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Help with initial planning for trip to Paris, San Sebastian and Barcelona

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I've been lurking for some time now while formulating an itinerary for a trip to Paris (6-7 nights), San Sebastian (5-6 nights) and Barcelona (5-6 nights) in late April / early May, 2013. I'm hoping to get some help with the following questions before I buy my tickets:

1. I'm using Citibank Thank You Points to buy my tickets. Am I better off buying the tickets as soon as the flights are available for my dates, which is now, or waiting with the hope that tickets will be less expensive at a different time of the year?

2. If I start the trip in Barcelona, I'm looking at a flight from LAX with one stop at CDG, where I will have to change planes. Is 1 hr 20 min enough time for my luggage and me to make the connecting flight? Is there a rule of thumb I don't know about?

3. Am I better off traveling between cities or sightseeing on 5/1 (Labor Day)? Do museums and restaurants in Paris and Barcelona shut down on that holiday?

4. I'm thinking of renting an apartment for our time in Paris. Do the weekly rentals run from a particular day, such as Saturday to Saturday?

Thanks so much!

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