MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For Minnesota students, there’ll be no getting up early on Thursday. MEA break is underway in Minnesota, and it’s marking one of the busiest travel weekends of the fall.

Thursday is expected to be the busiest day so far this year at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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“We are going to Waco, Texas,” said Angie Satre of Maple Grove.

WCCO-TV’s cameras captured a lot of tiny suitcases and small sneakers rolling through the airport on Wednesday.

“They’re on fall break; perfect timing to go,” Chad Satre said.

Roughly 35,000 people are expected to go through TSA on Thursday. That’s not quite 2019 MEA travel levels, but double 2020 levels.

“Tomorrow morning during the first bank of fights you can expect it to be very busy,” said Jeff Lea with the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

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AAA says half the Minnesotans planning to travel by the end of the year plan to go by car. It’s something their survey says 94% of people are comfortable with.

On social media, a lot of WCCO-TV viewers said that they’re just staying home this MEA.

At the Mall of America, there will be some free fun to be had.

“I’m here because I’m taking a break from school and learning and writing,” said Salma Abdi of Minneapolis, who was at the Bloomington mall on Wednesday.

If you’re still making staycation plans, Nickelodeon Universe has pancake artists, reptile shows and dance parties planned this weekend.

Maybe you want to check out a state park or rent a movie from a library and stay home.

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Erin Hassanzadeh