MECKLENBURGCOUNTY, N.C. -- With the Great Recession in the rear view mirror, AAA expects more Carolina families to hit the road for a summer vacation this year.

An estimated 36 million people traveled during the Memorial Day weekend, AAA says.

At a rest stop along I-77 near Charlotte Monday afternoon, father of three and Sumter, South Carolina resident, Brian Bean, says his family's wait is over.

Yes it is. This is our second one this year. I'm a full time student, full time parent, full time employee. My wife's full time. So to get up and go on a three-day weekend, just get up and go. My boys think just going overnight is a big deal and they enjoyed it and we like to do it for them, Bean said.

For Charleston residents Jeffrey and Crystal Kinsey, a chance to visit the big city of Charlotte meant time at Carowinds and a night in uptown. They are feeling a little better about the economy as a whole.

I constantly watch the economy and raising these two little boys, it's just always a up and down and to me it seems like [we're] picking up a little bit, Jeffrey Kinsey said.

Crystal Kinsey added, It was great. I'm a housewife, so sitting at home all the time with the kids in school, it feels great to get away for a little while.

While gas prices are still higher then anyone would want, it isn't impacting Charlotte residents like Mike Lindholm.

I can't really tell a difference. The gas prices are about the same as last week. Vacation is important and everybody has got to get out to relax so... got to do what you can.

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