Sorry for being MIA this week, friends. The week before the holidays at work is always quite hectic. But fear not – I’m off all next week so you can look forward to much holiday cheer. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year, my dear readers!!

Southwest Airlines Vacations is starting 2012 with savings offers of up to 40 percent off hotels and free nights to destinations across the country such as Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, Clearwater, Phoenix, Reno and Salt Lake City.

Travelers who book a flight plus hotel vacation package to any Southwest Airlines Vacations destination, will save with reduced rates on packages. Plus, they will save even more with hotel discounts in some of Southwest Airlines Vacations destinations. Travelers can save up to an additional $120 per person, roundtrip because Bags Fly Free with Southwest Airlines Vacations, including skis, snowboards and golf bags.

Travelers must book their flight plus hotel vacation package by January 12, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. CT for travel January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2012. One-day advance purchase is required.

Customized vacation packages include roundtrip flight via Southwest Airlines, hotel accommodations (including taxes), Rapid Rewards points on the flight portion, 24-hour traveler assistance and first and second checked bags fly free.