From time to time I see posts here about amateur, ham radio. With an easy-to-get license you can move your communications to another level, and add a margin of safety to your travels, or just have fun with gadgets. And spend money (but not much more than CB or GMRS/FRS).
If you're interested, this weekend is amateur radio Field Day, June 22-23 2013. Almost all the ham clubs will have pubic events where folks can see ham in action, ask questions, mess with equipment, etc. Some clubs even do licensing classes. You can find local clubs here:
Around me in the Bay Area there are several events, including one on the USS Hornet:
Good chance to exercise your inner nerd.