Even though I was using the 2-meter band via repeaters primarily, when I was with my ex-wife, who also had her license, the radio’s came in very handy for direct Takie-to-Talkie communication …even at Costco, while driving separate vehicles on camping trips, and other outings, etc, etc. Far less dumb clucks on there than on CB radio!
Then we got some FRS family radio’s when they came out, which then the kids could get in on the action! …less powerful but for the most part worked for the ranges we needed them for. Even my 1st pair of FRS radio’s, which had less power/range when they came out than they have now, worked fairly well throughout our trips to Disneyland We’d lose contact if we were at the furthest ends from each other, but that usually didn’t happen. Home Depot even sells the 35 mile range FRS radios now, a 2-pack for like $60.00! Jeez, I think my 1st pair had a mile range or something (all line of sight!) and were $100 each back then!
FRS (Family Radio Service) is really the way to go for the average person if you want to get into using 2-way radio’s these days for general use with friends & family. But if you want some BIG range, and still want to use Hand-Talkies, get a Technician Class and use 2-meter via repeaters, there’s almost no place that you don’t have repeater access…anywhere there’s cell phone service, there’s always Ham repeater access…where there’s NO cell phone service, there’s Ham repeater access…unless you’re in a valley or in between hills where there’s NO communication for anything.
Not only do I still have all my Ham stuff, but I have my CB stuff & FRS stuff
Oh, and PS… I don’t remember much of code anymore…been so long since I’ve used it…last time was when I was preparing for my Ham license, and I didn’t use it after I got my technician’s license, only voice.