http://www.lfpress.com/travel/2011/03/11/17581501.html Some things should never go in checked luggage. If it's vital, valuable or breakable, take it onto the airplane and keep it close at hand. I'm referring to items such as travel documents, prescription medicine, high-tech items a baggage handler might steal. (A saleswoman in the luggage area at the Bay told me about flying to the U.S. with her elderly father. He put his medication in his checked luggage. The airline mislaid it. It took phone calls to the pharmacy back home to sort that one out.) Even the stingiest airline allows at least one carry-on per person. It might be a purse, briefcase or tote bag. Maximum dimensions vary, but at Air Canada and WestJet is 16 centimetres x 33 x 43 (6 inches x 13 x 17). Plan on putting it under the seat in front of you so its contents are handy. If you opt for a tote, make sure it isn't so big that there's no room for your feet.