Yep, you're doing it right. My experience is that aftermarket antennas are very often superior to the OEM rubber duck antennas. You will likely have a longer antenna with an aftermarket antenna, particularly 2M or multiband. The OEM antenna will certainly work, but there is a decent chance you can do better. The major ham radio suppliers will have a wide repertoire of HT antennas. Be a bit careful to match the connector type, and sometimes there can be mounting issues around the antenna connection base. I've used antenna like Diamond SRH77CA, and Smiley Antennas (https://www.smileyantenna.com/
) has a good selection for amateur radio. I like the 5/8 wave Slim Ducks.
If the HT is used in the car, do not hesitate to use external antenna with adapter/pigtails to get all the connections right. I use Comet CA2X4SR and CP-5. Two versions: NMO or SO239; be sure to match antenna to mount.
If you're really mobile inclined, basic 2M/70cm rigs are modestly more expensive than HT and such a rig could be put to use in your shack, lots more power 50ish watts vs 5 watts on an HT....yep, there is a vortex cost/rigs/antennas into which you may find yourself drawn, but you can successfully stay out by sticking with some basics.
(no affiliation with any of these companies)
Good luck and 73,
Chuck Keely KC9QBY