NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Record-high gas prices aren't putting a dent in Americans' travel plans this Memorial Day weekend, or their plans for more expensive vacations this summer.
The latest survey from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) found that more Americans will travel this summer, marking a shift from the travel downturn that began after 9/11, when people tended to stay closer to home.
"For the first time in years, the summer travel season will start off with a bang and we expect it to stay strong through August," Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the association, said in a recent report.
Some 30.9 million travelers will hit the road this weekend -- up 3.4 percent from last year -- to drive 50 miles or more by car over the extended holiday, according to a national survey by the motorists' group AAA.
And another 4.1 million plan to travel by plane, up 5.3 percent from last year, the TIA said.
Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the start of the peak summer travel period, particularly the driving season, in the United States.
Rising crude oil prices have pushed gasoline prices higher in recent weeks. The average price for a gallon of gasoline hit a record $2.05 this week.
But a pickup in the job market in recent months has spurred Americans to worry less about fuel costs.
The TIA expects Americans will also spend a little more freely, an average of $1,101 on each summer trip, up from $1,055 last year.
Among the popular vacation destinations, nearly a third (32 percent) of travelers said they will go to theme parks.
Another 26 percent plan to visit casinos, 18 percent say they'll go to an all-inclusive resort, and 10 percent said they plan to take a cruise.
Security less of a concern
Respondents to the AAA survey reported being less concerned than a year ago about security issues, which has also boosted travel plans.
And Cathy Keefe, spokeswoman for TIA, said the agency also had not seen any anecdotal evidence this week to suggest travelers had turned cautious despite Wednesday's joint announcement from the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department warning of a possible terrorist attack in the coming months.
"Most people make plans about a month before they travel. We haven't seen any anecdotal evidence showing people are canceling plans for the weekend," said Keefe."Americans have gotten used to terror alerts after having gone through the drill before. I think the difference now is that people do want to get away and they're putting more importance to that than being holed up in the house in fear."
Pent-up demand may also be fueling the uptick in travel plans this year.
"In the spring of 2003, many travelers delayed vacation plans due to the Iraq war," AAA vice president Sandra Hughes said. "This year, travelers have largely ignored some higher costs in their desire to return to their traveling ways."
Many Americans seem willing to absorb the higher costs of foreign travel as well. European travel packages have sold briskly, Hughes said in a report, despite 10 to 20 percent price increases caused by the weak dollar.
If you're traveling by air, expect delays.
Flight delays at the nation's largest airlines rose 1.5 percent in March from a year earlier, although they eased a bit from February, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
That's because there's been a big rebound in air traffic at major airports. Five of the biggest -- Atlanta, Chicago's O'Hare, New York's LaGuardia, Newark and Philadelphia -- are already at capacity, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
(For tips on how to avoid, or cope, with flight delays, click here).
Separately, the DOT said airlines reported that mishandled baggage incidents jumped 4.5 in the first quarter from a year earlier.
The AAA has shortened its name from American Automobile Association. Its survey of 1,300 adults in conjunction with TIA was released earlier this month.
-- Reuters contributed to this story