The number of highway travelers is expected to increase by 4.4 percent to 77.7 million during the year-end holidays, up from 74.4 million last year, according to AAA
. The total number of travelers, including by car, air and other means, is projected to be 87.7 million Americans, who will travel 50 miles or more away from home.

"More Americans traveling during the winter holidays is another sign consumers' are continuing to grow more confident in their personal financial situations," said Glen MacDonell, AAA's director of Travel Services. "The moderate projected rise in the number of air travelers this holiday period is especially welcome since the airline industry was hit especially hard by the recession."

According to AAA, most vacationers will be on the highway, accounting for 88 percent of holiday travelers this year, while only 5 percent will go by air. During the upcoming holiday weekend, travelers will average 791 miles roundtrip, with 40 percent traveling more than 700 miles roundtrip.

AAA's projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight.