View Full Version : What to bring food in?

06-27-2011, 09:42 AM
I are getting reading for my first trip to Aruba! I am making my food list and am thinking about bring meat and frozen veggies for the kids. Has anyone used an Omaha steak cooler to transport their food? I was thinking that it may be easier and I could dispose of it in Aruba.

Andrea J.
06-27-2011, 02:21 PM
i do not know what an "omaha" cooler is.
dh and i pack frozen things in a soft sided cooler, pack it in our checked luggage and when we arrive in aruba (about 6 hrs approx from time we pack it til the time we are ready to put it in the fridge or freezer) it is still frozen.
typically we bring: frozen beef stew, chicken and brocolli casserole, marinated t bone steak and chicken cacciatore AND not frozen but packed with frozen is half gallon of milk and fat free half and half.

......previously we flew from boston 4 3/4 hrs and now from tampa or orlando about 3.5 hrs.

06-27-2011, 06:17 PM
We don't bring food with us aside from a little coffee and creamer for Monday morning before we go shopping.

Our good friends from Chicago regularly bring frozen steaks and a whole tenderloin. They pack it all in a thin insulated bag (the kind with the metallic coating to reflect heat). It arrives frozen solid every time.

Eagle Beach Boy
06-28-2011, 09:03 AM
If the kids are real fussy eaters..... no need to bring food. The grocery stores, especially Lings, are like most American stores. They have everything.

07-01-2011, 01:58 PM
The airlines have damaged our hard sided luggage on two separate occasions.

I would imagine an Omaha cooler would be totally shredded if it made it at all. :doh:

Also check with your airline regarding coolers as checked luggage.

Andrea J.
07-01-2011, 03:13 PM
i did lots of cooking this past week and have a few casseroles and sauce already frozen for our august trip..........in Lock and Lock containers

07-01-2011, 03:41 PM
I are getting reading for my first trip to Aruba! I am making my food list and am thinking about bring meat and frozen veggies for the kids. Has anyone used an Omaha steak cooler to transport their food? I was thinking that it may be easier and I could dispose of it in Aruba.

I have relatives that pack a rolling cooler, those large ones, with a handle.
They pack frozen sandwhich meats, hard cheeses, yogurt, boxed cereal, and beer, check in on as a piece of luggage, and roll it off the conveyor belt in aruba.

Me, i just take my LLBean lunch box, throw a school size frozen thing in it, and take about 4-6 of the cracker barrel blocks of cheese and a bag of peperoni...yes, all for happy hour pool side. I buy the rest of the stuff at Lings.

Angela Munzenhofer
07-06-2011, 12:40 AM
I fly back and forth so much that if I don't bring a luggage of food my husband and friends would choke me. I shop at my fruit market and fill a cart full of fresh vegies, lunch meat, steaks, Rinaldi Italian sausage and of course 4 lbs of prosciutto di Parma. Then I shop at Sams club and get all my fruits, beef jerky, asparagus,cheese, dates, things in season and of course two huge containers each of lettuce and spinach. My money does go to the good things that I want to feed my family which are high priced in Aruba. Two weeks ago I brought corn dogs at Sams and brought them in my luggage. Everything came as frozen as I had packed them. The frozen foods kept everything cold. I just packed in a regular luggage and put some stuff in plastic containers and the rest in the original package. kids love artichokes and in Aruba I get 2 for $7.00 where as Michigan I get them at 75 cents each and those babies come with me. I shop at Kong Hing and love there reasonable prices and vegetable selection.
I have two refrigerators and they are always filled, heck I even bring orchids because I love my garden. This year I grew my own garden with my husband and grew eggplant, melons, lettuce, tomatoes, swiss chard and corn. They all came up fantastic and the kids were in heaven picking the vegies..

08-09-2011, 01:09 PM
I plan on packing cold cuts, cheese and butter with me on our upcoming trip, I thought about milk too but that makes me nervous for some reason. I plan on freezing the butter beforehand. Should I freeze my cold cuts too? Can you even do that? Or should I just throw in an ice pack?

