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It may only be early November, but the 2023 holiday season is shaping up even more active than last year, and the busiest travel days of the entire season are only a few weeks away here in Minnesota.

After two pandemic years where we likely either hunkered down at home or had much smaller holiday celebrations, many Minnesotans got back in the car and headed out to be with friends and relatives during the holiday season last year.

So if you're going to be heading over the river and through the woods to celebrate the holidays this year, you can expect there to be a healthy amount of travelers out and about again this year as well. And many have already booked their holiday vacations, thanks to rising travel costs.

READ MORE: One of the Best Christmas Displays in the U.S. is Here in MN

That's the word from AAA Minnesota's 2023 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast, which said it expects over half of Minnesotans will be hitting the road this year:

More than half of Minnesota travelers (53%) are planning a trip with at least one overnight stay for Thanksgiving. According to the survey, the largest share of travelers (39%) already locked in their Thanksgiving travel plans during September.

AAA-Minnesota says the busiest travel days here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes this Thanksgiving are expected to be Tuesday and Wednesday, November 21st and 22nd  and Sunday, November 25th.

If you're flying, AAA-Minnesota says you should consider booking a flight Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving and Saturday after the holiday, as airports should be less busy and flights should have more availability.

Last year, officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Bloomington said over 32,000 passengers went through the TSA checkpoints on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and again on the Sunday after the holiday.

AAA Minnesota has some tips if you are planning on flying this Thanksgiving:

  • Book early for the best combination of availability and price. Most travelers want to skip layovers and get right to their destination. That means nonstop flights, especially those going cross-country and internationally, will fill up fast.
  • Book a direct flight that leaves early in the morning. Afternoon and evening flights are more susceptible to delays/cancellations due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Connecting flights multiply the risk of something going wrong.
  • Consider traveling a day or two earlier than planned. Even if you face delays, you are still likely to arrive on time.
  • If your flight has connections, build in a couple hours between flights.  This way, if your first flight is delayed, you are less likely to miss your second one.

Meanwhile, no matter WHERE you might be this year, travel safely! And, keep scrolling to check out 10 Things You'll Only Hear at a Minnesota Thanksgiving Dinner!

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11 Things You'll Only Hear at a Minnesota Thanksgiving

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