11/27/2013 12:29 pm ET Updated Jan 27, 2014

The Good-Karma Guide to Holiday Travel

Source: Bill Alldrege. Some rights reserved.

The best test of whether your meditation class is paying off is seeing how you behave on no sleep and when you're late for a flight after the mustachioed, wrestler-turned-TSA agent tells you to follow him for a pat down.

Here are 4 hard-won tips on how to champion the underdog, reward the hardest-working and keep your head up, even when you're about to lose it -- just in time for holiday travel mayhem.

1. Understand that, next to being a wrestler on a losing streak, being a TSA agent is one of the hardest jobs around.

They're dressed up like cops, but have half the authority that usually comes with uniforms. Plus, they have to deal with a lot of clueless travelers:

"What do you mean I can't travel with 240 live fish?"

Security checkpoints are a hotbed of frustration -- especially over the holidays. 10 instant karma points if you can be polite, no matter what.

2. Let the bellman carry your bags.

We have tiny roller bags, like everyone else. But when we check into a hotel, and the 85-year-old bellman tips his hat at us and offers help, we say yes. There's much to appreciate in the grace with which a bellman, who's greeted thousands of guests, escorts us onto the elevator and up to our room. And they almost always have good stories.

3. Tell the mom or dad with the snotty screaming baby on the plane that your baby screams much louder, and that really, you've never heard such dulcet screaming.

In fact it reminds you of little tinkling bells at Christmas. Give parents of youngsters a break. Trust us, they want peace and quiet even more than you do.

4. Tip the hardest-working.

The people who do some of the hardest work in a hotel, and make the least in tips, are the housekeeping staff. Stash Founder & CEO Jeff Low's advice to make sure they get your tip: Take as much cash as you'd like to leave, write a note saying "thank you" on the hotel notepaper and put both under the bed sheets, and cover them up. Why under? That way the person who's doing the heavy lifting gets the money -- instead of a "room verifier" or other hotel personnel who may get there before the housekeeper.