Gluten Free to Kentucky with Koolatron

GF To Go Road TripAll road trips require planning, but for those with dietary restrictions they require A TON of planning! Before my road trip, I made a binder filled with typical items: hotel confirmations, tickets, maps, and a list of the Whole Foods in each city we’re driving through. Oh yeah, that last one might be less typical.

Why Whole Foods? Honestly, I can shop at any grocery store. But, I really don’t want to waste my limited time in each city reading labels. If I go to Whole Foods, I’ll know the brands. This means that when I spot a bag of Boom-Chicka-Pop, I’ll  know that it’s safe. Otherwise, I would read all about You’re-In-The-Middle-Of-Arkansas Popcorn to find out if it contains safflower oil or another one of my allergens.

But don’t get me wrong, my list of attractions contained other items, such as 100% gluten free bakeries! And, if you don’t believe me about this binder’s existence, you can check it out right here:


Yep, I really made the binder! Plus, it’s decorated with scenes from The Goofy Movie (and Snoopy + Woodchuck). 🙂

Now, if you read (or watched) my last blog post introducing my road trip, you saw my Koolatron cooler. It has been a life saver so far! So let’s look at the role it played in my 1.5-day drive from Boston to Kentucky.  (Note: Lexington is the “Horse Capital of the World,” so cool!).

Koolatron 12V Cooler

From Koolatron's Website
From Koolatron’s Website

How does it work?!

You’ll want to run your cooler the night before you leave (or 10 hours) to cool it off.  It works as a cooler and a heater, so make sure you have the blue dot lined up with the arrow to cool it off. (Check out this video for a demonstration).

Once it’s cooled off you place your items in the cooler. It’s best if they’re already cooled or coming out of a refrigerated area. Then simply, plug the cooler into your 12 V outlet in the car for the drive, and make sure the fan isn’t blocked. (It’s only 3 inches in diameter though). The directions state that the cooler can go up to 4 hours completely unplugged, but I haven’t tried that out yet!

What do you pack?!

You can pack whatever you want for your road trip, but here were my basics (for the cooler only). I also packed lots of dry goods (like popcorn), Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, and Chocolate Crunch!

Cooler 1

  • Pasta Salad with Ham (Red Containers)
  • Pasta Salad with Chicken (White Containers), Featured Above
  • Vegetarian Pasta Salad (Green Containers)

Cooler 2

What pros have you found so far?

All my food has stayed plenty cool for the duration of the trip so far! The coolers are quiet. You cannot hear them in the car at all, and they’re not too loud in the room either. It’s also easy to check that they are working because you can see the fan spinning from the outside. The fans are pretty small and located high enough on the cooler, so it’s easy to make sure they’re not blocked. Lastly, I personally like the soft sides for transportation.

What about the cons?

I haven’t had any problems yet! Of course, to run the cooler overnight you need to purchase an AC adaptor as well, which is an additional cost. Additionally, you need to have an outlet or power source for most of your trip. (I’ll test out the four hours unplugged claim soon).

So far though, this gluten free girl is loving not having to replace ice in a cooler each day or deal with any leaks! My food is always at the right temperature too.

I hope y’all have amazing cooking adventures this week! Be sure to let me know of any favorite GF or landmark destinations on our route that I might miss. I can’t wait to join you back in the kitchen next week!! 

P.S. Here’s the video of my road trip from my last post, just in case you missed it! 

P.P.S: This post is in no way sponsored by Koolatron. It’s just in response to a few questions I’ve received about the cooler to date, so I hope this helps! 🙂

9 thoughts on “Gluten Free to Kentucky with Koolatron

  1. This is great, Kaila. 🙂 Big yea to you for not letting your food limitations slow you down. 🙂 As people are heading outdoors more now this cooler sounds like a good investment for anybody.

    Great job on your first video blog too. I thought about you earlier when I was in the car listening to XM…where they broadcast the Opry. I’m jealous y’all got to see Thomas Rhett. 🙂

    1. Awh, thanks! The cooler is so helpful because I’m always cautious when it comes to my food, and who wants to be sick on a road trip?! The Opry was absolutely amazing too! I’ll put a picture of Thomas Rhett performing in my next blog post! 🙂

  2. I absolutely love that cooler! We travel to Boston (from north of Philly) to visit my son often, and we pack food for the trip using old-fashioned cooler. (Limited lunch places along the way.) YOUR cooler looks WAY cooler!

    1. Thanks! I’ve done that drive a bunch this last year! Well, from just east of Philly to Boston and vice versa. I love this cooler because you don’t need to deal with the ice melting either. 😀

  3. I just ordered the same cooler for my road trip! Thanks so much for the good words about it! That solidified my decision! Now after reading this, I am even more excited to receive it! Thanks!

    1. Awesome! Let me know how it works out on your road trip. I’m pretty sure mine is my new best friend. It worked beautifully, except the last day, because in all the excitement, I forgot to plug it in!

  4. WAIT A SECOND, THAT IS LITERALLY THE COOLEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!! that cooler, IS LIKE A PORTABLE FRIDGE? If I understand correctly? As for the car plugging in part, does that mean you have to keep it on your lap the whole time?

    1. They’re awesome! The cord is pretty long. I plugged mine in up by the front seat, and they sat on the back seat just fine. They would also fit on the floor. They last around 4 hours unplugged, which was great for our site seeing along the road trip!

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