10-Day Packing Challenge

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Vacation countdown: 2 days! 😎

It seems like a bunch of you guys missed my post about our upcoming vacation, so just in case you did, Mal and I (and six of our friends) are taking a week-long cruise to Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, and the Cayman Islands. Woohoo!

Our ship departs from Miami, so, with our travels to and from Florida, we’ll be away for a total of 10 days, which poses quite the packing challenge for me because I refuse to check luggage.

Reasons why I never check luggage:

  • I don’t trust the airline to not lose my stuff.
  • I’m impatient and don’t want to wait at the baggage claim.
  • I’m cheap and don’t want to pay a fee.
  • I like being able to walk off the plane and head right to my destination.
  • It forces me to be smart with my packing.

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With that said, my goal for this 10-day trip is to fit all of this stuff”¦

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”¦ into one carry-on and one “personal item.”

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Take II (minus a pug butt):

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Our time on the cruise includes all sorts of different events and happenings, so I actually need more than just ten outfits:

  • Mal and I have two excursions planned (exploring the Mayan ruins and a zip-lining + a cave tubing tour), so I’ll need comfortable clothes and sneakers.
  • There are two “fancy” dinners on the cruise, so I’ll need a couple of dresses and heels.
  • Mal and I plan to workout on our vacation and visit CrossFit 7 Mile when we’re in the Cayman Islands, so I’ll need a few changes of workout gear.
  • I’ll also need everyday clothes, like shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, flip-flops, jeans, bathing suits, etc.
  • And, of course, all of the other stuff, such as toiletries, iPod, reading material, sunblock, etc.

Usually, I’m a pretty good packer, and I pack what a need without over-packing. But, this trip is throwing me for a loop. I feel like I need so much stuff for it!

So far, I’ve taken all of my favorite clothes out of my closet, loosely made some outfits with them, and now I’m just hoping it’ll all fit in my carry-on. I have a feeling, however, I’m going to need to be a little more selective with what I pack and plan specific outfits for each of the days/various events.

Hmmm”¦ if there’s a will, there’s a way, and I’m determined to make it work!


This morning’s breakfast was an oldie, but goodie: “Oatmeal” Minus the Oats in a leftover peanut butter jar. I guess we could call it OMTOIAJ.

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I added an extra scoop of Teddie Peanut Butter to my breakfast and drank a glass of iced coffee with almond milk with my breakfast.

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Did you happen to notice the pug creeper in the second photo?


Murphy was watching me eat my breakfast while he waited for my empty peanut butter jar. What a creep.

Question of the Day

What type of packer are you? Do you pack too much? Too little? Do you throw all of your favorite clothes in a suitcase and hope for the best or do you plan outfits?

P.S. Remember my sweet Timex GPS Watch? Well, it’s on sale through OpenSky today!



  1. A few years ago I was in the same predicament for a 2 week trip to Greece. I was traveling standby with a friend who is a flight attendant, so we weren’t even able to check baggage if we wanted to.

    Some quick tips:
    1) Take you “nicest” workout clothes and double them as your excursion clothes.
    2) Take a couple of travel laundry soaps (like little packets of tide) and handwash some things that you don’t want to pack multiplies of. You can do this in the bathroom sink while getting ready for bed at night and then just hang to dry in the shower. I’ve done this with bathing suits, sports bras, shorts that got muddy, etc.
    3) Wear your bulkiest clothes to the airport, meaning jeans, a warm sweater and your sneakers. It’ll keep you warm on the plane and save you having to stuff them in the suitcase
    4) Roll all your clothes, rather than fold them. You’ll fit alot more in there!
    5) Only take toiletries that you honestly use every day. Now is not the time to bring facial masks, lots of makeup, etc.
    6) Bring a pashmina! It can double as a blanket/pillow on the flight and is great as a wrap in the evenings when it gets cooler on the boat.

    Hope these tips help! Have a great vacation!

  2. I am going to Cayman this summer and plan on going to 7 Mile CrossFit too! It is right next to the condo we are staying in. I can’t wait to read about what you think of the box. There is another box that is in Georgetown, where the cruise ships dock. Can you believe that little island has two CrossFits?

