Each family member will also need a ham license. But it is relatively easy. I got my wife with minimal interest and my youngest brother who was 11 at the time to be able to pass with just a few hours of study using a practice test program. I wouldn't say it is the best approach if you really want to know what is going on because it basically just teaches you the answer to the questions and not so much why the answer is the correct one for the question. This is the one Program I used http://www.shenware.com/
It is a free program, though it is from 2014 so I am not 100% sure is it fully up to date. It basically has every question from the exam and can generate a practice exam. You can run through every question in every sub element and it will keep track of the ones you get wrong and allow you to run through the ones you missed to see if you remember the correct answer. You only need a 70% to pass so it is actually fairly easy. There are several other online test resources but I think some have a fee associated with using them.
But on the subject of hand held radios I honestly still like using FRS radios like you can find at just about any big box store. They are simple to use and and you don't have to worry about who can use them. The work great for talking between cars on a road trip or groups that tent to spread out on hikes. The frequencies are quite congested at public events or in the city. Most of them have crazy range advertisements that are not true and to be honest one is really just about as good as the other, about a mile reliably in most outdoor settings, less than half that in an urban setting.
The best free to use non ham radio option is MURS which is 5 license free channels in the 150mhz range. You are allowed to use external antennas and up to 2 watts of power. The problem is no one makes good affordable radios on these bands that are legal to use. Really the only good legal option is to get some certain models of older business radios that are FCC type accepted for use on MURS, like what the store employees at a big box store would use and have them programed for the MURS frequencies. That said the MURS Frequencies are very close the to 2 meter ham band and most ham radio equipment can be easily modified to work well in the MURS band. Though it is not legal to do it is very common.
You can get a $30 Baofeng and use it for ham radio and whatever else you felt was appropriate. They are amazing radios for the cost but that is not to say they are amazing radios. The firmware is a bit Chinese and the receiver is about the worst I have ever seen on any radio so that is going to limit your range especially in contested areas.
Edit: I guess I should also mention GMRS It is $65 for a 5 year family license. You can use more power full radios with external antennas which has a better effect on range than adding power. A few channels you are allowed to go up to 50W and more importantly there are a few repeater pares. But there would need to be a repeater in the area where you were operating and the owner would need to grant you permission to use it. They are UHF frequencies in the 460mhz range and some of the channels are co shared with the FRS radios. Most of the blister pack radios at the big box stores are actually GMRS radios as they cover more channels than the 14 FRS ones and most will put out more than 1/2W on the channels that allow them to. I know many who use old decommissioned public safety radios Motorola, Midland, Kenwood radios that are reprogrammed for GMRS. there have also recently been some really interesting micro Mobil consumer oriented GMRS radios for use vehicles or home base station use with external antennas. https://midlandusa.com/micromobile/