Few things evoke childhood memories like the tastes and smells of your favorite foods. If you grew up loving a local brand of ice cream, you may want to bring some back with you when you return home from vacation. You can safely transport ice cream in a commercial cooler without any danger of it melting if you pack it correctly and use dry ice to keep it frozen. With the right materials, you can drive or fly home with your nostalgic treat intact.
Poke holes in the top and sides of an insulated cooler by hammering a screwdriver through the material. This will allow the carbon dioxide to escape as it sublimates from the block of dry ice.
Place a block of dry ice in the bottom of the cooler. Cover the dry ice with a 1/2-inch layer of newspaper.
Fill the space in the cooler with cartons of ice cream. Crumble up sheets of newspaper and fit them around packages to fill any remaining space.
Cover the ice cream containers with another layer of newspaper, then add another block of dry ice. Close the lid on the cooler.
Secure the cooler lid with two bungee cords, one wrapped horizontally around the cooler, and the other wrapped vertically. This will prevent the lid from falling off during transport.
Write "Caution! Dry Ice Enclosed" on a large sticky label and affix it to the top of the cooler. This will inform airline workers of the reason your cooler will be venting a cloud.
Things You Will Need
If you are transporting your ice cream in a plane, check with your particular airline for regulations regarding dry ice. American Airlines, for example, has a limit of 5.5 pounds of dry ice per package and requires you to inform the ticket agent about the cooler's contents.
Do not touch dry ice with bare skin — it can cause frostbite-like burns. Wear heavy work gloves while handling the material; use tongs, if possible. Wear additional safety gear, like goggles, if you have to cut the blocks to size.
Dry ice vents carbon dioxide as it sublimates. If you are traveling by car, put the cooler in your trunk or in the backseat next to an open window.