  3. Did you check the size requirements for carry ons for your airline? I know it depends on the airline, but both of those items look too large to me, unless your bed is deceptively short. Twice recently I’ve flown and had to curbside check my little weekend bag because the overhead bins were full with giant suitcases. It is a huge pet peeve of mine!

  4. I always pack too much. I start out ok but then keep adding, and adding, and adding until my bag is bursting at the seams. The I have to go through again and edit out!

  5. i’m currently trying to pack for a 2 week trip…i have been planning and planning and i still feel like i may not be prepared! pack-it cubes are heaven sent when trying to keep everything compact! 🙂

  6. Yes you do need a lot of different outfits for a cruise. I would figure out outfits for each day and dinner before leaving. There is only one way to make it work and that is to do laundry and re-wear. Now I only take a small backpack for all my trips even if 3 weeks.

    Have a wonderful cruise!!!

  7. I travel a ton for my job – and living and working in Africa means you can’t be sure that if you forget something you can just buy it there. I make serious checklists for packing – my husband goes nuts cause it can take me like 3 or 4 hours to pack for a 4 day trip even. I like to take minimum shoes – and versatile clothing. AND ALWAYS lock your suitcase. At least out here it’s critical. Have a ball – but if i were you, I’d check a bag..gonna be hard to make 3oz of sunscreen last for 10 days!

      1. @Tina: When I was planning a trip to Jamaica back in January, and only taking a carry-on, I found suncreen wipes to alleviate the problem of bottles – I have enough other things to try to cram in the quart ziploc bag!

  8. Are you going cave tubing in Belize? I went on the same cruise in February. We went cave tubing in Belize through cavetubing.bz. It was AMAZING! Our guides were great, very funny and very knowledgeable about everything on the island. On our hike up to the top of the mountain we learned about the vegetation of the island and were even able to taste-test some stuff (i.e. termites!) The tour also included lunch. They told us we were eating “chicken” which we found out later was iguana! It was really good! We had as much run punch as we wanted. They even brought a jug of it for us to drink on the 45 min ride back to the boat! Have so much fun 🙂

  9. My fiancé and I have been long distance most of the time we’ve been together so I’ve gotten packing down to a t! It’s all about basics (favorite jeans, black pants, t shirts, tanks, and nude heels/sandals since they go with brown or black.) Pack colorful accessories (scarfs, bracelets, necklaces) to make different outfits! Looks like you did ok for yourself. 🙂

  10. I’m assuming you’ve crammed all that stuff into your carry on and you are on your way to Florida already but just a quick tip. If you roll your clothes instead of folding, they fit better like puzzles pieces and around the odd parts of the luggage so that you can pack more!

  11. I wish you the best of luck with your packing challenge!
    I did the same trip and had a HUGE bag just under the 50# limit, and I had some stuff packed in the BOY’s luggae too! So jealous of your trip it was one of our favorites!!!

  12. If you go to crossfit 7 mile, you should grab dinner after at chicken chicken! I was there in march (in cayman and at chicken chicken, not crossfit!) and while eating at chicken chicken saw a bunch of crossfitters come in for takeout!

  13. Tina,

    Question about the Timex GPS watch…does it include a heart rate monitor that you have to wear as a chest strap?? I would really like a garmin/gps watch to improve my running outdoors, but the last watch I bought had a chest strap and I do not want to deal with that hassle everytime I want to work out!

  14. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon last year and I completely overpacked! On a side note, we did zip lining in Costa Rica and it was AMAZING!

    I can so relate to your packing dilemma though! Next weekend we are headed to Europe on a backpacking trip for 25 days and we are each only bringing our backpacks and need to keep them light. Between, shoes, clothes, medications, and personal hygiene products I don’t know how I’m going to do it! eek!

    Have fun on your trip! If you are going to partake in the chocolate buffet which is towards the end of the cruise get there early or you will be waiting in line FOREVER! I’ve heard the chocolate isn’t very good though!

  15. I always pack too much! We just went on our first cruise last month and I loved it!! Already trying to figure out when we can go again!! Cayman Islands was my favorite stop – it is the most beautiful place I have ever been – so clean and the people were so friendly and not pushy at all. Definitely will be going back there some day! Have a great trip!!

  16. I love that blue and white striped tank! Where is it from?!? Have fun on your cruise! We are going on one in September and I can not wait!

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