Aggregating some traveling tips from the experts...
  1. Whenever possible, only bring a carry on with wheels.
  2. When they tell you that you can't stow a carry-on in front of you in the first row, just cover it with the blanket and they'll assume its just the blanket. *at your own risk
  3. For a short trip, parking in Short Term Parking at the terminal itself is a luxury to consider. For example: at LAX, hourly parking at the terminal costs a maximum of $30/day, compared with $24 for some nearby lots that require a shuttle van, etc.
    Suggested by @bjnovak