Insulated cooler instead of fridge?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by poohfan, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. poohfan

    poohfan Mouseketeer

    Jul 2, 2005
    Has anyone tried using a soft-sided insulated cooler to keep milk and sodas cold instead of getting a fridge? We'll be staying at a value and would only use the fridge to keep a few drinks and maybe milk cold. It seems like a lot to rent a fridge just for that.
  2. Tink901

    Tink901 WDW Bride 2009 All it takes is Faith, T

    Mar 31, 2006
    We have done it to keep drinks cold...we line the soft side cooler with a trash bag helps to keep the bag from leaking as the ice melts.

    Have a great trip!!
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  4. teresajoy

    teresajoy <font color=deeppink>World's Proudest Aunt!<br><fo

    Jan 22, 2001
    A few years ago, I thought I read about on here and even saw in the stores a cooler that was also carryon luggage. Now, I can't find anything about it or find it anywhere. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
  5. disneymarie

    disneymarie <font color=blue>Its a rumour about the donuts...<

    Aug 31, 2007
    We used a hard sider cooler as a carry one 2006. With a fee now last time we had a soft sider collapsable in the carry on and packed it with bathing suits, ziplocks. all sizes even dollar store xl for the ice not to leak. It worked fine.

    We could do a lot more with the fridge swap. Tub of butter, cream cheese. milk and OJ, Well we did it in the cooler too, it is just not as organized in the collapesable soft sider.

    You do need to think ice wise. I am not sure if they sell bag ice, we had a car and bought some at Hess, also used the machine in the AM to make it though another day.
  6. Trixiezzz

    Trixiezzz Budgeting my way to Disney!

    Jul 20, 2004
    We've got a collapsible cooler that we've used as a carry on before: it has a nice strap, outer pockets for other stuff and is perfect for our kids to carry their stuff in when we fly. (We got our at CVS and it's made by Thermos I believe)

    But something else we've done is pack it inside our checked luggage. Just put the empty cooler (not folded up) into the empty suitcase. This way it just sort of forms a divided area in your bag. You can pack it full of undies, socks and tshirts -- or breakables, since it's plastic lined -- and then pack everything else around it and you don't waste any space. Then when you get where you're going, take everything out of it and you've got your cooler.
  7. PrincessSuzanne

    PrincessSuzanne <font color=red>Guess I will be eating crow tonigh

    Jan 1, 2007
    We used our regular Cube cooler one time and may do it again in September. Also, at Walmart you can buy a soft-sided cooler with a hard plastic box inside and we used that in the parks. Dh would stop by the ice room each morning on the way to the park and added some to our half frozen water bottles and it kept them cold under that hot June sun. I also tossed a dry washcloth in there and by the time it got really hot, I had a cold wet washcloth to help cool me off.

  8. buzz5985

    buzz5985 DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2000
    You can also pick up an old fashioned styrofoam cooler for a couple of bucks. We did this all the time in the old days. We would just use the ice at the resort, and kept the styrofoam cooler in the bathtub in case it oozed water.
  9. PoohHappens

    PoohHappens DIS Veteran

    May 1, 2005
    Ok we have done this several ways. Softsided cooler--we always set it on a towel under the sink or in the bathtub so if it leaked it did not make a mess, a styro cooler and if this grosses you out ignore it...... I washed one of the garbage cans put a clean liner in it and filled it full of ice three times a day. We filled it in the morning and then when we were there for afternoon break I dumped and filled it again and again before bed. We kept milk, yogurt, juice and beer. It worked great although I am sure people thought I was strange taking the trash can to the ice maker. Again we always stored under the sink or in the tub.
  10. rottiemom

    rottiemom DIS Veteran

    Apr 25, 2008
    We did this last September at POP and it worked perfectly. Brought the cooler inside my checked luggage & just packed other things inside of it (We brought a small, 6 pack sized on & it was ideal for the 3 of us). We kept the cooler itself in the tub, filled it with ice 2x per day & kept our milk & a few bottles of water in it. We plan on doing the same thing this September.
  11. katiel

    katiel Earning My Ears

    Jun 7, 2009
    My family has done this on several vacations and it always works out. We are doing the same thing in September at movies.
  12. HLDisney

    HLDisney DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2006
    We did the room garbage can, too, and it worked out great, other than needing to refill the ice several times a day. In my case, I would take one of the plastic bags we got from the stores for souvenirs and use that for getting the ice from the ice machine. We used it mainly for milk.

  13. mickeytattoo95

    mickeytattoo95 Mouseketeer

    Sep 19, 2008
    I'm part of the POP fridge/coffee maker swap for our next trip. So excited to be able to make coffee in our room and keep 1/2 and 1/2 in fridge. Cold drinks after a long day in the park will be nice too! Plus, my kids will each mild and cereal in room instead of using a meal credit!
  14. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

    Feb 22, 2004
    We have used both a soft sided and a styrofoam cooler. We also lined the coolers with a plastic bag to prevent leakage.
  15. mzlee

    mzlee Mouseketeer

    Jul 14, 2006
    We used one last year while we were on our cruise. Ours was collaspsable and we just folded it packed it in the luggage when the cruise was over. You can get them at Walgreen's for about $5-10 depending on size you need.
  16. teresajoy

    teresajoy <font color=deeppink>World's Proudest Aunt!<br><fo

    Jan 22, 2001
    All the fridge swaps are full for when I'm going. I wish I could have got in on one! :thumbsup2 (October 3-10 at Pop Century if anyone knows of one!)

    Thanks for all the other great suggestions!!! The garbage can?? I never thought of that! And, if you scrub it out, I really don't find it too gross! :rotfl:

    We were hoping to not have any checked luggage, that's why I wanted something that would work as a carryon too. We are flying Spirit and the carryons can be pretty big! (24" tall) Maybe I should just start measuring ice chests at the store!
  17. sameyeyam

    sameyeyam <font color=royalblue>Cancer didn't take my life,

    Apr 20, 2006
    A few years ago I bought one of those cheap plastic totes that sort of looks like a purse. Hard plastic, but has a handle. Like something you would use to carry stuff to the beach. Then I punched a few holes in the bottom of it.

    I put it inside my suitcase. It didn't take up much room because I could put clothing inside of it and squish it down.

    Then every morning before we left for the parks I filled it full of ice with our milk & waters and put it in the bathtub. When we came back to the hotel in the late afternoon/early evening there was still a bit of ice left and everything was still cold.

    You could also use one of those squishy type coolers, just be sure to leave it in the tub or sink so the water doesn't drain all over the floor.

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