Tips for Traveling with Food During the Holidays

Shari'S Apple Pie

Traveling With Food

Traveling with food: holiday tips for getting it there in one piece.

At nearly every holiday function, you need to bring some sort of contribution, right? But how do you get it there in one piece? I personally have had food spill on me in the car with no back up clothes to wear and it’s a disaster.

I recently traveled about three hours to get to a Friendsgiving with my 4-year-old. I was in charge of bringing apple pie (my daughter and I love making this – you can find the recipe here). I didn’t have another adult in the car to hold the pie or monitor it for me, and wasn’t sure how the Mazda 6 I was reviewing for the week would handle turns and bumps, so I came up with a few options for keeping it safe during the long haul.

Related: Our Review of the 2017 Mazda 6

Traveling With Food

The Mazda 6 I drove. Credit: Shari Wargo Stamps for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Turns out the car handles great, but food loves to roll around. Keep reading for my easy tips, and to see how it turned out!

Try the Passenger Floor

If there’s no one around to hold the food for you (and even then, carrying food on a long drive gets tricky), sometimes the front passenger side floor is a safe spot. Be sure your floor mats have a bit of grip, though, because things can still slide around. This is definitely a safer option than the seat, where the food can start flying with a sudden stop. But be aware that accidents do happen with loose floor food.

Traveling With Food

The default option: the passenger floor. Credit: Shari Wargo Stamps for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Related: Tips for Road Tripping with Tots

Use that Organizer Block

Some cars come with organizer blocks and they’re a driver’s best friend when traveling with food. If you don’t have some already in your car, you can buy them for about $20. The Mazda 6 doesn’t have blocks, but since I already had some for my personal car, I tested it out.

Traveling With Food

Cargo blocks keep the pie from moving around, but a large suitcase can crush it. Credit: Shari Wargo Stamps for AGirlsGuidetoCars

You can put the blocks around your food to keep it in place and it will actually stay! This is a fantastic option in most cases for the trunk (or floor if you have carpet floor mats). But I had a giant suitcase in the trunk, so I skipped this. I feared my suitcase flying over the sectioned off pie and crushing it.

If you don’t have a giant suitcase in your trunk, or on the seat that could fall onto your food that’s parked on the passenger floor, then this is the way to go. I happened to have a ton of stuff with me this trip since I wasn’t sure whether I’d be in the snow or not.

Related: 10 Winter Driving Tips

Buy a Two-Compartment Trunk Organizer

Similar to the organizing blocks, a trunk organizer can go on the floor or in the trunk, and some also come with an insulated cooler spot! Mine has a flat insulated section that’s perfect for traveling with food so it works really well. There’s plenty of space for food that doesn’t need refrigeration on either side, too! Though it has “trunk” in the name, this is a good organizer for the passenger floor, too. It just depends on where there’s safe space in your car for valuable items.

Traveling With Food

This trunk organizer has insulation to keep cold or hot food at its optimal temperature. Credit: Shari Wargo Stamps for AGirlsGuidetoCars

In the end, I went with a combo arrangement where everything was in the trunk organizer with the organizing blocks around it for backup. I made another pie when I got to my snowy destination so I had to bring a ton of ingredients, and aside from a few loose eggs I probably should have put in a carton for transport, everything else arrived in perfect condition and my apple pie was greatly appreciated.

Traveling With Food

My intact (and delicious!) apple pie. Credit: Shari Wargo Stamps for AGirlsGuidetoCars

After the Holiday Dinner

We ended up having six or seven desserts to choose from so one of my apple pies made the return trip and we enjoyed it this week. Now I’m off to make another one for my family’s holiday. Since my trunk is packed already and it’s a lot shorter drive, I’ll probably go with the passenger floor this time around.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to properly cover your food and make sure it can’t slide around too much. I hope this  helps with any food travel dilemmas! These should get your party or dinner contribution to its destination safely for everyone to gobble up and enjoy.

Do you have a tip for traveling with food for get togethers? Please share your favorite in the comments below!

Shari Wargo StampsShari Wargo Stamps is a California-based content creator, consultant and event planner. She created, a lifestyle site for parents, in 2014 and has been sharing tips and awkward moments ever since. Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope