(NBC News) Rising gas prices aren't going to prevent a near-record number of Americans from getting a jump on summer travel this Memorial Day weekend.
"We are projecting that 41 million Americans will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend. That is five percent higher than we saw last year," says AAA's Tamra Johnson.
A strong economy and higher consumer confidence are expected to drive more Americans to take more vacations all summer, but not necessarily long vacations.
Travel expert Jeanenne Tornatore says travel experiences are what many consumers want this summer, with music festivals and concerts topping the list, starting this weekend.
"Over Memorial Day weekend, you have Pink in Las Vegas, Justin Timberlake in Dallas, U2 in Atlanta and Taylor Swift in Denver," she notes.
Beach destinations will remain the most popular for summer travelers.