place your food in a soft cooler bag and wrap ice packs around it. Next, pour enough ice cubes to make sure that the frozen food and ice packs do not melt.
The important thing to remember is to drain out the melted ice cubes before your bags undergo the security check. In other words, sacrifice the ice cubes to make sure that the frozen food as well as the ice packs remain intact for the duration of your flight and subsequent travel. This is a good technique if you are traveling with a small amount of frozen food.
If you are carrying a substantial amount of frozen food, we recommend that you store it in a leakproof container that is airtight and cooled with dry ice. Also, keep in mind to label the container clearly highlighting that it contains dry ice.
You might also be wise to arrive at the airport with ample time for checking your bags and getting through security. Once through, you can breathe easy at the gate and wait for your flight, rather than dealing with the stress of potential tardiness.
Lastly, communicate with the airline staff. When you arrive at the airport security checking point, inform them of the contents so that they can screen it accordingly.
Our frozen food travel tips are aimed at helping you travel with your favorite foods, stress free. But where you stay during your travels can make a world of difference to how well your food is stored. Rental accommodations offer the perfect answer for traveling comfortably. At Rental Trader you can select from a number of properties depending on your preference and convenience. For more information about Rental Trader, see our Contact page to fill out the web form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.