Getting up and Running can cost very little, but please get in touch with your local radio club and get licenced!
The basic kit can be as simple as a Baofeng UV/5R
These work on two bands, both FM and I have had contacts of up to 40 miles from the tops.
Another Radio I use is the Yaesu FT-817ND
Which is a more expensive option, but because it has HF (short wave) it can under the right conditions reach anywhere in the world. Mine is attached to a linked dipole from SOTABEAMS