08-09-2011, 01:15 PM

Andrea J.
08-09-2011, 01:30 PM
yup you can freeze cold cuts.
sliced cheese does not freeze well.

i always freeze milk, but not half and half.

here are the following things that i have in the chest freezer, rock solid, and that stuff will go into soft sided collapsable coolers . 1 in each checked piece of luggage.
will pack the morning b4 we leave for the airport.

stored in large rectangular lock n lock containers: each container will serve 4
-chicken/rice/broccoli casserole.
-garlic shrimp in marinara sauce.
-sweet n sour meatballs/w/ red skinned mashed potatoes
-6 roasted ears of corn
-2 pkgs of 1 1/2 lbs roast turkey breast
-1 half gallon skim milk
-1 lb butter (sticks)
-3 pkgs of arnold sandwich rounds
-3 pkgs bagels

refrigerated stuff to be mixed in with the frozen
1 1/2 lb sliced swiss
1 lb cabot seriously sharp cheddar
2 qts of fat free 1/2 and 1/2
cream cheese

non cold
town house crackers
tea bags
coffee and filters
kahlua (plastic bottle)
baileys (plastic bottle)
vodka (plastic)
crystal light
4 cans tuna

the frozen stuff will arrive still frozen in aruba, unless there is a detour:eek:

the cold stuff will be COLD

yes, i will have to go to lings for some groceries along the line for
bloody mary mix, club soda and regular soda pop. it will be a quick inexpensive trip to lings.

altogether we have about 45 lbs of stuff
divided up between the 2 suitcases will be fine and will stay cold and or frozen.

and i use plenty of cushioning of bubblewrap.

and we plan on eating out at least 6 of the 14 nights.

08-09-2011, 01:55 PM
Wow!!! I am so impressed with your list, Andrea. I never thought to prepare and take pre-made meals...probably because I'm an awful cook.

Good to know about freezing cold cuts...would never have thought. Same about the milk. I'll give it a try this time. I love this forum!!!! And it's so much fun to plan!

Thank you!:D

11-08-2011, 01:59 PM
I have looked on the Aruba customs website and from what i can tell you can not bring much in the way of groceries esp meat. I would love to be to bring meat with me, is it ok?

Andrea J.
11-08-2011, 03:00 PM
Aruba customs

Free import

• 200 cigarettes or
• 50 cigars;
• 1 litre of distilled beverages or
• 2.25 litres of wine or
• 3 litres beer;
• Gift articles up to a value of AWG 100
• Unlimited amount of perfume


• Illegal drugs
• Guns, explosives and ammunition
• Knives and deadly weapons
• Furs
• Precious stones
• Perishable foodstuffs requiring refrigeration
• Plant and plant products
• Foreign soil
• Pets and animals without prior permission
• Dogs, cats, monkeys and parrots from South America
• Meat and meat products
• Counterfeit money and goods
• Pornographic material


• All animals being imported into the country will require a Veterinarian Health Certificate from the country of origin issued less than two weeks prior to your arrival. Dogs and cats will require an additional Rabies Inoculation Certificate proving the animal’s protection against the disease. Dogs and cats less than four months old are exempt from requiring any rabies vaccinations providing prove of the animals age is included on the original certificate.
• Leather imports of Haiti origin are unlikely to be accepted into the country.
• Log and limber products from Liberia including posts, poles, tables, crates and tables are all prohibited from entering the country.

Eagle Beach Boy
11-08-2011, 04:59 PM
I have looked on the Aruba customs website and from what i can tell you can not bring much in the way of groceries esp meat. I would love to be to bring meat with me, is it ok?

As mentioned.... you can bing in meat.

I see this is your 4th post. The Grocery stores(Ling & Sons for one) in Aruba do carry American pakaged meat as well as fresh.
Years ago, 1990, we used to bring in food. Now we only bring some coffee for the first morning as well something easy to cook the first night. If you have facilities.
With the weight restrictions on the airlines we find it a waste of weight and space in our suitcase.

12-11-2011, 02:32 PM
I bring a rolling soft sided insulated cooler bag. I have a hard time finding good meat on the island so I pretty much pack steaks, beef and pork roasts, chicken and other frozen foods. I don't bother with the milk or butter etc because you can buy it right on the island and aren't saving that much money. I have a home in Tierra del Sol and pretty much am here every six weeks or so. We are in the process of getting residency so we can be here a lot more. I keep both freezers full with my trips back and forth. I also bring back hamburg and ground pork for meatballs etc. I bring my roll on onto the plane and never have a problem even though we usually have quite a haul with us. Hope this helps.