It took me 3 years and about $10,000 to catch my first big tarpon. Way too much money. I would get into saltwater fly fishing by just wading and catching whatever you can. Redfish, Speckled Trout, Ladyfish and a bunch of other species are fun on a fly rod. One of the best places I've found to wade is Port St. Joe. You can rent a condo or house out on Cape San Blas then wade fish on the hard sand bay side of the spit. You can also rent a kayak. Paula and I have rented a very nice room at the Port Inn in the town of Port St. Joe. There are houses available there too. The Cape has one of the best beaches in the United States. There is a huge State Park which does have very nice cabins for rent but they are hard to get. You can walk 4 miles past the last road out onto the cape and fish, look for shells and enjoy the beauty. You do have to watch out for sharks and rays. A young fellow lost his leg to a shark there two years ago but he had live shrimp in his pocket. I've had big schools of small rays surround me and lay down on the bottom but as long as you don't step on them you should be OK.
The rod you are talking about is a Temple Fork Professional 9' 9 weight and it can be had for around $160. The Reel is a Tibor which exceeds $600 I think but we can sell you a Bauer for a whole lot less and it will do a great job for you. You should also be able to fish with David Mangum or one of his guides but you might have more fun catching reds our speckled trout. Tarpon fishing is something that you do, often without hooking one but you keep going back until you do. There is a lot to learn and it can be a very expensive process. I'm glad I've caught a few. Now I just hook them, let them jump a few times, break them off and get back to fishing. It can take hours of hard work to land a big one and you are missing all that good fishing during that time. The best part of tarpon fishing is the "eat". You watch them eat your fly. Second is hooking them. That's a whole new fishing challenge. Third is the jump and first run. After that, it's work. Good luck and have a great vacation. I can't wait to hear about your plans.